13 Best Restaurants in Sanford, FL

Sanford, Florida, lies close to fabulous visitor attractions. Sanford is known for its historic downtown area and abundant spectacular food and drink venues, and some of the best restaurants in Sanford.

Sanford, Florida, is where award-winning culinary experts and chefs have moved to and fallen in love with the array of five-star restaurants. The food and drink venues make historic Sanford a well-known food and drink scene that visitors gather and enjoy. Listed below, you will find some of the top-rated food eateries.

1. Shantell’s Just Until (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 407-878-7785 | WEBSITE

Best Restaurants in Sanford, FL

Shantell’s is one of the best restaurants in Sanford and serves up an American Southern Soul food venue. This restaurant offers an exceedingly delicious array of comfort food and fun events.

Guests visiting Sanford are encouraged to try Shantell’s unique and delicious home-cooked soul food. Signature dishes include chicken and waffles, specialty burgers, chicken wings, salmon croquettes, and jerk chicken and rice.

Shantell’s serves an extensive list of alcoholic beverages such as beer, wine, and cocktails. Enjoy live jazz music in a cozy, comfortable, clean atmosphere. Enjoy a cup of the best coffee in town.



2. Fuel BBQ (Five-Star)

$ | 407-328-4848 | WEBSITE

Sanford, FL Best Restaurants

Fuel’s has been serving down-home BBQ for over 15 years. Fuels have some of the best BBQ menus in the South. Eat in, take out, and order online.

Fuel BBQ, in conjunction with The Alley, serves up an exciting menu of live music venues every night. Access the event calendar to pick your night, but be sure to make reservations as seating fills up quickly.



3. El Zocalo Mexican Restaurant (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 321-363-4111 | WEBSITE


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El Zocalo serves up the best authentic, freshly made on-site daily Mexican cuisine in Sanford. Specialties include fajitas, burritos, enchiladas, and quesadillas.

Alcoholic beverages include the perfect cocktails, served by excellent staff. Specialty drinks include The Zocola House Margarita, The Hibiscus Margarita, and The Strawberry Mojito.

El Zocalo serves lunch and dinner and offers takeout, pick-up, and delivery.



4. The Tennessee Truffle (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 407-942-3977 | WEBSITE

Sanford, FL Best Restaurant

The Tennessee Truffle is a casual dress environment where authentic southern hospitality and cuisine are number one. Their extensive southern cooking menu is overly enticing and never dull. The chef creates the most amazing dishes for a southern venue using fresh ingredients bought daily from local farmers.

Reservations are welcomed, and they recommend reserving a table to ensure you get the best seating. Reserve your next private dinner or special event. Catering your next party is an option for the most delicious and memorable event. No worries about parking, as parking is ample in downtown Sanford.



5. Hollerbach’s (Five-star)

$$$ | 407-321-2204 | WEBSITE


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Owners Theo and Linda Hollerbach are seasoned and experienced chefs in German cuisine. This German restaurant, in business for over 20 years, has a staff of over 170 and a restaurant that seats 660 guests. You can always count on the best in German cuisine Sanford offers. This Five-Star Restaurant offers a full German menu with vegetarian and gluten-free options.

Hollerbach’s has a full bar, an Art Haus gallery, a Rooftop Biergarten, and a German outfitters store with authentic German attire. This restaurant caters for events and private parties. Oktoberfest is celebrated yearly with an abundance of German food, beer, live music, dance, and folk costumes.

Reservations and walk-ins are welcomed. They are closed on primary holidays and only open until 4 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday.



6. The District Eatery Tap and Barrel (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 407-330-2730 | WEBSITE

Restaurants in Sanford, FL

This delicious rustic restaurant seats guests in an artisan-style dining room. The bar showcases an industrial style. Their cuisine is classic/contemporary and seasonal American dishes.

The District caters to vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options. All meals are made from scratch, and ingredients are bought fresh daily from local businesses and farms.

Lunch and dinner are options, as is their full-service bar with craft beer on tap and a hand-selected wine list of America’s best wine regions. Be sure to try one of their signature-artisanal cocktails made with seasonal ingredients.



7. Caffe Di Riverwalk (Five-Star)

$ | 407-328-8792 | WEBSITE

Sanford, FLRestaurants

This five-star restaurant earns high food, service, value, and atmosphere ratings. They are known for their coffee and tea venues and their deliciously healthy prepared meals at affordable prices. A few specialties include, but are certainly not limited to, banana blueberry homemade muffins, fresh bagels, and macchiato.

If you want a delicious, quick meal, you must try this restaurant, where you have the option to dine in or take out. Dining is casual, and there is outside seating available.

They serve American Cafe for breakfast, lunch, and brunch. They cater to vegetarian-friendly and vegan options.



8. The Old Jail House (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 407-548-6964 | WEBSITE


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This unique restaurant is located in Sanford’s decorative old jail house. Original brickwork was uncovered in its renovations. Historic architectural details were found, including old brick archways and double-hung wood windows. The jail bars remain in the windows, making this restaurant unique.

Every dish on the menu, including alcoholic beverages, is made from scratch. Ingredients are purchased fresh daily from area businesses and farms. Menu options are Florida-inspired cuisine. This restaurant’s full-service bar serves an extensive list of fine spirits, wine, craft beer, and crafted artisanal cocktails.

The Old Jail House caters to private parties and has space to accommodate special events of up to 200 guests. They are open for lunch, dinner, and brunch. Walk-ins are welcomed, but it is advisable to call ahead for reservations.



9. Chianti’s Pizza & Pasta (5-Star)

$ | 407-878-5900 | WEBSITE


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This pizza and pasta specialty Italian American restaurant is a famous pizza and pasta venue for single-date nights or family-friendly dining with dine-in or takeout options. The building itself has an old-world tavern look. It is a casual yet elegant dining experience. Menu options are family-affordable and delicious.

One of the specialty items on the extensive Italian menu includes a tasty Italian Club sandwich, lobster ravioli, a variety of small servings, salads, homemade soups, entrees, and brick oven-baked thin-crust pizzas. Menu options are made fresh daily with fresh local ingredients.

There is a wide selection of wines and beers.



10. The Breezeway Restaurant & Bar (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 407-878-1284 | WEBSITE

Restaurant in Sanford, FL

The Breezeway Restaurant & Bar’s specialty is Southern-comfort seafood. Every menu option is prepared to perfection. However, one popular menu option is the blackened Mahi.

Dine inside, where guests enjoy the cozy nautical interior. You have the option to dine outside on their stunning patio. The patio is dressed in a lovely decor of massive brick, a spectacular fountain, and beautiful tropical greenery. Either way, you will love their southern-comfort menu options.

The historic wood-finished full bar is attended by expert bartenders who can mix a tasty cocktail to accompany your dinner.

The Breezeway has plenty of seating, but reservations are recommended to ensure you can get a table. The Breezeway is available to cater to private parties and events.



11. Johns River Steak & Seafood (Five-Star)

$$-$$$ | 407-878-0980 | WEBSITE


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This casual, family-friendly Sanford restaurant is said to be one of the most picturesque eateries in or around Sanford. Its location on Palmetto Ave sits on Lake Monroe at Monroe Harbour Marina. You can dine inside or dine outside on their giant deck.

The menu carries a wide variety of fresh seafood in addition to various sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and steaks. One specialty item this restaurant serves, popular with guests, is their authentic New Orleans Gumbo.

Others have raved about another signature seafood dish, crabmeat stuffed with grouper over dirty rice. Their dishes are made fresh daily on-site with the freshest seafood and ingredients bought locally from businesses and farms.

They have a full bar serving expertly prepared cocktails, a wide variety of beers, and a complete list of tasty wines.



12. Buster’s Bistro (4.8-Star)

$-$$ | 407-732-6880 | WEBSITE


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Busters’s Bistro, a family-friendly, casual restaurant, features an authentic Belgian beer bar and bistro. They provide a sports bar and dining experience with TVs for your favorite games, and an old-school arcade.

Enjoy happy hour daily. If guests prefer to dine in a more quiet and romantic atmosphere, Buster’s has a beautiful and colorful garden dining experience right in historic downtown Sanford.

Buster’s offers guests artisanal Belgian beer on tap and authentic Belgian food made on-site with the freshest local ingredients. While Buster’s offers wide menu options, the classic twice-fried Belgian Frites are a popular, in-demand food and a must-try.

Order online for pickup.



13. Mellow Mushroom Sanford (Five-Star)

$-$$ | 407-321-4827 | WEBSITE


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By 2024, the family-friendly, casual Mellow Mushroom will have been serving residents and visitors to Sanford, Florida for 50 years. No restaurant stays in business for 50 years unless they are in demand as one of the leading eateries in their city.

The Mellow Mushroom was born out of an idea in Atlanta, Georgia, and ended up in Historic Sanford. This pizza parlor has done so well over the years that it now has almost 50 other locations up and down the east coast.

The Mellow Mushroom is a creative and fun pizza place that is well-known for its thin-crust pizza. All ingredients put into all their dishes are bought fresh daily from locals and farms in the area.

Their goal is healthy eating. They use plenty of fresh milk, cheeses, and vegetables like fresh spinach, tomatoes, and more. They make their own sauces and pizza dough.

One menu item in demand is the Kosmic Karma Pie. So, when you visit the Mellow Mushroom, check out this item. Guests say it is one of the most popular. Enjoy relaxing and eating or you can order online and pick up your order.




When I researched the most popular restaurants in Sanford, FL, for my upcoming visit, there were too many good restaurants to mention in this write-up. When we travel, we like to research the area, especially the restaurants, and plan our trip accordingly.

Most restaurants in Sanford were 4.5-5 star rated eateries. According to reviews, the eateries rated lower than 4.5 were all the rave with guests. Every restaurant has pros and cons. No matter how high their rating, some reviews found fault with something. You cannot please everyone all the time.

You may visit a 5-star restaurant and not like the venue. You may visit a 3-star restaurant and fall in love with everything it offers.

You can never tell about ratings, meaning you must take your chances, pay any restaurant the respect it deserves, and eat a meal before making your own decision about the food, service, environment, and hospitality. This list does not do justice to Sanford, Florida’s restaurant scene.

Best Restaurants in Sanford

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About Restaurant Observer

Restaurant Observer is the ultimate go-to destination on the web when looking for nothing but fantastic places to genuinely enjoy food across the United States. Inspired by the saying when there’s good food, there’s a good life, Birch Restaurant starts the food blog to scout the best food places across the country.