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Disney for grown ups does exisit. Orlando is full of jaw-dropping cuisine and exciting nightlife, but you might be surprised to learn that the finest restaurants can be found not just in downtown, but also a few miles west near the house of the Mouse—Mickey, that is. Take a look at our Disney restaurant guide for some inspiration...
Victoria & Albert's, Orlando
Simply mention the name Victoria & Albert’s to anyone who believes life’s too short to eat mediocre food, and the reaction will be enough to confirm it as one of Central Florida’s premier dining experiences. Leave the kids with a babysitter – no children under 10 allowed – and prepare your taste buds for the unforgettable Modern American cuisine on offer. Be warned though, a restaurant this fabulous has limited seatings for both its prix fixe and chef table offerings.
Victoria & Albert's, 4401 Disney's Grand Floridian, Lake Buena Vista, FL
If celebrity chefs are more your style, there’s no shortage of those in the Walt Disney Resort area. In fact, the Disney BoardWalk is home to Kouzzina, restaurant creation of famed Iron Chef Cat Cora. Don’t expect to find an ordinary selection at Cora’s place – it stays true to its Greek namesake with a menu of everything from Spanakopita to Cat’s own Ouzo-tini and make sure you save room for the Baklava or Loukoumades; freshly made Greek doughnuts drizzled in honey and cinnamon.
Kouzzina, 2101 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Orlando, FL
Flying Fish Café, Orlando
Just around the BoardWalk is another unexpected find, the Flying Fish Café. Don’t let the “café” moniker fool you – this is no coffee shop or patisserie – it’s a world-class restaurant and a seafood-lover’s dream. An added benefit to a night out on the BoardWalk… finishing dinner and drinks and walking out to a view of Epcot’s Illuminations fireworks show, all without stepping foot inside the park.
Flying Fish Cafe, 2101 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Orlando, FL
Life outside of the theme parks doesn’t have to be all about eating, but at Downtown Disney’s newest addition, Splitsville, you make the call. With live music and dancing, tables tucked between the lanes, an outdoor patio and a menu inspired by celebrity chef Tim Cushman, it’s immediately obvious why the luxury lanes are anything but ordinary. And, it gets even better. Splitsville stays open until 2 a.m., which is quite the anomaly for the normally kid-driven locale.
Splitsville, 1478 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL
If the music of Splitsville is right up your alley, Jellyrolls dueling piano bar is not to be missed. Try as you might, you won’t be able to resist the inevitable sing-a-longs that play out nightly. Locals know that arriving early is the best way to snag a table, but table or not, there’s plenty of room to move around so don’t be shy: remember, what happens at Jellyrolls, stays at Jellyrolls.
Jellyrolls, 2101 Epcot Resorts Boulevard, Orlando, FL
Header image © Walt Disney World
Have you discovered any great Orlando venues with a grown-up vibe? Share your recommendations below.
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About the author: KimTaylorKim Taylor
Kim Taylor is vice president and partner with Curley & Pynn Public Relations, and co-founder of PulseofCentralFlorida.com, a Central Florida activities blog. A resident of Florida for more than 25 years and a Central Floridian for more than 10 years, Kim co-founded the blog PulseofCentralFlorida.com in 2008 with the hope of sharing an insider’s view of Orlando that goes beyond the theme parks. In her spare time, Kim can be spotted checking out her favorite musicians at one of many Central Florida music venues, on the tennis courts or rowing starboard with the Orlando Rowing Club.