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The new Orlando restaurants you need to try in 2018 

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click to enlarge El Buda - PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
  • Photo by Rob Bartlett
  • El Buda

El Buda

Roberto Treviño, the man who battled Mario Batali on Iron Chef America, opened his Nuevo Latino restaurant inside the Bumby Arcade on Church Street in December and his Latin-Asian fusion creations are simply stunning. The man has some serious kitchen cred, and two of his fusion creations – pork and sweet plantain dumplings and duck breast with honey-miso potatoes – are instant classics.

(Opened December; 116 W. Church St.; elbudarest.com)

Ford's Garage

In their relentless, ahem, drive to expand across the state, the self-described "neighborhood burger and beer joint" is poised to put it into park at the Hamlin Town Center in the Windermere/Winter Garden corridor this summer. In addition to the pricey burgers (their standard burger will run you close to $11), there's plenty of classic comfort fare to be had amid a Prohibition-era, service station motif.

(Opening summer; Hamlin Town Center, Winter Garden; fordsgarageusa.com)

Foxtail's Farmhouse

Sure, Foxtail Coffee Co.'s next-door offspring will bring more seats to the popular Winter Park beanery – but more than that, coffee obsessives will really get to tap into their inner Juan Valdez. A siphon bar will gurgle out delicate cups of brew, and classes will be held to help increase your arabica IQ.

(Opening February; 1282 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park; whatisthefarmhouse.com)

Framework Craft Coffee House

While slightly behind schedule, owner Danny Alvarez hopes to commence brewing inside the way-cool building that once housed the Just Drive car repair shop sometime between now and March. Until then, sample his coffee at one of the many pop-ups Alvarez stages in the Mills 50 District.

(Opening March; 1050 N. Mills Ave.; vitalunacafe.com)

Garp & Fuss

One of the finest dining spaces in the city is now home to Garp & Fuss, a quaint resto off Park Avenue serving "American fusion cuisine" in a vintage industrial setting. The menu is still being tweaked, but you'll find a focused selection of salads, flatbreads, handhelds and meatless options like Buffalo cauliflower, boiled peanuts, and butternut squash and apple soup.

(Opened January; 348 N. Park Ave., Winter Park; garpandfuss.com)

Grills Lakeside

The third restaurant in the "Grills" family is also the first not to be situated on the ocean. Grills Lakeside is, yes, on a lake (Lake Fairview, to be exact) in College Park, but the ambience is as laid-back and tiki-tastic as the others. Notable fact: They have a separate lionfish menu.

(Opened January; 4301 N. Orange Blossom Trail; grillsseafood.com)

Heirloom Deli

The location for the all-vegan eatery by former Blink-182 road chef Mary Mattern and A Day to Remember guitarist Neil Westfall has yet to be determined, but we do know Heirloom Deli will be styled after the Jewish delis Mattern frequented as a child in Suffern, New York, as well as the now-closed Cermak's Subs in Leesburg, a personal favorite of Westfall's.

(Opening April; instagram.com/heirloomdeli)

Iron Cow

From the owner who brought you the Sandwich Bar comes this recently opened Milk District hotspot that's equal parts music venue, cocktail bar and restaurant. The menu is limited, but items are being added, including vegan options.

(Opened December; 2438A E. Robinson St.; ironcowcafe.com)

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