Best of ORL 2020 – Food & Drink

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Mex El Zocalo

El Zocalo Mexican restaurant in Sanford: Chef Conrado Alatoro (left) and owner Pablo Larios with tacos (pastor, carnitas, chorizo, chicken, steak) (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)


When it comes to El Zocalo’s raved-about Mexican Tacos, the meat is the star. A choice of chorizo sausage, pulled pork, beef tongue, sirloin or grilled chicken is piled onto a house-made, soft corn tortilla with nothing but cilantro and onions topping it. 

“The meat tacos sell a lot,” says owner Pablo Larios.

Another standout on the nearly four-year-old Sanford restaurant’s menu is pollo en mole—a rich dish made from 32 ingredients, including chilies, fruit and chocolate. Pollo en mole is what Puebla, Mexico—El Zocalo Chef Conrado Alatoro’s native state—is known for. 

“It takes time to make, but the results are spectacular,” says Larios.

Alatoro creates other Puebla specialties, such as avocado salad, which Larios says is another restaurant favorite. The chef and owner have worked together in Mexican restaurants since they moved to Florida in 2010 from Puebla and Guatemala, respectively.

“He’s Mexican and even though I’m not, we both have a passion for the culture and the food. We recognized each other’s talent,” Larios says.

— Megan Stokes



1 El Zocalo

Downtown Sanford


2 Rocco’s Tacos

Restaurant Row


3 Tin & Taco

Three Orlando-area locations


Community Coffee Spot

1 Foxtail Coffee Co.

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 Axum Coffee

Three Orlando-area locations


3 Lineage Coffee Roasting

Mills 50 District and

Audubon Park


Wine Store

1 ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 Total Wine & More

Three Orlando-area locations


3 Tim’s Wine Market

Four Orlando-area locations


Chocolate Shop

1 Peterbrooke Chocolatier

Downtown Winter Park


2 Ghirardelli Soda Fountain & Chocolate Shop

Disney Springs


3 Chocolate Museum & Café

International Drive


Dining Hof, The Taproom Burger, Photo By Roberto Gonzalez

The classic cheeseburger, a specialty of The  Tap Room at Dubsdread (ROBERTO GONZALEZ)


College Park Restaurant

1 The Tap Room at Dubsdread

Par Street


2 RusTeak Restaurant & Wine Bar

Edgewater Drive


3 Shakers American Café

Edgewater Drive


Downtown Restaurant

1 Kres Chophouse

Church Street


2 DoveCote Restaurant

Orange Avenue at Livingston Street


3 SoCo-Southern Contemporary Cuisine

Thornton Park


Winter Garden Restaurant

1 Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

West Plant Street


2 Urban Flats

West Plant Street


3 The Whole Enchilada

West Plant Street


Theme Park Restaurant

1 Cinderella’s Royal Table

Disney World’s Magic Kingdom


2 Rainforest Café

Disney Springs Marketplace, Disney’s Animal Kingdom


3 California Grill

Disney’s Contemporary Resort


Lake County Restaurant

1 Haystax Restaurant



2 The Crooked Spoon



3 1921 Mount Dora

Downtown Mount Dora


Osceola County Restaurant

1 The Catfish Place

St. Cloud


2 The All Italian Restaurant


Facebook page


3 Philly Steak & Sub

St. Cloud

Facebook page


Winter Park Restaurant

1 Hillstone

South Orlando Avenue


2 Prato

Park Avenue


3 Luma on Park

Park Avenue


Ev Orlando

Eddie V’s on Restaurant Row (DARDEN RESTAURANTS)


Restaurant Row-Area Restaurant

1 Eddie V’s

West Sand Lake Road


2 Cedar’s Restaurant

West Sand Lake Road


3 Chatham’s Place

Dr. Phillips Boulevard


Seminole County Restaurant

1 Enzo’s on the Lake



2 Palma Maria



3 The Town House Restaurant



I-Drive Restaurant

1 Café Tu Tu Tango

International Drive


2 Maggiano’s Little Italy

Pointe Orlando


3 Uncle Julio’s



Place for a Frozen Treat

1 Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 Twistee Treat

Multiple Orlando-area locations


3 Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream

Audubon Park and

East Kaley Street


Place for Something Sweet

1 The Glass Knife

South Orlando Avenue

Winter Park


2 Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream

Audubon Park and

East Kaley Street


3 Gideon’s Bakehouse

Audubon Park


Specialty Foods Store

1 Trader Joe’s

Winter Park and Restaurant Row


2 The Fresh Market

Five Orlando-area locations


3 Whole Foods Market

Three Orlando-area locations


Watering Hole or Lounge

1 Froggers Grill & Bar

Five Orlando-area locations


2 The Guesthouse

Mills 50 District

Facebook page


3 Mad Hippo Saloon



Food Delivery Service

1 Jimmy John’s

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 Uber Eats


3 DoorDash



1 Puff ’n Stuff Events & Catering



2 Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering

Altamonte Springs


3 George’s Gourmet Cookies and Catering

Winter Park


Hotel Lounge

1 Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando

Downtown Orlando


2 The Alfond Inn

Downtown Winter Park


3 Lobby Lounge

The Ritz Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes



1 Crooked Can Brewing Company

Downtown Winter Garden


2 Hourglass Brewing

Curry Ford Road and Longwood


3 Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co.

Ivanhoe Village

Categories: Best of Orlando, News and Features