Kristen Manieri

Correspondent

  • Orlando, Florida, USA

Kristen Manieri is a correspondent who lives in Orlando and covers the city and surrounding areas for Forbes Travel Guide. A regular contributor to Orlando Magazine, Orlando Family magazine and Edible Orlando, Manieri continuously scours the city searching for the next great person, place or adventure. Living in the Sunshine State has given her the opportunity to explore it from northerly Amelia Island to southernmost Key West. But from top to tip, Orlando remains one of Manieri’s favorite Florida spots thanks to its ‘come as you are’ art scene, local food-focused restaurants and gorgeous green spaces.

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    What are the best restaurants in Orlando?

    One of the coolest things about Orlando's dining scene is how many restaurants are making a real effort to support local farmers. That’s translating into uber fresh food with mega flavor but also unique menus that change out daily, weekly, or at least seasonally. A true pioneer in this regard is The Ravenous Pig, a Winter Park “gastropub” that’s been topping local foodie charts since it opened a few years ago. Owners and chefs James and Julie Petrakis have infused their menu at Ravenous and its sister property, Cask & Larder, with local tomatoes, eggs, beef and freshly caught Florida seafood. The same goes for The Rusty Spoon, another pub grub meets locavore gourmand eatery in downtown Orlando Church Street district that’s built a cult-like following amongst local epicureans. At PRIMO, a high-end restaurant inside the JW Marriott Orlando, chefs use produce and herbs from the onsite organic garden as well as drizzle desserts with honey from the hotel’s on-property apiary. Last but certainly not least, deep blu seafood grille inside the Wyndham Grand Orlando Resort Bonnet Creek, not only wows diners with impeccably prepared seafood and steaks, but this artful eatery also utilizes local vodka in its Central Florida Cosmo.
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