Dining at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort, Florida: Top Three Picks in the area

One of the great things about Disney’s Vero Beach Resort is that it is ideally situated along a quiet section of Florida’s Treasure Coast, within a short drive of the busier sections of Vero Beach (to the south) and Sebastian (to the north). This is one of the reasons why the beautiful stretch of sandy beach in front of the resort is usually not too crowded, making for a great Florida beach holiday on the Atlantic Ocean.

Shutters Restaurant, Disney's Vero Beach Resort, Florida

Shutters is located onsite at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort and serves triple duty as a breakfast diner, a character dining experience and a worthwhile dinner option.

When it comes to dining at the resort, there are several convenient choices located right on the property. Shutters is the main family restaurant that offers breakfast and dinner and also plays host to a couple of pirate-themed experiences including Disney characters (although I was sad to see the meat loaf gone from the Shutters menu on our most recent visit). Next to Shutters is Sonya’s, a slightly more upscale restaurant where you can order more refined dishes than you will find at Shutters. In addition to these two options, you can also get lighter offerings in the Green Cabin Room, which is a bar lounge environment overlooking the oceanfront, but is still family friendly and recently added a children’s menu. Finally, you can get breakfast muffins and quick service meals at Bleacher’s by the main pool. You can also order a pizza onsite to bring back to your room.

All of these options provide decent meal offerings, but if you are in the area you may want to venture offsite to get a taste of some local flavors. Considering you will likely have a car if you stay at this resort (it would be challenging to stay here without transportation), there are a few options worth mentioning that have proven reliable time after time in my many stays at Disney’s Vero Beach Resort over the years.

Orchid Island Pizza, Vero Beach, Florida

If you want pizza, the best place to go is only steps away from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort. Skip the hotel’s offering and head over to Orchid Island Pizza — and be sure to request thin crust and well done.

ORCHID ISLAND PIZZA
When it comes to pizza, instead of ordering the hotel pizza (which is passable, but not great), you can either drive or walk a few hundred yards to Orchid Island Pizza on the corner of A1A and Wabasso Beach Road (510). This pizza and pasta restaurant has a wide-ranging menu of Italian fare for take-out (there is no dining room), but the pizza here is really the star. Orchid Island’s New York Style (thinner crust) pizza has great crust and tasty toppings. Make sure to order your pizza thin crust and well done for the best taste experience.

9300 Hwy A1A, Vero Beach. Phone: 772-388-5151

Squid Lips, Sebastian, Florida

Squid Lips in Sebastian not only has a unique setting right on the water, but it is without a doubt one of the best values in local dining with food that always delivers. Squid Lips is an annual favourite for our family.

SQUID LIPS
If you really want to experience rustic local ambiance, with excellent food and a great value, make your way 15-minutes up the coast to Squid Lips in Sebastian. This oceanfront restaurant is wide open to the Atlantic Ocean making it particularly fun for kids because they can go down to the lower level dock to feed the ocean catfish that hang around waiting for handouts. This restaurant has a great location and good food. A perennial favourite.

1660 N. Indian River Drive, Sebastian. Phone: 772-589-3828 www.squidlipsgrill.com

Ocean Grill, Vero Beach, Florida

If you’re looking for a meal that is more upscale than Squid Lips, head south from Disney’s Vero Beach Resort to Ocean Grill. This is an excellent spot right on the beach with a stellar menu to match.

OCEAN GRILL
A slightly upscale atmosphere compared to Squid Lips (but not overly expensive), Ocean Grill has excellent seafood and a great location on the beach in Vero. To get to Ocean Grill you simply drive straight down A1A from the Resort and hang a left at 60 (roughly a 15-minute drive). Get there early to try for a window seat next to the beach. Seatings start at 5:00 p.m. so if you arrive a little before 5:00 p.m. you can browse their quaint gift shop and hopefully snag yourself a beachfront table. Ocean Grill is not open to the beach, so you will be in air conditioning.

1050 Beachland Blvd/Ocean Drive, Vero Beach. Phone: 772-231-5409 www.ocean-grill.com

What are your favourite restaurants when visiting Disney’s Vero Beach Resort?

~ Mike Belobradic
1923MainStreet.com