Even though it’s centrally located, Orlando will surprise you with the Caribbean influence you often find along Florida’s coast. Miami has the reputation of being Florida’s culinary capital because of its Latin, Caribbean, and American flavors, but there’s no shortage in Orlando thanks to Black-owned restaurants. Orlando has it all.

Here are the best Black-owned restaurants to visit in Orlando and what to order at each one. 

Caribbean Sunshine Bakery

Caribbean Sunshine Bakery has it all. Fantastic food, great drinks, and wonderful service. They have all that on a consistent basis at the three locations in Orlando. What most people do when they venture to Caribbean Sunshine Bakery is try a few things on the menu at once since there are a lot of excellent Caribbean options to choose from. One dish that is the reigning champ is the oxtails.

  • Locations: Silver Star, Rock Lake, Winter Garden
  • Owner: Peter Daley
  • Type of Cuisine: Caribbean
  • Menu Spotlight: Jerk Chicken (Spicy), Curry Chicken
  • Before you go: Delivers up to five miles around restaurant locations. Pick-up is available, but guests can’t order through a third-party platform. Closed on major holidays.

Mark’s Jamaican Bar & Grill

When you want something that packs flavor so good that it makes you want to dance wherever you are, Mark’s Jamaican Bar & Grill is that place for locals. What’s also great about the authentic island cuisine at Mark’s Jamaican Bar & Grill is that there are also fantastic vegan and vegetarian dishes for people to enjoy that are also delicious. Fro patties, fried dumplings, jerk chicken, rice, and peas — there are so many great things on the menu to try.

  • Location: Summer Woods in Suncrest Village
  • Owner: Chef Mark
  • Type of Cuisine: Jamaican
  • Menu Spotlight: Fried Plantains, Curry Goat, Red Snapper, Jamaican Patties, Rice and Beans
  • Before you go: You can place orders online.

Negril Spice

Guests who venture to Negril Jamaican Restaurant will find they don’t have to travel to Jamaica for an authentic culinary experience. Negril Spice is known as a journey to Jamaica on a plate. Constantly rated as one of the best Jamaican restaurants in Orlando and Central Florida, Negril Spice offers delicious Jamaican meals and great drinks in a casual, friendly atmosphere.

Two locations in Orlando serve rich flavors and warm hospitality that make you feel right at home in Negril.

  • Location: Historic Downtown Sanford
  • Owners: Jeff Bacchas
  • Type of Cuisine: Jamaican
  • Menu Spotlight: Stewed Chicken, Curry Chicken Oxtails
  • Before you go: You can place orders online.

Nikki’s Place

Going inside Nikki’s Place is eating at a place with so much history. Owner Nick Aiken has been in the food and restaurant industry since 1952, when he began working in his aunt’s restaurant. After graduating high school and Johnson Junior College, he continued perfecting his craft, allowing him to gain a reputation as a great chef. That reputation is why he’s had the privilege of serving Muhammad Ali, Coretta Scott King, and Elvis Presley. 

At Nikki’s Place, guests don’t have to choose between great service and great food. This soul food restaurant brings rest to your soul.

  • Location: Griffin Park Historic District
  • Owner: Nick Aiken
  • Type of Cuisine: Southern 
  • Menu Spotlight: Fried Chicken, Spicy and Smoked Greens, Catfish and Grits, Shrimp and Grits.
  • Before you go: Strict about closing time. Will not accept orders or guests 30 minutes before closing.

Nile Ethiopian

Founded in 2006, Nile Ethiopian is an award-winning restaurant in the heart of International Drive. Surrounded by tourist attractions, it’s the kind of place you try once and will make you want to plan a trip back to Orlando to try again. Nile serves mouth-watering Ethiopian dishes with signature house spices. What sets its dishes apart is that you can taste the high-quality ingredients in its signature dishes.

Nile Ethiopian is a fusion of authentic cultural ambiance and excellent customer service that provides an unforgettable experience.

  • Location: International Blvd.
  • Owner: Abeba Gonesse
  • Type of Cuisine: Ethiopian
  • Menu Spotlight: Sambusa, Beef Tibs, Tomato Fitfit, Lamb Tibs, Meat Combination, Honey Wine.
  • Before you go: Vegetarian and vegan options are available.

Oley’s Kitchen and Smokehouse

When you want to experience southern hospitality and flavorful food while visiting Central Florida, Oley’s Kitchen and Smokehouse is the way to go. It serves “southern style” hospitality and is known for the town’s best homestyle soul food and barbecue. It’s a family-oriented restaurant that’s also perfect for even the pickiest and youngest eaters because the diverse menu features an array of options from turkey wings, smothered neck bones,  meatloaf, and Caribbean jerk pork.

  • Location: Horizons West
  • Owners: Karl and Clover Brown
  • Type of Cuisine: Southern
  • Menu Spotlight: Turkey Wings, Smothered Neck Bones,  Meatloaf, and Caribbean Jerk Pork.
  • Before you go: You can place orders online.

Sister Honey’s Bakery

Believe the hype when it comes to Sister Honey’s Bakery. The bakery is decorated with more than sprinkles, sugar, and yummy frosting. Sister Honey’s is the first-ever three-time winner of the World Dessert Champion, a James Beard Award Semifinalist, has entered the Dining Hall of Fame in Orlando, and so much more. The award-winning bakery offers artisan baked goods and delectable sweet treats. Sister Honey’s bakery items are made fresh daily with premium ingredients that you can taste in every bite.

  • Location: SoDo District
  • Owner: Evette Rahman
  • Type of Cuisine: American
  • Menu Spotlight: Key Lime Pie, Hummingbird Cake, Blueberry Lemon Bread Pudding.
  • Before you go: Email orders or requests are not accepted.

Smoke Made + Meats

Smokemade Meats + Eats is a family-owned and operated barbecue restaurant and caterer bringing the flavor and authenticity of Central Texas BBQ to Orlando, Florida.

Owner and pitmaster Tyler Brunach knew he was sitting on barbecue gold when he realized his food would sell out at pop-ups in minutes. That’s what inspired him to find a brick-and-mortar location. While this may be his first location, don’t expect it to be the last. The food is just that good.

  • Location: Curry Ford West
  • Owner: Tyler Brunach
  • Type of Cuisine: Southern, Texas-style barbecue
  • Menu Spotlight: Smoked Brisket, Pork Spare Ribs, Turkey Breast, Pulled Pork, House-made Sausages.
  • Before you go: Reservations are not accepted. Serves vegetarian dishes.

Soul Food Fantasy

Just 12 minutes north of Orlando in Eatonville is an unexpected gem: Soul Food Fantasy.

There are very few places we would recommend eating repeatedly while on vacation, but Soul Food Fantasy is the kind of restaurant that’s so good that you should try it once a day to figure out what you like best. The good news is that it will take you a long time to figure it out. There’s not one bad thing on the menu.

  • Location: Eatonville 
  • Owner: Tina Redding
  • Type of Cuisine: Southern
  • Menu Spotlight: Steak Alfredo Bowl, Seafood Egg Rolls, Honey Chicken Wings, Candied Yams, Mac & Cheese
  • Before you go: Doesn’t accept reservations

StreetWise Urban Food

Chef Pierre started StreetWise Urban Food. He wanted to give customers a unique experience by serving top-quality street food with an awesome flavor and beautiful presentation in an urban and fun environment fit for the whole family.

Chef Pierre’s background is in high-end resorts and restaurants. The Cordon Bleu graduate is passionate about good food and excellent service. All the food is made fresh to order.

  • Location: Rock Lake 
  • Owner: Chef Pierre
  • Type of Cuisine: Southern fusion
  • Menu Spotlight: Kickin Chicken, Steak & Steak Sandwich, Bangin Beignets
  • Before you go: Doesn’t accept reservations

Black-owned restaurants prove that Orlando is more than a theme park destination or a stopover on the way to Cape Canaveral for a cruise. A diverse and flavorful culinary scene is emerging in Orlando thanks to Black restaurant owners. While Orlando ranks high for theme parks and resorts, be sure to visit the best of Black-owned restaurants during your visit.