8 best 'hole in the wall' restaurants in Central Florida you need to try
ORLANDO, Fla. - Sometimes you can find the most delicious food at the most understated places.
While Central Florida is filled with hundreds of amazing food options, some of the unpretentious, out-of-the-way dining spots leave you even more satisfied. These are typically those neighborhood favorites or historic eateries that only most locals know about.
(Next: Check out 8 hidden brunch spots in Central Florida that are worth a visit)
Below are eight restaurants you should put on your list to try at some point while in Central Florida:
Hot Dog Heaven
A Central Florida staple since 1987 (and named best hot dog in Florida by People magazine), Hot Dog Heaven serves up authentic Chicago-style hot dogs at its E. Colonial Drive location in Orlando. In fact, all the products to make them – hot dogs, buns, toppings – are all shipped from Chicago, so you know it's the real deal.
"We place these delicious hot dogs into freshly steamed poppy seed buns, top them with fresh garnishes, and VOILA! Hot Dog Perfection!"
Be sure to add a side of fries with your order: they are big enough to share, but so good you won't want to!
Pom Pom's Teahouse
Located in the Milk District in Orlando on Bumby Avenue, this ‘blink-and-you’ll-miss-it' cafe has been serving a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups and teas since 2005. The atmosphere is a very funky vibe filled with local artwork.
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Recommendation: try the Mama Ling Ling's Thanksgiving. You'll thank us later.
Willie's Pinchos in Orlando
A place that celebrity Guy Fieri gave two thumbs up is a must-try!
Specializing in Puerto Rican cuisine, Willie's Pinchos serves up creative dishes like traditional plantain mofongo with crispy caritas and the steaktrami sandwich – filled with steak, pastrami, grilled onions, mustard, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and cilantro garlic sauce. You can pay them a visit at their Goldenrod Road location in Orlando.
This quick service Asian eatery prides itself as a "no-frills place" that "uses high-quality ingredients and unique flavors while blending both eastern and western foods."
They offer a variety of steamed buns filled with your choice of options, including the Firecracker Shrimp, made up of chili lime marinated shrimp, guacamole, lemon pepper aioli and cilantro. Head to Mills Avenue near downtown Orlando to give it a try.
You haven't had Nashville-hot chicken until you've tried Chicken Fire. Located on E. Colonial Drive in Orlando, this chicken joint has been earning top reviews on Uber Eats from customers who call it the "best hot chicken in Orlando hands down."
Customers can choose a "box" with chicken tenders or sliders, bread, pickles and crinkle-cut fries. Tip: don't forget to add a side of soul sauce.
Chai Thai Cuisine
This family-owned restaurant located in the Conway area of Orlando offers a wide variety of Thai dishes and a cozy inside dining area to enjoy it all.
Some of the popular items include Chicken Satay, Phad Thai, Summer Rolls, and Mango & Sweet Sticky Rice!
"The Great American diner is alive and well in Maitland at Kappy's Subs."
Located on Orlando Avenue in Maitland, this eatery has been around since 1967 and brings the nostalgic feels of a 50s diner while you have trouble deciding from their menu that includes a variety of subs, burgers, hot dogs and desserts.
Johnny's Fillin' Station
This all-American bar not only serves up great drinks and atmosphere, reviewers say it's got the best burger in Orlando!
The menu is pretty extensive, from familiar starters like fried pickles and pretzel bites to their famous burgers, chicken wings and sandwiches. If you're looking for a new weekend brunch spot, they've got that too! Check them out on Ferncreek Avenue in Orlando.
Why stop at just 8 restaurants? If you're a BBQ fan, check out Red-Eye's Git-N-Messy BBQ Smokehouse in Winter Springs.
This rustic sports tavern started in a gas station and now has a brick-and-mortar location where it's satisfying locals with items like St. Louis ribs, slow smoked pork sandwiches, and southern poutine (which made national TV, FYI).