August 23, 2002

An Insider’s Guide to Orlando Restaurants

By Skipford Van Beaverhausen © 2002

Millions of people visit Orlando each year to spend time with Mickey, Shamu and Spider-Man. Sadly, many of these people are missing out on some of Orlando’s finest attractions: its impressive collection of unique and exceptional restaurants. There are far too many fabulous restaurants to list here, so I’ve just picked a handful of places that reflect Orlando’s cultural and culinary diversity:

7344 W. Sand Lake Road
For years, residents and tourists alike have been flocking to McDonald’s for inexpensive hamburgers and French fries. The signature sandwich here is called Big Mac – it’s two hamburger patties with a special sauce. Service is a bit impersonal but fast. For dessert, there’s ice cream and cookies.

7524 Dr. Phillips Blvd.
This neighborhood coffee shop will remind you of a comfortable living room, where you can sit with friends and discuss current events, analyze classic films, or just dish gossip about your neighbors. The coffee is always fresh, and be sure to check out the "frappucino" and other specialties. There’s also a good selection of pastry.

T.G.I. Friday’s
8126 International Drive
When you step inside T.G.I. Friday’s, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled back in time. The walls are cleverly decorated with old signs and other ephemera reminiscent of the early 1900s. However, T.G.I. Friday’s menu is hardly an antique – it’s several pages long and packed with sandwiches, hamburgers, salads and entrees. The portions are big and the service is friendly.

Dunkin Donuts
5884 N. Orange Blossom Trail
Don’t let the name fool you. This little bakery serves up bagels, muffins and croissants in addition to a wide variety of donuts. It also boasts one of the best cups of coffee you’ll find anywhere in Orlando. There’s not a lot of room to sit and eat, so be prepared to take your order with you.

Skipford Van Beaverhausen is a writer from Florida.

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