March 09, 2018

The 25 small town Central Florida restaurants you should’ve tried by now

Look, it's easy to fall into a restaurant rut, which is why expanding your horizons is so important. With that in mind, these nearby small town restaurants are more than worth the short jog to get there. Here are a few Central Florida small town eateries packing big flavors.

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Norwood’s Eatery & Treehouse Bar
400 E 2nd Ave, New Smyrna Beach, 386-428-4621
A place with humble beginnings as a gas station and general store this place now has an amazing view from a tree house, not to mention killer seafood and rad bar with great wine selection.
Photo via Norwood's Eatery & Treehouse Bar/ Facebook

Norwood’s Eatery & Treehouse Bar

400 E 2nd Ave, New Smyrna Beach, 386-428-4621
A place with humble beginnings as a gas station and general store this place now has an amazing view from a tree house, not to mention killer seafood and rad bar with great wine selection.

Photo via Norwood's Eatery & Treehouse Bar/ Facebook
1921 by Norman Van Aken
142 E 4th Ave, Mt. Dora, 352-385-1921
Norman Van Aken, James Beard Award winner, does it again with his 1921 restaurant in Mount Dora. The menu is a take on modern Florida cuisine which features a 1921 burger, Florida Rudderfish sandwich and rice-crusted Florida Bluenose Bass, just to name a few. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine menu that pairs well with meals. 
Photo via natcoch/Instagram

1921 by Norman Van Aken

142 E 4th Ave, Mt. Dora, 352-385-1921
Norman Van Aken, James Beard Award winner, does it again with his 1921 restaurant in Mount Dora. The menu is a take on modern Florida cuisine which features a 1921 burger, Florida Rudderfish sandwich and rice-crusted Florida Bluenose Bass, just to name a few. The restaurant also offers an extensive wine menu that pairs well with meals.

Photo via natcoch/Instagram
The Garlic & Blu Bar
556 E 3rd Ave, New Smyrna Beach, 386-424-6660
This authentic tuscan restaurant has massive portions as well as great atmosphere. The also bring in live music of local performers on a regular basis. 
Photo via The Garlic/ Facebook

The Garlic & Blu Bar

556 E 3rd Ave, New Smyrna Beach, 386-424-6660
This authentic tuscan restaurant has massive portions as well as great atmosphere. The also bring in live music of local performers on a regular basis.

Photo via The Garlic/ Facebook
Ice Plant Bar
110 Riberia Street, Saint Augustine, 904-829-6553 
Ice Plant Bar and Restaurant pays homage to St. Augustine’s long-standing history as the oldest town in America through serving locally grown ingredients in their delectable pressed juices, cocktails and entrees. Open for lunch and dinner and offering only grass-fed beef, burgers and local seafood, Ice Plant sets itself apart from most beachside restaurants. The building itself dates back to 1927 when it was originally utilized as an ice plant factory. This “Roaring Twenties” feel is complete with bridge cranes above the bar and three different options of ice cubes, a salute to the building’s history.
Photo via Ice Plant Bar/Facebook

Ice Plant Bar

110 Riberia Street, Saint Augustine, 904-829-6553
Ice Plant Bar and Restaurant pays homage to St. Augustine’s long-standing history as the oldest town in America through serving locally grown ingredients in their delectable pressed juices, cocktails and entrees. Open for lunch and dinner and offering only grass-fed beef, burgers and local seafood, Ice Plant sets itself apart from most beachside restaurants. The building itself dates back to 1927 when it was originally utilized as an ice plant factory. This “Roaring Twenties” feel is complete with bridge cranes above the bar and three different options of ice cubes, a salute to the building’s history.

Photo via Ice Plant Bar/Facebook
The Black Hammock
2316 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd, Oviedo, 407-365-2201 
They say there’s nothing like fresh caught fish (or gator) and we agree after sampling this down-to-earth, backwoods Florida eatery. The humble wooden structure sits on the shores of Lake Jessup where we suggest you make a day out of it with an airboat ride — a sure-fire guarantee you’ll see countless alligators in Florida’s pure environment. When in Rome, do as the Romans, right? Well, to quench your appetite, we say, “When at Black Hammock, eat gator tacos.” If you can’t stomach the gator, go for the buffalo shrimp, which has a perfect wing-type spice that will go right to your toes. 
Photo via banana_fanna_fofaime/Instagram

The Black Hammock

2316 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd, Oviedo, 407-365-2201
They say there’s nothing like fresh caught fish (or gator) and we agree after sampling this down-to-earth, backwoods Florida eatery. The humble wooden structure sits on the shores of Lake Jessup where we suggest you make a day out of it with an airboat ride — a sure-fire guarantee you’ll see countless alligators in Florida’s pure environment. When in Rome, do as the Romans, right? Well, to quench your appetite, we say, “When at Black Hammock, eat gator tacos.” If you can’t stomach the gator, go for the buffalo shrimp, which has a perfect wing-type spice that will go right to your toes.

Photo via banana_fanna_fofaime/Instagram
Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café
205 E. First St., Sanford, 407-321-2204
Come for the German food and beer, stay for the gemütlichkeit atmosphere, complete with oompah music.  
Photo via Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe/Facebook

Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café

205 E. First St., Sanford, 407-321-2204
Come for the German food and beer, stay for the gemütlichkeit atmosphere, complete with oompah music.

Photo via Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Cafe/Facebook
La Fonda Mexican Kitchen
1155 W. State Road 434, Longwood, 407-951-8514 
Head off the beaten path to Longwood’s La Fonda for some delicious Mexican cuisine. The Burrito La Fonda, a 12-inch flour tortilla with your choice of meat, topped with typical garnishes, sour cream and cheese sauce, is served with Mexican fries. All the makings for a food coma.
Photo via wittlewong18/Instagram

La Fonda Mexican Kitchen

1155 W. State Road 434, Longwood, 407-951-8514
Head off the beaten path to Longwood’s La Fonda for some delicious Mexican cuisine. The Burrito La Fonda, a 12-inch flour tortilla with your choice of meat, topped with typical garnishes, sour cream and cheese sauce, is served with Mexican fries. All the makings for a food coma.

Photo via wittlewong18/Instagram
LA Tacos
1404 E. Silver Star Road, Ocoee, 407- 715-9496 
If you’re looking for California-style tacos that lives up to the west coast flavor, LA Tacos might be just what you need. Each taco is served on handmade tortilla with lots of lime wedges for extra flavor. 
Photo via Taqueria La Tacos Estilo Califas/Facebook

LA Tacos

1404 E. Silver Star Road, Ocoee, 407- 715-9496
If you’re looking for California-style tacos that lives up to the west coast flavor, LA Tacos might be just what you need. Each taco is served on handmade tortilla with lots of lime wedges for extra flavor.

Photo via Taqueria La Tacos Estilo Califas/Facebook
Los Portales Supermarket & Mexican Restaurant
12962 W. Colonial Dr., Winter Garden, 407-654-1279
Out in Winter Garden Los Portales serves up some variety with its hamburgers and bacon-wrapped shrimp along with its traditional tacos and fajitas. 
Photo via Los Portales Supermarket & Mexican Restaurant/ Facebook

Los Portales Supermarket & Mexican Restaurant

12962 W. Colonial Dr., Winter Garden, 407-654-1279
Out in Winter Garden Los Portales serves up some variety with its hamburgers and bacon-wrapped shrimp along with its traditional tacos and fajitas.

Photo via Los Portales Supermarket & Mexican Restaurant/ Facebook
Goblin Market Restaurant
330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mt. Dora, 352-735-0059
Located in downtown Mount Dora, the Goblin Market menu features a select amount of dishes for any dinner reservation. They serve anything from New York Strip to their variety of soups and starters. Small plates are also an option for those looking for an evening snack. 
Photo via taniamariaphoto
/ Instagram

Goblin Market Restaurant

330 Dora Drawdy Way, Mt. Dora, 352-735-0059
Located in downtown Mount Dora, the Goblin Market menu features a select amount of dishes for any dinner reservation. They serve anything from New York Strip to their variety of soups and starters. Small plates are also an option for those looking for an evening snack.

Photo via taniamariaphoto / Instagram