If you’re visiting Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Universal Orlando Resort, then staying on International Drive is a fantastic, affordable option. Not only are you near these two huge theme parks, but you’re also nearby to other smaller attractions like Gatorland, LEGOLAND Florida, and the Kennedy Space Center too. It’s an ideal base in terms of exploring the area, and having everything conveniently close by.
After buying their park tickets with Attraction Tickets Direct, many families choose to book into a hotel on International Drive. There are loads to pick from - suiting any budget - and what’s more, many dining options just a short walk or drive away too. International Drive has restaurants of all cuisines and affordability - but which are the best ones for families to enjoy?
In a recent post on our new ATD Travel Community Facebook group, our travellers discussed just that. So, we thought we’d put all of their suggestions (and a few of our own too) into a handy blog post that you can refer to when planning your dining-out options.
Miller’s Ale House - 8963 International Drive
This was a reoccuring one on the Facebook post, mostly because they offer a kids eat free offer every Tuesday (1 free kids meal with the purchase of 1 regularly priced adult entree, ages 12 and under). They also offer a range of specials every day, both at dinner and lunch, so this is a great option if you’re looking to keep things within budget. The menu is huge too, serving everything from fajitas, to seafood and burgers. In terms of the kid’s menu, there is a good selection of classic dishes that your little ones will enjoy:
Spaghetti and meatballs
Mac & cheese
Denny’s - various locations along I-Drive
An American icon, Denny’s is conveniently open 24hours, perfect for that late-night snack or early morning fix. They pride themselves on serving everyday, value items, so again they are perfect if you’re looking to keep food costs low - and by purchasing the Eat & Play Card, you’ll also get 20% off your bill too - result!
Denny’s are most famous for their huge breakfast range - think chocolate chip pancakes, steak and eggs, and loaded omelettes. However, they also do tons of lunch and dinner-style dishes too - burgers, seafood, salads and skillets, to name a few. They’ve kept things nice and simple for the kids menu:
Jr. birthday cake pancake breakfast
Jr. chocolate chip pancake breakfast
Jr. french toast
Build your own jr. grand slam
Mini corn dogs
Jr. premium chicken tenders
Grilled chicken on a stick
Mac & cheese
Uno's Pizzeria & Grill - 8250 International Drive
You can’t go wrong with pizza, especially when it comes to feeding picky eaters! Uno’s specialise in Chicago-style deep dish pizzas, fantastic to dine on when you come to the States. They do a range of takeout deals, which is great if you want something to enjoy back at your hotel or villa. Uno’s is included on the Eat & Play Card too - you’ll save 15% on your food bill! As well as the expected huge selection of pizzas, they also serve various chicken, seafood, steak, pasta and salad dishes, alongside many other things. There’s a gluten free menu too, and here is a look at their kids' menu:
Kids safari nuggets
Mac & cheese
Thin crust pizza
Spaghetti and giant meatball
Make your own pizza
Kid’s chicken pops
TGI Friday’s - various locations on International Drive
Chances are you’ve dined in a TGI Friday’s restaurant before - famous for their hearty burgers and luscious cocktails. Over in the States, the menu is pretty similar. Expect burgers, seafood, pasta, steak, salads, and loads more. However this time, you’ll be getting 15% off your bill thanks to your Eat & Play Card - yippee! In terms of a kid’s menu, it’s pretty small but does the job:
Mac & cheese
Fettuccine alfredo pasta
Longhorn Steakhouse - 8181 International Drive
This is another restaurant that got a fair few mentions from satisfied diners, and after a quick look at their menu, it’s not hard to see why. Of course, steak is the feature item in this restaurant, but you’ll be able to order chicken, ribs, shrimp, salmon, various burgers, and salads and soups too. Wow! If you sign up to the mailing visit via the website, you’ll get a free appetizer on your first visit as well. Let’s have a look at the kid’s menu:
Grilled chicken tenders
Kraft mac & cheese
Olive Garden - 8984 International Drive
Olive Garden serve - as you’ve probably guessed already - Italian and meditarian cuisine, but with a twist. Feast on dishes like loaded pasta chips, lasagna fritta, chicken parmigiana, and loads more. This menu is honestly huge. When signing up to the mailing list via their website, you get a free appetizer. Despite the Italian influence, gluten-intolerant customers are also catered for. The kid’s menu is a decent size as well, serving a good range of various pastas:
Tomato sauce with choice of pasta
Meat sauce with choice of pasta
Alfredo sauce with choice of pasta
Five cheese marinara with choice of pasta
Chicken fingers and pasta
Mac & cheese
Grilled chicken and Rotini Pasta with Marinara Sauce
Rotini with Marinara
Rotini with Meat Sauce
McDonald’s - various locations on International Drive
Now, we know what you’re thinking - “McDonald’s for dinner? Surely not!”. But when you’ve spent a full day exploring the theme parks and other Orlando attractions, sometimes a quick and easy fast-food meal is all that the kids (and you) are craving. They’re pretty cheap already, and with the Eat & Play Card, you’ll get a further 15% off of your bill too. Their menu is pretty similar to the one in the UK, but with a few regional additions like chicken tenders, bacon ranch salads, and biscuits (kind of like a scone) for breakfast. The Happy Meal is still on offer in the USA, though, so your kids will be sorted with that one.
Bahama Breeze - 8849 International Drive
With Florida having a wonderful tropical climate and being so close to the picturesque Carribean Islands, it makes perfect sense to enjoy some ‘island grille’ when holidaying there. Bahama Breeze was recommended by a few of our Facebook group members, most likely because of its unique cuisine and large menu. Enjoy dishes like beef empanadas, chorizo meatballs, yuca cheese sticks, and coconut shrimp tacos. Delightful! When you sign up to their e-club, you get a free appetizer as well. There’s a gluten-free menu, and their kids menu is small but sweet:
Bowtie mac & cheese
Grilled fresh tilapia
Crispy chicken tenders
Maggiano’s - 9101 International Drive (in Pointe Orlando)
Another Italian here, but serving unique and authentic dishes right here in Florida. They’re a little classier than other Italian joints, but without the price tag to match. Enjoy numerous veal dishes, speciality pastas, and tons of seafood too. They also do a great ‘family style’ option, available for parties of 4 or more for $37.99 each (or $17.99 for ages 5-12). You get to pick a starter, main and desert each, and the chef throws in some complimentary antipasti. The kid’s menu is great, giving your little ones a chance to try some new Italian dishes:
Cheese flatbread pizza
Breaded or grilled chicken breast
Mac & cheese a la Maggiano’s
Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show at Wonderworks - 9067 International Drive
If you’re after something a little different during your dinnertime, look no further than the fantastic Outta Control Magic Comedy Dinner Show at Wonderworks. Described as an “interactive, entertaining and hilariously funny dinner show”, this is a great way to entertain the kids while grabbing a bite to eat. The dinner includes unlimited fresh hand-tossed cheese and pepperoni pizza, salad, beer, wine, soda and dessert. Buy your tickets here us here.
Topgolf Orlando - 9295 Universal Blvd.
Topgolf is another attraction that allows diners to enjoy an activity then feast on delicious food afterwards. And actually, considering it’s main function is as a golf course, the menu is huge and tasty-looking too. They serve flatbreads, burgers, salads, seasonal dishes, and appetisers. The kids menu may be slightly smaller, but it’s more than enough for your little ones to choose from. They’ll probably eat anything after an action-packed game of golf anyway!
Mini hot dogs
Chili’s Grill & Bar - 7021 International Drive
Chili’s is a restaurant that serves classic American-style grub, and for a pleasant price. If you choose to dine at Chili’s using your Eat & Play Card, you’ll get 15% off your bill - perfect! Choose from burgers, ribs & steaks, fajitas, salads, soups, and (of course) chili, alongside loads more. The kid’s menu is one of the biggest on our list, making it great if you child is especially picky:
Grilled chicken Bites
Cheesy chicken pasta
Macaroni & cheese
Red Lobster - 9892 and 5936 International Drive
For all seafood lovers, a visit to the American-favourite Red Lobster is a must. With your Eat & Play Card, you will get 10% off the bill - even more reason to dine there! They do a range of specials, including their famous CrabfestⓇ, where you can choose from nine dishes and five different types of crab. Of course, seafood features heavily on this menu, however they also serve beef and chicken dishes for you land-lovers as well. The kids menu is a pretty decent size, and may even persuade your kids to try something a little outside of their comfort zones:
Petite chilled lobster & shrimp roll
Petite Maine lobster tail
Mac & cheese
Big Fin Seafood Kitchen - 9800 International Drive
Sticking with seafood, and Big Fin Seafood Kitchen is our final entry on our family friendly restaurants on International Drive list. It too is covered by the Eat & Play Card - you’ll save a tasty 10% if you eat there. At Big Fin, you can order fresh oysters, crab, shrimp, and even...crispy fried alligator! Well, you are in Florida after all. There’s also sushi, soups and salads, pasta, chicken, and the classic Po-Boy - a traditional sandwich from Louisiana that has become a staple of the South, because it’s so tasty! They cater for gluten-free diners, and the kids menu is a good size:
Grilled cheese sandwich
Fried popcorn shrimp
Fried chicken nuggets
Fish and chips
Grilled jumbo shrimp
Grilled chicken breast
Of course, International Drive is absolutely huge, and there’s loads more dining options to pick from, we’ve just highlighted some of them here so you get an idea of the kind of things to expect from the restaurants in the area.
If you want to make savings on any of your meals and activities in the Florida area, it’s well worth purchasing the Eat & Play Card we mention throughout the post. Four people can use one card (making it perfect for the entire family) and it’s really as simple as showing it when you buy your tickets/ask for your bill. You only need to use it once or twice to recoup the cost of the card!
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