Ponderosa Steakhouse Restaurants in Florida

By James | Last updated June 7, 2024

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Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants in Florida are similar to Sizzlers in that you queue up, order and pay for your meal, and then are seated.

One of the most asked questions these days is “are there any Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants still open on International Drive?” and sadly the answer is “No” but there is one nearby

If you are looking to eat at a Ponderosa restaurant in Florida today, your options are pretty limited, to say the least. There is now only one Ponderosa Steakhouse in the state.

The classic Orlando Ponderosa experience would take you to Kissimmee, near the thrills of theme parks. This sole-standing Ponderosa Steakhouse in Florida continues to serve many dishes that have been long-time favorites. You can still indulge in the all-you-can-eat buffet, enjoy a juicy steak, or relish in the comfort of hearty American cuisine in the casual and welcoming atmosphere.

The Location is:

  • 7598 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, FL 34747 – corner of North Old Lake Wilson RoadTel: (407) 396–7721
  • Distance from Walt Disney World Resort: Approximately 3.9 miles
Ponderosa Florida Maps Location
Ponderosa Florida Maps Location

The Ponderosa Restaurant Experience in Florida

With Ponderosa Steakhouse, the “all you care to eat” buffet, which contains over 100 items, including desserts, used to be included for free with your lunch or dinner entrees, but it is now a $4.00 add-on. This is a very extensive buffet, but it is not available as an option on its own.

The entree menu includes steak, ribs, seafood, chicken, and pork, typically priced between $9.99 and $18.99 (excluding the buffet). There is also a children’s menu for kids 4–10; children under 4 eat free, one for every adult diner.

In addition to the lunch and dinner buffets, they also have their famous “All You Care To Eat Breakfast Buffet” for $6.99, which is available between 8 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. daily.

Ponderosa Steakhouse Restaurant in Kissimmee
Ponderosa Steakhouse back in 2010

Hours are typically:

  • Breakfast from 8 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
  • Lunch from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Dinner from 4:00 p.m. to between 9 p.m.

Our views on Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants are that the food is fine, a bit cheaper than Sizzlers, but a bit impersonal. Also, watch for Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurant coupons in the free visitor guides.

History of The Ponderosa Restaurants

The Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurant chain used to operate throughout the USA, but in recent years, several of its restaurants have closed, leaving just one Florida restaurant, which is in the Kissimmee area.

This a list of all the Orlando/Kissimmee Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurant locations that are now closed, including all the Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants on International Drive:

  • 5771 West Irlo Bronson Memorial Highway, Kissimmee, FL 34746 – near Florida Plaza Boulevard
    Tel: (407) 397–2477- CLOSED
  • 4024 West Vine Street, Kissimmee, FL 34741 – south side of Highway 192, opposite Osceola Square Mall
    Tel: (407) 846–3339 – CLOSED
  • 6362 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 – the northern end of International Drive across from the Holiday Inn
    Tel: (407) 352–9343 – CLOSED
  • 8510 International Drive, Orlando, FL 32819 – centre of International Drive
    Tel: (407) 354–1477- CLOSED
  • 8200 World Center Drive, Orlando, FL 32821 – corner of SR 535
    Tel: (407) 238–2526 – CLOSED

The Bonanza Steakhouse chain was founded in 1963 by Dan Blocker. He played the character Eric “Hoss” Cartwright on Bonanza, a TV Western series that was popular in the 1960s and early 1970s. The rival Ponderosa Steakhouse chain opened in 1965 and got its name from the Cartwright family ranch in Nevada called “Ponderosa.”

In 1989, the Metromedia Restaurant Group acquired and merged the two chains, but they kept their original names.

There were about 700 Ponderosa locations at that time, but this number had dropped to less than 400 by 2003.

2008, Metromedia filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and emerged as Homestyle Dining LLC. Further financial difficulties in 2016 resulted in Ponderosa and Bonanza becoming part of FAT Brands Restaurants. Still, by 2023, the number of Ponderosa/Bonanza steakhouses had dwindled to just 21 in the USA, with most in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. There are about another 50 located overseas.