From dive bars to five star restaurants, Orlando offers an extreme variety of dining options. Due to the large amount of natural water from the ocean, inland lakes, and marshes, many of the best dining options also offer a waterfront view. Since the number of restaurants to choose from is vast, we want to take the stress out of dining on vacation and provide you with a list of restaurant with a waterfront view. Here are some of our favorite waterfront restaurants in the Orlando area.

Hillstone

Hillstone is a fine dining establishment in Winter Park that has some of the best waterfront dining Orlando had to offer. The restaurant sits directly off the lake and will leave you and your family simply stuffed with delight. Unlike most fine dining establishments, Hillstone has a very homey feel that will leave you wanting to kick off your shoes, sit back, and relax while you take everything in. Enjoy some of their specialties like the wood fire grilled steak, craft cocktails, or a craft burger.

Norman’s

Norman Van Aken is a culinary superstar and proud adopted Floridian that has built his perfect restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando. The restaurant is built around views of the expansive Ritz-Carlton gardens, green golf course, and lake views that will make any meal even better. On top of the view, Aken crafts specials like the Key West Shrimp Ceviche and other tapas sections that will leave you wanting more. This restaurant is a bit pricey, but well worth the trip!

Shake Shack

Winter Park is famous for its outdoor lake views. You can take advantage of these at the Shake Shack while enjoying a great meal. The Shake Shack is known for their tasty burgers, snappy hot dogs, and thick milkshakes, so if you are looking for a classic American meal, Shake Shack has you covered!

Not to be outdone by the great food, their patio area offers a unique experience of its own. The patio is removed from the loud and busy lot out front and gives guests the perfect escape to enjoy the view of the lake. Grab a beer and park yourself outside for a great meal and a great view.

Plan Your Orlando Vacation Today

These are just three of the best restaurants Orlando has to offer; there are many more great places to eat and attractions to see when you visit! Contact our reservation specialists today to book your very own getaway to Orlando, Florida.

Many of us cannot wake up and function in the morning without a good cup of coffee. In a world that is dominated by Starbucks and Keurig machines, we have lost an appreciation for a well-crafted cup of coffee. Much like the rest of your vacation, you should take a little time and enjoy yourself. We think a great way to start this way of thinking is to check out some of the best local coffee shops in the Orlando area to help start off your busy vacation days. Below you will find a list of our favorite local coffee shops to help start off your day right!

Stardust Video and Coffee

Stardust Video and Coffee is one of Orlando’s best hangout locations. This craft coffee spot started out as a local video store that rented out bulky VHS tapes. Since the evolution of Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Go, the store has adapted and created a truly unique concept. The store has grown into a local spot where both young and old gather to enjoy great coffee and discuss old books, foreign movies, and new shows.

Lineage Coffee Roasting

Lineage Coffee Roasting takes coffee to a level of art rather than a simple breakfast drink. Tucked back in the corner of the East End Market, this coffee shop takes coffee very seriously, and it is shown in the quality of the coffee. The shop begins by roasting its own beans and grinding them to create a perfect and rich cup of coffee. Try any one of their new brewing techniques to get the most out of the coffee bean.

Austin’s Coffee

Austin’s Coffee is probably the definition of local coffee shop. A mainstay in the Orlando area, this small coffee shop is the perfect little neighborhood café. The walls are filled with local art, the coffee is micro-roasted, and the shop features an eclectic mix of different furniture to help you enjoy the experience. The shop also features daily events like open mic night, local bands, and poetry readings.

Axum Coffee

This small coffee shop was named after a city in Ethiopia. The name carries the shop owner’s views to change the world, one cup at a time. The profits made at Axum go towards charities that help impoverished countries around the world, making each sip of coffee or tea feel that much better!

Wake Up and Enjoy Orlando

If you would like more info on coffee shops or other attractions in Orlando, please browse our website or call our office today for more info. Tropical Escape has everything you need for your next great vacation in Orlando!

It has been a significant decade for the development of soccer in Orlando, Florida. Not only has the Orlando City Soccer Club garnered much more support over this time, but they also managed to begin construction of a new stadium that is set to finish in 2017. Now there will be another addition to the energy surrounding the team, with a new soccer-themed bar and restaurant. It is only about half a mile from the stadium, so there is sure to be a lot of traffic and excitement filling the bar upon opening.

Lion’s Pride

This new bar and restaurant will be called Lion’s Pride and it will take up residence among the energy of Church Street. At 123 W Church Street, Lion’s Pride is filling a historic Orlando building. This 6,129 square foot building offers a lot of charm and an unbeatable location. Hopefully this new establishment can finally bring stability to a building that has been home to many different businesses in the last decade and since its construction in 1920. Most recently, it was known as “The Teele Building,” during which time it served as the home for Bliss Ultra Lounge and Downtown Bar Phineas Phogg’s.

Stay Tuned for More Information

For now, there is not much information surrounding this new development. It is clear from public documents that the bar is coming soon, but there is little detail beyond that. Documents for the new establishment were filed by Gustavo Fonseca, but there has been no contact with Mr. Fonseca regarding any further details of Lion’s Pride.

The owner of this property and member of Tremont Realty Capital, Richard Gallitto, has also been contacted for comment, but there has been no response on that front either. However, you can expect strong development and refurbishment of the property as Tremont Realty Capital established that precedent with their amazing $2 million renovation of Orchid Garden building right down the street. You can expect a modern and elegant design that also fits in with the character of the other buildings on the street as Fonseca has already petitioned to take down the building’s aluminum awning so as to install a canopy that is similar to the other buildings on the street.

There is still a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the particulars of this new bar and restaurant, but you can be sure that Orlando City Soccer Club fans will have an awesome place to cheer on their favorite team.

Top 4 Restaurants Near Our Orlando Vacation Rentals



Home to Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, and SeaWorld, Orlando is also home to some of the most acclaimed international cuisine. Here are some of the best restaurants enjoyed by tourists and locals alike.


Morimoto Asia



Morimoto Asia at Disney Springs, yes as in Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, serves up some of the finest Pan-Asian food in Orlando. This two story restaurant is open daily until 2 a.m. with the kitchen open until 1 a.m. and is perfect for a late night bite. Within Morimoto Asia’s impressively constructed 2-stories is an “on-stage kitchen” making for a fun dining experience. Among the food favorites are the Dim Sum, variety of sushi rolls, the tuna pizza, and Morimoto’s own signature sake. Don’t let the menu fool you though, it is broad enough to accommodate those new to Pan-Asian cuisine, and offers a kid friendly menu as well.


Vine’s Grille and Wine Bar



If it’s something a little low key that you are looking for, check out Vine’s Grille and Wine Bar. Not only can you get classic steak and seafood dishes, but you can also order from the Chef Composed Entrée menu for the most unique and creative food combinations. In addition to the fine food, Vine’s has an award-winning selection of over 600 wines from around the world. Your seating options consist of the main dining room and private or semi-private rooms, but be warned that calling ahead for a reservation is highly recommended. To bring this upscale dining experience together is the music from the Tommy Bridges Jazz Band playing live nightly.


Padrino’s Cuban Cuisine



Since Orlando is a melting pot of flavors don’t miss Padrino’s Cuban Cuisine. Originally a small food market and winery in 1930s Cuba, Padrino’s has definitely evolved, while staying true to it’s authenticity, using bright flavors and fresh ingredients. Make sure to try the Padrino’s Palomilla, a traditional Cuban steak dish accompanied with sweet plantains, and finish off your meal with a Flan, another Cuban favorite.


Emeril’s Tchoup Chop



Circling back around to another culinary icon, Emeril Lagasse’s Tchoup Chop (pronounced chop-chop) takes Asian-Polynesian Fusion to another level. The décor exudes contemporary South Pacific influence, with private and semi-private dining rooms available. If it’s 5-star seafood you are looking for, then this is the place! From an Asian take on a classic surf n’ turf to the Hawaiian style local Mahi Mahi, Tchoup Chop is sure to take you on a tour of fresh and savory flavors. To end your meal, be sure to ask for the Dessert of the Day. Also, make sure you call ahead for a reservation.


Serving Up Greatness



The list of delicious and eclectic cuisine in Orlando can go on for days, but these are the four that stood out. Happy dining! Contact us today for more information or to book your Orlando vacation!


Dessert in Orlando – 4 Places to Get the Best Desserts in Orlando, FL



For most people, a trip to Orlando, FL means taking part in plenty of theme park adventures. However, the area doesn’t just cater to Disney lovers. It also wins a special spot in the heart of those living with a sweet tooth that refuses to be ignored. If this happens to describe you, or someone you’re traveling with, venturing away from the amusement parks will allow you to discover some of the city’s best dessert places. No matter what you have a craving for, one of the local favorites below is sure to help you satiate your appetite for a savory treat.


Blue Bird Bake Shop



This quaint Orlando eatery in the Audubon Park Garden District has earned several accolades for its dessert offerings, and you’ll find out why as soon as you visit. Blue Bird Bake Shop was opened in 2010, and has since done its part to provide residents and travelers with a delectable menu that includes cupcakes, cookies, muffins, scones, brownies, coconut macaroons, krispy bars, and ice cream cookie sandwiches. All recipes are made from scratch with exquisite ingredients.


The Pop Parlour



When a regular old ice cream cone or slice of cake just won’t cut it, The Pop Parlour is sure to deliver. Using locally sourced, all-natural herbs, vegetables, and fruits in their sweet creations, you won’t find a more original (and guilt-free) place to dive into dessert than this popular spot. Patrons have a wide variety of choices between fruity, creamy, and even alcohol-laden flash frozen pop flavors. The selections are always changing to keep things fresh.


The Dessert Lady

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The Dessert Lady puts a different spin on your typical dessert shop, which is what continues to consistently draw in both local and new customers. Don’t expect to get your run-of-the-mill pie or cake here, with menu items ranging from Neapolitan cake, chocolate zuccotto, and sour cream apple cobbler, to bourbon pecan pie, fudge ripple bread pudding, and coconut brûlée cheesecake. You’ll be lucky if you make it out of the bakery without ordering a whole cake to go.


Se7en Bites



Se7en Bites has a nice selection of sweet options to complement its breakfast and brunch menu. The bakeshop is well-known among locals for serving up delicious cream scones, coffee cake, shortbread, biscotti, cookies, and their signature moon/oatmeal cream pie. The use of simple ingredients in many of the recipes has turned out to make some of the most memorable treats patrons have ever eaten.


Ghirardelli in Disney Springs



If you want some chocolate close to one of the amazing vacation rentals we offer (Sweet Escape, check it out!) AND right down the road from Disney World, Ghirardelli in Disney Springs is your place. Ranked 4th out of 105 Dessert places in Orlando by Trip Advisor, this delicious classic provides amazing ice cream, hand crafted chocolate, and more sweets than you can shake a stick at. Trust us; if you have a sweet tooth, Ghirardelli is the place for you!



If you truly appreciate a good sweet treat when you taste one, you certainly won’t regret carving some time out of your Orlando vacation schedule to stop in at any of these raved about dessert locations. Don’t forget to check out some of our amazing vacation rentals in the area!


Delicious Food on a Shoe String Budget: Cheap But Great Eats in Orlando

Orlando, Florida is a city that has been dubbed a cultural and social hotbed. With incredible diversity within the population and plenty of things to do and see, this is a place that every adventurer should experience. It is also a must-visit destination for any lover of food. The following is a list of some of the most popular fairly-priced restaurants where you can get a great meal for a little money.

Bem Bom Food Truck

Many people are thrown for a loop when considering the prospect of food served out of a truck. But make no mistake, the Bem Bom Food Truck dishes out some of the finest cuisine in the area for a surprisingly fair price. Francisco Mendonca or “Chef Chico” as he has come to be known, has been studying a variety of cooking from French to Tex-Mex. This food truck specializes in Portuguese cuisine with signature dishes like Piri Piri chicken, Pork Prego and even the delicate custards. The Pork Prego consists of pork that has been braised for 8 to 10 hours with caramelized onions and peppers, all on a Portuguese bun. There are countless other food truck destinations that dish out some of the most unique and delicious foods you will find anywhere.

Tako Cheena

This is one of the most unique and cost effective places to eat in all of Orlando. You are sure to have never had anything quite like this, as it is a fusion of Thai, Cuban, Filipino and Mexican cuisine. It is hard to imagine an amalgam of such strong flavors and styles of food, but with one taste, you will understand what prompted such collaboration. Try crowd favorites like the Thai peanut chicken takos, Panko-crusted cod takos and bahn-mi hot dogs. Expand your culinary horizons with flavors that you could never have imagined.

Pom Pom’s Teahouse and Sandwicheria

As the name suggests, Pom Pom’s is one of the best places to visit if you have a hankering for countless sandwich and tea options. But you can also find amazing soups and salads at this popular destination. Come hungry and leave with a full wallet and belly.

Delicious Food, Low Prices

The list of options for cost effective dining in Orlando is so extensive that it would take all day. It is far more come out and see for yourself! Here, you are sure to experience delights to the senses that you have never known before. Get out there and find you new favorite place to eat on a budget!

Click here for more information on everything you need for your Orlando trip!