Have you ever found yourself in a routine of visiting the same handful of four or five restaurants over and over again? Have you found yourself in a frustrating discussion with your loved ones over which restaurant to pick? Can’t seem to get a conclusive answer from the undecided and hungry kids? Well, if so, it’s time to visit us in the Sanford/ Lk. Mary/ Heathrow area just north of Orlando in Seminole County.
Whether you’re looking for a special place to relax for a quiet dinner on the waterfront; a fun, active atmosphere for pizza, pop and games; or simply casual, family-friendly dining, you can find it here in the Sanford/ Lk. Mary/ Heathrow area.
Just a short drive east on Interstate 4, about 20 minutes from downtown Orlando, you can discover many family-friendly restaurants within a few miles of exits 101a, b, and c. There are a number of chain restaurants such as McDonald’s, Wendy’s, Chili’s, Outback Steakhouse, and the like, but for my family we enjoy visiting a few of the lesser known as well…and they get our votes for “The Best Local Restaurants For Families”.
When we are seeking a fun night out, my eleven-year-old daughter, Carmella, always invites a few friends and we go to Kid Tropolis, which is located just minutes from our home, at 4932 W. SR 46 in Sanford’s Westwood Village Plaza. Kid Tropolis is similar to Chuck e Cheese in concept, but that’s about it. There isn’t a giant mouse banging on a noisy piano, just arcade-style games, pizza, a number of televisions, chicken wings, beer, wine, a salad bar, sandwiches, wraps and lots of competitive fun for all ages! The games are geared for various ages, interests and skill levels. The games provide an opportunity for my out-of-shape body to challenge my daughter and her friends without requiring a visit to the chiropractor! Plus, the games allow the kids to burn off a little extra energy on the dancing machine or strut their stuff on guitar hero! For the budget conscience, it’s a fair deal. A great time can be had for a party of six for less than $75.00, including dinner. For us, it’s tops on our list for family fun and dinner! Visit their website at www.KidTropolis.net or call (407) 936-3900 for information and/or birthday party reservations.
If we are seeking fun, but my lovely wife and I prefer not to physically participate, then we’ll visit Joe’s Crab Shack, EXIT 101c, east on SR 46 about 1/2 mile, in Sanford. Just as their name implies, they specialize in seafood. The atmosphere is laid-back, playful and almost backyard-ish. There is an outdoor playground, complete with sand and slides, of which I have only been allowed to see because my wife won’t allow me to play on the playground. Something about it embarrasses her or something like that…Anyway, inside the staff is happy and friendly. Every now and again, they sing and dance the Macarena. They started that in 1995, and haven’t stopped yet! As for the food, I’d venture to say that their steampots are their biggest sellers. There are seven different flavored steampots, two of which can be ordered to share. And if you desire a lil’ extra kick, like I do, just request a lil’ of the seasoning “on-the-side”. My wife and I usually order the Ragin Cajun and the OLD BAY steampots. The pots come filled with crab, shrimp, sausage, fresh corn and potatoes. They also offer fish and seafood platters and there is a full-liquor bar complete with killer Margaritas! Trust me, you will leave with a full stomach and an overall good time! A family of four, should be able to get out of the joint for under a hundred bucks, including tip!
Another favorite is Tijuana Flats, 5030 W. SR 46, Sanford. Tijuana Flats Earned a “honorable mention” rating for “Best Family Dining” in My City Eats & Entertainment , Orlando Edition/ Summer 2010, and my family agrees. It is an enjoyable dining experience because, as stated in their manifesto, “The ‘Anything Goes’ approach to food, wall art, hot sauce & life in general…eat what you like how you like it…” you can order and eat your food EXACTLY how you want it! No worries about trying to please everyone here.You order your taco, burrito, quesadilla, chimichanga or WHATEVER you desire to eat from a Tex-mex style menu, like you want it! If you want it super-duper hot, you got it! Extra sauce? Done! Want it extra “wet”? Just ask for more salsa or chipotle sauce. The menu even consist of low-fat and under 500 calorie items. They’re reasonably priced and you can even order in advance at www.tijuanaflats.com ,call(407) 936-0154 or fax (407) 936-0156. Plan ahead during lunch time as the place is fairly busy.
Sanford, Florida, has many restaurants. Some have been popular for decades, others are family restaurants during lunch time, then transform into more adult oriented restaurants after the workday ends. Two of our family’s favorites for lunch are Scruffy Duffers, (you HAVE to order the fries!), 100 S. White Cedar Road (corner of SR 46 and White Cedar) and Wolfy’s, downtown Sanford (near the marina) on Lake Monroe. For breakfast, check out Colonial House, in the historical downtown district or BB’s for a Gyro Omelet- both are highly recommended by my friend Danny (and his wife Pat) and many of the area’s long-time residents. In short, whatever your family wants for dinner, you’ll be sure to find it in the Sanford/ Lk. Mary/ Heathrow area.