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The Best Restaurants on International Drive, Orlando

International Drive is centre of an Orlando holiday. This long road runs from Universal Orlando in the north, all the way to Disney World to the south, with plenty of hotels, bars, attractions and restaurants in between. It’s the most popular area to stay and you’ll be spoilt for choice for things to do.

One of the main benefits of staying on I-Drive is the wide variety of budget friendly hotels, restaurants and activities. Accommodation and dining inside the theme park resort areas can be expensive so staying on International Drive, or simply driving over to eat, can save you money. And it’s not all about saving money! The wide variety of authentic American and International eateries in the area cannot be beaten – there’s something for everyone!

Read on for our recommendations on the best restaurants on International Drive, and some handy tips for eating out here.

The Capital Grille

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Places to eat on International Drive - Shows The Capital Grill family restaurant
This photo of The Capital Grille is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a platter of oysters from The Capital Grill
This photo of The Capital Grille is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Although our list is in no particular order, we felt the need to include The Capital Grille at the top as it’s one of the best restaurants on International Drive that Orlando has to offer, and its TripAdvisor ranking agrees! The restaurant oozes elegance but has a laid-back Floridian nature that we love. The food is top-notch and consists of speciality steaks, seafood, gourmet appetizers and fine wine. It’s a place where you should commemorate the end to your holiday, or kick it off in style, and it’s perfect for special occasions. You can’t go wrong with any of the main courses, however you should definitely choose cheesecake for dessert. It’s the Capital Grille’s speciality and you won’t be disappointed. We recommend reserving a table in advance, dressing to impress and taking your time to appreciate this fine restaurant and its food.

Maggiano’s Little Italy

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Shows Maggiano's Italian Restaurant in Orlando
This photo of Maggiano’s Little Italy is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a well-presented meal from Maggiano's Little Italy
This photo of Maggiano’s Little Italy is courtesy of TripAdvisor

The US has deep Italian roots within its cuisine and a trip to Florida wouldn’t be complete without tasting some delicious pizza from an authentic American-Italian restaurant. Out of the many Italian eateries in Orlando, Maggiano’s is regarded as one of the best. It’s a top-rated chain restaurant that can be found in many US cities, and the food is consistently delicious. For around $20 you can get one of a selection of pasta’s, meat and seafood dishes, and the pizza flatbread’s are rich in flavour yet light and crispy. The wide variety of items on the menu means you’ll find something for the whole family, even the fussy eaters in the squad! Food aside, the decor and atmosphere at Maggiano’s is calm, welcoming and sombre. For the price you can’t beat the whole dining experience here!

Longhorn Steakhouse

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Outside shot of Longhorn Steakhouse
This photo of LongHorn Steakhouse is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a big hunk of steak with vegetables
This photo of LongHorn Steakhouse is courtesy of TripAdvisor

For good old hunks of American ribeye and giant Porterhouse steaks, Longhorns is a strict must-visit. In addition to being one of the best restaurants on International Drive, this laid-back chain restaurant is one of the most well-known steakhouse brands in the world. The branch on International Drive happens to be particularly excellent, with top reviews and a winner of awards. The interior is finely decorated in ranch-style wooden furnishings, with pull-up bar stools and cosy booths and tables. Expect bourbon on the rocks, craft beers or Bud Light and pieces of meat that will make your mouth water. If you love American steakhouses this place can’t be missed! The food is surprisingly good value compared to more upmarket nearby restaurants.

Seito Sushi

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

The best seafood restaurant on International Drive - Shows Seito Sushi from the outside
This photo of Seito Sushi is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a colourful platter of sushi
This photo of Seito Sushi is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Located just off I-Drive in the centre of all the action, Seito Sushi is a welcome alternative to the heavy, meaty meals you’ll find in nearby restaurants. This fine establishment has a touch of class, serving up large platters of delicious sushi and a menu of signature cocktails. The elegant setting makes it a perfect place for special occasions and the menu is an exciting mix of Japanese sushi, blended with other world flavour options such as Mexican. It’s a unique twist that we thoroughly enjoyed. Although the ambience may suggest ‘fine dining’, Seito has a somewhat relaxed nature and portions are much more plentiful and reasonably priced compared to a gourmet Japanese restaurant. Make sure you arrive in time for the cocktail happy hour and finish your meal with a shot of Sake!

Shake Shack

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Shows the exterior of a Shake Shack branch in Orlando
This photo of Shake Shack is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Best restaurants on International Drive - Shows a burger and fries from Shake Shack
This photo of Shake Shack is courtesy of TripAdvisor

When it comes to fast food, the USA is the grand master and creator of this world-wide love affair. In addition to the brand names you’ll recognise from home, you’ll find many more options in Orlando, specialising in burgers, fried chicken, sandwiches, pizzas, tacos and everything in between. The favourite for many has to be Shake Shack. Regarded as a classier and better-quality fast food restaurant than the cheap favourites, Shake Shack has restaurant quality burgers, served up as quickly as Burger King and priced only a little bit more. Five Guys is great, but once you’ve been to Shake Shack you’ll be spoilt for anywhere else! And yes, you should definitely order a milkshake. The Shake Shack branch just outside Sea Life Orlando, just so happens to be one of the best restaurants on International Drive for fast food, in our opinion.

Ocean Prime

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Shows the classy exterior of Ocean Prime seafood restaurant
This photo of Ocean Prime is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a big plate of sushi
This photo of Ocean Prime is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Fancy seafood dinners is what Ocean Prime does best. It has dishes ranging from tender lobster and marinated shrimp to grilled fish of the day, all finely presented in a gourmet fashion. The setting and delicious food of this restaurant makes it the number one spot to go for seafood lovers. It’s a little bit on the pricier side, although nothing too crazy. The ambient setting and excellent service makes it worth it! Ocean Prime is located along the strip of restaurants on Sand Lake Road, just off International Drive. Unlike the giant portions of some other restaurants, the food motto here is quality over quantity and it’s the perfect amount you need to look forward to dessert – which is also very good!

The Melting Pot

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Shows a dinner fondue set with melted cheese
This photo of The Melting Pot is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a dessert fondue set with melted chocolate
This photo of The Melting Pot is courtesy of TripAdvisor

With its name as a clue to what entails here, The Melting Pot is an award-winning fondue restaurant where you order a cheese fondue of your choice and its prepared table-side as you watch. It’s a great accompaniment for lobster, steak and all of the other tantalising choices on the menu. Once you’ve finished dinner or lunch, a dessert fondue arrives at the table and you can indulge by dipping fruit, cookies and cake into a pot of melted chocolate. Isn’t that alone a reason to visit? It’s a really cool idea for groups of friends and families, and the mysterious, low-lit décor sets the scene for a meal you’ll love. Check out their website to see exactly what we mean and learn about the cool concept.

Bahama Breeze

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

Shows Bahama Breeze restaurant
This photo of Bahama Breeze is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a tasty seafood dish with greens
This photo of Bahama Breeze is courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you know anyone that’s been to International Drive, there’s a very good chance they’ve recommended Bahama Breeze. Both tourists and locals love this place and it’s been perched on I-Drive since the early days of Disneyworld. What really brings the restaurant alive and makes it a favourite is the wacky, tropical decoration and fun island background music. The waiters are charming and entertaining, making an effort to really settle you in and ensure you have a good time. For the adults, there’s a nice variety of cocktails and the bar is the place to chill after a challenging dinner. Speaking of dinner, the food here is very good and also very cheap. With tropical island inspiration, expect mango or pineapple infused desserts, fruity rice and beautifully seasoned meat and fish. It’s an unusual combination but your taste buds will thank you.

I-HOP

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4/5

Shows the outside of I-HOP on International Drive
This photo of IHOP is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows a cup of coffee with a colourful stack of pancakes
This photo of IHOP is courtesy of TripAdvisor

To many Americans, I-HOP, or International House of Pancakes is nothing special. It’s a breakfast chain country-wide, that seems to be stuck back in the 80’s. However, it has a place in many Americans hearts and tourists will love to visit for the unique diner atmosphere, cheap but tasty breakfast food and tantalising collection of waffles and pancakes. You haven’t been to the US if you haven’t checked out an I-HOP! Although you’ll find these restaurants spread throughout Florida, the location’s on International Drive are managed particularly well and have great reviews to prove it. Stop by for some mid-morning pancakes and bacon (with a milkshake of course), before heading to the theme parks. For the price you can’t beat it!

Copper Canyon Grill

View map location | Website | TripAdvisor Rating 4.5/5

The the outside of Copper Canyon Grill
This photo of Copper Canyon Grill is courtesy of TripAdvisor
Shows Copper Canyon Grill on International Drive
This photo of Copper Canyon Grill is courtesy of TripAdvisor

If you want a friendly, low-key, but beautifully stylish restaurant to enjoy dinner with the family, Canyon Grill is calling your name. It’s right next to the Pointe Orlando Shopping Mall and attractions so you’ll most likely pass by when checking out the area. Take a break from the shops with a spot of lunch and enjoy a glass of wine on the deck outside. The food here is home-cooked and hearty, ranging from their famous rotisserie chicken and ribs, to soups, salads, burgers and fish. They have all of the American favourites you could wish for. The staff are upbeat and the atmosphere is fun for a meal with family or friends. We personally recommend trying the meatloaf or ribs!

A few things to note – restaurant tips:

  • Popular restaurants can get very busy! Reserve a place in advance if you’re visiting on a weekend or on an evening. Best to be safe than miss out!
  • Many of the I-Drive restaurants we’ve listed are located right next to the top attractions and shopping centres. Plan your visit alongside your day out to save time and to have a go-to place to eat.
  • Leave plenty of room for dessert. American’s do dessert very well and you won’t want to miss it!
  • Mix up your cuisine choices every night. There’s a lot of burger and steak restaurants, but you’ll also find everything from Chinese and Japanese, to Mexican, Thai and Lebanese. A resort this size attracts the best of the best!
  • Finally, but most importantly, always check reviews! There’s a lot of restaurants in Orlando and they’re not all good. Some popular buffet restaurants tend to be on the lower quality side.

Tipping

Unlike most of the world, tipping in the US is expected, and average tips of 20% are common these days. This can be quite different to what you’re used to if you’re not an American. Tips are generally relied on as most servers get paid less than minimum wage. Although you’ll find tips to be suggested or even included sometimes, you are entitled to pay as you wish in most cases.

Our recommendation? If your service was good, pay 15-20% to help the waiters out. Bad service? Don’t pay a thing! However, it’s completely up to you. Pay what you’re comfortable with and don’t feel pressured to give a specific amount.

Tips for eating out on a budget in Orlando

  • Meals portions are plentiful in most places. Consider having a big breakfast in your hotel, a light snack for lunch and then a big dinner.
  • Speaking of portions, there’s definitely enough to share for some meals. Share your meals and simply eat when you’re hungry. You’ll try more and save more.
  • Fast food restaurants are the cheapest way to eat and it’s not all Mcdonalds and Burger King. The US is the king of fast food and the amount of options is staggering. We personally recommend checking out Chik-fil-A, Shake Shack, Taco Bell and Chipotle.
  • Ask for ice water rather than ordering a soda or beer. It’s free!
  • Head to the infamous Walmart supermarket for snack and drinks supplies on the early days of your holiday. Snacks will keep you going throughout the day and you won’t need to pay the expensive theme park prices.

The restaurants on our list were selected based on our own personal experiences and overall reviews and ratings by other visitors. They’re only a fraction of the great restaurants available in the popular tourist centre of International Drive and we’re sure you’ll find plenty of others to suit your tastes. Do you have any recommendations for our list? Let us know! But be warned, the food in Orlando is delicious and addictive so be prepared to indulge and be in taste bud heaven


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