Orlando may get a lot of things right, but barbecue is at the very top. Lately, lots of people have been asking me for my opinions on the top barbecue restaurants in Orlando. Let me just preface this by saying that I love barbecue-themed restaurants, so these reviews are probably a little biased. If you only eat vegetables, look elsewhere.
First up is Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa. The name’s a little weird, but if you were only in Orlando for one night and had to pick a restaurant I would definitely suggest them. Found between Lake Formosa and Lake Highland in Orlando, this restaurant ranks at the top of my list for a reason. When most people hear the word “barbecue”, they probably think of either fried chicken or ribs.
Those people need to eat at more restaurants in Orlando. Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa has great variety on their menu, even offering unexpected things like butter chicken tacos. If you’re looking for a restaurant to eat a quiet meal, then Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa also has you covered. Some restaurants are so uproariously loud that you can’t converse with the people you’re eating with. Don’t believe me? Read all the great reviews people have left on google and other review sites.
Another thing they get right is ambience. Pig Floyd’s isn’t too dark, and they don’t have a ton of crazy colors everywhere that distract you from eating. Honestly, I have to say that I appreciate their art selection. It enhances your stay without being too much, if you understand what I mean. There aren’t any giant pictures of gross pigs, or excessive things like that. Just pleasant-looking paintings.
For those of you more in the mood for Oriental food, there’s always Kimchi’s Korean Grill. Kimchi’s has a way larger menu than most restaurants, so I would recommend it for anyone. I’m sure they can accommodate any kind of palette. Located near Wadeview Park in Orlando, you can also take your food to go like I always do. Bear in mind that Kimchi’s isn’t a traditional Korean restaurant, as it aligns more to an American taste. Hence the barbecue part. Don’t let that scare you off though, because this food would taste amazing no matter which country it came from. I really appreciate the professional-acting wait staff, because the waiters aren’t always great everywhere you go.
Sometimes they’re actually too friendly and you just want to eat in peace, and other restaurants don’t even appear to have waiters. Kimchi’s waiters are neither of those. It may be reinforcing a stereotype, but Kimchi’s is also extremely clean. Even the bathrooms are squeaky clean, which a lot of expensive restaurants in Orlando can’t seem to get right. One thing that I’ve noticed missing from their great reviews is the accommodations for children and the elderly.
I witnessed an old man in a wheel chair who was escorted to his seat, and then asked if he needed further assistance. That experience alone was enough to make me want to come back for more. Once I’m an old man in a wheelchair and I’m looking for bi bim bop, Kimchi’s Korean Grill is the first place I’ll think of.
Next up is Gyu-Kaku Japanese BBQ. This restaurant gives off the impression that it’s one of those first-class restaurants where everyone drinks out of glass-shaped diamonds. However, only the first part of that is true. This one’s found near Spring Lake in Orlando, so you can also go on a walk while you eat. Or sit down at a bench, that way your stomach doesn’t turn. I was so impressed by how new and high-end the interior appeared that I was dying to see their kitchen.
At the my behest, the waiter helped me find my way in there soon enough. Not only were the chefs able to manage multiple orders at once, but they were doing it with such efficiency that they almost seemed like robots. My dad owns a hood cleaning business so I’ve been exposed to the worst of the worst when it comes to exhaust kitchen hoods. Gyu-Kaku has an amazing Orlando hood cleaning business on their payroll from what I’ve seen. Looks like my dad has some pretty stiff competition in Florida.
My favorite dish to order at Gyu-Kaku is their lamb chops. The chefs use just the right amount of sauce so that they aren’t dry, but you’re also not eating lamb soup. The dish is good enough to prevent me from ordering anything else, no matter how many times I’ve been to this restaurant. After dining, leave your thoughts beside mine in the mountain of positive reviews.
Last but not least, if you’re unimpressed by all three others you can always dine at Star BBQ Orlando. This one is found near Lake Jessamine in Orlando. This place is for the late midnight snack when nothing else can fill the empty void in your stomach. Anyone looking for French proportions, look elsewhere. The chefs here make sure that nobody goes home hungry. Although the name might not imply it, Star BBQ is actually another Asian BBQ restaurant. Orlando seems to have tons of good Asian restaurants. Especially barbecue ones. Read the great reviews on google if you’re still on the fence.
There’s three things I love about this place: the prices, the service, and of course the food. First up, the prices. You can’t find better food elsewhere in Orlando, unless you managed to track someone down who got their Star BBQ to go. Next up, the service. I always appreciate smiling wait staff, because it shows you that they can act professional, no matter what else is happening around them.
The waiters at this restaurant don’t bother you too much while you’re trying to eat, but also manage to assure that you always have everything you need to enjoy your stay. Finally, there’s the food. My favorite dish is the seafood tofu soup, but somehow calling it my favorite still seems to be an understatement. Good job, Star BBQ. Absolutely looking forward to my next Orlando visit.