Best of ORL 2021 – Food & Drink

Helena V Berbie

Food & Drink | Home & Shopping | People & Media | Fun & Leisure | Health & Beauty | Kids & Pets


Downtown Restaurant

Maxine’s on Shine

Sexy, Comfortable and Delicious

As the 10th anniversary approaches for neighborhood restaurant Maxine’s on Shine, owners Maxine and Kirt Earhart are delighted to have “solidified our love affair with the community,” Kirt says. “We’re looking forward to building on that.”

Popular with locals for its warm hospitality, tasty dishes, expansive drinks menu and live entertainment, Maxine’s on Shine returns to a charming new normal as the November celebration looms. Where once there was a parking lot, there now are raised-platform “islands of safety and comfort” for alfresco dining. Just added: a covered dog run with swamp coolers and a new doggie menu for pooch pals (Maxine’s on Shine also won the top spot for Best Pet-Friendly Restaurant). Eclectic music returns with favorite musicians such as Justin Kangrga performing blues, folk and rock. Resident artist Panther Brunotte paints on site. And 80-year-old Chef George Vogelbacher whips up menu favorites like lobster ravioli, cioppino and chicken Parmesan.

Maxine, who lobbied fervently to help pass Florida’s 2018 liquor license law for smaller downtown restaurants, attributes the couple’s success to “perseverance and passion.” Her flair for design gives the dining room its homey ambiance. “We invite you to Maxine’s like you would invite someone to the parlor of your home,” she says. “We wanted to build the kind of restaurant that we’d like to hang out at: sexy, comfortable and delicious.” —Jennie Hess

Community Coffee Spot

1 Achilles Art Café



2 Foxtail Coffee Co.

Multiple Orlando-area locations


3 Drunken Monkey Coffee Bar




Place for a Frozen Treat

1 Twistee Treat

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 Jeremiah’s Italian Ice

Multiple Orlando-area locations


3 Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream

Audubon Park, Orlando


Wine Store

1 ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 Total Wine & More

Multiple Orlando-area locations


3 BevFly Wine Outlet

International Drive



1 Pearson’s Catering



2 Puff ‘n Stuff Events & Catering



3 Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering

Altamonte Springs


ABC Fine Wine & Spirits. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Downtown Restaurant

1 Maxine’s on Shine



2 Kres Chophouse

Church Street


3 Anthony’s Thornton Park

Thornton Park


College Park Restaurant

1 Armando’s

Edgewater Drive


2 Shakers American Café

Edgewater Drive


3 The Tap Room at Dubsdread

Par Street


Chef’s Table at the Edgewater. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Theme Park Restaurant

1 Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza

Disney Springs


2 Be Our Guest Restaurant

Magic Kingdom Park


3 BaseLine Tap House

Disney’s Hollywood Studios


Lake County Restaurant

1 Tiki West Raw Bar and Grill



2 Haystax Restaurant



3 1921 Mount Dora

Downtown Mount Dora


Seminole County Restaurant

1 Hollerbach’s Willow Tree Café



2 Enzo’s on the Lake



3 Samurai Sushi

Lake Mary


Winter Garden Restaurant

1 Chef’s Table at the Edgewater

West Plant Street


2 Thai Blossom Restaurant

West Plant Street


3 The Whole Enchilada

West Plant Street


Osceola County Restaurant

1 Columbia Restaurant



2 El Tapatio Mexican Restaurant



3 Drive Shack

Corner Drive



Restaurant Row Restaurant

1 Eddie V’s

West Sand Lake Road


2 Seasons 52

Sand Lake Road


3 Chatham’s Place

Dr. Phillips Boulevard


Winter Park Restaurant

1 Hillstone

South Orlando Avenue


2 Prato

North Park Avenue


3 Sixty Vines

Orlando Avenue


I-Drive Restaurant

1 Del Frisco’s Double Eagle Steakhouse

International Drive


2 Café Tu Tu Tango

International Drive


3 Uncle Julio’s





Chocolate Shop

Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park

Sweet Success

An admitted chocoholic, Kevin Wray appears to have found his true calling as co-owner of Peterbrooke Chocolatier of Winter Park. He and his wife, Jami, opened their Park Avenue shop in 2001 and have continued to push the envelope creatively ever since. “Jami has added more things to the Peterbrooke menu as a whole than the company has in the last 12 years,” Wray says. “She’s always on trend, but not trendy.” One of their enduring fan favorites is chocolate-covered bacon. “Jami insisted I come up with the recipe for one reason only: So we could call it ‘Kevin’s Bacon,’ ” he laughs. To celebrate its 20th anniversary, the shop is offering crew members’ favorites, such as Frito bark, chocolate-dipped peach rings, a chocolate-dipped Mexican coconut cookie, and chocolate-covered peanut butter Ritz-style crackers. Behind all the unusual combinations is an ethically sourced, high-quality Swiss-style chocolate that tastes less bitter than typical dark chocolate. “We have our own proprietary blend. Swiss chocolate is a little heavier on cocoa butter content and a little bit lighter on the solids, so it’s creamier and smoother. We’ll put our chocolate up against anybody’s. It’s just hard to beat.” —Cheri Henderson



1 Crooked Can Brewing Company

Downtown Winter Garden


2 Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co.

Ivanhoe Village


3 Hourglass Brewing

Orlando, Longwood


Place for Something Sweet

1 Insomnia Cookies

Multiple Orlando-area locations


2 The Glass Knife

South Orlando Avenue, Winter Park


3 Smallcakes Cupcakery and Creamery

Multiple Orlando-area locations


Insomnia Cookies. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Watering Hole or Lounge

1 The Imperial

Orlando, Sanford, Winter Park


2 Hanson’s Shoe Repair

East Pine Street, Orlando


3 Mathers Social Gathering

South Magnolia Avenue, Orlando


Hotel Lounge

1 AC Sky Bar

AC Hotel Orlando Downtown


2 The Bösendorfer Lounge

Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando


3 The Alfond Inn

Downtown Winter Park


Chocolate Shop

1 Peterbrooke Chocolatier

Winter Park


2 Farris & Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory

Baldwin Park


3 Chocolate Museum & Café

International Drive



1 Rocco’s Tacos

Restaurant Row


2 Gringos Locos

Multiple Orlando-area locations


3 El Zocalo

Downtown Sanford


Crooked Can Brewing Company. ROBERTO GONZALEZ.

Specialty Foods Store

1 Trader Joe’s

Winter Park, Restaurant Row


2 Whole Foods Market

Three Orlando-area locations


3 Petty’s Meats



Food Delivery

1 Uber Eats


2 DoorDash


3 Instacart

Next Post

Burgerville closes Portland restaurant near homeless encampment

A tent encampment abuts the Burgerville in Portland’s Lents neighborhood on August 4, 2021. The company said safety concerns prompted it to temporarily close the restaurant. Kate Davidson / OPB Burgerville announced Tuesday it is temporarily closing its restaurant on Southeast 92nd Avenue in Portland. The Vancouver-based fast-food chain cited […]
slot pragmatic play online surya168 idn poker idn poker slot online idn poker slot pro thailand