The Squeeze  

The Squeeze
Top 5 Orlando Restaurants (that aren’t Disney)
What pushes a pleasant vacation into 'OMG! Trip of a lifetime?' 
Food Food Food!

Orlando is the undisputed mecca of family tourism, but it doesn't exactly scream 'esteemed cuisine.' The nearest chain restaurant is often the go-to after a day at Disney or a swimsuit-soaked adventure at Wet n' Wild—lest you risk a kiddo waking from a nap unfed!

But don't sell your Orlando escape short! Michelin-starred chefs from around the country and Florida-raised foodies are rapidly elevating the dining experience in the city of Mickey. We at the Squeeze interviewed real estate moguls, artists, and suburbanites to compile our Top five favorite Orlando restaurants.

Death in the Afternoon 
Chef Eric Norvelus brings the taste of Spain to Mills Avenue. We insist you explore the menu thoroughly, but dishes like the housemade chorizo smashburger, pork belly served atop pasilla mole, and charred octopus braised in fennel and smoked pimentón will transport you straight to Madrid. Named after Hemingway's nonfiction work on the traditions of Spanish bullfighting, the namesake cocktail (absinthe and champagne) serves as the perfect excursion elixir. 

Pro Tip: Don't leave Viscaya without sharing a slice of the Basque Cheesecake dessert.

Boxer & Clover
Hinckley's Fancy Meats owner Matt Hinckley's knowledge of concept cuisine is matched only by his ambition! After making a splash in College Park with Mid Drive Dive, Hinckley and Trivium lead vocalist and guitarist Matt Heafy opened Boxer & Clover inside East End Market. The name? Coined from characters in George Orwell's Animal Farm. The grub? Barbecue that leans into the sweeter notes of the spectrum. Brisket, baby back ribs, and thighs slow smoked over oak and fruit words—pies in banana cream, cobbler, and Dutch apple varieties. One can only ask, what are these scrumptious characters trying to tell us?!

Sixty Vines
With a modern ambiance flushed with Florida sky, hanging plants, and an open kitchen, Sixty Vines is known for their open atmosphere, addicting edibles, and lush wine offerings. According to campus stormwater manager Amanda Charnock and Someday River's lead singer Greyson Charnock, Sixty Vines is the spot for wine-filled afternoons with smaller parties. 

Pro Tip: Don't leave without trying the crispy zucchini fritters!

According to Brevard native and sushi connoisseur Liz Lacy, this Michelin-star sushi restaurant has a low-key vibe, fun 90s music, and "the best food we've ever eaten." 

Pro Tip: While it's not cheap, the full experience is the chef's tasting menu accompanied by the preferred sake selection.

This Winter Park hot spot has a backyard Beer Garden and an often-overlooked but severely important attribute—great lighting! "Vibe is really everything for a first date," says Lacy. The Ravenous Pig is a favorite for those who adore a cozy ambiance and melt-in-your-mouth pork belly.

Pro Tip: Mushroom and Gruyere beignets are a must-have!

Cheers to treating your taste buds right! Don't forget to tag us and tell us about your favorite Florida dining experiences.