Avenue Gastrobar 13 S. Orange Ave., 407-839-5039, avenuegastrobar.com A swanky spot in the CBD, versatile Avenue Gastrobar serves lunches and brunches as effortlessly as beer and cocktails. Indulge with the Avenue quesadilla, a melty concoction of chorizo, chicken, roasted red peppers, cheddar, caramelized onions and barbecue sauce, $8.50.
Handy Pantry 522 E. Amelia St., 407-423-8954 The beloved Lake Eola convenience store also serves sandwiches named after nearby streets. We like the Highland, which is basically a chicken club, though the American cheese takes the country-club shine off. It's $7.49 with a pickle spear, a cookie and a bag of chips.
KrungThep Tea Time 1051 W. Fairbanks Ave., Winter Park, 407-733-3561, facebook.com/krungthepteatime Thai classics in sandwich form? Yes, please. Their version of gra-prow (basil chicken) takes surprisingly well to being pressed on pumpernickel: chicken, red pepper, onion, mozzarella and basil mayo, $8.
Mediterranean Deli 981 W. Fairbanks Ave., 407-539-2650 As evidenced by multiple Best of Orlando wins, Med Deli is Orlando's most popular affordable Middle Eastern. The gyro combo sandwich plus salad (we crave their tabbouleh) is $7.48.
Neighborhood Eatery 231 N. Magnolia Ave., 407-648-1050, orl-eats.com As you'd expect from a downtown lunch joint (open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Neighborhood serves the basic range of sandwiches – but it's the Korean section of the menu that catches our fancy. The bulgogi plate is satisfying at $8.99; the Insanity Fries, $4.99, live up to their name topped with onions, cheese, peppers, ranch dressing and a fried egg.
Pho 88 730 N. Mills Ave., 407-897-3488; also 9728 E. Colonial Drive, 407-930-7670, pho88orlando.com There's nothing more warming, filling or comforting than a big bowl of beef pho, and they start at $8.50 at Pho 88.
Pizzeria Del-Dio 3210 E. Colonial Drive, 407-898-1115, pizzeriadel-dio.com A perennial Orlando fave that's usually only thought of when the desire strikes for a delivered pie. But their lunch special, a 6-inch sub with fries and a drink, is a steal at $7.95 (try the classic hot pepper-and-egg).
Q'Kenan 8117 Vineland Ave., 407-238-0014 Why not desayunos (breakfast) for lunch? It's served down in tourist town at this tasty Venezuelan hole-in-the-wall until 2 p.m., and the Andino (tomato-onion-egg scramble, black beans, cheese and an arepa) sets you back only $7.50.
The Sanctum Café 715 N. Ferncreek Ave., 407-757-0346, thesanctumcafe.com Orlando's latest vegan venture is a surprise hit, with lines out the door for brunch and weekend dinner, but lunch is still an easy get. Organic vegan goodness doesn't come cheap, but the Karma Bowl (brown rice or quinoa with chef's daily selection of bean or protein, roasted and fresh veggies, and your choice of sauce) is just $8.
Tasty Wok 1246 E. Colonial Drive, 407-896-8988 The rows of shiny-skinned hanging ducks may make you want to splurge, but stick to the rice platters to keep costs under control. The "barbecued pig with crispy skin" platter comes with steamed white rice and Chinese broccoli for $7.75 – plenty of calories for relatively few dollars.