If there's one thing I've learned from moving from city to city, it's that I fully embrace everything the area has to offer - especially when it comes to food.
From the small town of Lakeland, FL to New York City, I try to soak in all the go-to shopping/dining spots and more.
Although I don't live in Orlando anymore, it's where I spent most of my life. Since my friends are always asking me the best places/things to do when they go to the Orlando/Winter Park area (that are non-commercial), here is a list of the best places I would recommend.
For all the locals, I'm sure I forgot some, so let me know what I missed in the comments! :)
Simply walking up and down Park Ave, there is a shop or restaurant for everyone. Here are my favorites:
- Prato - for the best pizza and a really cool atmosphere
- Briarpatch - for an AMAZING brunch. It's a quaint restaurant, so make sure to arrive before brunch rush hour on the weekends.
- Panullos - for some fire appetizers, pasta and vino.
- BurgerFi - for a classic burger & fries (& seasoning).
- The Wine Room - wine. duh.
2. The Porch
A new kid on the Orange Ave. Block in Winter Park, this gem has a fun atmosphere with classic American cuisine. (PRETZEL BITES.)
For a mean pulled pork sammy, and the best BBQ (in my opinion) that Florida has to offer.
4. The Coop
Good homestyle southern cooking. Brought to you by the owners of 4R, so of course it'll be good.
If I wasn't ballin' on a college budget, I would have gone here every week. Everything on the menu looks incredible. All the meat/seafood and veggies are seasonal and made fresh daily, so basically this gastropub is a must.
Cuban. Food. Heaven.
Brunch. Just brunch.
For a plethora of small plates of all genres, local beer on tap, juices and of course, coffee from Lineage Roasting. Mind you, there aren't many places to sit inside, but they have a cute little garden where you can sit outside (and fall is the perfect time to go!)
Lazy Moon is a must if you're near the UCF area. Pizza slices bigger than your face and of course, beer.
10. Shake Shack
My favorite burger joint in NYC is now in Winter Park. Also, Swing by Trader Joe's after to add some new must-have's to your typical grocery list.
And for a quick list of things I forgot:
- Santiagos Bodega - can't believe I missed this originally, but it's definitely #11. Great tapas!
- Hawkers Asian Street Fare
- Yellowdog Eats
Seven Bites - great bakery
Rusty Spoon - unique dishes & great atmosphere
Cask & Larder - great cocktails, food & atmosphere
Also, if you're in the mood to relax or grab a coffee, here are a few spots to hit up:
Again, if I missed anything, let me know below but hopefully this serves as a great go-to guide if you're visiting Orlando or just looking for something new!