Meals & Drink: Central Florida’s Outdated Diners and Drive-Ins

The inside of Kappy’s Subs stays largely unchanged because it’s opening. Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez

Information about Michelin stars and Bib Gourmand nods is sort of fixed, with Orlando turning into considerably of a meals mecca for foodies and those that simply love selection and high quality. However there are occasions you simply need one thing down-to-earth, no-nonsense, and easy, and that, my buddies is what you’ll discover at these outdated Central Florida Diners and Drive-Ins.

Kappy’s Subs
Maitland | Established 1967 

You’ll be able to’t miss the large Kappy’s signal on Orlando Avenue in Maitland. The no-frills restaurant has been a staple since 1967. “We name ourselves a Maitland custom,” says proprietor Rachel Milsom. “There are various households whose children grew up going to Kappy’s; some met their husbands and wives right here or rode their bicycles when in center faculty.”

This unpretentious diner has been in the identical household since its opening. It operates out of an unique Valentine Diner, basically an L-shaped field with simply 12 swiveling bar stools with weathered cushions, overlooking the kitchen the place a peaceful and picked up employees sweats by order after order of burgers, strawberry milkshakes, and Philly cheesesteaks. Valentine Diners had been prefab trailers designed to be run by only a few folks, and whereas they’re not being made anymore, the utilitarian allure makes you surprise why they couldn’t make a resurgence sometime. The youngest technology of the Caplan household has lately added their very own aptitude to the household enterprise, together with a stylish meals truck and a few progressive additions to the menu. Nonetheless, the actual magic is solely having the ability to sit within the roadside eating room of this Maitland-based icon and watch the world drive by on 17-92. 

Beneath a cover, people order on the window and seize a seat at a picnic desk out entrance. Inside there’s a diner-style counter with 12 light pink vinyl stools. Kappy’s is understood for its cheesesteak sandwiches—brown beef with American cheese and the normal Philly. Every little thing right here is handmade from scratch, together with favorites like chili, and roast pork, from Kappy’s particular recipe, for its Cubans. However what surprises prospects are the milkshakes. “We don’t use mixes. We make hand-dipped actual ice cream milkshakes. That’s one thing you simply don’t discover anymore,” says Milsom. |


Linda’s Winter Park Diner affords cubicles and counter stools for hungry visitors. Photograph by Roberto Gonzalez.

Linda’s Winter Park Diner
Winter Park | Established Fifties 

Positioned within the coronary heart of Winter Park, Linda’s Winter Park Diner has been a stalwart of the native culinary scene because the Fifties. This iconic diner is understood for its pleasant ambiance, speedy service, and numerous menu choices, making it a cherished breakfast and lunch spot for generations of Floridians and vacationers alike.

The center and soul of the diner, Linda D’Auria, has been its proud proprietor for practically 34 years. Beneath her seasoned stewardship, the Winter Park Diner has maintained its basic allure and distinct identification whereas regularly adapting to the altering tastes and preferences of its patrons.

Linda’s hands-on administration model, coupled together with her unwavering dedication to delivering high quality meals and repair, has been instrumental in securing the diner’s status as a dependable and reasonably priced place to dine. Her love for her prospects and dedication to the diner’s legacy are palpable within the cheerful ambiance that greets every customer.

Quick, pleasant service is a trademark of the Winter Park Diner. Linda and her workforce work tirelessly to make sure that each buyer feels at dwelling and each meal is served promptly – a testomony to the diner’s steadfast dedication to distinctive buyer expertise. Sadly, Linda’s is closing on the finish of this month, so hurry up and test it out earlier than it’s gone! |

For the street trippers, these spots are well worth the drive, and gained’t sting your pockets both! 


MoonLight Drive-In gives car-side service and wonderful meals. Photograph by Catherine Walters.

MoonLight Drive-In
Titusville | Established 1964 

Established in 1964, MoonLight is an unique, carhop themed restaurant named to honor the Apollo program and their many missions to the moon. Nearly 60 years later, you may nonetheless get the basic burger, sizzling canine, sub sandwich or for the sweeter facet, hand-spun milkshakes and basic sundaesthat make a becoming finish to a day at Canaveral Nationwide Seashore. MoonLight not solely affords the staples from their previous, they’ve new candy potato waffle fries, apple explosion sundae, an orange cream milkshake and extra. They even take particular requests. Drive-up or dine-in, they nonetheless provide carhop service in addition to intirior seating restored with the basic diner décor and partitions lined in nostalgia. |

Dino’s Drive-In
Winter Haven | Established 1968

Not too removed from Orlando, nearly an hour’s drive on I-4, you’ll discover pretty Winter Haven, dwelling to vintage shops like Sherman’s Antiques, LEGOLAND’s Florida Resort, a beautiful theater group, and even a pontoon pub crawl. A cease in (or by) Winter Haven isn’t full, nevertheless, with out a journey to Dino’s Drive-In. Recognized for his or her giant parts, affordable costs and improbable service, Dino’s boasts a gentle movement of shoppers seven days per week. Dino’s affords carhop service harking back to the Fifties and 60s, however affords a extra intensive menu. Regulars know to order the fried rooster, or the rooster livers in case your so inclined. Crinkle reduce fry followers will probably be stoked to know they’re thought of among the finest in Polk County. | Too Cool For The Web

Pappas Drive-In and Household Restaurant
New Smyrna Seashore | Established 1970 

Pappas Drive-In and Household Restaurant, a beloved establishment in New Smyrna Seashore, has been serving hearty, scrumptious meals since 1970. Originating as a humble drive-in, it rapidly gained the hearts of locals and guests alike, ultimately evolving right into a full-service household restaurant. The inside hasn’t modified a lot in 53 years, with its horseshoe counter of inexperienced stools providing visitors a snug seat and pleasant environment. 

Pappas is famend for its delicious American-style consolation meals with Greek influences, a nod to the household’s heritage. Regulars rave about their signature chargrilled burgers, fluffy pancakes, and the well-known Greek salad, bursting with taste. The gyro platter, one other favourite, options tender slices of seasoned lamb and beef, paired completely with tzatziki sauce. The historical past of Pappas is considered one of culinary ardour and household custom, reflecting in each dish served. 

Regardless of its development and recognition, the restaurant has remained true to its roots, nonetheless providing the welcoming, nostalgic ambiance that made it a fixture in the neighborhood. Pappas Drive-In and Household Restaurant continues to satiate the appetites and heat the hearts of all who dine there. |

Mac’s Drive-Through
Gainesville | Established 1987 

Glen McMillan opened Mac’s Drive-Through in 1987 along with his two sons, Jon and Ken. They introduced with them a dedication to offering good-quality, fast-food ready proper. The workforce they’ve constructed and Jon’s dedication to a high quality product is the rationale Mac’s has been Gainesville’s favourite burger since its opening. Irrespective of how you want your Burger -Mac’s Means (lettuce, tomato, onion, & mayo), All-the-Means (lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, ketchup, mustard, pickle), or ketchup solely -Mac’s makes it contemporary and simply the best way you prefer it. From a sizzling ham & cheese to a rooster sandwich to a cheeseburger, each sandwich is made to order. The identical could be stated of their fries. Mac’s Drive-Through is dedicated to preserving theMcMillan’s imaginative and prescient alive – a scrumptious and contemporary product at an excellent value. Mac’s is a money solely institution. |