Kissimmee, Florida is a little big town next to Disney World that’s tourist locale, small city, and small town all in one. On the west side of town, down 192, you have TONS of hotels, gift shops, chain stores, restaurants, and everything else a tourist could need. On the other side of I-4, Kissimmee gets a little more local-town feeling, still with plenty of chains and businesses, but also with quite a few independent shops and eateries scattered around the area. With Kissimmee being such a large town and there being so many places to choose from, how can you pick just one place to eat? Well, my first suggestion is to always look for local or small businesses! Not only are they often (but not always!) cheaper, but it’s always nice to support local people and businesses. So, with that being said, here are my top five locally-owned restaurants to try next time you’re in Kissimmee!
Pizza Mia is almost a hole-in-the-wall place in a strip mall on Orange Blossom Trail. Okay, so technically it's located in Orlando, but it's close enough to Kissimmee borders and it's so good I had to include it anyway. It offers some of THE BEST pizza I’ve had in a long time, and the sizes are HUGE for the price! An 18” cheese pizza is going to set you back only $15, compared to Pizza Hut or something similar that offers a “large” at 14” for $14. Their pizza is the perfect mix of New York thin crust but enough cheese and toppings that it makes up for it. They offer whole pizzas or pizza by the slice if you’re looking for something quick! Pizza Mia also offers calzones, sandwiches, and various pasta dishes if you’re not feeling a pizza.
Woodsby’s Countryside Café is the perfect homestyle local café to grab a sandwich and a slice of pie for dessert. They serve specials daily and have a lineup of pie and dessert offerings every day. Their cookies and cream pie is by far my favorite and is definitely a must try if you have a sweet tooth! If you’re not in the mood for a heavier dinner meal or a dessert, they do serve all breakfast items all day (and you have to try their biscuits and gravy!). Their prices are fairly decent, and they have a pretty diverse menu so there’s something for everyone!
Fat Boy’s Bar-B-Q is a local barbecue joint that’s been serving cheap and delicious food since 1972. The best thing about Fat Boy’s is that they offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and plenty of offerings besides just barbecue so there's something for everyone. They offer all you can eat plates and a children’s menu along with a wide variety of appetizers and sides. I always judge a place by their fried pickles, and this place definitely passes the test! I also recommend their sloppy pork dinner plate with a side of fries or mac and cheese to top it off.
Los Cabos offers authentic Mexican and Cuban cuisine like papa rellena and paella velenciana as well as various sandwiches, chicken, and seafood platters. They have a mariachi band every Friday, which is one of my favorite things about this place. Who doesn’t love live music with their dinner? I personally recommend the pan con bistec—I don’t venture outside of basic American cuisine often, but this was so good I had to. The steak was flavorful and juicy, and the cheese and onions add the perfect combination. Make sure you pair your dinner with a margarita or mojito as well for the perfect combination!
PG’s Wings is a spot not to be overlooked. There are tons of chicken and wing places throughout Central Florida and Kissimmee, so it can be hard to decide which one is worth trying. Take it from someone who’s been sick of Buffalo Wild Wings for years—PG’s is 100% worth it. They have a decent range of sauces, from mild to super hot to honey mustard and more. If you or someone you’re with isn’t in the mood for wings, they also offer sandwiches, wraps, fish and shrimp, and various other varieties of chicken. They have a kid’s menu as well, so there’s something for everyone. I’m pretty basic so I stick with mild wings and a side of fries, and it hits the spot every time. Add an order of deep fried pickles to your order and you can’t go wrong.
With so many chains and options all readily available to you, it makes it difficult to decide what’s worth the effort of trying or traveling to. These five restaurants are not only local, but they’re absolutely delicious and so worth the time.You can check out Facebook or the websites of each restaurant to see their menu and see if they’re currently offering dine-in or to-go options. Try something a little different the next time you or your family decides to have a meal out and head over to one of the top five locally-owned restaurants I mentioned in this article. And if you’re looking to head out of the Kissimmee area, be sure to check out some of our other articles for more recommendations!