6 Reasons Foodies Need to Visit Orlando in October 2017

The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of many reasons foodies should visit Orlando in October.
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival is one of many reasons foodies should visit Orlando in October.

When you think of food scenes, you may not think of Orlando, but let me tell you, this place is a foodie paradise. Want proof? Check out these six great food events happening this month alone:

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Visit Orlando Magic Dining Month at Various Central Florida Restaurants

THROUGH OCTOBER 12

Try some of the best food Orlando has to offer during this annual event that has been extended due to Hurricane Irma. Over 100 restaurants are offering a three-course menu for just $35 per person.

Participating are some of Central Florida's best restaurants, including DoveCote, The Rusty Spoon, Maxine's on Shine, 1921 by Norman Van Aken, Canvas, Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen, Urbain 40, and so many more.

There are even fine dining theme park restaurants participating, including Jiko at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Sharks Underwater Grill at SeaWorld Orlando, and BiCE Ristorante at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando.

For a full list of participating restaurants, menus, and more, visit VisitOrlando.com.

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Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World

THROUGH NOVEMBER 13

This annual event offers a literal dine around the world experience with kiosks representing different countries offering up native food and beverage samples.

Enjoy Spicy Ethiopian Red Lentil Stew in Africa, walk a few steps, and sample Beijing Roasted Duck Bao Bun with Mango Bubble Tea in China. Purchase a Liquid Nitro Chocolate-Almond Truffle at the Chocolate Studio, then wash it down with a La Passion Martini Slush in France. The taste combinations are limitless with over 200 samples available from numerous country and specialty marketplaces.

Samples run from $3 to $8 on average, and Epcot park admission is required.

There are also Signature Dinners taking place at Walt Disney World resorts and at Disney Spring restaurants in conjunction with the festival. Prices range from $75 to $259.

Read my Epcot Food & Wine preview at CitySurfing Orlando for more information.

Food & Wine Weekends at Waldorf Astoria Orlando and Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek

THROUGH NOVEMBER 13

The two hotels are pairing together to offer weekend culinary experiences for guests, in conjunction with offering complimentary transportation to Epcot for the International Food & Wine Festival mentioned above.

While at the hotel, enjoy four-course dinners at La Luce, Bull & Bear, and Zeta Asia, all with wine pairings. Guests can also sample the Macaron Bar at MYTH Bar, indulge at the Bar du Chocolat & Champagne Tasting, or do a traditional Royal Tea. All of these culinary events are an additional charge per event, and are open to resort guests and the public.

Rates at the Hilton Orlando Bonnet Creek start at $169 per night. Rates at the Waldorf Astoria Orlando start at $307 per night.

For more information on the Food & Wine Weekends, visit HiltonBonnetCreek.com or WaldorfAstoriaOrlando.com.

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Friends of the Pig Anniversary Dinner at The Ravenous Pig, Winter Park

OCTOBER 8

Celebrate the 10th anniversary of this popular Orlando area restaurant with this one-night only dinner.

Enjoy a meal crafted by Chef/Owners James & Julie Petrakis, along with their friends Chefs Rhys & Lexi Gawlawk from Swine & Sons, Clayton Miller from DoveCote Brasserie, Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon, Brandon McGlamery of Luna on Park/Prato/Luke's Kitchen & Bar, and Kevin Fonzo, founder of K Restaurant. Wines will be selected by Master Sommelier George Miliotes, who will soon have his own wine bar at Disney Springs.

Cost: $175 (includes wine pairings) Visit the event's Facebook page for more info.

Homestead Harvest at Whisper Creek Farm at The Ritz-Carlton at Grande Lakes, Orlando

OCTOBER 26

The Highball & Harvest team will be joined by Bravo’s Top Chef star Kenny Gilbert from Gilbert’s Underground Kitchen and Gilbert’s Social for a meal that will feature ingredients sourced from the resort's on-site farm.

Local talent including Chefs Kathleen Blake of The Rusty Spoon, James Petrakis of The Ravenous Pig, Kevin Fonzo previously of K Restaurant, Austin Boyd of The Osprey Tavern, and many more, will also be cooking up bites at the event. The one-night-only food and beverage event will benefit Fleet Farming.

Cost: $135 per person; VIP $160. Visit the event's ticket page for more info.

8th Annual Food and Wine Classic at Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin

OCTOBER 27 - 28

This delicious annual festival offers up food from the resort's culinary team and restaurants around the causeway between the two resorts. Add on access to the beer garden for an additional cost (I recommend you do).

You can also enlighten your knowledge of food and beverage with seminars each day including wines, cocktails, beer, pasta-making, cheese pairing, or the fine art of sushi and sake for an additional charge per seminar. These are so fun! At one, I got to make nitrogen-infused wine (photo below).

As the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are Epcot-area resorts, it's easy to combine this event with a trip to the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival mentioned above. Especially if taking advantage of an overnight package.

Cost: $115 for causeway tickets; add beer garden access for $25; seminars additional $50 per

Food and Wine Classic packages are available including a 1-night room accommodation for 2 and 2 Causeway tickets, starting at $424.

Visit swandolphinfoodandwineclassic.com for tickets and more info.

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And these are only six of the many reasons foodies will enjoy the Orlando area during the month of October 2017. There are so many delicious events scheduled for the month - nearly one every day! To get the complete list, check out Central Florida Foodie Events for October 2017.

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