Dine Your Way to Delight This Holiday Season in Orlando

by Dale Pauly

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday November 16, 2022

The holiday season is all about feasting and having fun with the ones we love — and Orlando, America's Fun Capital, has more exciting, delicious, and world-renowned ways to do that this year than ever. Just this past June, the esteemed Michelin Guides released its first-ever "Michelin Guide Miami, Orlando and Tampa," granting Michelin-star status to four of Orlando's top restaurants, and recognizing seven others with coveted Bib Gourmand status for their exceptional value. The designations only confirm what locals have long known: Orlando is an outstanding culinary destination.

"I'm so glad Florida's top restaurants and talented chefs are finally receiving their due recognition by Michelin Guide," the PR director for the Four Seasons Orlando at Walt Disney World Resort, Dana Berry, said after the guide's release. "Orlando has so many amazingly talented chefs and incredible dining options, it's great that the book is raising the level of awareness of Orlando as a culinary hot spot."

Leading off the "Michelin Guide"'s list of one-starred Orlando eateries is the Four Seasons' own Capa Steakhouse & Bar. "This steakhouse flaunts a decidedly Spanish accent," noted the Michelin inspector. "Kick things off with ace tapas before indulging in a main dish, like flame-kissed ribeye with tamarind-ancho sauce."

Another Orlando hotel restaurant singled out for Michelin-star status is chef John Tesar's Knife & Spoon at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes, called "the picture of plush" by the "Michelin Guide." "Care and skill are the hallmarks of this team, as they turn out contemporary steakhouse fare woven with seafood," noted the inspector.

The tiny nine-seat Kadence in Orlando's Audubon Park neighborhood has also earned Michelin-star distinction. "The omakase opens with hot dishes and cool sashimi," noted the inspector. "This is food that's free-spirited, yet manages to honor the classic methods. Pacing is on point in sashimi like hamachi and hirame. Nigiri, like snapper with lemon and sea salt, will have you yearning for more."

Just to the north in Winter Park, another petite omakase restaurant earning Michelin-star designation is Soseki Modern Omakase. "This tiny operation with chef Mike Collantes at the helm is an ideal illustration of a contemporary meal expressed by way of an omakase," noted the Michelin inspector. "A laser-like focus on local Florida produce results in a menu that changes monthly."

Winter Park is also home to two of the seven restaurants recognized by Michelin as worthy of Bib Gourmand designation, denoting their excellent quality at a great value: The Ravenous Pig from James Beard-nominated chefs James and Julie Petrakis, and Swine & Sons from another award-winning husband and wife chef duo, Alexia and Rhys Gawlak.

Two more Michelin Bib Gourmand eateries can be found in Orlando's Mills 50 district: The Strand Food & Drink, which serves seasonal, local dishes highlighting the historic, mid-century sensibilities of the neighborhood; and Z Asian, which combines Vietnam's authentic food heritage with a modern atmosphere.

Orlando's other Bib Gourmand restaurants include Bombay Street Kitchen in South Orlando, Domu in Audubon Park Garden District, and Papa Llama in Curry Ford West.

And if somehow you're still hungry after trying all of those amazing options, the new Michelin Guide awarded Recommended status to 22 additional Orlando eateries, spanning all cuisines, price points, and neighborhoods across the city.

After dinner, Orlando also offers a dizzying array of options for evening fun, including a dozen or so intimate speakeasies like the stylish Mathers Social Gathering (located on the third floor of a historic downtown furniture store) and the innovative spirit-free The Bandbox (set in the Ivanhoe Village Main Street district).

If you prefer to find your feast and fun at one easy location, Orlando's got you covered there too with a great selection of dinner shows. One of the most popular is Mango's Tropical Café, a throwback to classic supper clubs of the past — and midweeks are especially lively with Drag Me Out Wednesdays.

So this holiday season, make new festive memories with your loved ones in Orlando. Find great deals and book your travel plans now at