Regardless of where you live in the world, Florida is regarded as the ideal vacation spot. This isn’t surprising considering its year-round perfect weather, the plethora of sandy beaches, and endless options for fresh seafood.
Not to mention the fact that the state is home to the famously known and adored Disney World Resort.
When you are not spending a morning out on your towel soaking in the sun or spending the afternoon meeting Disney characters and going on rides, you should be focusing on all the amazing food you need to try.
Check out this list of the sixteen best chain restaurants in Florida to see what all the fuss is about.
Table of Contents
1. Bento Asian Kitchen
Part of what makes this business so great is its dedication to quality food and experience with authentic cuisine.
Plus, its creation was a result of a family legacy coming to fruition thanks to its owners, Jimmy and Johnny, who created this restaurant as a way of honoring all of their father’s hard work – and its success is undeniable.
As the name suggests, most items on the menu come in a bento box which lets you sample the many flavors that Bento Asian Kitchen has to offer. For example, you can choose an entree like Mongolian beef or pineapple sweet and sour chicken and it will be accompanied by white rice, ginger salad, lo mein, and string beans.
Instead of a bento box, you can also opt for a rice or noodle bowl if you’d prefer more of one particular side.
Established back in 2011, Hawkers started out as a one-restaurant project amongst four best friends.
Three of these friends are originally from different parts of Asia and are well versed in Asian cuisine while the other friend was born and raised in Florida. Together, they created a pack set out to dominate the state’s food scene.
This is one of those places you just keep coming back to because the food is always delicious, and the menu is way too extensive to try everything on your first visit.
You can fill up on just the small plates alone with tasty options like street skewers, Korean twice-fried wings, steamed bao, summer rolls, and so much more.
3. Graffiti Junktion
You will fall in love with this place before you even take a bite of your food thanks to its mesmerizing atmosphere.
All over the walls, you will find graffiti designed by local artists, so no two establishments sport the same design. When you are not admiring the beauty of it all, you can feel good knowing that a portion of your bill goes directly to local charities.
Known as one of the best burgers joints you’ll find in Orlando, Graffiti Junktion only uses the best ground beef possible to ensure high quality every time.
Have your pick of tasty options like the Hidden Valley, which is made up of an Angus patty stuffed with Hidden Valley ranch seasoned cream cheese topped with aged cheddar, lettuce, tomato, and pickle, or the Iron City, piled high with french fries, shaved ham, fried egg, American cheese, sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato, and pickle.
4. Twistee Treat
Dating all the way back to 1983, Twistee Treat knows a thing or two about ice cream, and with Florida’s year-round warm weather, there is never a bad time to indulge in a tasty treat.
Rated as one of the best ice cream spots by one iconic food network after another, Twistee Treat’s reputation precedes itself.
The flavor options alone are enough to get your head spinning, with a rotating selection including options like amaretto, black raspberry, butter pecan, cheesecake, mocha, pina colada, and so many more.
Once you’ve narrowed down which flavor you want, you’ll have the option to have it on a cone, in a cup, or blended into a milkshake.
5. Season 52
When you are not raving about how fresh the ingredients taste, you can be sipping on one of fifty different types of wine specifically picked to complement the menu.
Everybody loves a seasonal menu, but another reason why this restaurant’s choices are always changing is because of its dedication to locally sourcing ingredients.
This means that you are treated to a seasonal meal every time, so you can enjoy pumpkin-based dishes in the fall, brussels sprouts in the winter, Umbrian truffles in the summertime, and so on.
Try not to fill up on appetizers even though options like lump crab cake, ahi tuna tartare, and a lobster and fresh mozzarella flatbread will be sure to tempt you.
6. Gringos Locos
That intoxicating smell that slaps you in the face when you walk in the door? That’s the pork, slow roasting in the back for seven hours to give you the juiciest, pull-apart taco meat possible.
You won’t find a frozen piece of meat in the vicinity, and everything is cut fresh right in the kitchen.
Even their hard taco shells and tortilla chips are fried fresh, so you are guaranteed a satisfying crunch with every bite. Not to mention the homemade salsas and marinades that put other Mexican food chains like Chipotle to shame.
7. Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
Built on a foundation of hard work and tasty treats, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice is the chain restaurant that keeps on giving, and no visit to Florida would be complete without trying it out for yourself.
The owner, Jeremy Litwack, seemed to always know what he wanted to do with his life and after years of dedication, Jeremiah’s Italian Ice came to be.
You’ll be happy to know that each batch of Italian ice is made fresh each day, so you never have to worry about eating day-old products. Seasonal options make things more interesting, with flavors like horchata and gingerbread in the wintertime and pumpkin and apple pie in the fall.
A new twist is the Gelati option, which lets you combine your favorite Italian ice with go-to soft serve ice cream choice.
8. Miller’s Ale House
It didn’t take long for the business to take off for Miller’s, and within the thirty or so years of its life, it has expanded across nearly one hundred locations.
Part of what makes this establishment so successful are its core values, which include integrity, customer service, excellence, loyalty, accountability, and engagement.
From the employees to the customers, Miller’s Ale House’s goal is to have everyone leave with a smile on their face, so it is safe to say that you won’t find an item on the menu that a customer hasn’t raved about at some time or another.
However, the restaurant is particularly known for its chicken Zingers and Zingers Mountain Melt.
9. Foxtail Coffee
With new locations popping up all throughout Central Florida, it is safe to say that Foxtail Coffee is becoming one of the best chain restaurants in the state, and their fan base is only continuing to grow.
Established back in 2016, Foxtail Coffee started out as a single location in the shell of an old automobile repair shop.
Although variations can vary depending on the season, Foxtail Coffee always has an amazing selection of freshly roasted coffee beans to choose from.
Take a bag of beans home so you can brew your own delicious coffee each morning or sit in the cozy coffee shop with a cup in hand.
10. Santiago’s Bodega
Unlike any chain restaurant you’ve ever seen before, Santiago’s Bodega is one of the most unique options on this list and each location offers a new, but equally amazing experience.
With small dishes as the norm, you won’t have to make difficult decisions like choosing between beef short ribs and lamb patties or roman meatballs and shrimp and chorizo because you can try them both.
The restaurant even goes as far as serving cold tapas as well with options like a cheese plate, yellowfin tuna ceviche, and mozzarella burrata.
11. Sonny’s BBQ
One of the most fascinating things about this place is that they still use the same method for cooking meats that they did over forty years ago. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
They know what the people love, and they have continued to give it to them year after year.
Start your meal with a ridiculously tasty appetizer like tater tots loaded with crispy onions, cheese, and barbecue sauce, fried okra with a side of their homemade ranch, or an order of wings smoked to perfection.
Just make sure to save room for the main course because you will definitely be drooling over options like St. Louis ribs, pulled pork, and beef brisket.
12. Tijuana Flats
The color scheme and quick service style may make you feel like you have stumbled upon Taco Bell’s older, more elegant sister, but the quality of Tijuana Flats ingredients shuts that idea right down.
Everything you see on the menu is cooked to order using the freshest meat and produce possible.
This may be a fast-food joint, but it tastes like a sit-down restaurant. Enjoy all the classic options like quesadillas, burritos, enchiladas, chimichangas, tacos, and so much more.
The restaurant also offers these same options featuring specialty additions like the Bangin Chicken and Tijuana Chicken Tinga.
13. Gator’s Dockside
It can be hard to hold such high prestige for such a long period of time, but Gator’s Dockside has managed to do it in the most graceful way possible.
Aside from its dedication to quality and the many thousands of satisfied customers, the restaurant is also known for the ways it gives back to the community.
Not only does this franchise assist with local events like school fundraisers it has also made donations to a variety of charities like Wounded Warriors, St. Judes, Salvation Army, Special Olympics, and many more.
People come to Gator’s Dockside for the small-town feel and stay for the award-winning wings.
14. Beth’s Burger Bar
This isn’t the place you go for a specialty burger, but rather the place where you build your own.
Start by choosing your protein with options ranging from triple beef to turkey burger, then have your pick between eight different kinds of cheeses before diving into a slew of toppings.
Classic toppings like lettuce and tomato are completely free of charge and specialty toppings like frickles, bacon, egg, and onion rings only cost up to a dollar.
There are even a variety of unique sauces you can throw on your burger with names like Love Sauce and White Cheddar Mac & Cheese.
There are plenty of places to grab a classic, Florida seafood dish, but you won’t find another chain restaurant in the state like Frenchy’s with its strong Canadian roots.
The mastermind behind this tasty restaurant is Michael Preston, and although he spent much of his life in Michigan, he was born and raised in Quebec with French as his first language.
Since the grouper is such a popular choice, it has been adapted to boast a variety of flavors like Cajun, buffalo, grilled, and even a Reuben variation and while eating a Super Grouper sandwich is enough to make you fall in love, you should know that there are plenty of other tasty options on the menu as well.
Check out the specialty dishes with options like the Famous Smoked Fish Spread and Crackers, Grouper Cheeks, or Seafood Gumbo.
16. Taco Bus
It all started in Tampa back in 1996 when Chef Rene drove into town with their dream on wheels. With outstanding flavors that are impossible to forget, people lined up at the Taco Bus’s doors again and again.
A visit here lets you get a taste of flavors from all over Mexico, and daily specials allow for frequent flyers to try something new with every visit.
Do yourself a favor and start off with one of the tasty appetizers like empanadas and mini quesadillas and then continue on to any of the favorite dishes like tostadas, papos, chimichangas, and so much more.
If you are really feeling ravenous, opt for the El Jefe burrito, which weighs in at over two pounds!