Nearly 35 years after the opening of Disney and the subsequent explosion of the heart of Orange County, Orlando is still noticeably absent from some notable brands. Seeing that Orlando recently bumped off NYC as the most visited city, it remains a mystery at the Frog that some new and exciting chains don’t exist here. Now that doesn’t mean we are bashing mom-n’-pop restaurants (in fact, we still support them to this day)–we would like the city to have some of these:
“Another chicken place?” is probably the first thing you thought in your head. But hear me out. Fried chicken in Korea is rampant, so rampant that a fried chicken chani called Bonchon Chicken now has around 23 locations around America. With flavors in either Hot (think Korean hot) or Soy Garlic, this chain will hopefully end an area of serving blandness.
Japanese fast-casual? It’s a term that doesn’t exactly roll to everyone’s minds. Either you wait a long time for your Benihaha order to come up, or you go to Publix to get your sushi. But with Hai Street’s unique concept, you can get pretty much what you want in your sushi/rice bowl without going for a degree. It may be more expensive than your usual fast-casual, but exploration’s all a part of the game, right?
Tired of seeing 100 Paneras within a 10-square mile radius? Well, this is pretty much Panera’s worst nightmare. Focusing on flatbreads, sandwiches, and salads–Cosi has the distinction of having a full espresso bar. And another specialty? Their bread is baked for the public to see with an open-flame oven. Covering 16 states, Cosi’s unique concept would be a boon to the hustle-and-bustle of Central Florida.
4. Umami Burger
Burger chains, in our opinion, are experiencing a boom in Orlando. With the most recent Smashburger set to open on Fashion Square, it could be lucrative for this chain to join part of the fun as well. The thing with Umami Burger is the top-secret sauce that’s supposed to unlock the sixth taste. Not only that, each Umami Burger location has their own exclusive burger that’s not sold in other locations. With 24 locations in four states currently, Orlando would probably flood with saliva if Umami Burger opens in Orlando.
5. Ajisen Ramen
Getting 50-cent ramen at Walmart is a thing that only exists in your ordinary college stories… or so we wish. With the mere requirement of just slurping, a ramen chain is HUGE around Asia–but only six locations in New York and California. While ramen will probably be a packaged food for most, real ramen is a thing that the city of Universal and Disney should at least try out.