Florida is fast becoming one of the leading destinations in the world for foodies, with a continual stream of fabulous restaurants being opened or taken over by celebrity chefs all over the state. This flourishing dining scene caters for all tastes, from vibrant Latin American flavours to gourmet burgers, bold Asian spicy fare to delicious seafood dishes - it’s got it all. So, let’s dive in and look at some of our top Florida restaurants owned or run by world-renowned chefs!
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Orlando isn’t high on the gastronomy map due to its reputation as the rollercoaster and family-holiday capital of the world, but you’d be wrong. From five-star hotels to the Disney parks themselves, there is a wide range of cuisines on offer and has attracted some big names to get in on a slice of the action.
Iron Chef reality show contestant Masaharu Morimoto hones his decades-old skills at his first-ever pan-Asian restaurant, located at Disney Springs’ The Landing. Offering a mouth-watering fusion of Japanese, Korean, Thai and Chinese flavours, this stunning eatery will delight your senses and leave you wanting to try everything on the menu.
Morimoto Asia 1600 East Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
Whipped up by the New York Times best-selling author and Emmy Award-winning TV host, Guy Fieri, alongside well-known restaurateur Robert Earl, Chicken Guy! offers a casual and fun atmosphere with equally fun food... primarily chicken, if that wasn’t obvious. Think crispy chicken tenders, American slaw, a world of tasty sauce options and hearty milkshakes. There are a few locations around the US but the most recently opened is in Winter Park, Orlando, and debuts Chicken Guy’s! first drive-thru and stand-alone eatery.
Chicken Guy! Winter Park, 818 S Orlando Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789
The city of Miami oozes chic and has done for a long while. With its world-famous art scene, boutique hotels and eclectic mix of cultures and styles, it’s no surprise that celebrity chefs are fighting for places to showcase their food.
Located in South Beach’s South of Fifth district, this bijou restaurant of just 74 seats serves sophisticated and intriguing tasting menus of seasonal American fare that are constantly being refreshed by Jeremy Ford, the chef at the helm of this place to be seen. Past dishes have included smoked prime rib-eye steaks and truffle chicken with brussels sprouts, but for an overview try the eight-course tasting menu – pure indulgence!
Stubborn Seed, 101 Washington Avenue, Miami Beach, FL 33139
Ghee Indian Kitchen
Chef Nivan Patel brings flavours from his traditional Indian background to Kendall, just outside Miami. Creating dishes with a farm-to-table ethos and using ingredients that thrive in both Floridian and Indian climates, Patel set up his own ranch in 2014 and now 35% of his menus utilise the produce grown on this homestead. Expect to find tantalising curries, local spiced fish dishes and fresh, tangy salads amongst much more on Ghee’s dinner menu, including a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan options.
Ghee Indian Kitchen, 8965 SW 72nd Pl, Kendall, FL 33156
Benefitting from a world of incredible seafood on its doorstep, up and down Florida’s Gulf Coast is a smattering of excellent dining venues. It’s become a celebrity chef’s playground in which to invent and explore local flavours while adding their own signature twists for a truly unique dining experience.
Edison: Food + Drink Lab, Tampa
Regularly awarded industry accolades and boasting its status as one of the top restaurants in Tampa, Edison is guided by renowned chef and local restaurateur Jeannie Pierola, who also happens to be a five-time James Beard award semi-finalist. Its dinner menu proudly features fresh ingredients and innovative flavour experiments to create bold, modern cuisine. For example, the scrumptious tasting menu includes dishes like wood-grilled oyster, crispy octopus and Bordeaux-braised pork belly with clams... salivating yet?
Edison: Food + Drink Lab, 912 W Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, FL 33602
Florida’s Emerald Coast is considered one of the most serene and beautiful areas in the state and has increased in its popularity with vacationers in recent years due to its laid-back charm, picturesque beaches and luxury hotels, garnering the attention of celebrity chefs and clientele alike.
The latest in the highly regarded Emeril’s collection of restaurants, Emeril’s Coastal is situated in Sandestin, a small resort area between Pensacola and Panama City Beach. Fully absorbing and taking advantage of the magnificent array of local seafood on offer, the menu combines fresh produce with titillating ocean flavours, serving up dishes like Gulf shrimp cocktail, oyster spaghetti and hearty grouper sandwiches.
Emeril’s Coastal, 435 Grand Boulevard, Miramar Beach, FL 32550
This is just a little taste – a tasting menu if you will – of the sort of gastronomical offerings available across Florida restaurants. As the third most-populated state in the continental US, there is an overwhelming abundance of places to eat here.
And of course, for every fine dining experience, there is an equally unforgettable casual eatery in the Sunshine State. Whether you’re after a quick bite to eat during a day of exploring Walt Disney World or seeking a more formal and intimate setting for a special occasion, there is something here to tempt everyone’s palate.
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