Living in Orlando: 4 Top Neighborhoods for Foodies

Posted on Jan 29, 2021

Photo:East End Market Orlando

Not long ago, cuisine explorers would have raised eyebrows at anyone sticking “foodie” together with “Orlando” - it just wasn’t the place to go for daring culinary adventures. These days, though, Orlando is making a new name for itself as a foodie-friendly city with plenty of options ranging from the international to the experimental. 

In fact, Orlando was ranked #11 in Wallet Hub’s top list of US foodie cities - coming in close to some heavy hitters like New York, Miami and Los Angeles. And the James Beard Foundation, which recognizes culinary professionals in the US, named four Orlando chefs as finalists last year - a sign that Orlando draws in some of the country’s culinary top talent. 

Foodies - even casual ones - tend to prioritize easy access to top-rated restaurants and eateries. For this reason, we’ve compiled a list of four of the top Orlando neighborhoods for foodies, specifically for new homeowners. Here’s where you should be looking. 

Best Neighborhoods in Orlando for Foodies: Winter Garden

Located 25 minutes from downtown Orlando, Winter Garden is an established cultural mecca for Central Florida. The area’s old Florida-esque charm, along with the scenic Lake Apopka, have made it a popular destination for first time homeowners. For foodies interested in taking a quick walk from their home to favorite restaurant, finding a home near Plant Street is key.

Winter garden is also home to the East End Market, a two-story food hall featuring a dozen vendors and showcases some of Central Florida’s top food entrepreneurs, artisans and chefs. 

Taste Test:

eastendorlando.jpg?mtime=20210129172229#asset:37650Craving-worthy dishes from vendors at East End Market

Best Neighborhoods in Orlando for Foodies: Milk District

Once a dairy farm, now a vibrant and eclectic neighborhood, the Milk District attracts artists and culinary enthusiasts in droves thanks to its vibrant local art scene, independently-owned restaurants, and musical entertainment. Casual, easy-to-eat food is the theme here - perfect for foodies who like to sample fresh cuisine during lunch breaks. 

It’s worth pointing out that Orlando has the nickname Food Truck Capital - thanks to its truck-friendly ordinances, it has more food trucks per capita than any city! And on Tasty Tuesdays in the Milk District, you can sample from up to 13 food trucks (on rotation, so expect a different lineup each week) while sipping on craft beers and wine from local bars. Dogs and kids are welcome! 

Taste Test:

se7en.jpeg?mtime=20210128171826#asset:37645Some of the yummy options at Se7en Bites

Best Neighborhoods in Orlando for Foodies: College Park

Green space and lake views define the Northern Orlando neighborhood of College Park. Named after its collegiate-inspired street names (Harvard, Yale, etc), this neighborhood maintains small-town charm without sacrificing convenience and downtown proximity. Foodies rejoice - the area is known for its many coffee shops, gastropubs, bars and trendy restaurants. This neighborhood is perennially popular with people moving to Orlando from out of town.

Edgewater Drive is home to both new and established eateries. Pick up a bubble tea at Blended Bistro Bobba and fill yourself with a poke bowl - one of their most popular review menu items, or stop by 

Taste Test: 

JadeSushi.jpeg?mtime=20210129172827#asset:37651Jade Sushi

Best Neighborhoods in Orlando for Foodies: Downtown Orlando

Stroll from your downtown apartment, to work, to Happy Hour in downtown Orlando, where residents love accessibility paired with a vibrant nightlife. 

Orlando’s downtown neighborhood has arguably had the longest time to flourish - it’s the place to be for trendy, cool eateries, and it’s also just a fun place to live. The Wall Street Plaza, for example, is a cool place to check out with shops, restaurants, and seven bars in one location. On Friday and Saturday nights the road is blocked off for a “block party” complete with live DJ (and no cover fee).

Beyond that, there’s a wide variety of restaurants sure to please sophisticated palettes - making it easily one of the best places to best places to live in Orlando if you’re a foodie.

reyes.jpg?mtime=20210128172125#asset:37646Some of the options at Reyes Mezcaleria, photo courtesy of restaurant

Notable Mention: The Famous Restaurant Row 

While the average millennial foodie may be looking for a starter home rather than a luxurious estate or vacation condo, it’s worth mentioning that Orlando’s Restaurant Row, located in the Dr Phillips neighborhood, is home to both upscale and casual restaurants and a large number of award-winning chefs. Its proximity to Orlando’s theme parks - and the millions of visitors who come there - continue to draw in top talent, and it’s definitely worth the drive.

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