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Tapa Toro

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by Gail Clifford MD (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer and photographer traveling the world, often following my daughter. Visit our site at www.ABLETravelPhoto.com and follow us on Instagram @ABLETravelPhoto
Published September 16th 2022
Tapas, Orlando, Florida, Visit Orlando, Tapa Toro, restaurant, great places to eat, lunch, dinner, flamenco, Spanish, service, paella, chef
Tapa Toro Orlando under the Wheel at ICON Park


Our first stop on a whirlwind trip to Orlando is lunch at Tapa Toro on International "I" Drive in Orlando's famous tourism corridor at ICON Park. The Wheel at ICON Park, formerly known as the Orlando EYE, towers over the Tapa Toro which has rolled out the red carpet for hungry visitors hungry for their contemporary Spanish cuisine.

Welcomed instantly by staff, we move from a table by the bar to the chef's table around the paella pit and watch as Chef creates flavorful seafood paella with scents wafting across stimulating our already active appetites.

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Chef at Tapa Toro


We're fortunate to have Fitzgerald as our server, photo model, introducer, and new best friend. A native of Bucharest, Romania, he was given this very Irish name after our President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

Fitzgerald was the perfect person to care for us making thoughtful recommendations over tapas, gluten-free meals, and filling iced water with lemon or Coca-Cola products as needed.

For celiacs, it's important to discuss specialty needs with the staff. For example, the potatoes, which smell and look scrumptious, are deep fried with breaded items so are a no-no for celiacs. The salmon, my choice for lunch, was served with rice, asparagus, and the largest capers I've ever seen in my life. I cut into them, just to check the flavor, and found them to be one of the saltiest things I've ever tried.

My colleagues, another travel writer and the Visit Orlando representative, were much more adventurous with Pulpo Gallego (fried octopus) and seafood combination, or the most delicious tapas I've seen outside of Spain.

Tapa Toro recommends two to three tapas per person as the small savory dishes can be served before a main meal or, in combination, as the primary meal.

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7 dishes for 3 hungry ladies at tapa toro


For the best of all worlds, we appreciated Paula's recommendations. She's been here before and skillfully matched flavor profiles with beef empanadas, patatas con chorizo, ham croquettes, and tomato-rubbed bread.

Fitzgerald readily supplied pepper as we requested.

Chef revealed his skills with the shrimp paella in a paellera (paella pan). His cheerful smile made the experience that much more wonderful.

In addition to the red carpet, photo ops abound at Tapa Toro. From the flamenco dancers in the front by the bar (ready for nights when music and dance is available) to the pictures along the wall in front of the restrooms that magically move, much like Hogwarts mobile portraits that are sometimes too quick to capture.

For an excellent meal where you're welcomed as well-loved family, check out Tapa Toro. And ask for Fitzgerald.

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Fitzgerald serves at Tapa Toro

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Where: 8441 International Dr #260, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
Your Comment
What the secret that you managed to take picture of some of this place staffs, even going behind the scene with the chef? People usually refuse if I wanted to take their picture
by Mindo Koerber (score: 2|662) 186 days ago
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