Best Of 2017

Best Bar to Bug Out In

Reyes Mezcaleria

821 N. Orange Ave.

407-868-9007

reyesmex.com

Reyes Mezcaleria in the North Quarter has already become a fave destination for those searching for authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine, but the resto/bar is generating, ahem, buzz, for a polarizing Oaxacan delicacy it offers – chapulines. These small grasshoppers, fried and sprinkled with garlic, lime, salt and chilies, make for a bueno bar snack akin to pretzels, potato chips or nuts. They've got a nice crunch, an earthy bite, and they pair nicely with mezcal's smoky notes. Order a flight of the distilled potable and you'll get a complimentary bowl of the wee buggers; otherwise it'll cost you $4. If you're not convinced, the health and nutritional benefits of high-protein, sustainable chapulines likely won't convince you either, but if you're the least bit curious, this snack will, literally, give you wings. 

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

Food and Drink

Orlando's best coffee shops, restaurants, food trucks and more.

Best Slice That Doesn't Exist (Yet)

The Lazy La Zi Mashup

Lazy Moon, 1011 E. Colonial Drive, lazymoonpizza.com

Chuan Lu Garden, 1101 E. Colonial Drive, chuanlugarden.com

It seems like a no-brainer. The Mills 50 outpost of venerated UCF pizzeria Lazy Moon opened up on East Colonial late last year, less than a block away from the city's best Sichuan Chinese restaurant, Chuan Lu Garden. And one of Chuan Lu Garden's most addictive dishes, fried pieces of chicken tossed with chili oil, Sichuan peppercorns, dry chilis and other spices, is the La Zi Chicken. La Zi. Lazy. The combination practically writes itself. The hypothetical slice hasn't appeared on the Lazy Moon menu yet, but we're holding out hope. In the meantime, DIY diners have to order the chicken to go, then walk over to Lazy Moon to get a cheese slice, and then surreptitiously combine the two in secret. It's no way to live.

Best Bakery

1. Se7enbites, 617 Primrose Drive, 407-203-0727, se7enbites.com

2. Valhalla Bakery, 2603 E. South St., 407-613-5968, valhallabakery.com

3. Charlie's Gourmet Pastries, 3213 Curry Ford Road, 407-898-9561

Best Barbecue

1. 4 Rivers Smokehouse, multiple locations, 4rsmokehouse.com

2. Pig Floyd's Urban Barbakoa, 1326 N. Mills Ave., 407-203-0866; also 9680 N. Narcoossee Road, 407-730-7376; pigfloyds.com

3. Yellow Dog Eats, 1236 Hempel Ave., Gotha, 407-296-0609; also 147 Canal St., New Smyrna Beach, 386-410-4824; yellowdogeats.com

Best Bloody Mary

1. The Hammered Lamb, 1235 N. Orange Ave., 407-704-3200, thehammeredlamb.com

2. Dexter's, multiple locations, dextersorlando.com

3. Santiago's Bodega, 802 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6979; also 1185 S. Spring Centre Blvd., Altamonte Springs, 407-960-2605; santiagosbodega.com

Best Breakfast

1. Keke's Breakfast Cafe, multiple locations, kekes.com

2. First Watch, multiple locations, firstwatch.com

3. Se7enbites, 617 Primrose Drive, 407-203-0727, se7enbites.com

Best Brunch

1. Santiago's Bodega, 802 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6979; also 1185 S. Spring Centre Blvd., Altamonte Springs, 407-960-2605; santiagosbodega.com

2. Keke's Breakfast Cafe, multiple locations, kekes.com

3. (Tie) Dexter's, multiple locations, dextersorlando.com

3. (Tie) White Wolf Café & Bar, 1829 N. Orange Ave., 407-895-9911, whitewolfcafe.com

Best Burger

1. Hamburger Mary's, 110 W. Church St., 321-319-0600, hamburgermarys.com/orlando

2. Graffiti Junktion, multiple locations, graffitijunktion.com

3. The Ravenous Pig, 565 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-628-2333, theravenouspig.com

Best BS
Photo by Yesenia Lima

Daily "Bullshit $9 Drink"

Valkyrie Doughnuts

12226 Corporate Blvd.

facebook.com/valkyriedoughnuts

What you can count on: The daily "Bullshit $9 Drink" will always have vegan soft serve mixed with coffee or a flavored sparkling drink topped with whipped cream, a tiny doughnut, and a cone. What you can't count on: ever getting the same thing twice. The Daily BS is created by Valkyrie's team of temperamental geniuses – it might be a "Johnny Cash" with strawberry, coffee, coconut and Oreos; or it might be a "Caffeinated Girl Scout" with matcha, coffee, Thin Mint and caramel. You pays your money and you takes your chances. (Or, you check Instagram early in the day for a hint.)

Best Caribbean

1. Caribbean Sunshine Bakery, multiple locations, caribbeansunshinebakery.net

2. Taste of Jamaica, 6406 N. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-298-5866, facebook.com/tasteofjamaicarestaurant

3. Golden Krust, multiple locations, orlandogoldenkrust.com