The Greatest Restaurants of Orlando in 2018

orlando latin asian fusion el buda

orlando greek restaurant food

Orlando has no shortage of great food. I’m trying to eat out less now, but it has been a real struggle lately. Not only are the restaurants good, but they’re affordable. With a wife and kids, it’s hard to find a restaurant to eat at every night. Even though I can afford it, I would rather not spend more money at a restaurant than I have to. As such, I thought I would make this PSA to anyone who still needs assistance in finding an affordable, delectable Orlando restaurant meal.

orlando mediterranean food

I have to talk about Ali Baba’s Deli first, because this Orlando restaurant introduced me to a whole new type of food that my family is now in love with. That type would be Mediterranean food. Most people just think of gyros when they think about Greek food, but there’s a much larger selection that I personally love. This restaurant is found right next to Three Points Elementary school in Orlando, so you could take your kids here after school. Last time I was here, I ordered the Philly cheesesteak. See what I mean about a large selection?

Although it’s a Mediterranean restaurant in Orlando, they still serve food like cheesesteaks. And great ones, at that. I hadn’t planned on being so full afterwards, and I still wanted more, so I made sure to order a chocolate kebab to take home before I left. Even as leftovers, the meal was amazing. I should have ordered a dessert on top of all that, so I wouldn’t even have to leave my house for the next few days. One thing that I really appreciate about Ali Baba’s Deli is how big the portions are, because it really helps a middle-class consumer like me who can’t afford to eat out every night.

This is a great restaurant in Orlando for people with kids, as all of the dishes are priced very affordably. I have shared orders with my friends on occasion, just so I would have room for dessert. I still didn’t, though. Good thing they have plenty of to go boxes behind the front counter. I plan on taking something back with me each time I eat here, and I’m not talking about the weight I gained. Another thing that I know a lot of people like about Ali Baba’s Deli is the aesthetic.

It may not be the most visually striking restaurant in Orlando, but having nice lighting still helps make it look more attractive. Some people like eating in dark restaurants that look like caves, but I personally don’t find that entertaining. The last thing I want to mention about this restaurant is how clean it is. Cleaning the glasses and tables seems commonplace, but you would be surprised at how many Orlando restaurants skip over this small step.

Because Ali Baba’s Deli serves gyros and similar fried food, you know that there’s going to be a dirty hood in the kitchen. Grease is almost impossible to see with the naked eye, but once your grease trap gets filled then it’s a hazard. Ali Baba’s Deli is right within the range of an amazing restaurant hood cleaner that I know about in Orlando, so maybe I’ll have to make conversation with the owner and then subtly bring it up.

Grease fires are a major danger, and should not be taken lightly. Keeping the rest of the kitchen sanitary is also important as well, so it’s good that Orlando hood cleaning also offers restaurant cleaning services. There’s an about page on their website too, so don’t hesitate to learn more about their business if you’re interested. I’m sure that if there was a Yelp for hood cleaning businesses, they would have as many positive online reviews as Ali Baba’s Deli.

orlando latin asian fusion el buda

Next up, I have to talk about El Buda Latin Asian. It’s an Asian fusion restaurant, but mixes elements from Latin food as opposed to American. I have to say, I can’t think of any other place that does this so well. I’m not even sure if there’s another restaurant in downtown Orlando, or all of Florida, that serves the same style of cuisine. Which is surprising, considering the quality of the food served at El Buda Latin Asian.

There isn’t a single entree that I could pick out as my favorite, because I love everything on the menu here. However, some of my favorite appetizers are the duck nachos and the chimichanga egg rolls. Just typing their names is making my mouth water. All of the wait staff at El Buda Latin Asian is very good at their jobs, and that’s actually how I discovered all of these items on the menu. At first the menu was a little overwhelming so I couldn’t decide what exactly to get, but the waiters know exactly what everyone orders.

Probably makes it easier for the chefs as well, because then they can just focus on improving that one dish. Having staff that knows and loves the menu really improves the overall experience, and it was much appreciated. I couldn’t find a single major problem here, at least nothing that would prevent me from coming back again. Clearly I’m not the only one who thinks this way, as I had a tough time finding anything other than great reviews online.

orlando authentic mexican food

Finally, there’s Chela Tequila. If you’re tired of eating the Asian fusion Latin food and want some authentic Latin food instead, this is the place for you. Authentic tacos will always have a special place in my heart, and the food here is no different than any other amazing Orlando restaurant.

This time around, you’ll be eating only a block or two away from El Buda Latin Asian in South Eola. You could likely eat at both restaurants in the same day, if you planned on spending all day in downtown Orlando. Lake Eola is beautiful during this time of year, so alternatively you could just take your kids there and hang out and play all day. Then make sure to stop by these restaurants for some grade A food afterwards.

The best part is, you won’t have to spend very much. Everyone in your family can order whatever they want, because you won’t need to break your piggy bank to eat at Chela Tequila. In fact, the only requirement for eating here is an appreciation for amazing food. Don’t forget to let the management know your thoughts afterwards, in a positive review. I know you’ll only have positive things to say, as I do.