A holiday to Florida doesn’t come cheap. Many of us have saved for a long time to afford our Orlando trip, and so budgets don’t always stretch to fine dining. That said, there’s a whole host of cheap places to eat on International Drive and the surrounding area. You don’t need to miss out on good food and an even better experience, and these restaurants will make sure of it.
Food is one of the biggest perks to an American adventure, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. If you haven’t eaten a cheeseburger in the USA, you haven’t lived. There are many fantastic upmarket restaurants in Orlando and beyond, but this article focuses on affordable. Keep reading for our recommendations on places to eat on Idrive.
The Ultimate List of Cheap Places to Eat on International Drive
Chilli’s Bar and Grill is an informal and relaxed place with a Tex-Mex twist. Tacos and enchiladas are the stars of the show here, but there’s plenty more to choose from. Don’t be fooled into thinking Chilli’s is a Mexican restaurant, it isn’t. They serve some great Mexican food, but you will also find burgers, sandwiches, steaks, ribs, and all things American.
The average price for a meal is around $10. This, of course, increases if you’re opting for premium food like steaks and ribs. Each meal comes with fries, and the drinks are refillable. The portions at Chilli’s are generous, but they’re not over-the-top like you see in some other joints.
Perhaps the best part of eating at Chilli’s is the bar menu. Not only is it Happy Hour all day everyday, but they also have a Margarita of the month for $5. Their food is good, the service was great, and you can eat for an affordable price.
2. Miller’s Ale House
We are huge fans of Miller’s Ale House here at Travel Blog UK, and it’s particularly well-loved amongst the British. The authentic but classy sports-bar vibe is brilliant, with well over 100 TVs dotted all over the place. There are offers on every day of the week on different dishes, and even bigger promos during popular sporting events.
The food at Miller’s is seriously tasty. It’s a typical American sports bar and grill menu, with everything from chicken wings to a full rack of ribs. We seriously recommend trying the Zinger Mountain Melt, it’s about 2,000 calories of greatness (you’re on holiday, it doesn’t count). Prices range from around $10-$15 for the main meal, so it’s the upper-end of affordable, but it’s worth the bit extra.
America is famous for its fantastic customer service, and Miller’s does not disappoint. You won’t begrudge the 20% tip here, in fact, you may even want to give them more. Great food, great drinks, and every sports event you could ever want to watch. Fantastic.
3. CiCi’s Pizza
We won’t pretend that CiCi’s Pizza is the Marmite of International Drive. Is it the most delicious authentic Italian pizza you will ever try? No, it’s not. Is it $14 for all you can eat pizza that is perfectly adequate? Hell yeah, it is. It’s the definition of cheap places to eat on International Drive.
The best part about CiCi’s is that nobody has ever paid full price. You will see a 50% off voucher all over Orlando, and they’ll even hand them to you at the door as you walk in. That means that you’re paying around $8 for all the pizza and desserts you can eat.
The buffet-style place has about 10 variations of pizza for you to pick up at any time, but you can ask for something specific if you want to. That said, their already-made menu has a lot of choice on it. The drinks are also refillable, and kids go cheaper. You could probably stuff a family of 5 for $30 at CiCi’s, and if you really are on a tight budget, it’s a great option. The pizza is more than edible, it’s just fine, especially at the price.
4. Denny’s Diner
Denny’s Diner is about as Iconic as Route 66 and the American Flag. It’s a staple of any trip to the USA, regardless of where you are. There are a few of them dotted along International Drive, but they all have the same menu so don’t rush to one over another.
Denny’s Diner is open 24 hours and there is no breakfast or evening menu. You can eat a rump steak for your breakfast, or pancakes at midnight. Our favourite past-time is visiting Denny’s late at night and people-watching – we know how to have fun, right?
Depending on which meal you choose, you can get food for as low as $5 as Denny’s. Not only is the main menu cheap enough, but they always have plenty of promotions on. Their breakfasts are particularly impressive, including the build-your-own skillets and unlimited pancakes. Did we mention free coffee refills too?
5. BJs Restaurant & Brewhouse
BJs is a little pricier than some of the previously mentioned places, but we’re still looking at around $15 a meal. This isn’t bad, considering the very central location, and the quality of what is served. Let us start by saying that we had the best ribs we have ever had at BJs, so give those a go.
The menu has a variety of things on it, with no real theme. You can grab pizza, burgers, steak and plenty of other good stuff. Its authentic dark-wood style and decor have the Western USA feel which really adds to the overall experience. The selection of beer at BJs is huge, with locals, imports and more stouts than you can choose from. It’s definitely a perfect place for a beer and a burger.
Cheap Places to Eat on International Drive: The Conclusion
You shouldn’t need to break the bank to eat good food in Orlando. There are so many affordable options that won’t diminish your spending money. These mentioned are just a few of the best, but there are plenty more.