THE KEY

$ Cheap eats, most entrées under $10

$$ Moderate, dinner entrées $15-20

$$$ Pricey, most entrées over $30

$$$$ Many entrées over $30


AMERICAN

Another Broken Egg Cafe 430 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-790-7868/anotherbrokenegg.com. There’s nothing particularly unique about this country-style breakfast eatery, which originated in Louisiana and now has locations throughout the Southeast, including this one in Winter Park Village. There are, of course, omelets, pancakes, French toast, biscuits and gravy, and Benedicts, accompanied by those ubiquitous little cubed potatoes. But the food is good, the space is pleasing and the service is friendly and efficient. $

The Bistro on Park Avenue 348 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-539-6520/bistroonparkavenue.com. Located in the Hidden Gardens, this low-key eatery’s glass-enclosed garden room, and its outdoor patio, offer two of the prettiest settings on Park Avenue. Specialties include chef crab cakes, jambalaya, red beans and rice with andoiulle sausage, and pot roast with a blue cheese cream sauce. Brunch is served on Saturdays and Sundays featuring a variety of eggs Benedict, including versions with lobster and soft-shell crab. It’s German Night on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. $$-$$$

Briarpatch Restaurant 252 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-8651/thebriarpatchrestaurant.com. This Park Avenue institution is crowded during breakfast and lunch — and on Sunday for brunch — and incredibly noisy. Fare includes fancy burgers, such as the Grafton white cheddar and sugar-cured bacon burger, as well as sandwiches, salads and omelets. But most patrons are particularly fond of the oversized homemade desserts, including an array of ice creams and such super-rich treats as chocolate layer cake. A bit of trivia: The restaurant’s marble counter once topped the soda fountain at Irvine’s Pharmacy, an even more venerable Park Avenue institution that operated from 1925 to 1973. $-$$

Carmel Café & Wine Bar 140 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-513-4912/carmelcafe.com. The menu updates the traditional flavors and foods of Mediterranean rim countries such as Italy, Spain, France, Greece and Morocco. Choose from small- or large-plate options and pair foods with an international selection of wines available in three-, six- or nine-ounce pours. Tableside iPads enable guests to control preparation and pacing of the meal, from drinks to dessert, by scrolling, tapping and sending selections. $$

Cask & Larder 656 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 321-280-4200/caskandlarder.com. From the folks who brought us The Ravenous Pig comes this “Southern Public House” in the former Le Cordon Bleu location. “Cask” is for the beer that’s brewed on site and “larder” is an arcane term for a pantry used primarily in the South. So the cuisine is Southern-inspired and locally sourced, and encompasses the general categories of sausage and country ham; vegetables and grains; fish and oysters; and such delectable oddities as grilled lamb heart, pork belly and foie-gras stuffed quail. Snout-to-tail specials for parties of eight or more involve serving up an entire animal, usually a pig. Now open for lunch Wednesday through Saturday, the midday menu offers more salads and sandwiches along with more substantial entrées such as rabbit meatloaf and trout. Menus change often to reflect local harvests and fresh catches. So, how’s it going? Cask & Larder was last year named one of the top 11 new restaurants in America by Esquire magazine. Plus the eatery plans to expand into the retail space next door, which will be dubbed Swine & Sons Provisions and will sell charcuterie, sandwiches and growlers, which are 32-ounce cans of its home-brewed beer. $$

The Cheesecake Factory 520 North Orlando Ave., Winter Park. 407-644-4220/thecheesecakefactory.com. It’s generally always busy at The Cheescake Factory, but fans say the waits are worthwhile. Certainly, with a 20-page menu featuring more than 200 items, there’s something for everyone, including creative entrées as well as pizza, pasta, seafood and steak. There’s also a “SkinnyLicious” menu with lower-calorie options such as shrimp summer rolls. The original, relatively unadorned cheesecake is wonderful, of course, but there are more than three dozen decadent options, including chocolate-coconut cream, peanut butter cup fudge ripple and peppermint bark. $$

The Coop: A Southern Affair 610 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park. 407-843-2667/asouthernaffair.com. The eagerly awaited new comfort-food eatery from John Rivers (4 Rivers Smokehouse) is drawing big crowds with such Deep South favorites as chicken and waffles, fried chicken, ham-and-pimento-cheese sandwiches, Low Country shrimp and grits, smothered pork chops, fried catfish, chicken pot pie, mac and cheese, chicken and dumplings, and meatloaf. You can even get fried chicken by the bucket. And don’t forget dessert, such as Coop Moon Pies and old-school banana pudding. Now, lovers of breakfast can get a delicious day’s start with an array of creative omelets, tamale pancakes, chocolate-topped waffles, catfish and grits, pulled pork skillets, biscuits and sausage gravy or, for the traditionalists, the Winter Park Special, with eggs, potatoes or grits and bacon or sausage. $-$$

Dexter’s 558 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1150/winterpark.dexwine.com. Central Florida has four Dexter’s locations, each of which has become a neighborhood hangout, drawing diners of all ages for hearty portions of creative American fare (at fair prices), good wine and, in some cases, live music. A luncheon favorite is the pressed duck sandwich, and Sunday brunches offer a make-your-own omelet option. Casual dress is the rule. $-$$$

First Watch 2215 Aloma Ave.,  Winter Park, 407-331-3447; 1221 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-740-7437/firstwatch.com. First Watch, founded more than 30 years ago, was a pioneer in the “breakfast, brunch and lunch only” category. The omelettes — including the Killer Cajun, the Via Veneto, the Acapulco Express and The Works, among many others — are the restaurant’s breakfast specialty, while lunch features an array of sandwiches and salads that emphasize fresh ingredients. $

Hamilton’s Kitchen 300 E. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-998-8089/thealfondinn.com. Named for the innovative former Rollins College president, Hamilton Holt, the warm and welcoming restaurant at the newly opened Alfond Inn boasts an early 1900s ambience, with a hearth-inspired kitchen window, exposed beams, farmer’s table and Dutch oak floors. Chef Marc Kusche puts modern spins on traditional Southern offerings using locally sourced ingredients. The fish and grits has become a local favorite. Hamilton’s is open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and weekend brunch. $$$

Hillstone 215 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-740-4005/hillstone.com/hillstone. Formerly known as Houston’s, this Winter Park mainstay is part of a high-end chain. Still, it grows its own herbs, bakes its own bread, grinds its own meat, cuts its own fish and whips its own cream. In nice weather, guests relax with a cocktail in Adirondack chairs overlooking Lake Killarney. Many have popped the proverbial question during romantic dinners for two on the boat dock. $$-$$$

Jimmy Hula’s 2522 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-790-7838/jimmyhulas.com. This beach-themed chain plays up its burgers, but most diners seem to go for its crazy good fish tacos. Our favorite is the Malibu, which comes with guacamole, jack cheese, lettuce, salsa and sour cream in addition to a stuffing of fried or blackened whitefish. There are also “turf tacos” and a decent craft-beer selection. $

Keke’s Breakfast Café 345 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-1400/kekes.com. Keke’s serves up a solid lunch, but this place is really all about breakfast, more specifically the waffles, French toast and oversized pancakes, offered with fruit, granola and chocolate chips. You may encounter a wait on weekend mornings, but be patient — it’s worth it. $

Marlow’s Tavern 1008 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-960-3670/marlowstavern.com. Classic American tavern fare, including an array of big and juicy burgers, served in an upscale pub environment, with exposed-brick walls, dark wood accents and leather-upholstered booths. The appetizers are wonderful, especially J.T.’s Kettle Chips with gorgonzola cheese and bacon. Outdoor seating is under a sizeable covered patio, where there’s sometimes live entertainment. $$

Park Plaza Gardens 319 S. Park Ave., 407-645-2475/parkplazagardens.com. Located adjacent to the historic Park Plaza Hotel, this Winter Park institution boasts a clubby, cozy bar and sidewalk café for leisurely drinks, casual meals and unparalleled people watching. Café specialties include appetizers, soups, sandwiches, burgers and a lovely array of salads. At the rear of the building is the elegant atrium dining room, a posh, patio-style space where you are surrounded by large trees and lush vegetation beneath a soaring ceiling of glass. The food is worthy of the setting, featuring modern American entrées. Specialties of the house include beef carpaccio, filet mignon, chicken curry salad and crab-stuffed grouper. Bananas foster is a showy but delightful dessert. $$-$$$$

Scratch 223 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-325-5165/scratchtapas.com. This shabby-chic hot spot features a tapas menu that emphasizes fresh, local and seasonal ingredients. The cheese plate is an excellent starter. Then you should follow up with the pork belly, which here is soy-glazed and enhanced by calamansi juice, micro cilantro, carrot purée, black rice and scallions. The lavender-cured smoked duck breast is tasty, too, but in a tapas restaurant, with its small servings, you need not limit yourself. The beverage menu includes craft beer, microbrews and fine wines. $$

310 Park South 310 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-
7277/310parksouth.net.
New American cuisine featuring fresh seafood, beef, pasta dishes, signature salads and sandwiches. Dine outside along the Avenue and enjoy daily lunch and dinner specials, a children’s menu or Sunday brunch. Steak, chicken and pasta entrées dominate the menu, but there’s also a very nice, slowly roasted half duck finished with a plum demi-glace. If you prefer to dine at home, call ahead and pick up your favorite dish. $$-$$$

Tibby’s New Orleans Kitchen 2203 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-672-5753/tibbys.com. If you’re looking for a quiet, intimate dining experience, this is not the place for you. Tibby’s is loud, raucous and fun, with Crescent City favorites like shrimp Creole, seafood gumbo and, for dessert, powdered beignets. Tibby’s was named for the late Walter “Tibby” Tabony, a Big Easy native and great-uncle of restaurateur Brian Wheeler, who also founded Tijuana Flats. The old man, whose colorful biography is on the menu, would certainly have approved of the shrimp and andouille cheddar grits and the hand-battered fried pickle slices, which are expertly fried and served with a rich rémoulade sauce. $-$$

Toasted 1945 Aloma Ave., Winter Park 407-960-3922/
igettoasted.com.
Yes, there really is a restaurant that specializes in that most beloved childhood comfort food, the grilled-cheese sandwich. But this isn’t Velveeta on Wonder bread; the menu includes combinations of exotic cheeses, artisan breads and other unexpected additions. For example, we doubt Mom ever served a “Fig and Goat” sandwich with goat cheese, fig preserves, basil and honey. This cheesy joint also offers an assortment of burgers and salads as well as vegetarian and vegan selections. $

ASIAN

Orchid Thai Cuisine 305 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-331-1400/orchidthaiwinterpark.com. Enjoy authentic Thai food — with orchids (what else?) garnishing many dishes — in a primo Park Avenue location. Traditional offerings include green curry highlighted by coconut gravy infused with kaffir lime and Thai basil, ginger chicken, tom yum soup and curry puffs. For a light and refreshing dessert, try the Thai doughnuts, sweetened by a peanut-sprinkled dip of condensed milk. The cozy restaurant offers indoor and outdoor seating. $$-$$$

P.F. Chang’s China Bistro 436 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-0188/pfchangs.com. The popular restaurant chain, with more than 200 locations in North America, offers upscale Chinese classics artfully presented, with many sauces made tableside by servers. Signature entrées include diced chicken wrapped in lettuce leaves, orange-peel beef with chili peppers and oolong sea bass. The busy Winter Park Village venue features an outdoor patio. $$

Seoul Garden 511 E. Horatio Ave., Maitland, 407-599-5199/orlandokoreanrestaurant.com. Seoul Garden is so Asian-focused that the “About Us” section of its website is written in Korean. That authenticity extends to the food. Barbecue meats are grilled to order in the dining room. Be sure to try the marinated beef short ribs and the soft tofu stew. $$

BARBECUE

Bubbalou’s Bodacious Bar-b-que 1471 Lee Road, Winter Park, 407-628-1212/bubbalous.com. It now has five locations, but the original Bubbalou’s is a Winter Park institution, serving up traditional pork and beef platters as well as brisket, livers and gizzards, and sides of beans, greens and mac and cheese. It’s definitely an experience best suited to the barbecue purist. $

4 Rivers Smokehouse 1600 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-474-8377/4rsmokehouse.com. A diverse menu of barbecue specialties — from Texas-style brisket to pulled pork, smoked turkey and bacon-wrapped jalapenos — has gained this homegrown concept a huge following. The expanded Winter Park location also features scrumptious desserts under the banner The Sweet Shop. The Mississippi mud cake, in particular, is scrumptious. $

BAKERY/CAFE

Panera Bread 329 N. Park Ave., Ste. 107, and 2516 Aloma Ave., Winter Park/panerabread.com. On the south end of Park Avenue sits a Starbucks; on the north end a Panera holds sway. But while Starbucks is pretty much strictly a place for coffee, Panera offers bakery items and its signature fresh-and-healthy soups, salads and sandwiches. So we consider it to be as much a restaurant as a coffeehouse, as do most of its patrons. This particular location is a large space, conveniently located next to a parking garage, and offers abundant outside seating to facilitate people-watching. The Aloma location has a drive-thru window. $

BURGERS

B&B Junction 2103 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-513-4134/bbjunction.com. This counter-service establishment melds farm-to-table quality with a burger-and-fries menu. The beef is locally raised and grass-fed, most produce is from area farms and the desserts are homemade. Burgers come with creative toppings, in interesting iterations including bison and veggie, with a variety of hand-cut fries like sweet potato and portobello, and with sustainable wines and interesting beers. $

BurgerFi 538 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-2010/burgerfi.com. This Delray Beach-based chain joins Five Guys and Burger 21 in Central Florida’s suddenly sizzling burger category. You order at the counter and a server brings your food. The burger buns, interestingly, are branded with the name of the restaurant while the burgers themselves are fashioned from grass-fed, steroid-free beef. The fries are thick cut and house made, and there are some 120 beverages from which to choose, including tea, wine, soft drinks and craft beer. Frozen custard is a nice treat on a hot day. $

Shake Shack 119 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321-203-5130/shakeshack.com. New York superchef Danny Meyer has brought his chain of ultra-indulgent hamburgers to Winter Park. Here the all-Angus burgers, crinkle-cut Yukon fries, frozen custard, shakes with mix-ins and more are served indoors and out. The patio has lounge chairs, a fire pit and a ping-pong table. After dining, stroll across the plaza to Winter Park’s newest attraction, Trader Joe’s. $

CREATIVE/PROGRESSIVE

Boca 358 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-7022/bocakbm.com. That so-called “cursed corner” where so many restaurants have tried and failed may finally have an occupant with some staying power. Actually, two occupants. The flagship is Boca, a farm-to-table restaurant serving dishes such as free-range chicken breast, gluten-free pasta shrimp and prime smoked meatloaf. A ‘70s-style bar called Park Social occupies the upstairs portion and a pub concept called ABO, standing for Atlantic Bar and Oyster, can be found in the Hidden Gardens. All are owned and operated by Tampa-based BE-1. $$

Luma on Park 290 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-599-4111/lumaonpark.com. If there’s pancetta in your salad, the salumi was made in the kitchen, by hand, starting with a whole pig. Most herbs are from local farms, fish from sustainable sources, pickled vegetables jarred in-house and desserts built around seasonal ingredients. Luma’s progressive menu, which changes daily, is served in a sleek and stylish dining room in the heart of Winter Park, under the passionate direction of Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery, Chef de Cuisine Derek Perez and Pastry Chef Brian Cernell. $$$

The Ravenous Pig 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333/theravenouspig.com. After leaving their hometown for serious culinary training, Winter Park natives James and Julie Petrakis returned to open the region’s first genuine gastropub. Dinner reservations have been tough to snag ever since. The ambitious menu changes daily based on the fish, meat and produce that’s available, and it’s executed by a dedicated team that abhors shortcuts. Besides daily specials, The Pig always serves up an excellent burger, soft pretzels, shrimp and grits and a donut-esque dessert called Pig Tails. $$-$$$$

FRENCH

Café de France 526 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-1869/lecafedefrance.com. Dominique Gutierrez, who’s from Vendée, on the Atlantic coast of France, greets Café de France diners as if they’re old friends. At this point, many are. Despite a kitchen staffed with chefs, she still prepares the house-made pâtés the way her mother taught her years ago. Look for classics such as garlicky escargot and au courant entrées such as pan-roasted salmon with a pickled onion/grapefruit/Meyer lemon preserve. $$-$$$

Café 906 906 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-975-0600/cafe906.blogspot.com. Within this nondescript freestanding building is a friendly, low-key little restaurant where French expat Vincent Vallée will brew you a cappuccino, warm up a slice of quiche Lorraine or indulge you with a peanut-butter filled lava cake — dark chocolate or white. Be sure to try the “salted” pound cake, a savory snack made with goat cheese, walnuts and raisins stirred in, or the bacon quiche, a light, fluffy delight with a delicate and flaky crust.

Chez Vincent 533 W. New England Ave, Winter Park, 407-599-2929/chezvincent.com. Orlandoans have headed to chef Vincent Gagliano’s Hannibal Square hideaway since 1997, dressing up for formal evenings made even more special with trout in lemon butter and pork tenderloin slathered with Dijon sauce. The intimate space has two sister enterprises: a below-ground wine cellar that hosts private meals for up to 30, and a lounge known as Hannibal’s that dishes up American and French favorites. $$-$$$

Croissant Gourmet 120 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-622-7753/croissantgourmet.com. Tucked onto a side street behind simple glass walls, Croissant Gourmet is so small you might not notice it. Seek it out. Under the expert guidance of pastry chef François Cahagne, this simple spot turns out tray after tray of the region’s finest croissants and pastries. Quiches are superb here, as are the grilled croque monsieur and madame sandwiches. $

Le Macaron French Pastries 216 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 321-295-7958/lemacaron-us.com. Le Macaron serves up a variety of flavors of petite pastel cookies, each made primarily with frothy meringue and ground almonds. The noshes are delicate yet filling, and come in varieties such as black currant, pistachio and chestnut-ginger-chocolate. These are nothing like similarly named macaroons, made with coconut. $

Chez Palmano Café 33 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-647-7520. Catherine and Pierre Delrieu serve French and American breakfasts and lunches, plus a weekly dinner, at the former Palmano’s, including coffee from custom beans. The daily soups are exceptional. The sidewalk and patio seating are a big draw. (See Rona’s review on page 56). $$

Paris Bistro 216 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-671-4424/parisbistro.com. Paris Bistro is a restaurant divided: Some seats are tucked away behind Park Avenue’s Shops on Park building, past a koi pond. The others beckon along a bustling stretch of sidewalk. Wherever you choose to indulge, you’ll find French classics (coq au vin, beef burgundy) plus a slew of daily specials (roasted rack of lamb flambéed with brandy and topped with a porcini mushroom sauce) created by chef and co-owner Sebastian Colce. $$-$$$

INDIAN

Moghul Indian Cuisine 401 N. Semoran Blvd., Winter Park, 407-599-9001/moghulindiancuisine.com. The restaurant’s website describes its fare as “the best cuisine ever served.” Hyperbole, anyone? Still, Moghul serves excellent traditional Indian dishes, including no fewer than eight lamb entrées. We like the lamb curry, featuring tender, boneless meat cooked in curry sauce with Indian spices. There are also numerous veggie options, and dishes are prepared to your preference, heatwise, from mild to mighty. $$

Tamarind Indian Cuisine 501 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 321-207-0760/tamarindfl.com. Whatever sort of Indian you like, you’ll find it on Tamarind’s vast menu, with entrées featuring chicken, lamb, seafood and vegetarian dishes. You’ll be tempted to overdo it at the lunch buffet. $$

ITALIAN

Al Bacio 505 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-673-3354/albacio-florida.com. Light Italian, American and Latin-American foods are served at the counter of this casual eatery. Coffees, breakfasts, paninis, salads and pastas are the menu’s mainstays. $

Antonio’s 611 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-645-5523/antoniosonline.com. Fine Italian fare comes in two formats at Antonio’s, proprietor Greg Gentile’s culinary homage to his ancestors. The upstairs restaurant, an elegant space with a balcony overlooking Lake Lily, is somewhat formal, although the open kitchen provides peeks of the chefs in action. Its downstairs counterpart, Cafe D’Antonio, is a casual spot that doubles as a to-go, market and wine shop. It’s easy to fill up on fresh, crusty bread and olive oil, but don’t — you’ll want to leave room for such staples as salmon with lemon-herb butter, rigatoni and rosemary chicken. $-$$$

Armando’s Cucina Italiana & Pizzeria 463 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 407-951-8930. Located where Hot Olives used to be in Hannibal Square, popular Armando’s offers a fairly comprehensive menu of Italian favorites. But pizza, fired in a custom-built brick oven, is the major draw. Try the San Giovanni pie, with sautéed mushrooms, shaved mozzarella, truffle oil and, unexpectedly, fried eggs. Sometimes there’s a wait, so reservations are recommended. $

Brio Tuscan Grille 480 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-5611/brioitalian.com. Located in Winter Park Village, Brio is a glitzy spot with Tuscan influences. Try the grilled lamb chops or the filletto di manzo toscana, an 8-ounce, center-cut filet. Lunch features paninis and sandwiches as well as lunch-sized servings of popular dinner dishes. Breads are baked fresh in an Italian oven. The ambience is upscale, but kids have their own menu. $$

Buca di Beppo 1351 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-622-7663/bucadibeppo.com. This national chain is owned by Orlando resident (and Planet Hollywood founder) Robert Earl, who has remade it onto a fun, kitschy place for family dining. The portions are humongous, and the food is served family-style. A standout entrée is linguine frutti di mare, a large portion of pasta served in a lasagna pan and filled with mussels, calamari, clams and shrimp drizzled with a spiced-up red clam sauce. The pizzas are sized for two or four. $$

Francesco’s Ristorante & Pizzeria 400 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-960-5533/francescos-rist.com. Chef-owner Francesco Aiello oversees this glitzy-yet-casual Italian restaurant, which churns out hand-tossed pies and full entrées in an open kitchen. Private dining room and patio seating supplement the traditional booths and tables. $-$$

Italio 276 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-960-1860/italiokitchen.com. You pretty much create your own Italian meal at this counter-service restaurant. Step up to the register and choose a base (pasta, wrap or salad) a protein and a sauce plus toppings and the staff will compile it for you. Our favorite: spaghetti with sausage and spicy prima rosa sauce. You can add in toppings and pick up a beer or wine before sitting at a communal table. $

Pannullo’s Italian Restaurant 216 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-629-7270/pannullos.com. Housed in one of Park Avenue’s oldest buildings, Pannullo’s has become something of a fixture itself since its 1993 debut. The menu features everything from pizza to classic pasta dishes, but you can’t go wrong with the lobster ravioli or the chicken gorgonzola. And check out the veggie-heavy salad bar. $$

Prato 124 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-262-0050/prato-wp.com. This is one of the region’s very best Italian restaurants, but don’t expect a classic lasagna or chicken parmigiana. Executive Chef Brandon McGlamery and Chef di Cucina Matthew Cargo oversee an open kitchen in which pastas are made from scratch, pizzas are rolled to order, sausages are stuffed by hand and the olive oil is a luscious organic pour from Italy. Try the chicken liver Toscana, a satisfying salad Campagna with cubes of sizzling pancetta tesa, shrimp tortellini and citrusy rabbit cacciatore. Begin with a Negroni cocktail; it’s possibly the best around. $$-$$$

Rocco’s 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-7770/roccositaliangrille.com. Calabria native Rocco Potami oversees this romantic Italian eatery, where fine authentic fare is presented in an intimate dining room and on a secluded brick patio. Classics include carpaccio (raw, thinly sliced beef with white truffle oil and arugula), papardelle in wild boar sauce and a breaded veal chop topped with a lightly dressed salad. It’s easy to miss, tucked away in a Winter Park strip center, but once you find it, you’ll be back. Luckily for fans of kitschy lounge acts, Rocco’s has invited vocalist Lorna Lambey and pianist Michael Moore to perform Wednesdays through Saturdays. The duo had been entertaining at the now-defunct Red Fox Lounge. $$$

LATIN

El Bodegon Tapas & Wine 400 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-1078. This timeless family-owned restaurant draws a loyal clientele for its authentic Spanish fare, including Valencian paellas, Galician fish dishes and, of course, a wide variety of tapas. $$-$$$

Mi Tomatina 433 W. New England Ave., Winter Park, 321-972-4881/mitomatina.com. This eatery bills itself as a paella bar, and indeed guests share a half-dozen varieties of the signature Spanish rice dish. Yet others come for a mellow meal over tapas (garlic shrimp, potato omelet, croquettes) and sangria, enjoyed while seated within a small contemporary dining room or outdoors overlooking Hannibal Square. There’s an alfresco bar in the back. $$-$$$

MEDITERRANEAN

Bosphorous 108 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-8609/bosphorousrestaurant.com. This is the place for flavorful Turkish fare in either a white-tablecloth setting or alfresco along Park Avenue. Many diners fill up on the appetizer sampler with oversized lavash bread. For a heartier meal, try the ground lamb “Turkish pastry,” a shish kebab or a tender lamb shank. Outdoor diners can end their meals by smoking from a hookah. Or not. $$-$$$

MEXICAN/SOUTHWESTERN

Cocina 214 151 E. Welbourne Ave., Winter Park, 407-790-7997/cocina214.com. The area code of Dallas is 214, so this stylish eatery’s name makes sense when you consider that its menu offers creative interpretations of traditional Tex-Mex dishes. The huevos rancheros, flanked by Mexican rice and black beans, makes an ideal brunch, with fried eggs served atop corn tortillas and topped with melted queso blanco and red rancheros sauce. Also notable: the truffle and mushroom quesadilla and braised pork tacos with mango as well as pescado rico, a large serving of mahi-mahi, wilted spinach and grilled veggies in a roasted poblano cream sauce. The main dining room encompasses freestanding tables and banquettes, and there’s a spacious patio where pooches are welcome. $$

PR’s Taco Palace 499 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-2225/prstacopalace.com. This charmingly dumpy but iconic Winter Park eatery, located adjacent to the railroad tracks, serves up hearty portions of Tex-Mex fare including chimichangas, fajitas, tostadas and, of course, tacos. A specialty of the house is the outrageously proportioned fundido, a deep-fried flour tortilla filled with your choice of shredded or blackened chicken or beef and cream cheese. Many, many margaritas are consumed on the premises, and discounted tequila shots are offered whenever a train rumbles past. $-$$ 

POLISH

Anna’s Polish Restaurant 3586 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-657-0020/annaspolishrestaurant.com. Enjoy Polish classics such as cabbage noodles, Cracovia chicken cutlet, beef goulash, pork schnitzel, potato pancakes and hunter’s stew with cabbage, mushrooms, beef, pork and sausage served with mashed potatoes. There’s also a delightful array of desserts and a kids’ menu. $-$$

PUBS & GRILLS

Ale House 101 University Park Drive, 407-671-1011, and 1251 Lee Rd., Winter Park, 321-214-1505/millersalehouse.com. Part of the Miller’s Ale House regional chain of casual-dining restaurants, most of which are in Florida, both Winter Park locations offer daily lunch and dinner specials. Along with a huge beer selection, you’ll also find signature boneless chicken wings and “Captain Jack’s Buried Treasure,” a layered ice cream cake. $-$$

Fiddler’s Green 544 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-2050/fiddlersgreenorlando.com. This is as authentically Irish as you’ll find in Orlando, with a menu featuring bangers and mash, shepherd’s pie, hen in a pot, Irish stew and, of course, fish and chips as well as a wide selection of Irish beers. The ambience is enhanced by dark wood, cozy clutter and rowdy groups of “footballers” cheering televised matches. $$

The Porch 643 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-571-9101/theporchwinterpark.com. Let’s face it, the Porch is a bar that serves food. And you should also know that there isn’t actually a porch; The Garage would have been a better name and indicator of décor. But there are a couple of things worth eating to help soak up the alcohol. Try the slicers (with the onion rings). $

SEAFOOD

Mitchell’s Fish Market 460 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park,
407-339-3474/mitchellsfishmarket.com.
A high-end seafood chain that prides itself on being “absolutely, positively obsessed with freshness,” this family-friendly restaurant also offers a gluten-free menu and special meals for kids. The outdoor lounge seating is a big draw. Signature dishes include charbroiled oysters, Maine lobster bisque and a “Mitchell’s Market Trio” of jerk tilapia, broiled salmon and Shang Hai scallops. $$-$$$

Winter Park Fish Co. 761 Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-6112 / thewinterparkfishco.com. Fish and seafood dishes are fresh and well prepared at this humble Winter Park spot, where a counter-service format helps keep prices reasonable. Crab cakes, lobster rolls, mahi-mahi sandwiches and more ambitious dishes such as grouper cheeks in parchment and stuffed grouper are among a typical day’s offerings. $$

STEAK 

Christner’s Prime Steak & Lobster 729 Lee Rd., Orlando, 407-645-4443/christnersprimesteakandlobster.com. Locals have been choosing this prototypically masculine, dark-wood-and-red-leather enclave for business dinners and family celebrations for more than two decades. Family-owned since 1993, Christner’s features USDA Prime, corn-fed Midwestern beef and Australian cold-water lobster tails. End your meal with a slice of the restaurant’s legendary mandarin orange cake. And there’s a loooong wine list (6,500 bottles). On select nights, Kostya Kimlat hosts magic shows along with a prix-fixe menu in a private dining room. $$$$

Fleming’s 933 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-699-9463/flemingssteakhouse.com. Fleming’s puts a younger spin on the stately steakhouse concept, featuring sleek décor and 100 wines by the glass along with its prime steaks and chops. The tempura lobster “small plate” with soy-ginger dipping sauce is a worthy pre-entrée splurge. For a taste of the old-fashioned, visit on Sunday, when prime rib is served. $$$$ 

Nelore Churrascaria 115 E. Lyman Ave., Winter Park, 407-645-1112/neloresteakhouse.com. This is one of two Nelore Brazilian all-you-can-eat steakhouses — the other one is in Houston — where the servers, or “gauchos,” come to your table as often as you’d like bearing skewers of premier beef, chicken or pork. There’s a salad and food bar and Brazilian cheese bread to keep you happy between meat courses. $$$

Outback Steakhouse 1927 Aloma Ave., Winter Park, 407-679-0500/outback.com. While parking can be a challenge at the busy strip mall where the local Outback is located, you’ll find that it was worth the hassle once you chow down. Best known for grilled steaks, chicken, seafood and those massive “blooming onions,” Outback also offers a variety of crispy salads and freshly made soups and sides. No, it isn’t a top-tier steakhouse, but value-conscious carnivores won’t be disappointed. Whatever the price, however, you can’t beat the Parmesan herb-crusted chicken breast, served with a generous side of of mixed vegetables. There’s also a large selection of craft brews available and a Happy Hour menu. $$

Ruth’s Chris 610 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-2444/ruthschris.com. With three old-school steakhouses and its corporate headquarters near Winter Park Village, Ruth’s Chris, a native of New Orleans, has become an Orlando special-occasion mainstay. Its service-oriented restaurants specialize in massive corn-fed Midwestern steaks served sizzling and topped with butter. Most side dishes are more than ample for two. $$$$

VEGETARIAN

Café 118 153 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park, 407-389-2233/cafe118.com. Raw foods — none cooked past 118 degrees — are the focus of this health-conscious niche café, which attracts raw foodists, vegans and vegetarians. The spinach and beet ravioli stuffed with cashew ricotta is an impressive imitation of the Italian staple. Thirsty Park Avenue shoppers might stop by for a healthful smoothie. $$

Ethos Vegan Kitchen 601-B South New York Ave., Winter Park 407-407-228-3898/ethosvegankitchen.com. After serving up vegan fare for five years at its original location on North Orange Avenue, this 100 percent vegan eatery moved to Winter Park. A luncheon favorite is the chickun — yes, chickun, not chicken — bruschetta. A meat-free shepherd’s pie and crab cakes made from chickpeas are among the other meat-free offerings. $$