13 Best Affordable Restaurants in Orlando ($-$$)
Updated: Nov 12, 2021
Certain types of cuisine in Orlando are better than others (like Cuban or Vietnamese,) but overall there has definitely been an upward trend of good eats in and around Orlando. I was so inspired by the no. 1 restaurant on this list, that I finally got around to start writing this blog: The Top 13 Best Affordable Restaurants in Orlando.
Unlike most google reviews, I don't consider service or wait time into my rating. The best marinated grilled pork I have ever had was sold on the street of Bangkok. The seller was cold and unwelcoming, but when the food is that amazing, you just put up with it. (Note to self: An article idea - Damn Good Eats in Bangkok, So Good You Put Up with Awful Services.) My main criteria are the taste, freshness of ingredients, value (what you get) vs. affordability, and cooking skills/ techniques.
12. Lombardi's and Bar Harbor Seafood (It's a tie!)
If you love seafood and good deals, Lombardi's and Bar Harbor Seafood are your go-tos. You can eat in, order to-goes, or buy fresh seafood to make at home. The key to seafood is the freshness and you can't beat getting it from markets that supply seafood to restaurants. Generally seafood is more expensive than most meat, but if you like seafood, you won't be disappointed.
Lombardi's is a premium yet affordable fresh seafood market that has an onsite cafeteria. My favorite is the fried fish of the day, crab cakes, and fresh oyster shooters - a dollar each! I learned about Lombardi's from Andrew Zimmern's "The Zimmern List" on the Travel Channel.
Bar Harbor Seafood is a no-frill seafood wholesaler with a kitchen and an outdoor picnic bench seating. It's a bit out the way in an industrial part of town, but they do have amazing deals on lobsters and other seafood. I recommend whole lobster with butter, lobster roll, and fish & chips.
The best dip to have with seafood is Thai Seafood Dip, if you can handle the spice, you will never go back to anything else.
11. Vietnam Cuisine
I have tried a few other Vietnamese restaurants when we first moved to Orlando, and I was not impressed. So when I met our Vietnamese hairdresser, I had to ask where is the best place to get Vietnamese food. She referred me to Vietnam Cuisine. Everything here is consistently delicious and fresh every time we visit, eat-in or take out. I was especially impressed with the takeout quality during COVID-19, it's the same quality as you would get while eating-in.
It became one of our go-to restaurants in Orlando and where we take our out-of-town guests if they fancy some Pho or Ban Cuon. Note that it's an extremely casual, family-friendly place and doesn't have the best ambience. Ok, there is zero ambience, but the food is good and that's all I care about.
The Neighborhood Eatery is my go-to place for comfort Korean food. It's fast, it's affordable, everything always tastes good. Is it an award-winning Korean restaurant? Probably not. But for what you get and the price you pay; you will certainly be a happy neighbor.
Do the bulgogi plate and bibimbap if you want to go more traditional, that's what I always do. Try the wasa-beef bowl, it's a house specialty, or any of the sandwiches for that matter. I haven't tried everything, but I'm sure it's good. The downside? They close at 7 pm weekdays and they don't open on weekends.
9. King Bao
King Bao is probably the most underrated restaurant in Orlando, personally I think it's a gem. Every bao is crafted with the right mix of flavors, it's like you're going on a different culinary adventure with each one. It's also right next door to Royal Tea, my favorite bubble tea shop in Orlando.
Definitely do the truffle tots and the bao combo. I usually do 1-2 baos off the regular menu and 1 bao from the special/ seasonal menu. Their lobster roll is delish, and honestly better than the well-rated places I have tried in Boston. We would visit King Bao a lot more if I can refrain myself from eating the truffle tots. But. I. Can't. Oh, and try the dessert menu if you can afford the extra calories.
8. IL Pescatore
This Italian restaurant is so wholesome, cozy, and family-friendly. It feels like you're going to your Italian uncle's house to eat. It's one of those restaurants where you can tell you have stumbled upon something good. IL Pescatore is usually packed, but the wait time is never bad at all. The food portion is generous, so you will usually have leftovers for the next day (and who doesn't like a delicious meal that you can just pop in the microwave.)
We have ordered Carbonara, Spaghetti with Meatballs, Gnocchi Piamontese (pink sauce,) and Pollo Alla Scaloppine (Chicken medallions with mushrooms in a white wine sauce,) amongst a few others. Needless to say we have been satisfied every time. IL Pescatore is definitely our go-to place when we want Italian.
7. Pig Floyd's
Pig Floyd's is one of our most frequently visited restaurants, either eating in or taking out. The food is always delicious and the quality has remained consistent over the years. The restaurant has rustic hip vibes, yet it is also family-friendly. See us there on Wednesdays, because kids eat free. I hope and pray that the kids eat free promo stays forever.
Our favorite is the brisket and pull pork, with Mexican street corn, yucca fries, and the wholesome rice and beans. I am originally from Thailand and I have eaten a whole lot of rice in my life time, I don't know how they do it, but Pig Floyd's rice is just exceptionally good. The regular fries are also excellent, and we just recently discovered the magic of their sausages. I would like to also add that their sweet barbeque sauce is the bomb.
If you ever see the long line in front of the restaurant, or ever been in line, you will know people are willing to wait over an hour to eat at this Japanese Izakaya. But is it worth the wait? The day I visited (our 3rd attempt) I found their cooking time to be way off, both on the skewers and the fried food. However, the quality and taste are there, and I am definitely going back to try again. I cut Susuru some slack because the restaurant offers more than just good food. The retro Japanese decor alone is buzzworthy, and the menu is so fun and creative.
Do the Mentaiko Fries, the Japanese Chicken Meatball, the Bacon Wrapped Asparagus, and the Okonomiyaki. The Susuru Gohan is a must (if you enjoy the sight and taste of egg yolk,) and I am going back just for the Yaki Onigiri Chazuke so I can pour the tea myself and instagram it. Supposedly Susuru is opening another location on East Colonial and I. absolutely. cannot. wait.
5. Super Rico
The food at Super Rico is simple but simply delicious. The ambience is super cozy and you would think you're just grabbing a quick bite from this Columbian diner. But no, you have just uncovered one of Orlando's hidden secret food treasure. It's one thing to make a complicated dish tastes amazing, but it's the simple dishes that always wow me. Every single component of preparation and cooking has to matter to achieve a simple dish that tastes so good it makes your eyes pop.
If you enjoy South American cuisine, go give Super Rico a try. Actually, if you're just looking to enjoy food in general, do yourself a favor and go enjoy the flavors ; ) A platter dish is always fun to eat and share, but seriously go ahead and order anything from here, it will be super nom.
I love ramen and I don't know why it's so hard to find a good ramen place in North America. I have tried several chain and non-chain ramen places all over and they were either too salty or too blah. Luckily you can find an excellent "craft" ramen place in Orlando at Domu, the noodles are made fresh everyday on site!
I love the Spicy Tonkatsu and the New Japan Mazemen, oh yes the fatty dishes. We also always order their famous Domu Wings as appetizers (they're not quite the Asian Bon Chon but still delicious.) Domu's cocktails are amazing, I would say this is my favorite place to enjoy me some drinks. Keep in mind that Domu is extremely popular amongst locals and visitors, so wait time is always long.
I know it's not technically in Orlando but its proximity qualifies it for this list. Prato may seem fancy, but for what you get: the food, the ambience, the drinks, everything is enjoyable. I would LOVE to go on a date night there, one day when I can get my conjoined toddler off my hip. Needless to say Prato is not a kid-friendly place.
This stylish Italian eatery is famous for their meatballs, so famous they are actually named 'Prato meatballs.' For the pizzas, try the Diavolo, Widowmaker, or the extremely popular Pizza Margherita. Their most loved pasta dishes are Mustard Spaghettini and Potato Gnocchi. If you go with just your girlfriends, try to get a table so you won't get bothered by "the bar patrons."
2. Tori Tori
I like the food here so much that I would eat here weekly if I had things my way, more money and no kids. Just kidding, I love my kids. Needless to say this is another restaurant on The Top 13 Best Affordable Restaurants in Orlando that is not kid-friendly. It's a bar and food concept guys, leave the little ones at home. They have added on to their cocktail menu extensively during COVID-19, so now I enjoy Tori Tori even more.
The chicken karaage here is absolutely THE BEST and the crab fried rice is AMAZING. When they do such a simple (yet tricky) dish right, you know they've got skills. If only I can pair the fried rice with the Thai Seafood Dip. My favorite grilled skewers are the Chicken Wings, Pork Belly, King Oyster Mushroom, and Shishito Peppers. They just added a Brussel Sprouts Okonomiyaki dish, a nice veggie break from all the fried and protein-rich Izakaya food.
Tori Tori would totally be my number one restaurant in Orlando, if I haven't met Aji Ceviche Bar. I didn't know I like Peruvian food so much but this is officially at the top of my go-to restaurants in Orlando. If you know and love Ceviche 105 in Miami, this is the Orlando's own version (even the ambience reminds me of Ceviche 105.)
We ordered one of the recommended ceviche dishes, a mixed seafood plate and I was so happy because it literally saves me future trips to Miami. (Yes, I travel for food.) Another must-do dish is Risotto a la Huancaina, pair it with any ceviche dish and it's divine. I had my eyes on the causas, which I will definitely order next time. The taste, the presentation (camera eats first,) and the freshness of the ingredients were just mind-blowing. It's truly an experience, and a feast to both the eyes and stomach.
I wish I could add a Thai restaurant on here, but sorry, there's no Thai restaurant in Orlando that's worthy enough to be on this list. Sad but true, what are you gonna do. (Answer: you cook it yourself or you go to St. Pete or South Florida.)
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Bangkok bred. Orlando based. Affordable Family-Fun, Food & Outings around the Sunshine State 🌅 & Beyond ☕🥐🌸🍵
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