On my last two trips abroad (to Paris and Beligum), I kicked off a new series about what I ate while I was there. As I’ve said before, half the holiday is about the food you eat, and there’s no way I’m going to miss the chance to talk about fast food in Orlando. (With America basically being the fast food mecca of the world.)
Being my first time in America, I knew I was going to eat A LOT before even boarding the plane. I’m not pretentious about American cuisine either; I love burgers, hot dogs, cheese on fries… I am not fussy. Basically I was up for ANY fast food in Orlando.
Fast food in Orlando
So don’t buckle in and peruse my suggestions, maybe loosen a buckle instead and let these calorific dishes guide you into what to eat in Orlando.
I don’t entirely understand the criticisms behind Bob Evans, how can you argue with homestyle comfort food served right to your table? I ate here a few times while in Orlando and it didn’t disappoint me once. (Plus there’s coffee refills.)
As well as the instagrammable exterior (it basically looks like a little red barn) the food was pretty good too and kept me full for a long while. I actually ate my first breakfast in America here and when I opted for the Rise & Shine breakfast (two eggs, bacon and hash browns) the waitress asked me how I’d like my eggs. My reply? “Sunny side up.” (I’ve always wanted to say that.)
Where in Orlando: 7411 W US-192, Kissimmee, FL 34747, USA
Hamburger Mary’s is worth a drive to downtown Orlando and is one of the most fun restaurants in Orlando. (Maybe I should add most fun restaurants in Orlando for adults…)
I say ‘for adults’ because there are themed nights and when we went there was a talent show happening, with a host of characters taking part. Singers, drag artists and dancers all strutted their stuff around this gay-themed bar. Between voting who was the best performer, I was chomping down one of the best burgers I had in Orlando – the Guacamole BJ. (Like I said, this place isn’t for the faint hearted.) To top of the evening the bill was delivered in a pink stiletto shoe. Amazing.
Where in Orlando: 10 W Church St, Orlando, FL 32801, USA
Taking one look at the menu at iHop I learnt something about fast food in America; it is hella cheap. (No wonder America is one of the most obese nations in the world…) And this is also when I begun to realise most breakfasts in Orlando were totalling nearly half my daily calorie intake.
Anyway, I’m not going to start complaining now. I was in America and what’s famous about American breakfasts? That’s right – pancakes. And there’s literally hundreds to choose from here and they’re cheap as chips!
Where in Orlando: 6005 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
First Watch might be the hipster’s choice of fast food in Orlando, but hipsters serve up good food. (Avocado toast IS on the menu by the way.) I was beginning to learn about what is served with an American breakfast; hash browns, french toast, pancakes etc. And all of these things are served here, but they’re alongside poached eggs, smashed avocado and fruit bowels.
I wasn’t so healthy with my choice at First Watch and instead went for the Elevated Egg Sandwich (hey, when in America!). But it’s good for anyone looking to detox from burgers.
Where in Orlando: 8280 Champions Gate Blvd, Davenport, FL 33896, USA
I had my most calorific breakfast in Orlando at Denny’s. With a name like ‘The Grand Slamwich’, I was feeling full before it even reached the table. (This one toppled over the 1000 calories mark, but I have no regrets.)
Denny’s is a great place to go when hunting down that classic American diner with guilt-free menu choices. Filled with burgers, milkshakes and fries on the side with everything. I won’t be forgetting the red and yellow branding for a long time.
Where in Orlando: 8747 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, USA. (There are 2 other restaurants located on International Drive too.)
Pizza buffet; two words that were pleasing to my ears. CiCi’s Pizza was another cheap and cheerful stop off to fuel up when we were deciding what to eat in Orlando. Pay one price and load up as many slices as the heart desires, and a refillable drink comes with it too.
I’m not sure if it was just the branch we ate in, but there was also an games arcade in another section of the restaurant. Making me feel like Pizza Planet in Toy Story wasn’t far from reality.
Where in Orlando: 7437 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, USA. (There are 2 other restaurants located on International Drive too.)
I really wanted to check out an all-American steakhouse and we found the perfect one. Manny’s Chophouse was one of the best restaurants in Orlando that I went to. With different number plates from various states, numerous neon lights and actual cars adorning the walls and ceiling of this place, I felt like I was in the deep, deep south, not Florida.
Although it’s more of a sit down and enjoy, rather than fast food and go, there’s no ignoring the atmosphere. And of course, it’s steak galore – my boyfriend ordered baby back ribs the size of his forearm. I advise to come on an empty stomach!
Where in Orlando: 4979 New Broad St, Orlando, FL 32814, USA
How could I write a list on fast food in Orlando and not include Taco Bell?! I get the impression Americans see Taco Bell like the British see kebabs after a drunk night out – I had to try it.
The menu in Taco Bell was huge, with so many variations, but after 10 indecisive minutes passed I finally went for the Nachos Grande. I’ve got to say it wasn’t a great experience, so maybe I needed to drink some beers first to really appreciate its beauty.
Where in Orlando: 5109 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
It’s a real shame there isn’t a Wendy’s in the UK. I’d tried it once, in Moscow of all places, so when I knew I was going to Orlando I set my heart on having a Wendy’s again. (Is that sad?)
I’d go as far to say Wendy’s is better than McDonalds. (Yes seriously, so come at me, whoever.) With the same set up (pay at the till with a fast food menu of burgers and fries), but the burgers are so much tastier. I don’t know if it’s because they’re square (probably not), but Wendy’s makes a damn goood burger.
Where in Orlando: 1919 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806, USA
When we visited Taco Bell, we got chatting to our server (a really lovely guy from Chicago who’d just moved to Florida with his family). He gave us the tip off to visit Cracker Barrel for breakfast and we’re glad he did. Set in a country store with Americana inspired clothes for sale, again it felt like we were in the deep south somewhere.
It may look dainty in my picture, but my last breakfast in Orlando before boarding my flight home was anything but.
Where in Orlando: 111 Dunson Ln, Davenport, FL 33896, USA
For my first culinary experience in America, I didn’t leave the country disappointed (or hungry). I’ve tried to focus on fast food in Orlando that is not available in the UK, although there are of course restaurants that are (McDonalds, Burger King, etc).
These are the restaurants I dined at on my trip, but if I have missed any please leave a comment to tell me below. (I’ll save it to a list for my next trip to the US!)