Celebration, Florida is the place to go if you want to see gorgeous houses with inviting front porches, a great lifestyle, and recreational opportunities on quiet, tree-lined streets. Because wonderful cuisine comes with all of those nice stuff.
The Walt Disney Corporation envisioned a planned community with the purpose of creating a better place and a better way to live.
Although Disney is no longer a part of Celebration, the town has evolved into a vibrant, flourishing city with an outstanding downtown area.
To be clear, Celebration’s postal address stretches west of I-4, but I only visited the non-chain eateries in the downtown area around the lake.
Visiting other places in Florida? See our other guides:
- 9 Must-Try Marco Island Restaurants
- 13 Fun Things To Do In San Marco Island
- The 9 Best Amelia Island Restaurants & 9 Fun Things To Do In Amelia Island
- 9 Fun Things To Do In Vero Beach Florida
- 8 Best Vero Beach Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Clearwater Florida Restaurants
- 7 Best Kissimmee Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Cape Coral Restaurants
- 9 Must-Try Madison FL Restaurants
- 10 Must-Try Restaurants In Palm Beach Florida
- 6 Must-Try Indian Rocks Beach Restaurants
- 13 Best Disney Springs Restaurants
- 7 Must-Try Universal CityWalk Restaurants
- 20 Best Restaurants In Universal Studios
The Top 7 Celebration, Florida Restaurants
The Downtown Diner
Front Street, (407) 566-8698701.
When I asked everybody who lived or worked in Celebration what eateries I shouldn’t miss, the Downtown Diner came up almost quickly. They offer breakfast all day and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. before closing at 2 p.m. There is both indoor and outdoor seating available.
Enter the usual din and clattering of dishes and cutlery. Please leave your name or request immediate seating with the hostess on the left. Check out the music before the counter sitting, or browse the sweets.
When I arrived, the restaurant was packed, but I was soon seated. The waitress advised me that there would be a 30-minute wait for my lunch, but their Internet was fast and there was no hurry.
I could see everything going on along the lake from the window. Theres a walkway for your daily stroll that encircle the lake.
Returning to the menu, I started with the lunch section. The Berry Chicken Salad looked delicious, and the side menu is broad. Chicken pot pie, turkey supper, country fried chicken, ham with macaroni and cheese, Shepherds Pie, and country fried steak are among the comfort foods available. Sandwich options included corned beef or roast beef, as well as an Italian wrap.
The selections continued for two pages, giving me enough to try in the two weeks I was in the region. And today, when I presented my two alternatives to my server, her face lighted up when she suggested the latter. That’s a good indication, you know.
Looking at the breakfast menu, I was surprised to find starters, which was another first for me. Pancake bacon dippers, bagel sliders, and strawberry banana pancake skewers are available. Innovative and entertaining.
Eggcelent offerings include two and three egg dinners, a Celebration plate, sandwiches, and healthier selections. Their Downtown Delights menu includes traditional southern breakfast items such as chicken and waffles, biscuits and gravy, and chicken biscuits and gravy.
My attention was pulled to the pancakes and speciality pancakes, though. Buttermilk, blueberry, funfetti, chocolate chip, cinnamon roll, apple crisp, or lemon ricotta are some of the flavors available. Wow! There are some serious alternatives. It’s no surprise they have that route along the lake. I’d have to go for a walk to burn some of it off.
Belgian, Berry Wonderful, Peanut Butter & Banana, and cinnamon roll waffles are among the waffle varieties. Likewise, there are several pancake options.
Fancy pancakes take more time to prepare and are sprinkled with powdered sugar. I asked the server her favorite among Dutch Baby, Fresh Berry Dutch Baby, and Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby.
Her eyes widened as she saw the Apple Cinnamon Dutch Baby. Maybe that’s when she told me that it may take a half-hour.
As the pancake came, I discovered it was a German pancake prepared with thinly sliced apples, cinnamon, and powdered sugar, but cooked in a deep-dish cast-iron skillet for a crispy bottom and soft top.
That was delectable. Particularly when it’s scorching hot. I was called away for a phone call, and although the food was still wonderful, it wasn’t as good as it had been served right off the stove. So be sure you’ll be able to complete it at the restaurant.
(407) 566-1505649 Front St.
This Spanish restaurant was usually the first or second spot folks named as their favorite place to celebrate. Columbia stays popular year after year, whether for a birthday, anniversary, or graduation.
Enter to find a suit of armor ready for your picture shoot. On the left is a gift store, and there is both indoor and outdoor seats for your dining enjoyment. Tables predominate, with a few banquette seats available. Even in 90-degree temperatures, the overhead fans and air conditioning keep the temperature bearable.
Take advantage of the chance to read much of the history on the menu once seated. In 1905, the Gonzmart family built this eatery. They take tremendous satisfaction in their ties with distilleries throughout the globe that have welcomed them back on tasting excursions for five generations. Reading about their excursions to the Spey distillery in Scotland’s Cairngorm Mountains made even a non-drinker like myself envy.
The restaurant’s designation as Food & Wine Magazine’s finest sandwich in Florida and the history of the first Cuban sandwich are fittingly highlighted while serving a Mahi Mahi Cubana, Curts meatloaf sandwich, Palomilla steak sandwich, or a half and half combination.
If you’re in the mood for tapas, try the black bean cakes, championes rellenos, queso fundido, Ybor City Crab Croquettes, or empanadas created from a recipe passed down through generations. Essentially, you could order practically anything on the menu and have a delicious supper.
Sandwiches and tapas were easily available around noon. The Empanadas de Picadillo began with a picadillo recipe, which included seasoned ground beef, garlic, tomato, onions, raisins, and olives. I liked how the raisins added sweetness and texture to an old favorite.
Flan, churros, key lime pie, and white chocolate bread pudding are among the dessert selections. Any of them would be a wonderful option for a celebration supper. Perhaps just a typical day out.
The Lakeside Bar and Restaurant
400-766-6000700 Bloom Street
This wonderful boutique hotel is located on the lake in a remote part of town. Its design reminds me of a lighthouse. The outdoor living furniture is well arranged, with socially separated area for visitors.
As you enter the restaurant via the foyer, you’ll see six inner tables and six outside tables, so call ahead for reservations since they fill up quickly. You may walk around the lake on the trail that begins to the right of the hotel.
The bartender and server are kind and make you want to remain for a while. And take them up on their invitation to return often.
This restaurant also participates in the Magical Dining for Charity initiative. The Lakeside Bar & Grill and many other restaurants in the Orlando region offer a three-course dinner with three choices for first, main, or dessert courses for a set fee. Wine pairings are also available.
When traditionally inspired recipes are beautifully upgraded, old favorites become new faves all over again, as the saying goes. Enjoy the gorgeous lakefront from inside or outside.
Fried calamari, Hunters board, crispy brussel sprouts, and an heirloom tomato burrata are among the shareable delicacies.
Soups and salads include the Caesar and power bowl, as well as an iced gazpacho, a zesty tomato, farm box cucumber, and cucumber salsa.
A smoked turkey breast club, spiced whiskey burger, pulled pork sandwich, and hot honey chicken sandwich are among their lunches.
The entrees, on the other hand, piqued my interest. Although the grilled petit filet was appealing, as was the Joyce Farms Chicken with root vegetables, the pan-seared red snapper with asparagus and a mango avocado relish won out when I realized I could replace the coconut rice.
I had never eaten snapper before my trip to Placencia, Belize, but I now know it’s a tasty fish. Let me be the first to state that this chef imparted additional levels of taste to the fresh snapper that I hadn’t experienced by merely cooking it. The dry-fried asparagus was delicious, and the mango relish was light and refreshing.
There was no space for dessert, but the alternatives enticed me to return for a sample. Fresh strawberries and cinnamon flavor the apple tart. As surrounding guests sampled the rustic three-berry tart and flourless chocolate torte, they seemed sumptuous. Cheesecake and Key Lime Pie are also on the menu.
It is clear that there are several alternatives to pick from and numerous reasons to return.
Mulligan’s Irish Tavern
Blake Blvd (407) 566-050139
Celebrations Irish Pub has been open since 2006, and stepping in and seeing the owner and crew putting twinkle lights around the bar made me happy.
Their pub food is simple and traditional Irish. They serve jumbo fried wings in a variety of sauces (including fire buffalo), sausage rolls, nachos, fried cheese curds with a tangy marinara dipping sauce, chips and salsa, Irish Nachos (with sour cream), pretzel sticks (yum! ), quesadilla with cheddar jack cheese, chicken tenders, or a sampler as appetizers.
Although you may not be able to resist the Guinness stew, check out the Pot O Gold for soups and salads. This creamy loaded baked potato soup with shredded cheddar cheese, bacon, and chives will transport you to the Emerald Isle. They also have chili and three salads on the menu. Take away or for here.
A cheeseburger, Rueben, BLTC (C for cheese), chicken salad wrap, Pretzel Burger, Beer Battered Fish Sandwich, Buffalo Chicken Tender Sandwich, or grilled roast beef with garlic butter on toasted French bread with au jus are among the sandwich options.
The roast beef was a no-brainer for me. The shavings were thin and paired wonderfully with just the appropriate amount of garlic butter (more available should you desire it). The au jus wasn’t necessary for the sandwich, although I know many people like the brown gravy for dipping.
Beer-battered fish and chips, Shepherds Pie, Bangers N Mash (British sausages with garlic mashed potatoes), and open-faced roast beef are among their main courses.
I’d be hard pushed not to try the pretzel sticks, chicken salad wrap, and dessert selections the next time I visit. I’m going to pass on the mushy peas, like I did in Dublin, but they’re still on the menu.
Even better, they hold trivia night every second Monday of the month. The first reward is a pre-determined bar tab. It’s entertaining to go to trivia night with friends and win some prizes.
Chinese Restaurant Le China
Blake Blvd (321) 939-246237
One shocking thing I’ve discovered about Florida is how tough it is to locate excellent Chinese cuisine. It may not help that, with the Covid Delta variation still in operation, numerous eateries continue to provide take-out exclusively.
This eatery was simple to locate in the plaza near the Publix off Celebration Avenue, accepting orders by phone or online. Buying online was the most convenient option.
The Crab Rangoon was delicious. The edamame was cooked to perfection. The sesame chicken was sweet and flavorful. The order was correct, and the steamed rice was hot and fresh. So, altogether, not bad.
Fried wontons, potstickers, chicken or beef teriyaki, and seaweed salad are all available.
Their chow mein or chop suey comes with a choice of five proteins: chicken, roast pig, veggie, beef, or shrimp. The proteins were the same in the Lo Mein.
On a future visit, I can see my daughter ordering the Hawaiian Fried Rice. And maybe the Sweet & Sour Shrimp to test how their sweet sauce compares to the sesame chicken sauce.
Fresh Greek Little Grill
Blake Blvd (407) 566-473645
Located in the Publix building, numerous local employees have remarked on how delicious the Greek cuisine is here. The Spanakopita, a spinach pie with flaky phyllo pastry packed with a spinach and cheese filling, was the most often cited food. Tzatziki sauce is new to me, but it seems to go with everything, even pita chips. They are correct. It’s delectable.
If you’re in the mood for a salad, try the Village Salad with NO lettuce, a Caesar Salad, or a Greek Salad in regular or tiny quantities. You may customize your Greek salad with beets, potato salad, feta cheese, kalamata olives, pepperoncini peppers, red onion, green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, or lettuce. An old saying, “If you leave here hungry, it’s your own fault,” is accurate.
You could be interested in their skewered proteins for a light meal: chicken, steak, fish, or lamb. Instead, a pita or wrap with the tzatziki sauce and your choice of protein, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions.
Their sweets in the baking case seemed to be delectable. Baklava and handmade rice pudding were offered on the day I visited.
And the meals, which come with pita bread and feature the gyro platter, chicken skewers, steak skewers, salmon skewers, or lamb skewers, will satisfy your Greek cravings.
If you like Greek cuisine, this is the place to be in Celebration. Opa!
Blake Blvd (321) 939-430041
Wooden tables and chairs greet you as you enter, simplified to direct your attention to the huge, red pizza oven in the center of the restaurant. With cans of tomatoes, bags of Caputo, and olive oils stored along the right side wall, you know this dough is fresh.
The staff is kind and helpful, making it even simpler to explore the options on the wall.
Pound meatball, parmesan garlic pizzetta, avocado pizzetta, and meat and cheese boards are among the appetizers. Salad options include the house salad, Caesar, Chopped Panzanella, and a delicious Caprese salad with chicken.
Pizza classics include cheese, margarita, sausage and mushroom, and pepperoni. The person I talked with says his favorite is the sausage and mushroom, which sells nicely, but nothing beats cheese or pepperoni.
If it seems like you’re getting a lot of pizza, consider that you’re on vacation and may be searching for something hot, fresh, and enjoyable after seeing Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando, Sea World, or any of the other fantastic attractions in the region.