Treat Yourself to Heart-Warming Soul Food at These 12 Restaurants in Orlando

Craving some good old soul food? Orlando has plenty of options.

Who doesn’t enjoy some delicious soul food every once in a while? In Orlando, you can find a wide variety of vibrant and lively soul food restaurants to try out. Whether you’re craving some fried chicken or hush puppies, you can find all of these dishes and more in the magical city of Orlando. 

If you’re having trouble finding the perfect gifts for your loved ones, we recommend purchasing some virtual GiftYa cards. GiftYa cards can be applied to a number of soul food restaurants in Orlando, including the ones we featured below. Within seconds, you can text them a gift card to one of their favorite restaurants. 

1. Sunshine Soul Food

Casual soul food cafe that offers all of the classics

Sunshine Soul Food restaurant
This fun, no-fuss cafe offers delicious meals at low prices. Image courtesy of Yelp.

2532 W Colonial Dr. Suite B | West Orlando 

Sometimes, it’s the most unassuming restaurants that serve the best food. We can confidently say that this is the case with Sunshine Soul Food. Located in West Orlando, Sunshine Soul Food enjoys a stellar reputation for its delicious meals. Classic soul food dishes like meatloaf, cornbread, fried chicken, and more can be found inside this cozy restaurant. 

For breakfast, Sunshine Soul offers savory and filling specials including the Veggie Omelette, Chicken and Waffles, and Sunshine Special. This dish includes two eggs, grits, and toasts. Lunch and dinner dishes like the BBQ ribs and turkey wings are also popular among guests. 

“OMG, I love this place!! These people are going to have to roll me out to my car!! This meatloaf is amazing, and  I'm going to have leftovers for later!! Talk about a hidden gem. Thanks all!!” - Yelp Review 

2. Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’

Popular brunch spot known for its fried chicken and spicy shrimp and grits

Chef Art Smith’s Homecomin’
Inventive Southern comfort dishes await you at this vibrant brunch spot. Image courtesy of Yelp

1602 E Buena Vista Dr. | Disney World, Horizons West | homecomingkitchen.com

Located inside Walt Disney World, Homecomin’ is the perfect destination for a quick rest stop during your day trip at the park. Fresh ingredients sourced from local farms help make its dishes so delicious and savory. Speaking of the food, you can find classic Southern comfort foods including Fried Chicken & Donuts, Shrimp & Grits, and Braised Short Ribs on the menu. Still hungry? Check out the dessert menu! Doughnuts, Hummingbird Cake, Hamilton County Chocolate Pecan Pie, and more await you. A full drink menu featuring crafty moonshine and resort cocktails, wines, and beer is also available for your enjoyment. 

“Very COVID friendly with appropriate precautions and responsible distancing. We ordered the Key West Shrimp Cocktail. Best my wife and I have ever had. Unique presentation that resembles a ceviche in a way.” - Yelp Review

3. Nikki’s Place Southern Cuisine

Low-key soul food restaurant that offers plenty of food to go around

Nikki’s Place Southern Cuisine
Pictured above is the fried chicken with collard greens, cabbage, and stuffing. Image courtesy of Yelp

742 Carter St. | Horizons West/West Orlando | nikkisplace.net

Due to the pandemic, it’s more important than ever to support local businesses. Not only is Nikki’s Place Southern Cuisine a popular spot for locals, but it also offers award-winning cuisine to its hungry guests. In fact, Nikki’s Place Southern Cuisine earned Best Soul Food in the Critic’s Choice category at the 22nd Annual Foodie Awards. 

Baked chicken, smothered rib tips, fried pork chop, and more await guests at this popular restaurant. Nikki’s also offers a wide selection of specials for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. These delicious meals will fill you up at an extremely low price. 

“The food at Nikki's Place was delicious. We needed a Thanksgiving alternative, because we were away from home, and Ms. Nikki came through! She was responsive, professional and very pleasant! We'll definitely visit Nikki's Place on our next Orlando trip!” - Yelp Review

4. P & D Soulfood Kitchen

Small but cozy soul food spot known for its chitterlings and oxtails

Photo of P & D Soulfood Kitchen - Orlando, FL, United States
Grab a seat and chat with friends while you wait for your fresh, hot meals. Image courtesy of Yelp

927 S Goldwyn Ave. | Horizons West/West Orlando | facebook.com/PDSoulfoodKitchen

Do you prefer to enjoy your food at home? Order out from P&D Soul Food Kitchen. Unlike most restaurants, P&D does not offer dine-in services. But that doesn’t mean that the quality of the food is any lesser than regular dine-in restaurants. 

This casual take-out restaurant uses only the freshest meats and ingredients in its dishes. Stewed gizzards, meat loaf, baked chicken, and more are popular among guests. If you enjoy getting a good deal, make sure you stop by on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. P&D offers $5 plates with your choice of one side dish. 

“The food was packed with flavor and was very filling....I would definitely come here again, I think this restaurant has a lot of potential to grow, and so far they have proven that they are a force to be reckoned with in the soulful area and in the Orlando area as well. Job well done on the food.” - Yelp Review

5. Island Thyme Caribbean Grille

Quality ingredients come together for delectable Caribbean dishes

Buy an Island Thyme Caribbean Grille gift card

A plate of braised oxtail
Every bite of their braised oxtail will be bliss in your mouth. Image courtesy of Facebook

457 Avalon Park S Blvd #600 | Avalon Park | islandthymegrille.com

Virgin Island Thyme Caribbean Grille is a fast-casual Caribbean restaurant that offers a menu of flavorful dishes inspired by the foods and culture of the U.S. Virgin Islands. From generous portions and affordable prices to excellent service and a relaxed atmosphere, Island Thyme Caribbean Grille has a lot of features to fall in love with. And that doesn’t even begin to cover the quality of their food, which is made with as much care as a home-cooked meal. From their Jerk Chicken to Island Shrimp Scampi, this restaurant has dishes you won’t be able to forget about. 

“One of my favorite restaurants in all of Orlando! I always get jerk chicken when I come here but I have tried other options at this restaurant and I've never had anything bad here.” – Yelp Review 

Send an Island Thyme Caribbean Grille gift card to anyone you know when you follow the link!

6. Maryland Fried Chicken

Small restaurant in East Orlando offering savory plates of traditional Southern comfort food

a plate of fried chicken and french fries
Ordering a plate of fried chicken and french fries is always a safe bet. Image courtesy of Yelp.

9710 E Colonial Dr. | East Orlando | marylandfriedchickenunionpark.com 

A lot of the restaurants we covered in this article are in West Orlando. But we’re going to temporarily shift our focus to East Orlando, where you will find the beloved Maryland Fried Chicken restaurant. 

This laidback restaurant offers all of the classic soul food dishes your heart could ever desire. Coming with a group? Challenge yourselves to finish off the 50 Piece Buffalo Wings. Offered only on Monday nights, the 50 Piece Buffalo Wing Challenge will push you to your limits. From gizzards and livers to fish and shrimp, Maryland Fried Chicken offers everything you could want and more. 

“The gizzards were so tender and tasty; the best ever.  The livers were hot and tasty, with not too much breading; and, crispy and delicious.” - Yelp Review

7. Kalalou Caribbean Bar and Grill 

Upscale Caribbean ambiance that will make you feel right at home

Get a Kalalou Caribbean Bar and Grill gift card

Caribbean cuisine
A taste of authentic Caribbean cuisine is only a plate away. Image courtesy of Facebook

5160 S. John Young Pkwy | Oak Ridge | kalalourestaurant.com

There are a lot of different kinds of soul food out there to try out, and traditional cuisine from the Caribbean is definitely something you should add to your list. You can experience a delicious meal at Kalalou, a Haitian-based bar and grill right in Orlando. No matter what you choose to order, Kalalou will deliver you with bold, aromatic flavors through a diverse selection of authentic Caribbean cuisine. Kalalou celebrates the many cultures and diversity that makes Florida such a special place to call home for many. 

“My first time visiting this establishment and would indeed recommend anyone to try it out. The customer service was phenomenal and the host ensured I received everything I asked for and went above and beyond.” – Yelp Review

You can buy a Kalalou Caribbean Bar and Grill gift card with the link!

8. Oley’s Kitchen & Smokehouse

Jamaican restaurant that is known for its hearty soul food dishes

Buy an Oley’s Kitchen gift card 

The Fried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
The Fried Chicken with Sweet Potatoes will fill you right up. Image courtesy of Yelp.

2700 Rio Grande Ave | Horizons West | oleyskitchen.com

If you want hearty soul food that will knock your taste buds off, look no further than Oley’s Kitchen & Smokehouse.

Located in West Orlando, Oley’s Kitchen offers a wide assortment of Jamaican and soul food dishes like Turkey Wings, Pork Chops, Jerk Chicken, and more. Oley’s also offers classic breakfast dishes like pancakes, omelets, and breakfast sandwiches. If you have a sweet tooth, you’ll love their Peach Cobbler. 

“I have been searching for a real, honest-to-goodness, true to their roots soul food restaurant. THIS IS IT!!! We had a sampling of many of their recipes and didn't find a bad one. But the OXTAILS are phenomenal!” - Yelp Review

Purchase a gift card for Oley’s Kitchen and Bar-B-Que when you follow this link!

9. Sister Sister Soulfood

Popular soul food truck that offers massive portions at a great price

5511 Oakfield St | West Orlando | sister-sister-soulfood-food-truck-catering.business.site

Next up on the list is Sister Sister Soulfood Truck & Catering. This popular food truck is open to the public and is also available for private event catering. 

On the menu, you can find popular soul food dishes like Cheesy Mac and Cheese, Southern Fried Catfish, and Saucy Chicken Wings. Craving something sweet? Customers love the truck’s famous Peach Cobbler. Check out their full menu online now!

“Everything was seasoned perfectly and cooked to perfection. I also had a side of fried okra and a side of pinto beans. I had enough food for dinner and 2 additional lunches!” - Yelp Review

10. Uncle Tony’s Backyard BBQ

Casual BBQ restaurant that specializes in slow-smoked meats made in small batches

Uncle Tony’s Backyard BBQ
Uncle Tony’s offers some of the best BBQ and soul food in Orlando. Image courtesy of Yelp.

6807 South Orange Ave, Suite 110 | Bell Isle | uncletonysbackyardbbq.com

Uncle Tony’s Backyard BBQ is a top-rated spot in Orlando for savory soul food and BBQ dishes. Located in Bell Isle, Uncle Tony’s offers a casual atmosphere perfect for kicking back and relaxing with friends. 

Uncle Tony’s offers a wide assortment of sandwiches, combos, and meats. Some of our favorite dishes on the menu include the Smoked Pulled Pork, Salmon Patty, and Pulled Chicken. But you can’t go wrong with anything here. Visit Uncle Tony’s for your next meal!

“Pretty good BBQ spot! I tried the pulled pork sandwich, mac and cheese, and baked beans along with the tangy and sweet sauce. My father tried the ribs brisket and hot sauce. The pulled pork was pretty good. It had a good smoke flavor with a light seasoning to it.” - Yelp Review

11. Kook’n with Kim

Locally-owned restaurant that is known for its mouthwatering soul food dishes

307 West Kennedy Blvd | Horizons West | kooknwithkim.e-tab.com

At Kook’n with Kim, you can enjoy some of the best soul food in Orlando. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Friday Specials are also offered every week. 

For breakfast, you can enjoy a Breakfast Meal or Breakfast Sandwich with your choice of sides. Chicken, Meatloaf, Pork Chop, and Turkey Wing lunches and dinners are served later in the day. Plenty of side dishes are also offered, including Black Eyed Peas, Potato Salad, Collard Greens, and more. Try out Kook’n with Kim for your next meal!

“This spot is great if you want authentic soul food with huge portions! Just as a heads up, if you want to beat the crowd, come at 11a when they are open for lunch.” - Yelp Review

12. Angel’s Soul Food & BBQ

Classic soul food restaurant that offers a weekly buffet

Angel’s Soul Food & BBQ
Angel’s is the perfect spot to get your fill of hearty soul food! Image courtesy of Yelp.

2516 Sanford Ave | Sanford | angelssoulfoodbbqfl.com

Another great spot to check out if you are in the Orlando area is Angel’s Soul Food & BBQ. This popular soul food joint is the perfect spot to fuel up after a long day. Fried Chicken, BBQ Chicken, Smothered Pork Chops, and more mouthwatering dishes are served at this popular restaurant. Angel’s also offers several meal deals for families, with options like a slab of ribs or eight pieces of dark and mixed fried chicken. 

“5 stars for the amazing service and food for our party of 5! We came in on a Sunday and ordered their Sunday dinner. The food was already prepared but was still fresh and sweet and savory. I did not finish my meal because there was so much of it! So we took some home for later.” - Yelp Review

13. Matt’s Latin BBQ

Sometimes the best meals come from the most modest places

Get a Matt’s Latin BBQ gift card

Authentic Puerto Rican-style cooking
Authentic Puerto Rican-style cooking you won’t find anywhere else. Image courtesy of Facebook.

6607 S Semoran Blvd #101 | Airport North | mattslatinbbq.com 

Conveniently located close to the Airport is Matt’s Latin BBQ, a small informal restaurant that packs some real flavor. The menu is filled with meat-centric Latin American fare, including options like mofongo, rotisserie chicken, and sandwiches. Everything they serve is cooked fresh in-house every day, so you can guarantee on always getting a quality meal. If Puerto Rican barbeque is something you’re craving, you definitely won’t be disappointed with the food from Matt’s Latin BBQ. 

“ We have been ordering food from here for months and it's always good! We have tried the fried fish, pork, chicken, and all of the sides. We are happy to say that we have enjoyed every single meal we've ever ordered!!!!” – Yelp Review

You can buy a Matt’s Latin BBQ gift card with the link!

14. Rose’s Island Spice

Some of the most vibrant and flavorful Jamaican dishes around 

Buy a Rose’s Island Spice gift card

Rose’s Island Spice
Jamaican cuisine has never been more tasty. Image courtesy of Google

4759 Raleigh St | Orlovista | rose-island-spice.com

In the heart of Orlando is the unassuming Rose’s Island Spice Restaurant. It may not look like much on the outside, but the inside is where it counts and oh boy are you in for a treat if you decide to eat here. Get some of the finest Jamaican cuisine in the entire state of Florida when you order from Rose’s Island Spice Restaurant. Every dish on their menu is lovingly crafted using authentic Jamaican spices, delivering flavors that are almost too good to believe. Whether dining in, ordering takeout, or organizing a catering event, Rose’s Island Spice will always provide food you just can’t beat. 

“We had the oxtail at their food truck for an event and it was so delicious, we couldn't stop thinking about it and went back to the event for more! Honestly it's the best oxtail we've had. We can't wait to be back for more!” – Google Review

You can get a Rose’s Island Spice gift card from GiftYa when you click the link!

Which restaurants on this list do you plan to try the next time you visit Orlando? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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Trae Bodge

Trae Bodge is the shopping expert here at GiftYa. Trae helps people find the best deals and ideas on popular new items to purchase.