Florida welcomes new food chains: What's recently opened & what's coming soon

A slew of new nationwide and regional chain restaurants and fast food joints have announced their foray into Florida recently. Some eateries are even expanding their footprint in the area with the announcement of new locations. 

That includes Chicago-based Portillo's, the South's late-night staple Cook Out, and Jack in the Box, headquartered in California. 

Red Lobster's bankruptcy threatens closures in major Florida cities like Orlando, Tampa & Miami

Here's a look at what restaurants are looking to come to Orlando and Florida soon, and some that have recently opened:

Raising Cane's

There are three Raising Cane's locations currently open in the Orlando area, with a couple more on the way. 

Here's a look at the locations now open:

  • Orlando: 7105 Palm Parkway
  • Orlando: 12040 Pioneers Way
  • Kissimmee: 8170 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway

The City of Daytona Beach confirmed back in February that a new location would open on International Speedway Boulevard. The popular chicken finger restaurant also confirmed to FOX 35 that two more locations, in Winter Park and Altamonte Springs, are also in the works. 

Additionally, another location near the University of Central Florida is also on the books. It'll take over Del Taco on Collegiate Way, just across the street from UCF's main campus. 

Here's where they are and when they're expected to open:

  • UCF: 12025 Collegiate Way (construction is slated to begin in December 2024 with a restaurant opening planned before the end of 2025)
  • Daytona Beach: 2451 International Speedway Blvd. (scheduled to open late summer/early fall 2024)
  • Altamonte Springs: 766 East Altamonte Drive (scheduled to open late fall 2024)
  • Winter Park: South Semoran Boulevard and Scarlet Road (scheduled to open fall 2024)

Photo: Raising Cane's

Jack in the Box

Jack in the Box announced back in February that it would bring 10 locations to Orlando. Earlier in June, the fast food chain known for its late-night burgers and curly fries revealed it's planning to open 10 more locations in the area. That's 20 locations coming to Orlando

It remains unclear at this time where these locations will be, or when they plan to open. 

Jack in the box road sign, Buellton, California (Photo: Geri Lavrov/Getty Images) (Getty Images)


Portillo's announced on June 18 that it plans to open its seventh location in Florida and third in the Orlando area by the end of the year. This new location will be in the Waterford Lakes Town Center just south of UCF's main campus in Orlando. 

The Chicago-based chain has been on a roll in recent months, expanding its footprint in Florida. Here's a look at the six locations currently open:

  • Brandon: 1748 W Brandon Blvd.
  • Clermont: 1251 East Highway 50
  • Kissimmee: 8041 W Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway
  • Orlando: 7715 Palm Parkway
  • St. Petersburg: 2302 Tyrone Blvd. N
  • Tampa: 2102 E Fowler Ave.

FOX 35 previously reported back in September that the chain got the green light to build another location in Lady Lake along US-27/441. No other details about this location have been announced. 

Photo: Portillo's

Cook Out 

Cook Out, a late-night fast food chain known for its extensive menu that includes burgers, hot dogs, BBQ and milkshakes, has recently purchased two properties in the Tampa area. This would mark the North Carolina-based chain's first locations in Florida. 

According to Hillsborough County property records, Cook Out has purchased two deeds in the Tampa area at the following locations:

  • 5501 E. Fowler Avenue, Temple Terrace
  • 16215 N. Dale Mabry Highway, Tampa

Cook Out has not listed these two Florida locations under the "coming soon" tab on its website. It remains unclear at this time when these locations would open. 

Photo: Dani Medina


California-based Fatburger opened its first Central Florida location in Celebration in February. This marks Fatburger's second location in Florida; the first opened in Riverview, near Tampa. 

Photo by Moses Robinson/WireImage


Buc-ee's currently has two locations now open in Florida – in St. Augustine and Daytona Beach. 

The travel center giant confirmed to FOX 35 earlier this month that another location in Ocala is closer to opening. The 74,000-square-foot location, which is one of the largest store models outside the state of Texas, will soon be constructed just off the Interstate 75 and NW 49th Street interchange. 

A spokesperson for Buc-ee's said that construction typically takes about 16 months from groundbreaking to construct a travel center location. That means this Buc-ee's in Ocala could open as early as mid-2026 using this timeline. 

Additionally, another location in St. Lucie County is in the works. The company officially submitted a site plan to the county in February for a location at the southeast corner of Indrio Road and Interstate 95 in Fort Pierce. The proposal has not yet been approved. 

LULING, TEXAS - JUNE 12: The Buc-ee's convenience store is seen on June 12, 2024 in Luling, Texas. The Texas-based convenience store and gas stop, Buc-ee's has become the world's largest convenience store with over 100 gas pumps and a 75,000 square f

Wawa Drive-Thru

Wawa opened Florida's first-ever standalone drive-thru location in Largo in June. It's located at 2530 E. Bay Drive in Largo, which is about 5 miles southeast of Clearwater in Pinellas County. 

This location marks the third drive-thru-only Wawa in the U.S. 

Florida's first drive-thru Wawa is now open in Largo. (Photo: Wawa)


Friendly's opened its third location in Florida on June 1 near Disney Springs at 8600 Vineland Ave. #101. 

This is one of about 100 locations in the U.S. after the chain shut down nearly two dozen locations in 2022-2023 in the northeast U.S. 

MOORESTOWN, NEW JERSEY, UNITED STATES - 2012/04/04: Friendly's restaurant. (Photo by John Greim/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Dutch Bros

Oregon-based Dutch Bros Coffee opened its first Winter Park location at the end of May. It's the third location to open in Florida behind its Clermont and Davenport stores. 

Photo: Dutch Bros Coffee

Slim Chickens

Arkansas-based Slim Chickens opened its first Orlando-area location in Celebration in February. It's the 13th location in Florida. 

Slim Chickens opened its first Orlando-area location on Monday, February 26, 2024, in Celebration, Florida. (Photo: Slim Chickens)


Chicago-based Potbelly opened its first-ever Orlando location in January. It's located at 2714 E. Colonial Drive in the Milk District's Colonial Landing Plaza. It's the fourth location in Florida; all three other locations are in the Tampa area. 

Photo: Potbelly/handout

Twelve more Potbelly locations are slated to open in Orlando over the next seven years, the company announced.