Florida September 03, 2017
10 Hole In The Wall Restaurants In Central Florida That Are Hard To Find But Worth The Search
Sure, fancy restaurants with exotic menus are great, and there are even some pretty cool restaurants in Central Florida’s theme parks, but nothing beats long-standing local eateries, especially when they’ve been in the family for generations. Whether you live in the area or you’re just passing through, you have to check out these hidden gems:
1. Big Lee's, Ocala
If you consider yourself a barbecue connoisseur, you have to try this hidden gem in Ocala. Although the set up is a food truck and a couple of picnic tables, you can expect a long line of loyal patrons on Fridays and Saturdays when Big Lee's is open from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Whether you order the tender brisket, massive ribs, pulled pork or chicken, you will be transported to BBQ heaven the moment you sink your teeth in.
2. The Front Porch, Dunnellon
The Front Porch has a charming small town atmosphere and home-cooked country meals (think fried chicken, meatloaf, etc.), but it's most famous for something else. Don't leave without trying some of the best pie you will ever taste, no matter which one you choose.
3. The Freezer, Homosassa
The Freezer Tiki Bar isn't the kind of fancy place you take your spouse for your anniversary. It's more like the opposite, with a stripped-down, Old Florida feel and steamed shrimp served in take-out boxes with plastic utensils. Of course, that's exactly why local folks dig it.
4. Mister Fish, Lakeland
The fish sandwiches, corn nuggets, and sweet tea at Mr. Fish have been a tradition in Lakeland since 1968. It has only a walk-up window and a picnic table, but that doesn't deter hungry locals. So next time you're hungry, skip the burger chains and give Mr. Fish a try.
5. Crazy Fish Bar & Grill, Lake Wales
You might think it's a little "crazy" to open a seafood restaurant in landlocked Central Florida, but Crazy Fish will make you glad they did! You have to try the smoked fish dip and just about any fish dish. And if you're not a fan of seafood, there are plenty of other options, too.
6. King Bao, Orlando
Chances are you've never tried anything like the creative dishes being served at this little hole in the wall in Mills 50. Bao is a steamed bun that can be filled with just about anything savory or sweet. Get the combo and try three different varieties for only $9.
7. Emmy's Time Out Tavern, DeLand
It's easy to find Italian food or Chinese food whenever the craving strikes, but that's not exactly the case with German food. If you want some delicious comfort food or a place to try German cuisine for the first time, check out Emmy's Timeout Tavern in DeLand. You wouldn't know it from the outside, but inside there's some really great food, beer, and even live polka music waiting for you.
8. Pudgee's Hot Dog Stand, Floral City
You're probably wondering how a hot dog stand made the list, but this is no ordinary hot dog stand. Loyal customers will drive miles for a juicy burger or flavorful hot dog from this stand.
9. Harry's Old Place, Winter Haven
Want to enjoy waterfront dining with a casual atmosphere? Check out Harry's Old Place on Lake Ned in Winter Haven. Fill up on fresh fish, steaks, and Florida specialties. Harry's is no secret to locals, so arrive early or expect a wait.
10. Dixie Crossroads, Titusville
This laid-back seafood spot in Titusville is famous for a Florida delicacy, rock shrimp, along with other seafood and Southern comfort food classics. Kids will get a kick out of feeding the fish and turtles in the pond, too.
How many of these tasty local eateries have you tried? What’s your favorite hole in the wall restaurant in Central Florida?