Take a break from the ordinary vacation and visit some of the trendy, up-and-coming districts in our area. From artist havens to award-winning restaurants each of these unique districts, create one-of-a-kind atmospheres that will cater to any traveler. Soak in the dining, art, and shopping experience that locals rave about with these suggestions. We promise you will not be disappointed.
The Milk District is a dining, shopping and nightlife district that dates back to the 1950s. Hungry locals frequent Beefy King, a staple institution since 1968 and one of only two original roast beef fast-food sandwich joints in the United States.
For fashionistas, Etoile Boutique features eclectic, handmade and vintage clothing and accessories that never go out of style. Here you’ll find local brands, wearable art pieces, vintage items including hats, ties and suspenders and products made from recycled goods. Visit the nearby Plaza Live Theatre, opened in 1963 as our first twin-screen movie venue, is now one of our premier live venues, highlighting both local and touring artists.
A dynamic nightlife scene surrounds the hip bar-strip, home to cool taverns like Milk Bar, Spacebar, and Sandwich Bar, as well as the weekly food truck bazaar “Tasty Tuesday.” For traditional bar entertainment, head to Sportstown Billiards. This cavernous pool hall has the best craft-beer selection and prices in town, featuring Ping-Pong, air hockey, foosball, skeeball, and various board games.
The downtown home of our top entertainment venues, the Church Street District features an eclectic mix of fine dining, professional sports, live entertainment, and booming nightlife.
Ride the SunRail from any of Central Florida stops to Church Street Station where you can enjoy upscale restaurants like Artisan’s Table, Ceviche, Rusty Spoon, and Kres Chop House.
After dinner, you can attend a performance at Mad Cow Theatre, one of our most respected professional theatre companies, or the new, state-of-the-art Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.
Sports fans can cheer on the Orlando Magic basketball team at the nearby Amway Center or Orlando City Soccer at the Citrus Bowl just down the road. Music lovers can see their favorite bands perform at The Social and the Beacham Theater, some of our premier live venues.
Grab drinks at one of the many area bars. Visit One 80 Grey Goose Lounge, a sophisticated vertical retreat featuring unparalleled views from its perch nestled below the spire of the Amway Center. Go to Latitudes, downtown Orlando’s tiki-inspired rooftop bar, where the sky is the ceiling and the skyscrapers are the walls.
Tucked around a retro residential neighborhood known for its gardens and wild peacocks, Audubon Park is home to award-winning, farm-to-table restaurants, boutiques, live-music venues, and a thriving nightlife scene. Just a short walk from beautiful Harry P. Leu Gardens, a 50-acre botanical oasis, and anchored on its east side by expansive Blue Jacket Park.
The area also hosts some of our most original events including street parties, costume balls, regular happy-hour socials, book readings, wine tastings, foodie events, kid-friendly activities, guest lectures, cult TV trivia nights, bicycle rides, and adventure races. You won’t want to miss the community market that takes place every Monday evening from 6-10 pm outside Stardust Coffee & Video. This weekly gathering of growers, ranchers, anglers, chefs, artists, hand-crafters, musicians and neighbors is a hometown hangout where visitors can shop for handmade goods and fresh, local fare.
Formerly our historic “Antique Row,” this unassuming stretch of an old lakefront is a walkable and bicycle-friendly district home to eclectic dining, funky shops, and swanky nightlife.
If brunch is your happy-place, visit White Wolf Café and Bar or Santiago’s Bodega for some of the best bloody marys, mimosas, and small plates in town.
For a sophisticated evening, check out the Imperial Wine Bar at Washburn Imports; a dark-wood, global-imports store by day and intimate craft beer and wine bar by night. On the opposite side of the spectrum is the Hammered Lamb, a casual haunt for bar bites and hefty train shots out on the garden-district-like patio.
In terms of entertainment, here you’ll find a cultural corridor where you can take your pick from high-brow burlesque at The Venue, classic and contemporary art at Mennello Museum of American Art and Orlando Museum of Art, live theater at the Orlando Shakespeare and Repertory theaters or mind-expanding, hands-on exhibits at the Orlando Science Center.
Described as our intersection of culture and creativity, this hipster hub fosters a mix of artists, restaurants, businesses, specialty shops, markets, and bars. You’ll know you’re in the right place when you see larger-than-life surrealist graffiti and murals covering walls, dumpsters, and electric boxes.
The district is also home to our Asian community where restaurants like Hawker’s, Mamak, Pho 88 and Little Saigon create an affordable and eclectic concentration of alternative dining options. Look to the Black Bean Deli for authentic Cuban cuisine and Anthony’s Pizza for a taste of New York. Tako Cheena is a must-visit for foodies who love funky fusions of local ingredients served late into the night.
If you really want the hometown vibe, head to the somewhat hidden Dandelion Communitea Café, a vegetarian teahouse set in a historically refurbished and colorful, bungalow-style home. Check out the “Dandy” for nightly events and performances as well as monthly full- and new-moon parties and drum circles.