Orlando’s restaurant scene is booming! And this year’s culinary scene is set to become even more exciting with the opening of 6 new Orlando restaurants. From bougie experimental dining to “the best tasting baos in the galaxy”…we have a lot of eating to do! Here are my top six up-and-coming places in Orlando that you need to know about!
1. Omo by Jont
Omo by Jont. This is a 16-seat, “experiential” French-Japanese tasting menu concept created by Chef and owner, Ryan Ratino. Chef Ryan Ratino’s restaurant ‘Jont’, in Washington, D.C. has received two Michelin stars for the last three years. So there’s much anticipation for the opening of this “plated progression” experience! I hear guests will move through three separate dining rooms as the meal progresses. This is an experience so expect to pay $$$$. Omo is set to open Thursday, Feb. 1, at 115 E. Lyman Ave. in Winter Park. (the old Sushi Pop location) Click here for reservations.
Eastwood will be located in the Mills 50 District and is set to bring the ‘fire’. Yes, this restaurant will feature a wood burning grill and large-scale smoker….get ready for the ‘meat sweats’! This meaty creation is from TMG (Team Market Group) the visionaries behind many of my favorite spots…The Wellborn, Primrose Lanes, and Mathers Social Gathering, to name a few. Set to “open soon” at 1024 N. Mills Ave., according to their Instagram….I’ll be waiting!
3. Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi Maitland
You may be familiar with Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi located in Mt. Dora. The unique concept of Wave was originally brought to life in July 2017 by chef and owner Jonathan McKinney. Jonathan’s creative mind brings the flavor and fun with sushi donuts, sushi fries and even sushi burritos and pizza! This second location is set to open early 2024, at 360 E Horatio Ave, Maitland. Wave Asian Bistro & Sushi will be located in what will be known as ‘Maitland Social’, an upscale food-hall and place to gather. I’ll keep you updated on the progress of Wave as well as the opening of Maitland Social!
4. The Bao Spot
The Bao Spot is newly opened (Dec. 1st, 2023) and is where you need to be to get your bao fix! Get your boba, baos, and space burgers here, as well as some cool pics for your Instagram. The Bao Spot also features a burger of the month and a boa of the month, so there’s always something new and delicious to try! Located downtown, 54 West Church Street #140 Orlando, so parking can be tricky. Click here to find the best places to park.
5. Debonair Supper Club
Debonair Supper Club came in with a splash with their grand New Years Eve opening celebration, 2023. With its unique esthetic and flashy decor, I have to say I’m curious to check it out. Although reviews are quite varied, I’m willing to give it a go…. Plus, I hear they have a 13 foot giraffe and Versace floors, bold to say the least! Maybe, it’ll be worth the over priced cocktails?! At the time of this post, they offer a three-course prix-fixe dinner $65 pp. I plan on visiting soon and will share my experience! If you’d like more information or to make a reservation, check out their Instagram here.
6. Vida Cocina & Tequila
Vida Cocina & Tequila opened late 2023 in Altamonte Springs, in the old Wing House. This beautiful Mexican restaurant is a stunner. The design reminds me of Pisco Peruvian Gastrobar, just gorgeous! This is not your average Mexican restaurant…this self proclaimed ‘modern Mexican’ offers a sophisticated and authentic experience to its patrons.
I have been here for lunch and found the menu interesting and the margaritas tasty. I got the Amor Y Vida, a not too sweet mezcal and tequila margarita. I also got the Santo Trio, (guacamole, esquites, and queso dip) with house-made chips. I enjoyed all three. For my main, I chose the Enmoladas, 3 corn tortillas with chicken, covered in mole sauce. It was good but not the best mole I’ve had. I do plan on going back to try a few more dishes before I can say this is ‘excellent’ Mexican. I also need to say, chips and salsa are extra, but included with an appetizer order. Not a fan of that.
This restaurant is drop dead gorgeous! It’s also easy to get in…no reservations were necessary and easy parking! So it’s great for those of you in the Altamonte, Longwood, and Maitland area wanting a new place to try. And although it’s on the higher end for Mexican, it’s certainly much less than some of the other new Orlando restaurants I mentioned!
Did any of these new Orlando restaurants peak your interest?! If you visit any, I’d love your experience and feedback! Leave me a comment below.