Orlando, FL was my home for a little over seven years. Aside from the second largest University in the nation, it holds tons of hidden treasures that I’m here to unsruface for you! This guide is of my favorite places around the downtown area as well as Winter Park, Disney World not included.
The Sanctum Cafe: The perfect spot for plant based eats. Their motto is ‘Real, Damn Good Food’ and rightfully so. My go to for brunch is the Sanctum Signature Burrito as a bowl (add avocado for extra fat!) and lunch/dinner is the Savage Salad or Sedona Bowl. The menu boasts delicious options of scratch-made sauces, my personal favorite part of any dish.
Dandelion Communitea Cafe: This place is the OG healthy fix in town. It’s set up in a small old house with tons of character and offers healthy organic vegetarian fare and an exciting assortment of teas. My favorite dish is the Polynesian Fantasy! Plus don’t miss Giddy Up Mondays, when their famous homemade hearty chili is only $6.
Grounding Roots: Amanda & Jed, the couple who own the juice joint, are among the kindest I know. Apart from their fresh and tasty juices, the people here are what keep me so engaged. Every person who works here is kind and knowledgable, happy to help offer the right juice to remedy your particular need. My favorites are the #1 and the GTL shots.
White Wolf Cafe: A classic in the Orlando area, White Wolf offers diner-like breakfast options in an upbeat vintage atmosphere. They also offer lunch and dinner, although I’ve never partaken. Known for their cinnamon buns and challah french toast, friends often rave about their sweet selections. I personally love a savory breakfast and opt for ‘The Usual’. Be sure to check out the big chalkboard inside for their daily specials. On occassion, they have a salmon omelette, this is always my go to! It’s filled with salmon, capers and brie, YUM!
Christo’s Cafe: Another Orlando classic. This spot has more of that greasy diner feel, but in the best way. It’s the ideal spot for Sunday brunch when you may or may not have a bit of a hangover. Usually Justin and I each get an omelette and share a huge pancake if we’re REALLY hungry. The food is great and cheap to boot. I love the lamb and feta filled Greek omelette.
Artisan’s Table: I love this spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Tons of great options! I’m especially fond of their breakfast bowls PLUS they offer coconut milk for your coffee. WIN! It is located downtown so parking can be a pain. I advise to come early if you’re looking for breakfast and that way you find street parking.
Hillstone Restaurant: Yep, I know it’s a chain. This restaurant isn’t unique to the Winter Park area. What is unique is the gorgeous view of Lake Killarney. It’s my favorite spot in town for happy hour and well worth the overpriced glass of wine to sit on the dock and enjoy the sunset.
New General Store: Lavendar latte anyone? This shop is right off the main strip of Park Ave in Winter Park and offers freshly prepared foods, coffees, apparel and home goods in a clean, cool, chic location. They are very environmentally aware and all products for sale have full ingredient transparency and good labor practices. They offer local Lineage Coffee and an assortment of delicious toasts which are available on sourdough, gluten free bread, or sweet potato toast upon request.
CycleBar: When I lived in the area, Cycle Bar was one of the only spin studios in town. Since then, others have opened- but CB holds a special place in my heart.
Orlando Power Yoga: Quite possibly the best part of Orlando. This place was my second home and made such a huge impact on my life post-college. Each instructor is so different in character and practice, but all are welcoming with kind and loving souls. If you have the opportunity, I would highly reccomend you stop in for a heated vinyasa flow class. Expect a welcoming community and a strong possibility of making new friends.
Clemons Produce: While you probably don’t need a produce market reccomendation if you’re visiting Orlando, I couldn’t not include Clemons. A local family market that’s been serving Orlando since 1970. If you’re lucky enough, Mr. Clemons will be around when you stop by. Of course, this is the original Mr. Clemons’ son. The market offers a wide variety of seasonal produce directly from the farmer to the store. The lack of middle-man allows for cheap prices. They often stock spray-free, wax-free and local options. At the front, they box ripe tomatoes and apples and sell them by the box load- perfect for homemade tomato sauce or a dozen apple pies. Follow their Facebook page for updates on crazy good deals, pictures of truck loads of peaches they drive down from Georgia and the occassional industry update from Mr. Clemons.
I hope you enjoy the City Beautiful!