September 10, 2021

29 tiny restaurants in Orlando you've probably overlooked

Orlando is home to some of the country's biggest, most over-the-top places to eat. However, we also have quite a few small, under-the-radar restaurants serving some incredible dishes. What we're talking about here is Orlando's best tiny restaurants, where you can feel the heat from the kitchen, the tables are crammed too close together, and you can overhear every conversation from nearby tables. These Orlando restaurants may be small, but the flavor they serve on a daily basis is anything but.

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Kadence 
1809 E. Winter Park Road 
From the trio that brought us Kappo comes Kadence, a nine-seat stunner serving superlative multicourse omakases. Ingredients are ever-changing and are flown in twice, sometimes thrice, weekly from Japan; what they do with them is why a visit here is a must for any Japanophile. Sushi-only lunches go for $61-$75 and feature 12 pieces, soup and dessert.  
Photo by Rob Bartlett

Kadence

1809 E. Winter Park Road
From the trio that brought us Kappo comes Kadence, a nine-seat stunner serving superlative multicourse omakases. Ingredients are ever-changing and are flown in twice, sometimes thrice, weekly from Japan; what they do with them is why a visit here is a must for any Japanophile. Sushi-only lunches go for $61-$75 and feature 12 pieces, soup and dessert.
Photo by Rob Bartlett
King Bao
710 N Mills Ave, Orlando, (407) 237-0013 
This tiny restaurant packs a big taste and is the ideal lunch special for hungry customers ballin’ on a budget. If the variety of steamy, soft bun baos isn’t enough to satisfy you, the truffle tots definitely will. The owner, Vic Nguyen, was born and raised in Orlando and now serves locals with dishes that marry eastern and western flavors. 
Photo by Rob Bartlett

King Bao

710 N Mills Ave, Orlando, (407) 237-0013
This tiny restaurant packs a big taste and is the ideal lunch special for hungry customers ballin’ on a budget. If the variety of steamy, soft bun baos isn’t enough to satisfy you, the truffle tots definitely will. The owner, Vic Nguyen, was born and raised in Orlando and now serves locals with dishes that marry eastern and western flavors.
Photo by Rob Bartlett
King Bao
710 N Mills Ave, Orlando, (407) 237-0013 
There's probably no better metaphor for Mills 50 than the Mr. Potato Head: a sweet-potato croquette topped with sour cream and roasted corn salsa, wrapped up in a soft, fluffy bao bun for $3.
Photo via Photo via King Bao/Facebook

King Bao

710 N Mills Ave, Orlando, (407) 237-0013
There's probably no better metaphor for Mills 50 than the Mr. Potato Head: a sweet-potato croquette topped with sour cream and roasted corn salsa, wrapped up in a soft, fluffy bao bun for $3.

Photo via Photo via King Bao/Facebook
Sticky Rice
1915 E. Colonial Drive, (321) 800-6532 
Within the spectrum of flavors at the city’s sole Laotian eatery, you’ll find the familiar flavors of sweet and spicy along with flurries of funky, fermented and fishy. Popular dishes include pork tapioca dumplings, sticky chicken wings and lemongrass beef jerky; the cucumber salad and papaya salad offer a blast of umami courtesy fermented crab, crab paste and shrimp paste more suited to advanced palates. Can’t pass on the sticky rice – no Laotian meal is complete without it.  
Photo by Rob Bartlett

Sticky Rice

1915 E. Colonial Drive, (321) 800-6532
Within the spectrum of flavors at the city’s sole Laotian eatery, you’ll find the familiar flavors of sweet and spicy along with flurries of funky, fermented and fishy. Popular dishes include pork tapioca dumplings, sticky chicken wings and lemongrass beef jerky; the cucumber salad and papaya salad offer a blast of umami courtesy fermented crab, crab paste and shrimp paste more suited to advanced palates. Can’t pass on the sticky rice – no Laotian meal is complete without it.
Photo by Rob Bartlett
Vivi Bubble Tea
1111 E Colonial Dr, (407) 412-5224 
Vivi Bubble Tea prides itself on providing the freshest taste possible and a variety of seasonal flavors in all of its tea choices from Taiwan. The inside of this tea spot is youthful and modern, making the small space feel refreshing and bright. Its mission it to create a “relaxing yet enjoyable experience” and to “become the icon of heedful technological tea drinking.”  
Photo via vivibubbletea_mills50 /Instagram

Vivi Bubble Tea

1111 E Colonial Dr, (407) 412-5224
Vivi Bubble Tea prides itself on providing the freshest taste possible and a variety of seasonal flavors in all of its tea choices from Taiwan. The inside of this tea spot is youthful and modern, making the small space feel refreshing and bright. Its mission it to create a “relaxing yet enjoyable experience” and to “become the icon of heedful technological tea drinking.”
Photo via vivibubbletea_mills50 /Instagram
 Buttermilk Bakery
1198 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, (321)-422-4015
This cozy small-batch bakery is family owned by mother, daughter and son, and promises to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here, you can find an assortment of unique pastries, including matcha-almond croissant and cherry-orange oat cookies. 
Photo via Buttermilk/Instagram

Buttermilk Bakery

1198 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, (321)-422-4015
This cozy small-batch bakery is family owned by mother, daughter and son, and promises to satisfy your sweet tooth. Here, you can find an assortment of unique pastries, including matcha-almond croissant and cherry-orange oat cookies.

Photo via Buttermilk/Instagram
 Buttermilk Bakery
1198 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, (321) 422-4015 
The owners use “as-local-as-possible” ingredients and started off selling their pastries in farmers markets. Now, they serve made-in-house sweets to die for. 
Photo by Rob Bartlett

Buttermilk Bakery

1198 N Orange Ave, Winter Park, (321) 422-4015
The owners use “as-local-as-possible” ingredients and started off selling their pastries in farmers markets. Now, they serve made-in-house sweets to die for.
Photo by Rob Bartlett
Bikkuri Sushi 1915 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, (407) 894-4494 
Sushi and takeout might not always sound great together, but this little restaurant on Colonial specializes in sushi on the go, offering up fresh fish in place of settling for a microwave meal or monotonous salad for dinner. It also offers buy one, get one free margaritas on Mondays and other hot happy hour deals if you choose to dine in. 
Photo via i.am.ingrid.b
/Instagram

Bikkuri Sushi

1915 E Colonial Dr, Orlando, (407) 894-4494
Sushi and takeout might not always sound great together, but this little restaurant on Colonial specializes in sushi on the go, offering up fresh fish in place of settling for a microwave meal or monotonous salad for dinner. It also offers buy one, get one free margaritas on Mondays and other hot happy hour deals if you choose to dine in.
Photo via i.am.ingrid.b /Instagram
Willie’s Pinchos Restaurant
1718 N Goldenrod Rd, Orlando, (407) 601-3373 
Location can make this Puerto Rican delicacy easy to overlook, but don’t. Burgers, meats and good eats with some Latin flavor sets this lunch and dinner spot apart from the everyday deli sandwich or soup. The owners love to chat with customers and provide excellent service, which doesn't go unnoticed. 
Photo via Willie’s Pincho’s Restaurant /Facebook

Willie’s Pinchos Restaurant

1718 N Goldenrod Rd, Orlando, (407) 601-3373
Location can make this Puerto Rican delicacy easy to overlook, but don’t. Burgers, meats and good eats with some Latin flavor sets this lunch and dinner spot apart from the everyday deli sandwich or soup. The owners love to chat with customers and provide excellent service, which doesn't go unnoticed.
Photo via Willie’s Pincho’s Restaurant /Facebook
Goff’s Drive In
212 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, (407) 286-3421 
Many Orlando residents go to Goff’s not only for the ice cream but for the memories. This little walk-up ice cream stand has been around since 1948, and is still serving up the best sundaes on Sundays to this day. 
Photo via Goff’s /Facebook

Goff’s Drive In

212 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, (407) 286-3421
Many Orlando residents go to Goff’s not only for the ice cream but for the memories. This little walk-up ice cream stand has been around since 1948, and is still serving up the best sundaes on Sundays to this day.
Photo via Goff’s /Facebook