Give your meeting attendees meals and events to remember at hidden culinary gems in Orlando, including blu on The Avenue (pictured).
Updated March 12, 2021
Did you know that Orlando has more than 5,000 restaurants? Between world-famous celebrity chefs, popular national chains, local mom-and-pop shops and other options, it would take you more than four years to eat your way through all of them — and that’s if you ate at three per day!
As your attendees won’t be in Orlando long enough to take the full tour, we’ve put together a list of 10 unforgettable venues where they can try something different and possibly discover their new favorite meal. These acclaimed restaurants are also perfect for group outings, offsite meetings and special events, and you won’t find them anywhere but Orlando!
Best-Kept Secret Restaurants in Orlando’s Convention District
Christini’s Ristorante Italiano
Technically speaking, Christini’s Ristorante Italiano isn’t a well-kept secret — not with celebrities like Emeril Lagasse, Brooke Shields and Mick Jagger praising its cuisine! Part of Orlando’s legendary Restaurant Row, which is minutes from the Orange County Convention Center (OCCC), the family-owned fine-dining establishment specializes in outstanding food and service.
With strolling musicians and complimentary roses for female guests, the elegant ambience is supplemented with award-winning Italian fare and a wine selection that earned a “Best Award of Excellence” from Wine Spectator Magazine. It’s also Zagat-rated, earning scores of 4.5, 4.4 and 4.5 for food, decor and service, respectively.
The restaurant’s private Ivy Room has capacity for up to 54 guests, and semi-private areas are also available, making it an ideal venue for post-event dinners and offsite gatherings. Christini’s also offers a-la-carte dining regardless of party size.
One of many top-flight eateries tucked inside Orlando’s hotels and resorts, Everglades Restaurant is located at International Drive’s Rosen Centre — one of four hotels directly connected to the OCCC via covered walkway. Everglades’ culinary team prioritizes the use of fresh, local ingredients, weaving native Florida flair into steaks, seafood and traditional dishes.
The restaurant’s constantly evolving décor is also influenced by Florida, resulting in a unique dining experience every time you visit. Make sure your group saves room for dessert, else you’ll miss out on masterpieces like The Chocolate Marquise and The Pecan Tuille!
Speaking of groups, the Rosen Centre is a fantastic location for events and meetings. In addition to accommodating group dining, Everglades Restaurant provides quick access to the hotel’s 150,000 square feet of flexible space, which includes three configurable ballrooms and 35 meeting rooms, plus a wealth of amenities.
The H Cuisine
New to Restaurant Row in 2019, The H Cuisine serves diverse Mediterranean fare, including steaks, in a casual fine-dining atmosphere. What makes it particularly noteworthy is its culinary team, which features chefs who have worked at some of the finest restaurants in more than 70 countries.
The H Cuisine includes charcoal techniques, slow-cooked barbecue, smoked delicacies and more, all prepared in their open-fire kitchen. Naturally, their meat creations — including spicy sucuk (aka sausage) — are not to be missed, but vegetarians can look forward to traditional Turkish meze dishes and other delicacies.
This restaurant also caters to private parties, offering full-venue buyouts for receptions of up to 150 guests and seated dinners for up to 100 guests. Other options include the main dining room (120 reception/80 seated) and the covered terrace (30 reception/20 seated).
Whiskey-lovers will definitely want to visit The Whiskey, which does in fact carry its namesake — more than 200 brands to be exact, including bourbon, Scotch, blends, limited releases and more. But regardless of your attendees’ outlook on whiskey, they’ll all want to settle in once they see what’s on the menu at this Restaurant Row venue.
The reason being, The Whiskey’s team puts an elevated twist on traditional pub food, earning culinary accolades along the way. Add a side of rock-‘n’-roll ambience, and it adds up to one of Orlando’s most unique dining experiences. Plus, in addition to being an ideal spot for smaller, post-meeting get-togethers, The Whiskey has options for private events.
Best-Kept Secret Restaurants in Downtown Orlando & Winter Park
blu on the avenue
West coast and east coast cuisines come together with a modern twist at blu on the avenue. It’s one of many unforgettable restaurants on Park Avenue in Winter Park, just 20 minutes north of downtown Orlando.
Seafood is king here — including a delectable sushi selection — but your attendees can dig into numerous turf and vegetarian dishes, too. And every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., your group can start its day with a brunch featuring delicacies like Lobster Omelette, Crab Cake Benedict and Steak Huevos Rancheros, among other options.
blu on the avenue doesn’t just host private events, they cater to them — literally! Event planners can choose from a range of dining packages for groups, up to and including all-inclusive packages with wine and beer selection, appetizers, salads, entrees and dessert.
The AAA Four Diamond-rated Grand Bohemian Hotel in downtown Orlando presents a dazzling blend of art, music, hospitality and meeting services — not to mention acclaimed dining at its onsite restaurant, The Boheme. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a jazz brunch on Sundays, this unique eatery elevates the dining experience by pairing exceptional food and service with music and art.
The onsite Grand Bohemian Gallery supplies the latter with paintings, sculpture and other works that decorate not just the hotel, but also The Boheme and the adjacent Bösendorfer Lounge. And the menu’s mix of American and European favorites is nicely complemented by a sizable wine selection and handcrafted cocktails.
With 10,000 square feet of function space that includes a wine room, poolside garden, meeting galleries and more, the Grand Bohemian Hotel is already an exceptional choice for meetings and events in the downtown area. The Boheme adds to its capabilities, offering private dining experiences that are anything but ordinary.
Featuring a well-designed yet ever-changing menu and presenting a modern homage to French brasseries of yesteryear, DoveCote Restaurant offers some of downtown Orlando’s most eclectic dining. In addition to serving lunch and dinner seven days a week, they offer a scrumptious brunch menu on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Your guests can choose from an array of steaks, seafood, chicken and game, or belly up to the raw bar. DoveCote also has an impressive selection of wine, champagne, beer and cocktails. Even the coffee is gourmet, as provided by Foxtail Coffee Co. (a local favorite), and it pairs beautifully with the fresh, housemade pastries.
DoveCote offers private experiences for lunch, dinner, breakfast and receptions. Choices include the main dining room, the grand hall of their expansive lobby, or under the stars in the atrium.
Le Coq au Vin
Serving authentic French cuisine in downtown Orlando, Le Coq au Vin has racked up countless awards and accolades since its debut in 1976. With so much experience, it’s easy to see why they’ve earned “Best French Restaurant in Central Florida” honors from numerous local publications!
The eatery is headed by Central Florida’s only world-certified master chef, Reimund Pitz, and his wife. Their cuisine marries traditional techniques with an array of cultural influences, creating a hearty mix of classic dishes and innovative creations that will leave your attendees saying “ooh la la.”
Le Coq au Vin is available for full-venue buyouts, and private parties can be held in their dining rooms. They’ll also help you plan a menu that’s perfect for your specific event.
Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar
Located in Winter Park, Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar presents a modern take on classic fish camps. More importantly, they serve fresh Florida seafood prepared in a Southern style, including Po’ Boys, LA Gumbo, Low Country Boil and more.
Reel Fish also offers a raw bar and selections from the land, such as Coffee-Cured Filet Mignon and Buttermilk Pan-Fried Chicken. They’re open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, with hearty brunch being served from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.
Reel Fish will also be happy to host your next event or group dining outing, including lunch and dinner. Cocktail receptions and even full-venue buyouts are also available.