Best Restaurants in Orlando, According to AAA
Updated: May 22, 2023
Planning an unforgettable restaurant experience in Orlando just got easier. AAA’s list of AAA Diamond properties in the Central Florida hot spot is sure to impress with outstanding food and an assortment of fine-dining venues. From Lake Buena Vista to Downtown Orlando, each selection should leave you pleasantly surprised and ensure any special occasion is nothing short of, well, magical!
Greater Orlando’s renowned for its diverse culinary scene, with plenty of establishments offering everything from classic family recipes to hors d'oeuvres and haute cuisine sourced from local farms. Many of the best fine-dining restaurants also feature AAA Diamond designations. AAA Diamonds, which reflect the standards and trends in the hospitality industry, are awarded after unannounced, independent evaluations by AAA inspectors; they meet and exceed AAA's “4C” criteria, e.g. “cleanliness, comfort, cuisine and consistency.”
As of 2023, there are 10 Orlando-area restaurants designated AAA Four Diamond, while one, Victoria & Albert’s in Walt Disney World’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, has received the highest designation, AAA Five Diamond. The details are below to tempt your taste buds, but reservations are a must to ensure those gastronomic delights become a reality.
If a AAA Five Diamond isn’t in the cards, take heart. The area’s home to many other upscale restaurants with a Diamond designation, for occasions big or small. Whether choosing a trendy establishment for a romantic dinner in Lake Buena Vista or a birthday bash in between visits to Orlando theme parks, the variety makes the region a best bet for both fine dining and merrymaking.
Orlando’s AAA Four Diamond Restaurants for 2023
A Land Remembered (2008)
Rosen Shingle Creek
9939 Universal Blvd, Orlando
Named after Patrick D. Smith's iconic novel, this AAA Four Diamond — first awarded in 2008 — offers patrons delicious food with a Florida vibe as well as golf course views and an ambience to match. Then there is the delectable menu that features fresh ingredients and dishes such as goat cheese fritters, Black Angus aged beef and seared Chilean sea bass. Desserts like Key Lime Brûlée Bar and Strawberry Short Cake celebrate Florida favorites. With an inviting atmosphere and superior hospitality, A Land Remembered promises an evening you won’t soon forget.
Bull & Bear Restaurant (2010)
Waldorf Astoria Orlando
14200 Bonnet Creek Resort Lane, Orlando
Inspired by the original Bull & Bear Restaurant in New York City, the Orlando locale is known for craft cocktails and table-side preparation, offering an elegant place to indulge or celebrate special occasions. Start with savory Wagyu carpaccio and pan-seared foie gras as a precursor to entrées like fried chicken, pan-seared sea bass or Tomahawk rib-eye beef steak for two. If you plan to save room for dessert, note house-made favorites, such as “The Lemon,” “Waldorf Beignets,” or “Chocolate Bar” for chocolate enthusiasts.
Cala Bella (2008)
Rosen Shingle Creek
9939 Universal Blvd, Orlando
With its name meaning “beautiful creek,” the elegant Italian restaurant features Mediterranean and Tuscan influences — perfect for date night. The atmosphere is enhanced by arched doorways, vaulted ceilings and windows that provide glimpses into the kitchen where chefs create culinary masterpieces. Then feast on a selection of antipasto, pasta all pescatore or veal Marsala before choosing from exquisite desserts crafted by the pastry chef.
Four Seasons Resort Orlando at Walt Disney World® Resort
10100 Dream Tree Blvd, Lake Buena Vista
If you're looking for an upscale family night, Capa should be on your list of places to go. This steakhouse and bar with a Spanish flair is located on the resort’s 17th floor — complete with an open terrace — and offers a view of fireworks from Disney parks. Family-friendly, it also comes with a children’s menu and even coloring pages. Once settled, everyone can get to the business of filling up on the simply-prepared but flavorful dishes. For starters, order the tapas — notably beer-brined pork belly or classic pan con tomate (bread with tomato). Specialty entrées include Wagyu beef or pork cooked over a wood-burning grill. To toast to a remarkable evening, plan a trip to the lounge, which often features live Spanish guitar music and handcrafted cocktails.
Christini's Ristorante Italiano (2005)
The Marketplace at Dr. Phillips
7600 Doctor Phillips Blvd., Orlando
When it comes to finding delicious Italian cuisine, Christini’s Ristorante Italiano is always among the top choices for locals and tourists alike. With homemade pasta such as a version of traditional fettuccine Alfredo (called fettuccine alla Christini's), this restaurant owned by Chef Chris Christini has given patrons a tasty spin on classic dishes since its establishment in 1984. Check out the entire menu and a world-class wine list guaranteed to satisfy, so if you're in the mood for Old World ambience — but prefer your fine-dining to be friendly — Christini's might be the perfect place for you.
deep blu Seafood Grille (2017)
Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek
14651 Chelonia Pkwy., Orlando
Sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients being artfully prepared in the open-view kitchen is just one of the perks of eating at this creative seafood spot, which offers everything from sushi to vegan and vegetarian options. It’s also family-friendly for those time-honored family nights; just remember to dress at least business casual. To impress, reserve a table overlooking the pool area — perfect for any occasion.
Knife & Spoon (2022)
The Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes
4012 Central Florida Pkwy., Orlando
A number of classic steak, seafood and side dishes await you at this modern restaurant led by Chef John Tesar. Not only is there a raw bar but also appetizers and a delightful selection from the cheese cart. Entrées and sides are designed with sharing in mind; be sure to try the mouth-watering rack of lamb paired with either kimchi-creamed spinach or sautéed wild mushrooms on the side. While enjoying your meal, take in the view through large windows while surrounded by an assortment of charming live plants.
JW Marriott Grande Lakes Orlando
4040 Central Florida Pkwy., Orlando
Primo offers a tasteful dining experience inspired by Mediterranean coastal flavors. There’s the deliciously fresh salad sourced right from the resort's very own gardens if you fancy some local produce. For a more filling option, try the duck sausage. But if you're more of a social butterfly, the copper- and wood-decorated bar would provide the perfect opportunity to savor oysters and mingle with a frosty libation in hand. Whether you prefer tableside service or the classic bar setting, Primo evokes a truly Mediterranean feel that boasts a modern flair.
The Venetian Chop House (2004)
Caribe Royale Orlando
8101 World Center Dr., Lake Buena Vista
Step into the inviting dining room and bask in the upscale vibe with red accents and rich woods, frosted glass and chandeliers. Although steak is (of course) well-represented, seasonal selections may include everything from lump crab cake in Pommery mustard sauce to lobster bisque with crisped puff pastry. For an extra treat to top off your night, order the Italian Dessert Tasting for a sampling of delicacies.
Todd English's bluezoo (2004)
Walt Disney World Dolphin Resort
1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd., Lake Buena Vista
Sea-lovers, rejoice! This restaurant brings the underwater world to you in a refined setting complete with “dancing fish” displays and exhibition kitchen. With fresh seafood like Maine lobster, Hawaiian sea bass, Gulf grouper (and even steak and chicken options for landlubbers), there's something for all palates. There are even “kiddie cocktails” with names like “no-jito.” And don't forget the dessert menu — banana split, molten chocolate cake and strawberry angel food cake to name a few!
AAA Five Diamond in Lake Buena Vista
Victoria & Albert's (2000)
Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa
4401 Grand Floridian Way, Lake Buena Vista
Reserve an unforgettable AAA Five Diamond experience within the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, located in Walt Disney World Resort® in Lake Buena Vista. Since gaining this exclusive designation in 2000, Victoria & Albert’s has been presenting New American cuisine and providing guests with impeccable service and a romantic atmosphere — perfect for couples looking for things to do. Choose from a seven-course menu based on local ingredients or a 10-course global chef’s tasting menu with imported ingredients. There’s an optional wine pairing that you can add to either, with a wine tasting for each course. Besides the main courses, there are also several bread courses, coffee service and chocolates in addition to dessert selections, ensuring a blissful dinner and a take-home loaf of sweet bread for breakfast the next morning. Note: Seating is limited with just a few tables, but it’s possible to secure even more privacy with the chef’s table in a separate area of the dining room for that extra special indulgence.
Sherry is an experienced #AAAEditor and former journalist who enjoys writing informative travel articles and reviews. Her commitment to making meaningful connections with people and places fuels her work for AAA. Sherry's favorite activities range from skiing to backpacking abroad and taking ghost tours.