About Madison S
Lives in London, United Kingdom
Since Sep 2014
Hello! I'm Maddie- a native NYer whose Wanderlust has taken her abroad again and again. Having lived in six countries, and visiting others for school, work, leisure, and sport, I've adopted many localities, and am an admirer of a great many more. An avid scholar of language and culture, I hope to keep expanding my travel repertoire, and sharing great stories with the rest of the travel community. To give you some background on my travels, I spent months each year since childhood in Old Montreal, where part of my family lives. Summers were spent visiting folks in Ft. Lauderdale and L.A. My first big trip outside of the US on my own was to Australia & New Zealand at 12- I caught the bug early! I then moved to Japan where I studied for part of high school & uni. I am very familiar with Japanese cities, Sapporo and Osaka especially. Some of my favourite travel destinations include Goreme, Dubai, Marrakech, and Queenstown. (Plans for 2015 include China & Uganda!) Nice to meet you!
Theme Parks, Disney Parks & Activities
Bars & Clubs, Performances, Concerts
If you'd like to mix your sightseeing with some local foodie hangouts, Tantalizing Tastes and Tours takes you through a gamut of five restaurants, each with a different set of flavors. Whether it's guava glazed ribs and alligator bits at Cafe Tutu Tango, a 6 Shooter of BBQ favorites at 4 Rivers Smokehouse, or fried catfish at Stonington's, all the foods are very Floridian. Tastes and Tours takes place across different areas of Orlando (you'll be driven to each location) and can include some sightseeing and activities (so ask ahead, if there's someplace you'd need or like to be!) A food tour is a great way to see the best of Orlando, and can help you decide where to eat on the rest of your trip.
Epcot is an Orlando hotspot. While the menus of its World Showcase restaurants are certainly pricier than food on the outside, the benefit of going to Epcot is getting to try nibbles and tipples from around the world, all in one location. Epcot has a German beer garden and Japanese ice creams; French crepes, Chinese tea, and Canadian steak. Feast your way through Norway, Mexico, Morocco, Italy, and the UK; or, go traditional American at the Liberty Inn. The benefit of paying to be at Epcot? Fantastic rides, great attractions, entertainment while you eat, and if you've already got a Disney Parks Pass, you're right beside Disney World already. A great blend of food and experiences.
Victoria & Albert's is lauded as one of Orlando's best restaurants. With three prix fixe menus (the general menu, the Chef's Table bespoke menu, and the vegetarian menu), you will be treated to seven artfully prepared courses, ranging from perfectly seared fish to buttery steak, and each ending with a sumptuous dessert and warm drinks. Victoria & Albert's has an amazing service record, and though its menus are extremely pricey, a meal here is an unforgettable experience.
While there's plenty at Saigon Noodle to temp carnivores and omnivores alike, it also serves up some of the best vegetarian fare in Orlando. With huge portion sizes, you won't go hungry, whether you choose a rice, noodle, or pho dish. Especially delicious? Their fatty brisket, for the meat eaters, or veggies can try their tofu with mixed vegetables.
No one can argue that beer isn't a beloved drink in America, and paired with steak, ginger crusted salmon, or jambalaya? Even better. At the Yard House, there are over 140 brews on tap, which you can try alongside a lineup of fish, meat, and vegetables dishes, with a little bit of Thai and Mexican influence. A great spot for a hearty dinner, a big group meal, or to get your Orlando nightlife groove started.
At infamous Five Guys Burgers, flavor is number one. Burgers, hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and fries are the menu mains, but what really makes Five Guys stand out is the level of customization. Have your fries cajun or regular, and decide on as many as fifteen toppings to dress your burger or sandwich with. There are over twenty soda flavors to choose from (or get in touch with your inner kid, and mix-n-match those too,) and unlimited peanuts (to honor the peanut oil they use to cook the fries!) With great portion sizes to boot, you will certainly leave both full and happy.
The seafood restaurants in Orlando are second-to-none, and the Deep Blu Seafood Grille at the Wyndham Resort sets a great example. Whether you're dining on the main floor or in a private space, excellent service and plating help set the tone for a meal of fantastic fish and fresh salads. They serve up seafood including shellfish and oysters in a number of ways, from raw, to cast-iron seared, to steamed, and even give a listing of which fish are sustainable and local. With kale blue cheese salad, pork belly, and short-ribs also filling out a menu that suggests wine and beer pairings, you really can't go wrong.
If you're looking for a great after-hours spot, Chatham's Place is it. It's away from a lot of the bustle of the city, and hospitality is key. Guests are welcomed by a friendly wait staff and a cheerful ambiance, usually including live piano music. With a hearty, seasonal Americana menu garnished with fruits and vegetable from the owner's own organic farm, Chatham's Place is a local gem. Whether you're in the mood for a great cut of steak or the perfect blend of cajun spices, you will find it here. Chatham's also has a formidable wine list, by the bottle or the glass. So stay a while, and enjoy a night out.
At the House of Blues, engage in an uptempo meal to live musical entertainment. Located in Downtown Disney, the House of Blues is the spot for solid American food (ribs, baked beans, coleslaw), but more importantly, a fun experience. Sip cocktails and pass the lobster mac and cheese as a new band takes to the stage nearly every night. The House of Blues also has both indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy the Orlando weather while you eat.
Located in the Little Saigon area of Orlando, the Hawkers Asian Street Fare restaurant draws inspiration from Kuala Lumpur, India, Mainland China, and elsewhere to put together an unbeatable menu of Asian tapas dishes. Packed with flavor, whether you're consuming a teriyaki or a curry dish, there are so many delicious options that it's best to order a few plates (and share everything, if you're with friends.) It is a must-visit for foodies and for visitors who want to try bold combinations.
If you're looking for a place to do your shopping and you happen upon the Florida Mall, you won't go hungry. Its food court has over twenty options (including Five Guys.) While you may not want to make a stop here just for the food court, it's a good spot to pick up something quick, easy, and filling, from pizza to sandwiches and noodles to fried chicken. And if you have a sweet tooth? The M&M store is only a stone's throw away!