The surrounding community of Gatorland boasts some of the best Latin food, American comfort food and breakfast munchies in the whole Sunshine State. Whether you’re looking for some famous barbeque, hoping to keep the kiddos happy, or planning a romantic evening out, the restaurants near Gatorland are guaranteed to satisfy the pickiest of eaters. All these eateries are within a 20-minute drive from Gatorland!
That’s without talking about munching on the local delicacy, Gator Nuggets – although, we can recommend a place for that, too! So, assuming you’ve booked your tickets to Gatorland, let’s tuck in.
Best spot for a quick bite: PDQ Restaurant
PDQ Restaurant is the perfect spot for some quick grub after spending a long day with prehistoric predators. This is one of the best-reviewed restaurants near Gatorland and is known for its delicious chicken recipes, crispy waffle fries, and incredible side sauces.
Apparently, it has both KFC and Chick-Fil-A beat with their juicy crispy chicken sandwich. One reviewer claims that if you’re ever feeling down, you should head to PDQ and order a side of honey butter! Sounds like you can’t go wrong by stopping at PDQ.
Best restaurant for romantic couples: Highball & Harvest
This farm-to-table restaurant at The Ritz-Carlton Orlando is the perfect romantic dinner venue for you and your partner. The handcrafted cocktails at Highball & Harvest are reason alone to make a trip!
This spot is known for its chic ambiance, interactive dining experience, and iconic Southern-inspired dishes. Reviewers recommend the burrata and the timeless classic, shrimp and grits! For those craving a late-night caffeine kick, order the fresh espresso amaretto drink.
Best spot for breakfast pastries: Fortuna Bakery & Café
This Colombian bakery might just force you to eat dessert first. As you walk into the Fortuna Bakery, you’ll notice their incredible pastry display, making it hard to choose just one!
Reviewers of this delicious restaurant near Gatorland recommend their scrumptious fruit cake, their pandebonos, and arepa de chócolo. For those without a sweet tooth looking for something savory, then you’re in luck. This bakery also serves beef empanadas. You might just have to come back to try it all!
Best restaurant for families: Rustica’s Chicken
This no-frills, low-key restaurant has some of the best Peruvian food in the state. If you’re visiting Orlando for the first time, then don’t miss out on some lip-smackingly good food from the diverse cultures local to Central Florida.
Rustica’s Chicken is one of the friendliest family restaurants near Gatorland that can also accommodate larger parties. Ultimately known for their rotisserie chicken, reviewers claim the ceviche can’t be beaten, and don’t leave without having your kids try the chicha morada juice.
Best restaurant for seafood: Las Palmas
Another local favorite, Las Palmas has some of the best Colombian cuisine out of all the restaurants near Gatorland. You might want to book a reservation because this spot is popular and offers live music on weekend nights. Known for its huge variety of fish, the dishes will always be authentic and fresh. Don’t skip on dessert, and make sure to order the Tres Leches popsicles.
Best restaurant in Gatorland: Pearl’s Good Eats
This restaurant, named after Gatorland cofounder, Pearl Godwin, was originally named Pearl’s Smokehouse. In 1991, Pearl’s Good Eats took over and became one of the best diners in the Sunshine State.
Open daily for lunch and dinner, you can find this eatery in Gatorland, near the Gator Wrestlin’ Arena. If your stomach is growling like a hungry croc, there are scrumptious hamburgers, hotdogs, chicken sandwiches, and even gator nuggets! Don’t worry, they don’t cook up gators from the local swamp, but this local Floridian delicacy is definitely a great ‘bite’. This diner is affordable, family-friendly, and a perfect place to stop for lunch in the park. There’s also a coffee shop and a snack bar inside Gatorland.
Best spot to buy some Gator Chow: The Gator Chow Stand
Why should humans get all the good food? If you want to feed the gators, don’t lose a hand. Just pick up some Gator Chow in the park. Gator Chow is a pellet specially designed for alligators and crocodiles. It’s a great nutritional supplement for their diet. You’ll find dozens of gators floating in the water just waiting to be fed! Gators always appreciate the extra grub. You can pick these pellets up at the Gator Chow Stand.
What is Gatorland?
Now that you’re up to scratch on the restaurants near Gatorland you can get to exploring inside this top Orlando day trip destination. But what’s it all about exactly?
This reptilian kingdom started in the 1940s with one man’s love for alligators, crocodiles, and hotdogs. Owen Godwin owned a hotdog/hamburger stand near a swamp and just happened to befriend the local amphibian residents. Over time, Owen and his wife, Pearl, saw the potential to combine their love for gators with their wish to educate the public about these 150-million-year-old creatures.
Today, Gatorland is 73-years strong and has grown to 110 acres of diverse swamp wildlife. The gator paradise even added a Screamin’ Gator Zipline and an off-road buggy adventure for some more thrills. Soaring over hundreds of alligators will get your heart racing and your stomach rumbling.
Whether you’re traveling with your family, planning an adventurous couple’s date, or a company-wide retreat, there’s entertainment for everyone here.