Hope you're hungry, UCF Knights.

As students trickle back on to campus this January, they won't only be greeted with the familiar facade of dorm rooms and the sounds of textbooks maxing out credit cards — but a whole new host of restaurants preparing to open up shop.

Several new UCF-area restaurants are slotted to open this month and with them comes a wide range of new cuisine options.

Here's a quick breakdown of the new eateries opening in January near campus and what they have to offer:


QarmaCrêpes, a restaurant specializing in the art of thin, stuffed pancake-like confections, will open across the street from the UCF main campus. Restaurant owners said they're pushing to open the third week of January but are waiting on inspection approval from the state.

The restaurant will be located in the University Commons shopping center, next to Kaplan Test Prep. The shopping center is located at the intersection of Alafaya Trail and Corporate Boulevard.

Previously located in Thornton Park, the crepe confectionery shut its doors to pick up and move closer to the university.

As for its menu, QarmaCrêpes offers selections of protein-filled crepes, breakfast crepes and dessert crepes ranging in price from $3.50 to $9.

At the new location, university students and faculty will get a 10 percent discount and have the opportunity to take advantage of daily specials, such as $6 select "savory crepes" on Wednesdays.

Savory crepes are like a thin pancake rolled up and filled with meat, cheese and other ingredients, depending on what is ordered.

Spoleto – My Italian Kitchen

It's a place that boasts the concept of "you're the chef," and it comes with a twinge of garlic.

The first of its kind in the United States, Spoleto is a fast-casual restaurant that allows guests to choose from a multitude of traditional Italian dishes, ranging from pasta and flatbreads to salads and soups, while simultaneously interacting with a chef to customize their meals.

The restaurant will open this month in the Plaza on University, right across from the main entrance to campus. An exact opening date has not yet been announced.

Spoleto currently only has locations in Brazil, Mexico and CostaRica, so this will be its first venture not only in Orlando, but in the United States. Prices for entrees range from $9 to $12 with a drink included.

Fans of the restaurant describe the chain as being a lot like Chipotle, but instead of burritos, you make a pasta dish or salad.

Pie Five Pizza Co.

Slated to open Jan. 16, Pie Five Pizza Co. will take over the restaurant space that was formerly Greens and Grille on University Boulevard.

If you come in to Pie Five starving, never fear — you won't have to wait long. The restaurant boasts an ability to make fresh pizzas in under five minutes.

"Tell us your favorite crust, sauce and toppings, and we'll create and bake it in under five," its website states.

Besides creating their own pizza, customers can choose from a list of suggested pies, salads and desserts. The restaurant also offers specialty drinks, such as the "Perfectly Peach Ginger Tea."

As one of its unique features, Pie Five has a flat rate of $6.99 per pizza, which can include as many or as few toppings as a customer pleases. The same rate is set for salads.

Both pizzas and salads are personal pan sized. Desserts and side dishes are $2 and up.


With an opening aimed at Jan. 20, BurgerFi will join Spoleto in the growing Plaza on University complex.

BurgerFi offers a host of "never frozen, all-natural burgers," according to its website, along with hot dogs, custard, beer, wine and a "secret menu." The secret menu jazzes up traditional dishes, such as adding garlic and herbs to French fries or making a burger "supreme" with mushrooms, bacon and cheese.

The menu calls for customers to pick their burgers of choice, add their desired free toppings and then "indulge" with premium options, such as potato chips or chili.

Although prices have not been set for the menu at the UCF location, the Winter Park BurgerFi has a price range of $6 to $10 for burgers, $4 to $5 for hot dogs and $4 to $5 for custards.

The night before opening, BurgerFi plans to hold a special event featuring a free burger or hot dog meal for UCF students, said Charlie Guzzetta, senior marketing manager for BurgerFi International. Students will be able to register online on a first-come, first-served basis to receive a free hot dog or burger, French fry or onion rings and a soft drink at the event.

NadaHassanein, Danielle Hedrix, Adam Rhodes and Ashley White contributed to this report.


Jessica J. Saggio is the Managing Editor at the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaJSaggio or email her at

Read or Share this story: