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Five Florida Restaurants You Simply Can’t Afford to Miss

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By Mitchel Russo

For many of us it’s been some months, maybe even longer, since we enjoyed the experience of a great meal in a superb restaurant. COVID-19 has rocked the dining industry, among others, with restrictions and guidelines (as well as the reticence of customers to dine out) that have dealt restaurants around the country a severe blow.

Over the past year you may well have elected to spend less time consuming food on premises, which is understandable, but most quality restaurants now offer an extremely safety-conscious dining format, which should help allay your fears.

Florida is chock full of great eating options and it might be the right time for you to get out there, while effectively protected from the virus, and enjoy some great food!

With the situation in some areas improving, and a vaccine rollout helping to protect the public, we should see increased footfall at eateries across the state. Here are some thoughts and highlights on five great places you should visit as soon as you feel comfortable about doing so.

Rumba Island Bar and Grill

This Clearwater hangout is one of the best around. Open for dining and take out, with top menu options for all.

Offering authentic island cuisine and a great drinks menu, this is the type of place you can plan to spend quite a few hours in, and maybe best for a Friday or Saturday night vibe. In other words, once you get there, you won’t want to leave.

Clearly fish is the order of the day, and night, at this venue and we have to say that we were blown away by the Rumba Island Calypso Bay Hogfish, which washes down well with a nice chilled pina colada.

Pretty much you can’t go wrong with anything on the menu and you can wash it all down with the live music that adds an additional ingredient to your night out.

The Goblin Market

The Goblin Market, Mount Dora, FL

This Mount Dora restaurant is a favorite of many and one we can heartily recommend you visit. Situated downtown, the Goblin Market celebrates 25 years of great service this year and has some seriously tasty dishes to offer you.

It’s made up of three intimate dining rooms and a bustling bar and lounge area. Among it’s top delicacies are their crab bisque, their shrimp caesar and our favorite, the Irish cheddar burger, which is simply gorgeous.

No reservations are required as they run a first-come first-served set-up so you should waste no time and get yourself down there if you want to give your stomachs something exquisite to contend with.

Miller’s Ale House

Miller's Ale House, Orlando, FL

Now if you are after a good beer and burger, look no further than this Orlando eatery. Miller’s Ale House has been a popular dining experience ever since it first opened in 1988, and now has almost 100 options across ten states.

The food on offer is hearty and well-priced, and pretty much everything on the menu will hit the spot, be that their Zingers and Wings, their Southwest Seared Steak Salad or their absolutely jaw-droppingly suburb Philly Cheese Steak.

The ambience is always relaxed and if you want a dining, and drinking, experience to go alongside some serious sports watching, then again, Miller’s Ale House will do the trick.

Satchel’s Pizza

Satchel's Pizza, Gainesville, FL

Do you like pizza? Do you live within a short distance of Gainesville? Then the chances are you are already aware of this established pizza parlor.

Satchel’s is an eccentric experience, with a large outdoor eating space that is part junkyard and full of character. There is a small seating area inside, but the real fun begins outside, where you’ll enjoy amazing pizzas in a wholly unique vibe.

Talking of pizzas, Satchel’s offers a bunch of quality options, made up mostly of your chosen toppings, our favorite had to be their Satch-Pan pizza, resplendent with caramelized edges, adorned with ground beef, mushrooms and pineapple. We can still taste it now…

They also offer a surprisingly varied wine menu, which added a classiness to the whole dining feast.

Epic Theatre Restaurant and Bar

Epic Theatre Restaurant and Bar, Mount Dora, FL

A final location on our whistle stop tour of great places to dine out and enjoy yourself comes in the form of the Epic Theatre restaurant and bar, situated in Mount Dora.

As well as offering you some great movies to enjoy, from new releases to outright classics, they provide a simply sublime cocktail menu (the Kentucky Peach is to die for!) and a ridiculously wide snacks range, all to be enjoyed from great reclining seating. Who needs restaurant chairs and dining chairs as you take in a film? What more could you want!

These are just a small selection of some of the prime locations we’ve enjoyed. There are literally hundreds more excitedly waiting for your visit. What are you waiting for!

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