Best Of 2016

Best Reason to Scrape a Bowl

Shoyu tuna poke bowl from Da Kine Poke Truck

Poke tuna is quickly becoming the next local food trend; we've seen it popping up at Quickly Boba Snow, Sus Hi Eatstation and even Publix, but our favorite so far is the mobile version from Da Kine Poke Truck. Not only does the truck seem to show up just when we get a craving for plump, toothsome tuna chunks in a tangy soy-based sauce, but the truck also offers a wide variety of furikake – seasoning blends made with nori, sesame and various other ingredients – to give the accompanying rice just the right flavor boost. And even though the owner has referred to us as "the worst news source out there," we'd be happy to split a bowl with him any time.

Food and Drink: Orlando's best coffee shops, restaurants, food trucks and more

Food and Drink
Best Vegan Junk Food
Photo by Rob Bartlett

Fakenit tater tots at King Bao

710 N. Mills Ave., 407-237-0013,

Clearly, not everyone who eats vegan is doing it to be healthy – we've seen some pretty kickin' vegan dishes that would give Chris Christie palpitations. These fried tots at the new Mills 50 bao hamlet are covered in tofu, fake bacon, roasted garlic and onion jam and sprinkled with scallions. Also, they're just $2.50, so if you wanted to also eat a Veganville bao for lunch (crispy tofu with ginger-pepper relish), your wallet would only be a smidge lighter.

Best Secret Rooftop Restaurant

Eleven at Reunion Resort

7593 Gathering Drive, Kissimmee, 407-662-1000,

By day, the rooftop where Eleven is located is the hotel's pool deck (which, really, is unique enough for Orlando), but come dusk, the sliding glass wall opens to reveal an elegant space where some of Central Florida's best steaks are served. Whatever you order for your main, don't miss the roasted garlic app that spreads like buttah over toasted baguette, Cambozola cheese and confit cherry tomatoes. Views of the Magic Kingdom and Epcot fireworks are on deck post-dessert.

Best Handheld Dessert

Brownies from George's Gourmet Cookies

501 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-1499,

You know how everyone in your office knows when there are leftover brownies from that board meeting? Everyone scampers like starved cats to the break room and descends upon the spoils, and then they're gone. If you find yourself so unlucky as to miss out, get to George's location on Lee Road and Orlando Avenue early enough to score one of the hefty handheld treats topped with caramel, marshmallow, chocolate drizzle and nuts, all for yourself.

Best Bakery

1. Valhalla Bakery, Market on South, 2603 E. South St., 407-613-5968,

2. Se7en Bites, 207 N. Primrose Drive, 407-203-0727,

3. Blue Bird Bake Shop, 3122 Corrine Drive, 407-228-3822,

Best Barbecue

1. 4 Rivers Smokehouse, multiple locations,

2. Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa, 1326 N. Mills Ave., 407-203-0866,

3. Bubbalou's Bodacious BBQ, multiple locations,

Best Brunch

1. Santiago's Bodega, 802 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6979,

2. Keke's, multiple locations,

3. Briarpatch, 252 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-8651,

Best Burger

1. BurgerFi, multiple locations,

2. Johnny's Fillin' Station, 2631 S. Ferncreek Ave., 407-894-6900,

3. Five Guys Burgers & Fries, multiple locations,

Best Caribbean

1. Bahama Breeze, multiple locations,

2. Caribbean Sunshine Bakery, multiple locations,

3. Mark's Caribbean, 10034 University Blvd., 407-699-8800,

Best Cheap Eats

1. Gringos Locos, 22 E. Washington St., 407-841-5626, also 2406 E. Robinson St., 407-896-5626,

2. Black Bean Deli, 325 S. Orlando Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-0294, also 1835 E. Colonial Drive, 407-203-0922,

3. Tako Cheena, 932 N. Mills Ave., 321-236-7457,