Some people love theme parks for the rides. Some for the shows. And while you can lay down some serious cash for not-so-haute cuisine like churros and turkey legs, there are some who love the parks for the food, and some of the best in Central Florida can be found around the attractions. Using a scooter by Scootarama can help you navigate the theme parks you’re not physically capable of doing so alone.
The Orlando Sentinel recently came out with their annual Foodie Award winners, and theme park and tourist corridor restaurants garnered plaudits from both Sentinel readers, who voted for their favorites in a variety of categories, but also Sentinel Food Editor Heather McPherson who chimed in with her top picks.
The Theme Park category, which is limited to restaurants within the turnstiles, had readers handing the honor over to Universal Orlando’s Mythos restaurant, located in Islands of Adventure.
This is only the second year theme park restaurants have been broken out as their own category in the 14 years of Foodie Awards, and Mythos has taken the reader crown both years. Runner up from the readers this year was Le Cellier at the Canada Pavilion at Disney’s Epcot.
Heather McPherson’s choice for best restaurant is the relatively new Via Napoli, located in the Italy Pavilion at Epcot.
Other theme park restaurants popping up in the Foodie Awards include:
— Boma — Flavors of Africa, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, reader winner for Best African/Soul Food
— Jiko — The Cooking Place, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, runner-up for Best African/Soul Food
— Latin Quarter, Universal CityWalk, reader winner for Best Latin
— Victoria & Albert’s, Disney’s Grand Floridian resort, critic’s choice and reader runner-up for Best Romantic
Outside theme park property lines, but in the tourist corridor, the following venues made a showing:
— Bull & Bear at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando on Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Critic’s choice for Best Steakhouse, reader runner-up for Best Hotel restaurant
— The Capital Grille on International Drive, Critic’s choice for Best Wine List
— Cedar’s on W. Sand Lake Road, Critic’s choice for Best Middle Eastern
— Dragonfly Modern Izakaya & Sushi on W. Sand Lake Road, Critic’s choice for Best Japanese
— Greek Flame Taverna on Dr Phillips Blvd. (The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips), Both Reader and Critic’s choice for Best Greek
— The Oceanaire Seafood Room on International Drive, Critic’s choice for Best Seafood
— Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops, The Hilton Orlando on Destination Parkway near the Convention Center, Critic’s choice for Best Hotel Restaurant
— Venetian Room, Caribe Royal Hotel on World Center Drive, Reader’s choice for Most Romantic and Best Wine List, reader runner-up for Best Hotel restaurant
— Villa de Flora at the Gaylord Palms in Kissimmee, Critic’s choice for Best Brunch