Floridian food is a melting pot of flavours, spices, and sensations. The food of Orlando represents its cultural diversity, with restaurants serving old American classics as well as fusion cuisine with strong Caribbean and Spanish influences. From fast food to fine dining, Orlando has it all.
'Floribbean' cuisine incorporates flavours and styles from the neighbouring Caribbean islands, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago, and even the American Deep South. As a result, dining out in Orlando is an experience for the senses. Seafood is a staple, so visitors should sample signature dishes such as muscles in rum and butter sauce, fried gator bites, and roasted red snapper.
Travellers can head down International Drive to choose from some of the trendiest restaurants in town, or spend some time in Downtown Disney or Universal's CityWalk, where more traditional cuisine is provided. With so many options, diners will be spoilt for choice when it comes to eating in Orlando.
There is no shortage of shopping opportunities for travellers in Orlando and, with a choice of luxury department stores, upscale boutiques, antique shops and farmers markets, shoppers will have a hard time deciding where to begin. Many hotels offer free shuttle services to major shopping destinations.
Travellers can start off at one of the largest single-storey malls in the United States, the Florida Mall, which features more than 250 stores including Macy's, Sears, JCPenney, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue as well as an outdoor shopping plaza where shoppers can enjoy all those sunny days. The Waterford Lakes Town Center is an open-air mall featuring large chain stores, small shops, restaurants, and even IMAXDigital. And the Mall at Millenia boasts designer names such as Betsey Johnson, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton.
Antique junkies need look no further than Orlando's Antique Row on Orange Avenue, where a wide variety of collectables can be found. Of course the main souvenirs in Orlando are anything Disney or NASA-related, so visitors should pick up caps and t-shirts from the gift shops before they leave.