Linda’s La Cantina
Address4721 E. Colonial Drive
CityOrlando
Phone407-894-4491
Price$$$

This is the oldest restaurant in Central Florida, in operation since 1947. It remains a favorite of locals, though it’s somewhat of a mystery to some. Maybe it’s the diner-like attitude of the servers, or the family-style décor. But it’s probably that the steaks are consistently good, if not great, and they still come with a side of pasta. Note: closed Sundays following Father's Day until October.

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Morton’s The Steakhouse
Address7600 Dr. Phillips Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-248-3485
Price$$$$

Morton's recently renovated its Restaurant Row Orlando location. The decor is imbued with a modern and tony flair, less the stodgy boardroom ambience at some of the other high-end steakhouses. Maybe that's why women seem to feel so comfortable here.

Steaks are cooked under a super-hot broiler, and when the kitchen is on the mark, they're among the best.

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Old Hickory Steakhouse
Address6000 W. Osceola Parkway
Gaylord Palms
CityKissimmee
Phone407-586-1600
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
The setting is a large shack, perhaps in the Everglades, but since you're really inside the atrium of the Gaylord Palms you don't have to worry about mosquitos. Although it is primarily a steakhouse (make that prime-arily) and prepares steaks with a beautiful charred crust, Old Hickory is positioning itself to be an all-around restaurant, with very good seafood selections as well. Be sure to experience the cheese cart at the end of the meal. Or at the beginning, because you may be too stuffed after.... Read more
Palm Restaurant
AddressHard Rock Hotel
5800 Universal Blvd.
CityOrlando
Phone407-503-7256
Price$$$$
Scott's Review

This New York-based chain has shown some improvement in recent years and can now hold its own among the area’s high-end steakhouses. The meat is masterfully prepared -- my New York strip was perfect. Whatever you have as your main course, be sure to get the au gratin potatoes for a side dish. These are so gooey and thick you may not notice there are potatoes included.

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Ruth’s Chris Steak House
Address80 Colonial Center Parkway
CityLake Mary
Phone407-804-8220
Price$$$$$
Scott's Review

In the days following Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans, Ruth’s Chris accelerated its plan to move the chain’s headquarters to Central Florida. Subsequently, it opened this location – it’s third in the area – as a sort of flagship. There has never been any question about the quality of the food, especially the signature steaks. But beware the servers’ attempts to upsell. They can be persuasive and, on some occasions, deceptive. Other locations include: 610 N. Orlando Ave., Winter Park; 407-622-2444; and 7501 W. Sand Lake Road, Orlando; 407-226-3900.

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Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill
Address14900 Chelonia Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-919-6300
Price$$$
Seemingly out of nowhere, a big new JW Marriott has appeared and along with it a pretty darned good restaurant, Sear + Sea Woodfire Grill. The hotel is a new neighbor of other large hotels like the Waldorf Astoria, Hilton and Wyndham in the area known as Bonnet Creek. In fact, if you sit on the restaurant’s comfortably spacious veranda, as I did on my recent visit, you’ll have a view of the actual creek and its woody banks just below. As you might deduce from the clever name, Sear + Sea is a steak and seafood restaurant, which might sound a bit ho-hum at first. But the menu, under the direction of chef de cuisine Alex Pyser, is creative and appealing.... Read more
Shula's Steak House
Address1500 Epcot Resorts Blvd.
Walt Disney World Dolphin
CityLake Buena Vista
Phone407-934-1362
Price$$$$

Shula's is consistently one of the best steakhouses in Central Florida. The decor is high-toned and classy, with a wood-trimmed corporate boardroom mien. Large black and white photos of football action that adorn the walls are tasteful and appropriate. The only real bit of kitsch is the menu, which is printed on the side of an official NFL football (don't even think of trying to walk out with it -- you'll be tackled so fast you won't even see the hostess coming up behind you.)

The steaks here are first-rate and expertly cooked. It ain't cheap, but quality this good is worth the price.

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Spencer's
AddressHilton Orlando
6001 Destination Parkway
CityOrlando
Phone407-313-8625
Price$$$$
Scott's Review
The full name is Spencer's for Steaks & Chops, but that's a bit limiting. Spencer's is a terrific all-around restaurant. Be sure to try the crab cakes and fried poached egg appetizers. Steaks are first rate, but so is the double-cut lamb chop and king salmon (served under a glass dome filled with smoke). Although Spencer's is located inside a hotel next to the Convention Center, this is a restaurant worthy of local attention. The decor is upscale casual, and a meal here is a relaxing evening.... Read more