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The Best Off-Property Restaurants Near Disney World

Off Property Dining Cover

While it’s no secret that Walt Disney World Resort boasts plenty of exceptional onsite restaurants, foodies from Orlando, Florida, know firsthand that some of the best eats around are found off-property in restaurants nearby.

It’s understandable why so many Guests staying at Disney World would stick to the convenience of dining on-premises solely. Who can debate the benefits of having food courts and other onsite restaurants open to you around the clock?

There’s never a struggle to find “fancy restaurants near me” for an upscale dining experience, as plenty of signature establishments grace the various Resorts and are even found in some Disney Parks. There’s also the lavish Disney Springs scene, along with stellar options at Resorts like the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin, which technically feature what are considered “restaurants near Disney World, off property” (but aren’t really, location-wise).

When it was offered, the Disney Dining Plan was among the best deals for Disney World guests to opt for when dining at Disney locations, particularly. But since it hasn’t made its official return yet, now may be the time to look beyond the Disney-exclusive offerings and explore all those hidden gem restaurants you may have overlooked throughout the greater Orlando area.

So, to inspire you to begin a new culinary quest, we at Inside the Magic have compiled this sample list of cool restaurants near Disney World to try out.

Related: Convenient Places for Disney Resort Guests to Eat in Orlando

Mrs. Potato

Don’t mistake this for a new dining option at Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios. It’s really a longtime, low-key, casual favorite among locals. It was even voted one of the Top 12 Orlando Restaurants by Florida Rentals and made the 10 Best List for Orlando Restaurants. Furthermore, it was once featured on an episode of Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

The quaint and friendly atmosphere makes it one of the most beloved family restaurants near Disney World. And it’s the smaller-than-usual size that pegs it so warm and welcoming rather than imposing. Combine that with a hearty and delectable Brazilian-inspired menu and caring staff, and it’s easy to understand why this place is such a hit.

Inside display of Potato Heads at Mrs. Potato

Credit: Mrs. Potato

Christini’s Ristorante Italiano

Renowned chef and owner Chris Christini brings over four decades of culinary experience to his elegant namesake establishment, based in the Marketplace of the Dr. Phillips community. A truly exceptional experience in authentic Italian dining, the restaurant somehow achieves the seemingly impossible by retaining charm, comfort, and friendliness in perfect balance with its upscale reputation for refinement.

Related: Where the Locals Like to Shop and Dine When Not on Disney Property

Charley’s Steakhouse

Not only does this signature dining spot earn the title of being the most award-winning steakhouse in Central Florida, but it’s also been voted America’s Number One Steakhouse.

At the center of the menu comprising this sophisticated dinnertime destination are their standout-featured prime steak offerings, of course. Market fresh seafood selections are also popular here, along with their hand-crafted cocktails and fine wines.

Charley’s has three lavish locations—one based in Celebration (Kissimmee), one in Tampa, and another right in the heart of Orlando, on International Drive, no less.

Interior dining room at Charley's Steakhouse

Credit: Charleys

The H Orlando

Another high-end popular pick with locals is this chic, modern-style Mediterranean steakhouse fixture, which you will find along Orlando’s renowned Restaurant Row. Renowned for their dry-aged 1855 Black Angus USDA prime beef steaks, their vast and versatile menu offers up other specialties as well, including Mediterranean fusion hits and fresh seafood selections. Another impressive callout they’re known for is their extensive wine list and craft cocktails.

Villa Italiano Chophouse

Not only has TripAdvisor ranked this as being the “Number One Restaurant in Overall Kissimmee, Florida,” but it also happens to be housed within what many consider the best area to stay near Disney World. On location of the one and only Westgate Vacation Villas Resort, here’s an authentic Italian dining option for everyone. Whether you’re dining here as a family or on a date, they feature a profuse menu with all the fixings, sure to satisfy even the pickiest eaters.

Villa Italiano at Westgate Resorts

Credit: Westgate Resorts

4 Rivers Smokehouse

You’ll find multiple locations throughout Georgia and Florida for this award-winning barbecue-style restaurant of great acclaim. Optimal locations for those visiting the Disney World area include one in Winter Park, another in Winter Garden, two in Tampa, one in Kissimmee, and two in Orlando.

As a family-owned and operated establishment, the atmosphere provides a family-friendly and laid-back casual atmosphere. The restaurant primarily focuses on the fine art of smoked foods, with their specialty being 30-day aged brisket along with scrumptious homemade southern sides and fresh-baked goods daily.

Kres Chophouse 

As an independently operating steakhouse on historic W. Church Street, this unique establishment stands out as Downtown Orlando’s premier restaurant. It also earned first place as the Best Steakhouse in Orlando by USA Today. They are perhaps best known for their in-house aged prime beef, hand-cut to order.

But there’s plenty to be said about their fresh-caught Florida coastal fish, as well, delivered on the spot daily. Furthermore, they also feature an impressive variation of vegan specialties and gluten-free options, all of which are most impressive. And with that, we can’t overlook their extensive wine list and creative cocktails.

Interior dining room of Kres Chophouse

Credit: Kres Chophouse

Pio Pio Restaurant

It may surprise fans of Encanto to learn that Disney World doesn’t have any Columbian restaurants onsite. But this nearby local hit is an excellent alternative. Found along Precision Drive in Orlando, this has been the ultimate go-to for authentic Columbian food favorites, along with various other beloved South American staples for many years now.

Related: ‘Encanto’ Fan, Josh Gad Wants Colombia Pavilion Added to EPCOT

Memories of Peru

Where is Disney World serving up the best Peruvian food? Sadly, they’re not. But fortunately, you don’t have to venture too far off Disney property to enjoy the best Peruvian food in Orlando. That’s because the newest location for this family-owned operation is on International Drive. Its other, older location—which opened in 2016 near the Florida Mall is still going strong also.

Memories of Peru features one of the most extensive menus highlighting authentic Peruvian food in Central Florida. Moreover, all the traditional offerings they present are handled with meticulous care and instruction by experienced chefs who are all about flavor and the art of food perfection.

Interior dining room of Memories of Peru

Credit: Memories of Peru

SOCO Thornton Park

The mysterious naming behind this well-loved Southern-Contemporary hotspot is, appropriately enough, a fusion of the aforementioned two words. And this is even telling of the inspiring cuisine they are most known for. Over the years, they’ve earned many Orlando Magazine Dining Awards, including Best Restaurant, Best Brunch, Best Neighborhood Restaurant, and Best Chef categories.

World Famous Boston Lobster Feast 

If you love seafood buffets, this is by far the best option around. They were even voted Best Buffet in Florida by Reader’s Digest in 2019.

With multiple locations throughout the greater Orlando area, including one at Kissimmee, Main Gate, there’s even more to love! Indulge in a boundless abundance that includes over 60 all-you-can-eat items, including Maine Lobster, award-winning New England Clam Chowder, Lobster Bisque, Seafood Casserole, Oysters Rockefeller, and so much more.

Multiple food options at the World Famous Lobster Feast

Credit: World Famous Lobster Feast

Related: Guests Say Disney Buffet Is “Overpriced” and “Nothing Special”

Celebration Tavern

If you truly want to live it up as the locals do, head to this longtime Front Street-based staple at Celebration Town Center. Inspired by New England seafood interests, it’s a great, casual setup where you can gather with friends and family. From fresh seafood selections that are flown in direct from Boston to all the alternate landlocked food options, a meal at Celebration Tavern offers up the ultimate celebration in great area dining.

Interior dining room of Celebration Town Tavern

Credit: Celebration Town Tavern

We could list many other excellent area dining picks, but this is a great starting point. Have you ever eaten at an exceptional place near Disney World that should be highlighted here? Let us know in the comments.

This post The Best Off-Property Restaurants Near Disney World appeared first on Inside the Magic.

About Laura Hermoza

Laura Catherine aka “LC” is a writer who resides in Maryland with her family and several exotic pets. In addition to writing about Disney, she has authored three novels and a children’s book. Also an avid reader, LC enjoys reading all kinds of books. Her other interests include gardening, and going on extended day trips throughout the greater mid-Atlantic region.

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