28 new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2017

New, now, next

28 new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2017
Photo via Rob Bartlett

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Orlando Meats

What: Edgar Massoni's full-service butcher shop and fast-casual eatery can't open soon enough in Ivanhoe Village, as far as we're concerned, even if it'll just serve breakfast and lunch. Massoni has fostered relationships with local farmers and producers over the years, so you can bet the meat will come from animals that are fed natural diets, are ethically and pasture-raised, and are hormone- and antibiotic-free.
When: Opening spring 2017
Where: 728 Virginia Drive, 407-598-0700, orlandomeats.com


What: After undergoing a multimillion-dollar bow-to-stern renovation, the Empress Lily reopens as a contemporary seafood restaurant in Disney Springs with a swish interior that'll erase any memory of Fulton's Crab House, though expect to see Fulton's faves like lobster corn dogs, Florida stone crab, and Alaskan king and queen crab. A rooftop lounge will stay open until 2 a.m. serving from a late-night menu, a DIY fish boil menu will also be served, and of course: weekend brunch.
When: Opening February 2017
Where: Disney Springs, paddlefishrestaurant.com


What: South Orange Blossom Trail got a boost to its restaurant scene when this legit pan-Asian joint by local B-boy Tung Fu, of MF Kidz, opened this month. The menu of Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai and Korean dishes, along with, yes, poke bowls (we can't get enough), have made "Phanatics" out of many.
When: Open now
Where: 9741 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-704-6399, phansorlando.com

Planet Hollywood Observatory

What: One of the more gigantic restaurants in Disney Springs chose to ride the bus to Flavortown by having polarizing schlock-jock of cookery Guy Fieri develop their burger and sandwich menu. If you're a fan of the Donkey Sauce – or of massive boozy milkshake concoctions – Planet Hollywood Observatory is likely already on your must-visit list. If not, Disney Springs has no shortage of dining options.
When: Open now
Where: Disney Springs, 407-827-7827, planethollywoodintl.com

The Polite Pig

What: The Mouse wanted a little local flavor in the restaurant offerings at their sprawling food-and-fun complex, and James and Julie Petrakis (Ravenous Pig, Cask & Larder, Swine & Sons) were a natural choice. The pair will bring wood-fired, smoked and grilled Southern goodies to Disney Springs, as well as local brews (including Cask & Larder draughts), wine and cocktails.
When: Opening spring 2017
Where: Disney Springs, politepig.com

Reel Fish Coastal Kitchen

What: This seafood venture by former Hard Rock International VP and COO Fred Thimm will transform the old Ravenous Pig space and infuse it with a relaxed surfer vibe. Brah, we're totally looking forward to the seasonal and sustainable seafood preparations and their "high-end fish camp" fare: Diners can expect triggerfish, sheephead, hogfish and other local species, plus a raw bar.
When: Opening February 2017
Where: 1234 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-543-3474, reelfishcoastal.com

Reyes Mezcaleria

What: Taking over the Citrus Restaurant space in the North Quarter, Jason Chin's Mexican resto will feature regional Mexican fare, but with chef Austin Boyd (Seito, Osprey Tavern) overseeing the menu, you can bet dishes will be as impressive as the interior design inspired by Tulum in Quintana Roo. Naturally, a vast selection of mezcal and tequila will round out the offerings.
When: Opening March 2017
Where: 821 N. Orange Ave., reyesmex.com

Teak Maitland

What: There's arguably no better place for a burger and a beer than this popular MetroWest joint, and the folks in Maitland will absolutely eat (and drink) this place up when it opens in the former Ran-Getsu location. After a thorough gutting of the space, the new Teak will be made to look like the original.
When: Opening April 2017
Where: 901 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, teakorlando.com

Valkyrie Doughnuts

What: Celine Duvoisin's spinoff of her crazy-popular Valhalla Bakery has a clean, minimalist and wonderfully Norse feel, but the lucky buggers out by UCF will jostle and prod in line for one thing, and one thing only – doughnuts. Ridiculously good vegan doughnuts. And vegan gelato. And doughnut ice-cream sandwiches. OK, three things.
When: Opening February 2017
Where: 12226 Corporate Blvd., instagram.com/valkyriedoughnuts

Wine Bar George

What: Master Sommelier and beloved wine expert George Miliotes' 210-seat Disney Springs wine bar will take on the look of a "winemaker's home estate" and offer up more than 100 selections by the bottle and glass in a range of varietals, vintages and prices. A menu of small plates will be offered to complement the wine list.
When: Opening fall 2017
Where: Disney Springs, winebargeorge.com

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