Orlando, the theme park capital of the world, was also recently rated the fast food capital of the US. This comes at no surprise as fast food is often the most convenient option when you are on vacation. A packed itinerary consisting of running around to the various entertainment offerings in town often leaves no time for dining at a nice sit down restaurant. Additionally, tourists typically want to see familiar restaurants rather than attempting to try something new, hence, Orlando’s abundance of fast food and casual restaurant chains.
Obviously, fast food chains are not the best choices for those with food allergies and special dietary restrictions. Fortunately, despite the many fast food offerings, Orlando is also well-known for catering to those with food allergies and special diet needs. The following 10 restaurant choices offer great gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan choices for diners visiting the Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and/or the Orlando area. If you have the extra time, you will surely enjoy the abundance of allergy friendly choices found at these fantastic Orlando area restaurants.
1. Raglan Road (Downtown Disney)
Raglan Road is the top Downtown Disney restaurant pick for guests with food allergies. Almost everything on the menu can be made gluten-free, including fish and chips, Shepherd’s Pie, and fried favorites like scallops, onion rings, and french fries. A special batter and dedicated fryer ensures no cross contamination. Because the chef prepares meals from scratch and uses a dedicated fryer, it is very easy to customize most of the menu to fit a gluten-free diet.
Many of the dishes can also be made dairy-free including a delicious Butternut Squash Risotto and a filling Quinoa based salad.
Although the food is great, the highlight of dining at Raglan Road is enjoying the live Irish entertainment and beautiful decor. The hourly Irish step dancing performances are incredible (so be sure to visit from 4pm-9pm to take in a show). Whether you love Irish pub food, step dancing performances, or just enjoy the St. Patrick’s Day atmosphere, you are sure to add a return visit to Raglan Road to any future Disney itineraries.
2. Ethos Vegan Kitchen (Winter Park)
Ethos Vegan Kitchen is the best choice for hard core vegan diners visiting the Orlando area. The large, trendy, modern 100% vegan restaurant offers a more upbeat setting than most traditional vegan restaurants. On the menu, you will find an assortment of healthy vegan options like veggie filled salads and wraps, along with some comfort food classics like mashed potatoes, chips and dips, and pizza.
There are lots of choices for gluten-free and soy free customers as well. And, the menu is clearly marked as to which meals can be modified to meet your dietary needs. It’s a little out of the way in Winter Park (about 20 minutes from Orlando), however, it is one of the nicest vegan restaurants you will find in Florida or elsewhere for the matter. Here you can dine vegan without sacrificing the traditional restaurant experience!