Dining Awards 2022: Readers’ Picks

You voted Orlando! Now, find out who you crowned as the 2022 Readers' Picks.


Readers’ Choice: Best Restaurant

Maxine’s on Shine

While Downtown Orlando has no shortage of excellent restaurants, Maxine’s on Shine reigns supreme. Falling in the top three in several categories, our readers clearly love Maxine’s. We can describe this neighborhood restaurant on North Shine Avenue as funky, eclectic, and delicious, with a whimsical 1940s-style décor. Maxine’s was named to the Michelin recommendations list for 2022. Be sure to check out their calendar for live entertainment. | maxinesonshine.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Seafood

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar

If you’re in the mood for a sleepy beach town-style restaurant but not in the mood for the drive to the coast, then head over to Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen + Bar in Winter Park. This locally owned spot offers the freshest of fresh catches, thoughtfully and sustainably sourced. Orlando magazine recommends trying one of their tempting brunch entrees, like Shrimp and Grits featuring sweet Mayport shrimp and flavorful tasso ham gravy. | reelfishcoastal.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Burger

Beth’s Burger Bar

Beth’s Burger Bar is so much more than a tongue-twisting tousle in the world of burgers. It’s a culmination of owner Beth Steele’s vision to satisfy the child inside each of us, with delicious, highly customizable build-a-burgers. | bethsburgerbar.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Mexican Restaurant

Cocina 214

In Spanish, cocina means kitchen. In Dallas, Texas, 214 is the area code. Put those two together and you have Cocina 214, the trendy, family and date friendly restaurant which features authentic Tex-Mex favorites. Be sure to try one of their 12 types of margaritas with their “Oh My Mahi” Fish Tacos. | cocina214.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Spanish Restaurant

Tapa Toro

At Tapa Toro, they combine contemporary Spanish cuisine with a vibrant, energetic atmosphere–bringing a fresh dining experience to International Drive. Their unique paella pit, fabulous tapas menu, and extensive selection of imported wines will guide you through a culinary journey of Spanish flavors and culture in the heart of Central Florida. | tapatoro.restaurant


Readers’ Choice: Best Service

The Pinery

The Pinery is a trendy dining experience located on beautiful Lake Ivanhoe. The restaurant’s Instagram-worthy cocktails change seasonally and pair perfectly with both the sunset and the menu. The seasonal menu is quintessential Florida: It’s seafood-heavy with a southern influence. The Pinery is named after the pineapple, an homage to the roots of the land the restaurant is located on, also symbolizing Southern hospitality.  | thepineryorlando.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Kept Secret

Deadwords Brewing

Deadwords Brewing is a brewpub located in the Parramore District of Downtown Orlando. Inspired by the pioneers and innovators of the American craft beer movement, they feature artisan menu items with locally sourced ingredients and produce a portfolio of the highest quality beers. | deadwords.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Hotel Restaurant

Knife & Spoon at The Ritz-Carlton, Grande Lakes

Knife & Spoon, a signature steak and seafood restaurant conceived and led by award-winning Chef John Tesar, was awarded a coveted Michelin Star in the 2022 edition of the Michelin Guide Florida. Tesar was called “the single most talented cook I ever worked with” by Anthony Bourdain. | ritzcarlton.com


Readers’ Choice: Best Bakery

Croissant Gourmet

This bakery in Winter Park has been a go-to for years. If you’re craving an authentic taste of classic French favorites, head to Croissant Gourmet for the finest pastries ranging from napoleons and fruit tarts to eclairs and macarons. The bakery also offers a full menu of breakfast and lunch specialties as well as coffee. With a small seating area inside and charming tables outside, it’s easy to pretend you’ve meandered down a quiet Parisian street. | https://www.restaurantji.com/fl/winter-park/croissant-gourmet-bakery-/


Readers’ Choice: Best View


The rooftop of Paddlefish at Disney Springs is everyone’s favorite for small plates paired with creative cocktails and good wine. This open-air, third-floor deck has been converted to seating for dining instead of functioning as a lounge. If you visit, request patio seating to experience blissful breezes and 360-degree views of Disney Springs and Lake Buena Vista. Indulge in Crab Cakes, Fried Green Tomatoes and Lobster Corn Dogs from the appetizer offerings, or go big with the Tableside Lobster Guacamole for Four. | paddlefishrestaurant.com


Readers’ Choice: Old Favorite

Linda’s La Cantina

Rudy Seng opened Linda’s La Cantina in 1947. Today, it’s owned by his granddaughter, Karen Hart. Both Seng’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren also work at the restaurant. In addition to being one of the best spots in town to get a steak, Linda’s serves as a time capsule. “This restaurant was my grandfather’s dream. I try and change it as little as possible.” The kitchen still closely follows Seng’s recipes. The tables are still covered in checkered tablecloths. All the orders are handwritten on little slips of paper, the same way they were 75 years ago. Remarkably, each perfectly cooked steak is hand cut and grilled by one person, Karen’s ex-husband, Stephen Hart, who has been in the kitchen at Linda’s for over 40 years.

“There could be 70 steaks on the grill. Ask him which one’s yours, and he’ll point to it. It’s unbelievable.” | lindaslacantina.com

Home | Editor’s Picks, Part 1 | Editor’s Picks, Part 2 | Readers’ Picks | Readers’ Choice List

Categories: Dining Awards