From eating rooms to fantastic eating, Orlando’s Most Anticipated New Eating places of 2020 Meals & Drink Tales | Orlando
With the promise of a new year, the city’s food-conscious souls begin their ritual gazes into the near future, marking upscale food and beverage stores, planning culinary excursions to far-flung areas of the city and clearing the space on their cell phones for the upcoming flood of IG Stories.
What does 2020 hold for our increasingly diverse restaurant landscape? On the one hand, there is a trend that we have been awaiting with excitement for several years – food halls. Winter Garden, Lake Ivanhoe, Downtown Orlando, Oviedo, SoDo, and more neighborhoods will open these bastions of gluttony to the public. In the finer restaurant, after moving out of the Ritz, Norman’s will be in Dr. Phillips reopened and a few top chef alums – John Tesar and Gerald Sombright – will be moving in. It’s going to be a relatively quiet year for Disney Springs, but at Epcot, Space 220 will blur the lines between space station and restaurant.
Want more? How about towering towers of fried lobster? Or a ramen joint where everything (including pasta) is made from scratch? We’re going to get Blake Shelton, Willie Degel, and the greatest white castle in the world. Oh, and local restaurateurs Jason and Sue Chin are about to start a new business, but we can’t tell you about that yet. What we can tell you is that following this list of newly opened and soon to be opened restaurants, it will be a very enjoyable year of dining.
The Hamlin Food Hall (appropriately monogrammed after Arthur George Hamlin) is located on 22,000 square meters of land on the lakefront and offers everything from artisanal burgers and pizza to fried chicken and sushi from the south. An indoor and outdoor bar on the second floor overlooks Lake Hancock and the Disney fireworks at night.
(Opening December; 14117 Shoreside Way, Conservatory; hamlinfl.com)
Babbi Babbi Korean cuisine
This quick-casual Korean joint replaced Pei Wei, a quick-casual Chinese joint, and introduced Phillips Crossing Square to the kimbap – steamed rice and various meats rolled in seaweed and served in bite-sized slices. Bibimbap bowls are also offered.
(Opened in January; 8015 Turkey Lake Road; facebook.com/babbibabbiorlando)
Bad As’s sandwiches
The popular Sammie-Joint Milk District brings its unique style of grammatical and hand-held expression to the old Joe’s Pizza section in Winter Park. Owner John Collazo’s over-the-top sandwiches go well with a strip where Hunger Street Tacos, Lombardis Seafood, 4 Rivers Smokehouse, and Bread & Co. are all within walking distance.
(Inaugural Spring; 1881 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park; badasssandwiches.com)
Owner Danny Ngo, who also runs Sodo Sushi Bar & Grill, says Bao’s Castle will be a beer and wine bar that will serve a focused Bao menu, including “the best pork belly bao you’ve ever tasted”. Seafood bowls and 10 different craft brews are also served. Danny Nguyen, former sushi maestro at Kabooki Sushi, will be in charge of the kitchen.
(Opening March; 45 W. Crystal Lake St., facebook.com/baoserscastle)
Aside from the freshly baked bagels this New Smyrna Beach employee will bring to the former Two Chefs Seafood Oyster Bar in the North Quarter, they also offer breakfast wraps, deli sandwiches, and bialys – cousin’s uncooked, onion-filled bagels.
(Opening February; 743 N. Magnolia Ave.; Bagelworldnsb.com)
Banh Mi Boy Bakery & Cafe
The Banh Mi counter in Tien Hung Market at Mills 50 received a refresh and rebranding, notably with a marquee on the front of the market. Inside, they sell 10 banh mis (yes, there is a veggie version), all for $ 4.99.
(Opened in December; 1112 E. Colonial Drive; facebook.com/tienhungmarket)
Boku Sushi & Grill
Chef Tim Liu, whose Mikado Sushi & Grill brought in quality pieces of fish from the Tsukiji and Toyosu fish markets in MetroWest, promises this sushi place in downtown Maitland will “change the game”. Liu uses wood materials to create an aesthetic that is natural, clean, and contemporary.
(Opening February / March; 190 Independence Lane, Maitland; mikadosushigrill.com)
JM Hospitality, the same group behind 310 restaurants and Blu on the Avenue, will open this high-end red meat retreat in the old Park Plaza Gardens area on Park Avenue. After a major renovation (and a significant delay), Bovine is poised to become the prettiest chophouse in town.
(Opening March; 319 S. Park Ave., Winter Park; bovinesteakhouse.com)
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Photo by Faiyaz Kara
Bread & Co. has reopened as a Japanese restaurant, but they will continue to serve their luxurious Franco-Korean pastries.
Bread & Co.
After the temporary closure at the end of last year, the Franco-Korean bakery was reopened in 2020 with a revision of the interior design and a concept optimization. Yes, they still serve their luxurious breads and pastries, but they now have a variety of savory Japanese dishes to add to their sweeter offerings: yakitori, sandos, curries, and of course, okonomiyaki.
(Opened January; 1230 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park; grassncobakery.com)
Bricks & Spoons
The southern breakfast and lunch place in Lafayette, Louisiana, opens in the Village on Lake Lily and promises to make Bloody Marys and juicy creations itself. And yes, fritters are served.
(Opening at the end of January; 933 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland; Brickandspoonrestaurant.com)
Brother Jimmy’s BBQ
The New York-based Carolina grill chain Brother Jimmy’s will be opening two smokehouses in the city this year: A counter service facility is to be set up in the old Which ‘Wich area on the market square at Dr. Phillips and another full-service operation will open operations in the former Adobe Gilas room in Pointe Orlando. Let the napkins fly.
(Opening June at 7800 Dr. Phillips Blvd .; Fall opening at 9101 International Drive; Brotherjimmys.com)
Bumby Arcade in Church Street Station Food Hall
An 18-story dining hall with the beautiful orchid garden on Church Street will no doubt attract more people to the venue than it did in the days of the old Church Street Station. Let’s hope the vendors are as worthy as the Victorian architecture.
(Opening Spring; 110 W. Church St .; no website)
If you’ve ever been to Essex Street Market on the Lower East Side, Plaza Food Hall in Midtown, or Dekalb Market Hall in Brooklyn, you might have indulged in a coffee and croissant from Cafe D’Avignon. Now this NYC-based cafe / bakery has opened its first outpost outside the Big Apple on Sunset Walk in the Margaritaville Resort. More cafes are on the way.
(Opened in January; 3260 Margaritaville Blvd., Kissimmee; cafedavignon.com)
City Works Eatery & Pour House
An upscale sports bar experience with 90+ local and global beers on tap should go down well at Disney Springs’ culinary Circus Maximus. When it comes to food, expect classic Americans with “modern twists”.
(Opening February; 1486 E. Buena Vista Drive, Disney Springs; cityworksrestaurant.com)
Pizza & bar kitchen
The West Palm Beach-based pizza outfit will launch its own pizza concept in the old California tortilla section on Church Street. They tout their fresh, local ingredients (a herb wall can be built in for hyperlocality), and a bar should properly clear the downtown club set.
(Opening summer; 55 W. Church St .; Cucinapizza.com)