Tuesday 26 January 2016

My Top 3 Restaurants on International Drive, Orlando.

I've stayed on International Drive twice in the past 2 years so have dined at a fair few places on the strip. The length of International Drive can get a little overwhelming, and most people don't venture too far from their hotel, however popping in your hire car or on the bus is so simple, and will open your dining options up massively.

Budget wise, we tend to go for a varied mixture when it comes to dining. Some nights we may splash out a little and enjoy a bit of luxury food, then other nights we'll watch the pennies and go for something a little cheaper. The 3 restaurants I'm going to showcase will vary in price, from low-medium, then medium to high. None of the meals were ridiculously priced whereby it left us squirming in our seats once the bill had arrived!

Olive Garden

Olive Garden is located not far from Wonderworks (the upside down house - you can't miss it!). We visited here on one of our first nights in Orlando and I almost turned away because from the outside and reception area, I immediately thought 'this is gonna be so expensive'. I asked to take a sneaky look at the menu and I was pleasantly surprised by the prices. The restaurant is large and airy, with different dining sections. There were 5 of us so we were seated in a corner booth. The menu is predominantly Italian, however they had a good range of foods. To keep us going whilst we waited for our food, they provided us with 8 huge warm herbed bread rolls. The biggest bowl of the most delicious salad I had ever tasted... (how do Americans make salad so good?!). These were all free! For the main I had garlic chicken & rosemary mash potatoes, with vegetables. It was honestly divine (of course the photo does it no justice!). The service was on point and they couldn't have done any more for us. The atmosphere was perfect and the prices for mains varied (on average) between $10-16 (£7 - £11). I'm so glad I ventured in here. Such a perfect start to our holiday. This restaurant has been ranked on TripAdvisor at No 29 out of 3,187. Need I say more?

Main Meal

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is situated to the left of the Orlando Eye, amongst an array of other restaurants/clubs. I know this has now opened up in the UK, but lets forget that.. this is originally an American chain (it all started in NY to be precise!)

Courtesy of google - Photo V Justice? Not at all...
It's McDonalds, but on a whole new level. The burgers... oh my. The juicy goodness just melted in the mouth. The flavours were out of this world. I think I got a spicy burger if I remember rightly and it was to die for. The cheesy chips... ahhh, take me back. The milkshakes were on point too. The menu was so varied and appealing. Prices are a little steep for what is just really, a fast-food take-out. Expect to pay a little more than McDonalds, but its so honestly worth it. We visited here twice - once on our first night when we were jet-lagged beyond belief (Shake Shack just sent us into an even deeper coma!), then once on our last night, just for convenience. This place can get pretty busy (which shows how much its loved!), so be quick to find a seat. They do both indoor and outdoor seating - the outdoor seating is full of wooden benches and cute little fairy lights. Indoors is a blessing to indulge in some air con! Definitely wouldn't hesitate in returning here on our next trip!

Maggiano's (Little Italy)

Situated right near Pointe Orlando (the mini shopping mall) we just had to pop in here after visiting the one in Las Vegas and loving it. Chicken, parmesan, garlic, flatbreads, meatballs, pasta.. the menu is endless. Everything is cooked to perfection and it's bloody gorgeous. Holidaying in America can sometimes get a little tiring, feeling like your eating the same old junk food time and time again, so its nice to visit somewhere that doesn't fall in line with the typical cuisine of fatty junk foods. The interior is elegant, and its a nice one to visit without the kids! (Although we don't have that problem...).

Keep your eyes peeled for more top tips on Orlando!

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