Eat Like A Local In Orlando With Joey Fatone’s Favorites

A star’s guide on where to eat in Central Florida

The Vacationeer
Joey Fatone points to a hot dog from his food truck, Fat Ones

Orlando isn’t just the theme park capital of the world. The Central Florida city is also considered one of the best foodie cities in the United States, surprising neither locals nor visitors. There are thousands of restaurants and culinary experiences to be found throughout Orlando, from Walt Disney World® to Lake Eola Park.

With so much to discover, it can be hard to know where to start. We asked an Orlando local who knows a thing or two about the city: Joey Fatone. When the entertainer and former *NSYNC member isn’t traveling or performing private concerts for HGV Ultimate Access*, he’s scoping out the best restaurants in Orlando.

“The fun thing about Orlando’s food scene is that there’s always something new,” Joey said. “Orlando is always growing. It feels almost endless with so many new restaurants to try, from mom-and-pop restaurants to bigger franchises.”

A bowl of pasta on a wooden table 

“I travel a lot, so I don’t always know the ins and outs of where to eat so I rely on friends and family for recommendations,” he said. “My advice for visitors is to ask the locals and don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone. You’ll never know what you find.”

Here are four of Joey Fatone’s favorite places to eat in Orlando.

1. Fresco Cucina Italiana

“The place to go to for Italian fine dining is Fresco’s,” said Joey. Fresco is a family-owned and operated restaurant (usually packed with locals) that serves authentic Italian fare. Located between Universal Studios Florida and ICON Park, it’s the perfect spot to fill up after a day out or to celebrate milestone moments with loved ones.

2. Gideon’s Bakehouse

“Go to Disney Springs for dessert. Gideon’s Bakehouse has these crazy cookies,” said Joey. Looking at these half-pound cookies, it’s easy to see why it’s Fatone’s fave and the “Earth’s Best Cookie.” Enjoy classic chocolate chip cookies or one of their seasonal flavors, all handmade daily, inside their delightfully creepy shop, an homage to Disney’s Haunted Mansion. 

A hand holds chopsticks over a bowl of pho beef noodle soup 

3. Pho Saigon

“If you’re looking for a hidden gem, I’ve got one for you: Pho Saigon on 50,” Joey said. “The restaurant itself pretty hidden. Whenever I go, I always see a lot of locals, which is how you know it’s good.” Slurp on generous portions of pho (beef noodle soup) at a great price or Vietnamese coffee sweetened with condensed milk.

4. Fat One’s

“Of course, the best place to eat is at Fat One’s food truck,” Joey said with a wink. “You should visit my food truck because it’s amazing. We serve 100% Angus beef and all kinds of flavors — from the Barritone topped with chili and cheese sauce to the Angelo, which has whiskey-infused bacon jam. We also have specialty hot dogs throughout the year, so there’s always a reason to come back.”

Joey added, “Don’t worry vegans; we’ve got you! We have a meatless dog, Brooklyn flats and Italian ices. It’s a blast to be part of Orlando’s food scene.”

Where can you find Fat One’s? Follow them on Instagram to see where you can find Joey’s food truck.

Read “3 Foodies Dish On The Best Food In Orlando, In And Out Of The Theme Parks” for more mouth-watering restaurant recommendations.


*To attend HGV Ultimate Access events (valued between $500-$1500), Guests must attend a Membership Portfolio Review or Timeshare Presentation after the event, during their same stay. If you do not attend the Membership Review or Timeshare Presentation, the retail value of the event may be charged to your credit card. HGV Ultimate Access events are subject to availability, nontransferable and subject to change without notice. Experience fee applies, minimum of $99 per event, to be paid at time of booking. Offer dates may change due to event availability. Offers may not be used in conjunction with any other promotion.

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The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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