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Faiyaz Kara's 55 best restaurants in Orlando

Explore the Orlando Weekly restaurant critic’s essential places to eat in 2018



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Soco Thornton Park - PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
  • Photo by Rob Bartlett
  • Soco Thornton Park

26. Soco

A fave among the city's brunch crowd, Greg Richie's stylish Southern boîte draws Thornton Parkers in with its impressive beverage program. The restaurant embodies a sort of rustic elegance, much like the deluxe Dixie dishes Richie offers. (

27. Reyes Mezcaleria

Sue Chin's design approach to her and husband Jason's NoDo Mexican joint appears to mirror the kitchen's – regionally inspired, with an impressively festive and folksy pastiche of elements you'll eye longingly, just as you will the carefully constructed Oaxacan-leaning dishes. (

28. Nile Ethiopian

To sample the cuisine from the "Cradle of Humanity" is to sample the cuisine of our past. At Ermias Hailab and Abeba Gonetse's Ethiopian restaurant, it amounts to scooping gently stewed and spiced dishes from communal plates with spongy, tangy injera. It's the one eatery worth braving the stupid I-Drive traffic for, plus the post-meal coffee ceremony can't be beat. (

29. The Pharmacy

The throwback speakeasy disguised as an apothecary is as fun a restaurant as it is food-focused and, for Dr. Phillippians looking for a change of pace from the slew of pedestrian offerings along Sand Lake Road, there's really no better choice. Like chef/owner Loren Falsone's modern American plates, the stiff hand-crafted poisons designed by Dominick Tardugno are an unquestionable draw. (

Black Rooster Taqueria - PHOTO BY ROB BARTLETT
  • Photo by Rob Bartlett
  • Black Rooster Taqueria

30. Black Rooster Taqueria

Black Rooster Taqueria isn't your average taqueria, esé. It kickstarted our better taco movement, and theirs are as corpulent as they are carefully and authentically constructed – bracing epazote in the vegetarian taco and earthy achiote in a pork shoulder slow-roasted in a banana leaf are poca madre. The pork fat taco will make you cream, while comforting bowls of pozole verde and beef achiote are two of the most pleasurable slurps in Mills 50. (

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