The eclectic city of Kissimmee offers food that's just as varied as it is wonderful, from Caribbean, Mexican and Italian, to traditional American grills with some top chefs thrown into the mix. The restaurants are located in and around downtown Kissimmee and its highways, and we've picked out a few of the best places to visit if you're planning Kissimmee holidays this year.
Kissimmee is a melting pot of international food and American chains, with all four corners of the world covered within the resort's borders.
We mean it when we say Kissimmee has it all – Japanese cuisine, Mediterranean, Mexican, Indian and Chinese. Hearkening back to its Latin roots, there's even a trail of Latin cuisine, whose restaurants specialise in Cuban, Spanish and Puerto Rican fare. There are classic American chain restaurants and more boutique-style diners, plus a healthy selection of dinner shows done with expert fanfare. While you dine, you can be transported back to Medieval times, all the way to a 1920s speakeasy.
This downtown venue is popular destination for those after a hearty Caribbean meal. Haiti-born owner and Chef Pouchon Savion mixes traditional island cuisine and spices with American flavours, preparing everything freshly. The restaurant even featured on the Cooking Channel as one of the best dining venues in Florida.
It's open for lunch and dinner and one of the most traditional items on the menu is the Jambalaya, a mildly spiced version of Savion's grandmother's recipe featuring chicken, shrimp and smoked sausage. Other popular dishes include chicken tostones bowls, made with fried plantain bowls stuffed with prawns and chicken, or the seafood gumbo. This restaurant has a pleasant indoor and outdoor space.
Lovers of Italian food will appreciate this restaurant, which has been pleasing customers for 20 years. It has a comfortable and homely feel with booth areas and larger spaces where tables can be put together for groups, so it's perfect for a special occasion.
The Italian fare is authentic and includes dishes such as spaghetti bolognese, linguine clams, as well as New York thin crust pizzas. Fantastic desserts include tiramisu and Sicilian cannoli – a hard pastry filled with ricotta cheese.
The headlands of the Everglades run from Kissimmee all the way down to Mexico and their culture and food is well represented at El Tapito. One of the best restaurants in the area, it's run by Oscar Perez who spent years managing restaurants in central Florida and Texas, before branching out on his own with this offering.
Ingredients are freshly sourced and everything is cooked from scratch. The selection is vast with dishes including chicken tamalas topped with cheese and served with refried beans and rice. Another favourite is the fajitas de camarones, which are shrimp fajitas with onions and bell peppers. There are plenty of vegetarian options and a fantastic drinks menu from Mexican beers to margaritas.
Located on the shores of Lake Toho, this no-frills restaurant is aptly named Bellalago, which means beautiful lake. Boasting wonderful views, you can take a walk along the boardwalk to the lake after your meal.
The owners, chef John and his wife, are very friendly and never fail to greet diners. Open for lunch and dinner, food includes fish and chips, seafood gumbo, or BBQ ribs and pulled pork from John's smoke house menu, which also comes with two sides and bread.
They've got most things covered including vegetarian options and a children's menu, plus you can enjoy live jazz the first Wednesday of every month. A dessert not to be missed is the fried peach pie with vanilla ice cream.
Sweet Tomatoes should be your first stop if you're after vegetarian, gluten free and generally healthier eating choices, such as their sugar-free chocolate dessert. If you've spent your holidays to Florida indulging in less wholesome food, this could help to counteract that a bit.
This relaxed venue has kept it simple, it's one great price for unlimited salad, soup, pasta and potatoes, baked goods and desserts. It's a self-service restaurant with a large interior that's warmly decorated, while friendly staff will help you find your feet.