Knife, fork, plate ... bo-ring. One of the many things kids know best is that nibbling your nourishment off a stick adds an alluring element of “game” to the everyday “meal.” But once they’ve grown into adults who no longer indulge in corn dogs and popsicles on the regular, they forget. (Except on Pinterest, where “food on a stick” seems to be second only to “miniature food” in number of boards.) So we’ve collected a quiverful of our favorite skewered treats from around town – go on, poke a hole in your dull dinner. You can thank us after you lick that steak juice off your elbow.
- illustration by Brendan O'Connor
5801 Conroy Road, 407-578-5711,
As part of their “street food” offerings, BB’s fried chicken & biscuits on a stick are good cause to indulge, especially when dipped in the white pepper country gravy.
Dragonfly Robata Grill & Sushi
7972 Via Dellagio Way, 407-370-3359,
The grill at Dragonfly churns out fine smoked Bincho-tan delicacies, none better than skewers of grilled gyutan (beef tongue), tontoro (pork cheek), Wagyu tenderloin and shishito peppers.
Fantasy Fare Food Truck
Downtown Disney, 407-939-5277,
Look for the bright-red Fantasy Fare truck at Downtown Disney – and when you find it, grab a hand-dipped corn dog, fried to golden-brown perfection. Your inner child will thank you, even if your cardiologist frowns.
7536 Dr. Phillips Blvd., 407-966-2236,
The perfectly charred cylinders of kafta kebab (seasoned ground beef and lamb) at Flame Kabob make for a superlative stick of mince. If red meat ain’t your thing, give their shish tawook (chicken) a twirl.
Fogo de Chão
8282 International Drive, 407-370-0711,
Prior to your feast of traditional Brazilian churrasco, seasoned and sliced to order off waiter-borne swords at this Brazilian house of meat, head to the bar and whet your appetite with grilled spiced shrimp and beef tenderloin skewers.
Fresh to Order
851 N. Alafaya Trail, 407-203-2060,
What makes F2O’s lightly fried chicken skewers unique is the almond-rosemary crust. What makes F2O’s lightly fried chicken skewers addictive is the almond-rosemary crust.
Fulton’s Crab House
1670 Buena Vista Drive, Lake Buena Vista,
Grab a basket of lobster-tail “corn dogs” (get salsa verde and sweet chili aioli on the side), then proceed roaming the grounds of Downtown Disney as wide-eyed tourists gawk enviously.
Gator Country BBQ Food Truck
Get your swamp on and chomp on sautéed gator chunks with pineapple and gator sauce. Hell, eat the stick if you fancy yourself a real Mudda Fricka.
Fantasyland, WDW Magic Kingdom,
Nooooo oooooone eats like Gaston! The long-roasted pork shank is fatty, tender and gigantic (roughly the size of a baaaaarge!), served bone-in, so there’s your “stick.” Best consumed alongside a foamy virgin LeFou’s Brew.
Hanamizuki Japanese Restaurant
8255 International Drive, 407-363-7200, hanamizuki.us
The yakitori is Japanese-style chicken on a skewer, flanked by charred onions, served broiled and brushed with a house-made teriyaki sauce thick with umami.
Hash House a Go Go
5350 International Drive, 407-370-4646, hashhouseagogo.com
Many a skewer has succumbed to the enormity of the foot-tall fried green tomato stack, weighted by chicken salad, goat cheese and a wedge of watermelon.
Hawkers Asian Street Fare
1103 N. Mills Ave., 407-237-0606, hawkersstreetfare.com
The beef meatballs, skewered then slathered in a wonderfully fragrant curry sauce, will always be our fave.
Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville
6000 Universal Blvd., 407-224-2155, margaritavilleorlando.com
Jerk-glazed shrimp skewers dusted with sugared coconut and pierced onto wedges of pineapple offer bold flavor.
Kasa Restaurant & Raw Bar
183 S. Orange Ave., 407-985-5272, kasarestaurant.com
Mini corn cobs smothered with miso-lime aioli, togarashi spices and fresh farmers cheese come lanced on sticks cloaked in scallions.
Lac Viet Bistro
2021 E. Colonial Drive, 407-228-4000, lacvietbistro.com
Shrimp paste on sugarcane: Pureed shrimp is molded around sugar cane stakes and grilled, then served over rice noodles with a generous heap of peanuts, mint and pickled carrots.
South OBT, south of Central Florida Parkway, 407-300-0791
If you’re on your way to one of South OBT’s Latin nightclubs and you see a red school bus, stop and get yourself some cerdo (pork) and pollo (chicken) pinchos.
Red Eye Bar & Grill
2594 Maguire Road, Ocoee, 407-877-0003, redeyebarandgrill.com
A stickful of marinated grilled shrimp equates to a mouthful of awesome. It just gets better when the plump buggers are dipped in tomato-horseradish sauce.
802 Virginia Drive, 407-412-6979, santiagosbodega.com
It’s too hard to choose between pan-grilled shrimp and chorizo skewered with minced garlic or lanced dates stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto, so get ’em both.
3812 E. Colonial Drive, 407-895-0985, seaorlando.com
The chicken satay at SEA (South East Asia) Thai is served with a tiny stone grill, in case you want to add a few more char marks to your skewered meat before dunking it in peanut sauce.
7700 Sand Lake Road, 407-354-5212, seasons52.com
The forgotten white meat gets a memorable Lowcountry makeover with wood-fired turkey basted in a zinfandel barbecue glaze and served over a bed of farro with corn and green beans.
Super Rico Colombian Bistro
57 W. Central Blvd., 407-426-7007, superricocolombia.com
You’re downtown, it’s 2 a.m., you’re utterly sloshed, and thoughts of sizzling meats enter your alky-addled mind. Solution: Stagger over to Super Rico for beef, chicken and vegetarian skewers.
The SWAT Truck
The duo behind SWAT (Skewers With a ’Tude) hit the mark with spiced salmon and Cajun-spiced shrimp, but the “5-0” with grilled Spam, pineapple and onion is a sure shot.
480 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park,
Careful not to poke your eye out – people-watching while eating skewers of mozzarella and cherry tomato slathered in basil aioli can be a dangerous pursuit.
Taste of Peru
9521 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-857-2734, tasteofperuorlando.com
The national street food of Peru is anticuchos – skewered and sliced beef heart, marinated in chilies and spices and grilled over open flame.
9101 International Drive, 407-351-8660, opaorlando.com
You won’t find lamb tenderloin on too many menus around town, let alone lamb tenderloin on a stick, but Taverna Opa’s is a spear of sheer succulence.
Txokos Basque Kitchen
3201 Corrine Drive, 321-972-8852, txokoskitchen.com
At one of the hottest places in town, it’s a cold tapas item – skewered cubes of manchego cheese and figs splashed with sherry dressing – that sticks in our memory.
Zorba’s Greek Taverna
4898 S. Kirkman Road, 407-219-4326, zorbasgreektaverna.com
You’ll dance a lot and lance a lot at Zorba’s in MetroWest, the place where skewerheads can get their char-good fill of beef tenderloin and juicy morsels of chicken.
- illustration by Brendan O'Connor
9472 S. Orange Blossom Trail, 407-240-4922, chaathouseorlando.com
When the weather swelters, do as the Pakistanis do and slurp down a “special Karachi kulfi stick.” It’s a sweet and creamy iced delight.
Curbside Chef Food Truck
If the words “red velvet pancake skewers with quail eggs, spiced candied pecans, maple-cream cheese icing, sun-dried mangoes and fresh fruit” don’t grab your attention, check your pulse.
122 N. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-622-6292, kilwins.com
Did the wafting smell of fresh fudge draw you in? If not, maybe the milk- or dark-chocolate-dipped marshmallows stacked three high on a stick will. Drool.
P Is for Pie
2806 Corrine Drive, 407-745-4743,
Pie is finally portable! Put that flaky crust and favorite filling on a lollipop stick and dessert doesn’t get much more convenient.
300 S. Park Ave., Winter Park, 407-644-3200, peterbrookewp.com
Biting into a full-length frozen banana dipped in Peterbrooke’s fancy milk chocolate is simply a mouthgasmic experience. If you ask real nice, they’ll let you dip your own.
The Pop Parlour
431 E. Central Blvd., 321-348-7677, thepopparlour.com
The recently rebranded popsicle shop (formerly Hyppo) boasts boozy ice pops among their myriad flavors. Look for chill combos like Nutella-Maduro, hopped up with Cigar City’s illustrious brown ale.
The Sugar Suite
1630 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 32751;
Brownies are awesome. Brownie pops on a stick – extra awesome. Salted caramel brownie pops on a stick? Hold us back.
Tortilleria y Paleteria La Mexicana
4304 Curry Ford Road, 407-267-3365
The perfection of a paleta is in its imperfection – either fruit puree mixed with chopped fruit (watch for seeds) or a cream-based concoction enveloping a rustic wooden stick. Favorite flaves: cookies and cream (with whole cookies!) and cantaloupe, aka melón.
- illustration by Brendan O'Connor