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Best of the Best 2018

113 Winners: Retail, Food & Drink / Lifestyle, Health & Beauty / Plus: Reader’s Choice

Over the course of the past year, we have scoured Greater Orlando in search of the very finest things it has to offer. From mouthwatering meals and craft cocktails to indulgent spa treatments and fine jewelry, we covered lots of ground and had some very passionate debates in order to bring you the very Best of the Best. But, we also wanted your input, which is why we asked our readers to go online and nominate their favorite spots and their top choices are included here as well. Enough talking; allow us to present this year’s winners.

FOOD AND DRINK
CHEESECAKE
Amorette’s Patisserie
This pastry shop opened in 2016 and has quickly become an essential stop for every trip to Disney Springs. While all the cakes and pastries are to die for, the 49th and Broadway N.Y. Cheesecake is what caught our eyes. The filling is dense, smooth and creamy (As any N.Y. cheesecake should be!) and it’s adorned with lemon curd, blueberries and Chantilly. Yum!
Disney Springs, (407) 934-3500, DisneySprings.com/Dining/Amorettes-Patisserie

BURGER
Teak Neighborhood Grill
When we want to sink our teeth into a tantalizing burger, it’s hard to ignore the temptation to rush over to Teak and sample one of the nearly 40 on the menu. And these aren’t your run-of-the-mill offerings either. Think a juicy patty stuffed in between two glazed doughnuts or perhaps homemade waffles. If adventure isn’t your thing, don’t worry, they offer something for tamer tastes.
Maitland, (407) 335-4835; Orlando, (407) 313-5111, TeakOrlando.com

BUTCHER SHOP
Orlando Meats
Besides the high-quality meat cuts and guaranteed locality (all the animals come from farms within 250 miles of Orlando), the other best reason to patronize this family-owned shop is for the expertise these meat cutters provide to those of us who may not be sure what the difference is between a brisket and a chuck tenderloin. Orlando Meats is also a whole animal butchery, meaning they use all parts of the carcass in an effort to minimize waste.
Orlando, (407) 598-0700, OrlandoMeats.com

BRUNCH
The Stubborn Mule
Spots fill up fast here for Sunday morning brunch so reservations are a must, especially if you want one of the coveted tables out on the patio. But it’s not just the bottomless mimosas that draw this big crowd, the non-traditional breakfast menu is mouthwatering with lots of savory options including Brunch Nachos and the Who Woke Up First, which features funnel cake fried chicken and maple pepper bacon— yeah, getting out of bed on your lazy Sunday will be worth it for this. Thornton Park,
(407) 930-1166, TheStubbornMuleOrlando.com

CHICKEN TENDERS
Friendly Confines
Sports-viewing is not complete without your traditional game day eats and the tenders (known as Cubbie Claws here) at this bar are too good to pass up. As the bar’s signature dish, these hand-breaded white meat tenders come plain, with a dipping sauce or the option to in tossed in a range of sauces that go from no heat to mouth on fire.
Multiple locations, MyFriendlyConfines.com

CHICKEN TIKKA MASALA
Tamarind
For when you need to spice things up, a trip to Tamarind is the way to go. All of the dishes here are bold and flavorful, and while we love trying them all, it’s hard to not just order the Chicken Tikka Masala on every visit. One bite and we bet you’ll be ordering this dish every time you visit, too.
Multiple locations, TamarindFL.com

COMFORT FOOD
The Coop
For the days when it’s been raining for just a little bit too long or maybe you’re just in need of some extra TLC, The Coop is where you want to head for dishes that will make you feel right at home. We suggest the Chicken N’ Dumplings or the Mom’s Meatloaf & Mashed Potatoes.
Winter Park, (407) 843-2667, ASouthernAffair.com

CRAFT COCKTAILS
The Woods
The décor and dim lighting in this bar will surely make you feel like you’re camping but the craft cocktails served here are better than anything you can get in a forest. This watering hole prides itself on offering more than 250 different whiskeys while also debuting a new menu of craft cocktails each month.
Downtown, (407) 203-1114, TheWoodsOrlando.com

CUPCAKES
Sugar Divas Cakery
This bakery creates some seriously sinful guilty pleasures, but we are consistently wowed by their inventive and downright delicious cupcakes. Flavors run the gamut from traditional (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) to you gotta try this (bubblegum, peanut butter and jelly and piña colada). Talk about a (sugar) rush.
SoDo, (407) 745-5594, SugarDivasCakery.com

DELI
Dancing Pigs Deli
If you’re craving a solid sandwich, this deli has something special waiting for you. Sure, you’ll find your usual suspects like roast beef, pastrami and shrimp salad, but you’re going to want to elevate your game and opt for the muffaletta. This New Orleans staple is made with Genoa salami, mortadella, pepperoni, ham and Swiss and finished with an olive relish.
Pine Castle, (407) 270-5976, DPDeli.com

DINER
Linda’s Winter Park Diner
This locally owned greasy spoon is exactly what one wants from a diner: casual digs, friendly service and good food. Linda’s has been delivering on this promise for years, winning itself a loyal customer base. Whether you’re in need of an early morning breakfast (the restaurant opens at 5:30 a.m. on most days!) or a satisfying lunch, this diner delivers.
Winter Park, (407) 644-2343, WinterParkDiner.com

DOUGHNUTS
Voodoo Doughnuts
This aptly named shop gained such a cult-like following in its native Oregon that it was only a matter of time before their sugary delights made it beyond the Beaver State. Over at Universal CityWalk, you’ll find the local outpost complete with a variety of doughnuts that are as strange as they are scrumptious, complete with kitschy names like Vicious Hibiscus (dipped in hibiscus frosting) and Old Dirty Bastard (chocolate frosting, Oreos and peanut butter).
Orlando, (407) 224-2691, VoodooDoughnut.com

FAST CASUAL RESTAURANT
Tako Cheena
This former food truck is most known for its huge burritos that are stuffed to the brim with fillings like marinated bulgogi with kimchi fried rice and for its Takos which come on soft tortillas and are topped with fillings like panko-crusted cod or Chinese BBQ Char Siu Pork Belly.
Multiple locations, MyTakoCheena.com

FLATBREADS
Urbain 40
Flatbreads always kind of bored us until we had the opportunity to try one of the expertly prepared ones served up at Urbain 40. There are many solid options, but we are partial to the Forestière which features an earthy mix of mushrooms and a silky porcini crema along with a blend of gruyère and pecorino cheeses and finished with a sweet touch of balsamic glaze and truffle oil infused with basil. Hungry yet?
Dr. Phillips, (407) 872-2640, Urbain40.com

FOOD TRUCK
KC’s Crepes

The gourmet crepes doled out by this food truck are not served on a paper plate like you might expect. Instead, these flannel-cakes are wrapped in a way that makes them handheld and perfect for eating while walking. This restaurant on wheels serves both savory and sweet crepes including a spicy chicken BLT and a strawberries and cream brûlée.
Location changes daily, Facebook.com/KCsCrepes

FRENCH FRIES
Beth’s Burger Bar
Burgers and fries go together like peanut butter and jelly, so it’s no wonder that Beth’s would want to make sure their spuds are worthy pairing partners. Don’t expect anything over-the-top here, they are not putting short ribs on top of these bad boys. Just simple, crisp and perfectly seasoned fries that remind us that sometimes less is more.
Multiple locations, BethsBurgerBar.com

FUSION
Pig Floyd’s Urban Barbakoa
Should we go for the pork belly bahn mi or the smoky brisket cheesesteak? What about the tacos al pastor with succulent pork brought to life with roasted pineapple? Even the apple fennel slaw is not to be missed at this place where the meals linger in our minds long after we’ve finished them.
Mulitple Locations, PigFloyds.com

GUMBO
King Cajun Crawfish
An Orlando staple since 2010, King Cajun Crawfish’s New Orleans Gumbo is hearty and spicy—and about as close as you can get to going to NOLA without buying a plane ticket. The owner here owned a Cajun restaurant in Louisiana for many years before bringing the same concept to Mills Avenue, so there is authenticity to the dishes.
Mills50, (407) 704-8863, KingCajunCrawfish.com

HAPPY HOUR
Santiago’s Bodega
At this stewardship of tapas and drinks, the happiest of all hours does not just come between the standard 4 to 6 p.m. that most restaurants adhere to, rather at Santiago’s it’s happy hour from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. also. During these golden hours, wines by the glass, draft beer, well liquor and sangria are half off, and, if you’re feeling peckish, select tapas are just $5. Olé!
Orlando, (407) 412-6979, SantiagosBodega.com

HOT DOGS
Fat One’s Hot Dogs & Italian Ice
What started out as a food court stand has now gone mobile, and we couldn’t be happier about our favorite weenies showing up to events all around Central Florida. Although, the hearty dogs on this food truck’s menu are all tempting, you cannot go wrong with The Fat One, which comes topped with French fries, grilled corned beef, pepperoni, shredded mozzarella, nacho cheese and green onions. Yeah, you’re going to need to loosen your belt a couple of notches.
Location changes daily, FatOneDogs.com

HOT SANDWICHES
Bad As’s Sandwich
We’ve run through this menu several times over and trying to pick our favorite is near impossible. If we had to choose this very moment, we’ll go with the Porkalypse—adobo roasted pork that gets a salty hit from bacon and richness from Gouda while homemade pickles and a tamarind-spiced barbecue sauce work to enhance the flavors even further.
Orlando, (407) 757-7191, BadAssSandwiches.com

HUMMUS
Hummus House Pitas & Salads
Warning: Not only is the hummus here unbelievably fresh, it’s also highly addictive. The chipotle and guacamole varieties are fantastic, but don’t overlook the traditional. No matter what you choose, grab some pita bread, an order of falafel and get ready to transport yourself to the Mediterranean.
Winter Park, (407) 636-9722; Orlando, (407) 282-7842, HummusHouse.com

ICED COFFEE
Foxtail
Since this java house opened its first shop in Winter Park just over a year ago, you may have noticed the name Foxtail popping up just about everywhere. That’s because this coffee beverage company has hit it big with its cold brew, which can be found at its shops and on tap at bars across Orlando. Craft roasted, steeped for 16 hours and double filtered, this cup of joe is smooth with a natural touch of sweetness.
Multiple locations, FoxtailCoffee.com

KOREAN BBQ
Bulgogi House
Although it is new to the Orlando dining scene, this joint has already made an impression on us. As is with barbecue, meat is the star here with bulgogi (thin beef slices grilled), kalbi (grilled short ribs), pork belly and prime rib all available. The food here is all you can eat but there is an understandable two-hour time limit because with how good the meals are here, you’ll want to stay all day.
Orlando, (407) 317-4193

PIZZA
Lazy Moon
We never have to worry about getting a subpar pie when we head to Lazy Moon, where the slices are big enough to stop the sun from coming in your window. Have fun mixing and matching toppings to create your own slice of heaven, but don’t overlook The Fidel, a nod to the Cuban sandwich with all the requisite ingredients accounted for.
Multiple locations, LazyMoonPizza.com

LOBSTER ROLL
Lombardi’s Seafood
In New England, where seafood is king, the lobster roll is an integral part of the royal family, revered for its regional relevance. Nearly 1,500 miles away, Lombardi’s serves up a wicked rendition made with Maine lobster fresh off the boat. The lobster is meaty, tender and, perhaps most importantly, not swimming in dressing so you can actually taste the quality.
Winter Park, (407) 628-3474, Lombardis.com

MACARONS
Le Macaron
This French pastry shop takes pride in creating these light bites of sweetness and they’re not shy about pushing the boundaries with flavors such as mojito, basil white chocolate and ginger bread. The outsides are perfectly smooth with just enough of a crunch to allow you to bite into the delicate filling before the whole thing melts away in your mouth.
Multiple locations, LeMacaron-US.com

MILKSHAKES
The Cowfish Sushi Burger Bar
Everything at Cowfish seems to jump out, from the eclectic design and art on the wall to the burgers and sushi on the menu. And the same can be said for the indulgent handspun milkshakes that balance childlike wonderment with sophisticated tastes. Think vanilla ice cream with fresh lemon juice and thyme-infused honey with a hit of yuzu for good measure.
Orlando, (407) 224-3663, TheCowfish.com

NACHOS
B.B. King’s Blues Club
We hardly get the blues when we order up this heaping pile of tri-colored tortilla chips topped with melted cheese, salsa, sour cream, jalapeños and scallions. A signature barbecue sauce gives the dish a little Southern inspiration, which is only heightened when you add grilled chicken or smoked pork.
International Drive, (407) 370-4550, BBKings.com

NEW RESTAURANT
Peter’s Kitchen China Bistro
The extensive menu here covers all your American Chinese food basics from Orange Chicken to Beef with Broccoli, which are perfectly executed; however, the best reason to head to Peter’s is for the dim sum. On the weekends the dim sum is traditional, being served from push carts with bamboo and metal steamer baskets that hold such treats as pork and shrimp dumplings, steamed egg custard buns, pan fried turnip cakes and more.
Orlando, (407) 895-8174, PetersKitchenCB.Business.site

OMELETS
Another Broken Egg Cafe
It’s not an exaggeration when we say the omelets at this breakfast café are all they’re cracked up to be. We are partial to The Floridian, which has cream cheese folded into it and is topped with garlic butter, sautéed crab meat, Monterey jack cheese and green onions. Getting out of bed is worth it when this is your first meal of the day.
Winter Park, (407) 790-7868, AnotherBrokenEgg.com

OUTDOOR DINING
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
Lakeside views, a retractable roof and ambience for days help make this our favorite spot for dining al fresco. While the restaurant itself is visually stunning, the outdoor area offers a different vibe that feels more alive as you gather with a group to conversate and nosh on kung pao calamari and a bevy of other small plates packed with big flavors.
Lake Nona, (407) 955-4340, ChromaLakeNona.com

PAD THAI
Hawkers Asian Street Fare

This Asian street food dinner and lunch spot holds a special place in our hearts because even though they’ve now opened up locations all over Florida, it all started here at their Mills50 location. The idea behind this brick and mortar was to bring to the table all the tasty eats that are peddled in the street by “hawkers” at Asian markets. To get the full experience, go with a group and order a bunch of small plates to share.
Multiple locations, EatHawkers.com

PASTA
Prato

The pasta at this Park Avenue ristorante is made by hand and inspired by Italian tradition. The menu changes with what’s available every season, but luckily, fresh handmade pasta goes with pretty much anything.
Winter Park, (407) 262-0050, Prato-WP.com

POKE BOWLS
Big Kahuna’s Island Style Bowls
We feel like we are on the shores of Hawaii every time we eat one of these delectable bowls. You can choose from one of four options, including a veggie version, but you’ll want to create your own as it’s more fun that way. Start by choosing your sushi-grade fish of choice and then pile on toppings like pickled daikon or a creamy, peppery togarashi sauce.
Winter Springs, (407) 543-3700; Celebration, (407) 507-2576, BigKahunasBowls.com

POPSICLES
The Pop Parlor
Because the popsicles at this shop are flash frozen in 12 minutes, they’re a lot less icy than the ones you can make at home. Stop by the next time you decide to take a stroll around Lake Eola because the only thing better than this store’s flavors (blueberry lemon, grapefruit rosemary and coconut rum to name a few) is enjoying these icy treats in the Florida sunshine.
Thornton Park, (321) 348-7677, ThePopParlour.com

PRIME RIB
Hillstone
Good prime rib takes time. That’s why the folks at Hillstone age and slow roast their prime rib, which results in a tender and melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat. The portion is generous and it comes with pomme purée and a seasonal veggie. Be sure to pair it with a glass off of their formidable wine menu.
Winter Park, (407) 740-4005, HillstoneRestaurant.com

PUB
Harp and Celt Authentic Irish Pub and Restaurant
A festive atmosphere can typically be found at this two-story watering hole (especially if a soccer match is taking place) where the Guinness is poured perfectly, the whiskey is abundant and the menu features traditional pub fare with decidedly Irish flair. It’s the perfect place to order up a pint, down a Scotch egg and sing arm in arm with strangers.
Downtown, (407) 481-2928, HarpAndCelt.com

PULLED PORK SANDWICHES
Yellow Dog Eats
Set back in a residential area of Gotha (a small community that if you blink you’ll miss it), this is one of those places a good friend needs to tell you about or you may just never get to enjoy some of the best pulled pork to be found in Central Florida. The menu is full of sandwiches (most are pork, some not) but if you’re a newbie, you cannot go wrong with the original known as The Dog’s “Famous” Pulled Pork Sandwich.
Gotha, (407) 296-0609, YellowDogEats.com

RAMEN
Domu
Located in East End Market, Domu has been a darling of Orlando’s dining scene since it opened. That’s partly because the number of ramen-dedicated restaurants in this area lacks but mostly because the broths here are rich and flavorful—the basis of any good soup dish. Although all the soups here are worth a try, we suggest the Richie Rich for its milky pork broth and fall-apart pork belly. They don’t take reservations and the dining room is small, so be sure to get here early or be prepared to wait.
Audubon Park, (407) 960-1228, DomuFL.com

RIBS
4 Rivers Smokehouse
Whether opting for the St. Louis-style ribs or chowing down on the oversized beef rib, this is barbecue done properly. The perfectly blistered, smoky bark encases the oh-so tender meat that falls off the bone with seemingly just a glance. Grab some napkins; things are going to get messy.
Multiple locations, 4RSmokehouse.com

SEAFOOD
Big Fin Seafood Kitchen
From the shucked-to-order oysters and jumbo crab legs to specialties like the lobster paella and blue crab crusted grouper, Big Fin’s is swimming with fish. The seafood is fresh, prepared skillfully and always leaves us satisfied. I guess you could say this place has us hooked.
Dr. Phillips, (407) 615-8888, BigFinSeafood.com

VEGAN/VEGETARIAN FOOD
Dandelion Communitea Café
Community, loose leaf tea and food that nourishes your body and soul is what this café runs on. Priding itself on its plant-based menu, sustainable practices, organic ingredients and dedication to supporting the local food economy, Dandelion is where we go when we want to eat food that is homemade with extra care and consideration.
Mills50, (407) 362-1864, DandelionCommunitea.com

SMOOTHIES
New Moon Market
Unique blends of antioxidant-rich ingredients and super foods are the calling card here and each smoothie is designed to give you the boost you need no matter if you’re just finishing a yoga session or coming off a long night out on the town.
College Park, (407) 440-8147, NewMoonMarket.com

STEAK DINNER
Charley’s Steak House
When the moment calls for an indulgent steak dinner, you’ll want to treat yourself to a meal at Charley’s Steak House. Great care is taken with every piece of meat here as all of the steaks are aged four to six weeks, hand cut daily and cooked over a wood-burning fire pit.
Multiple locations, CharleysSteakHouse.com

SUSHI
Fuji Sushi
You’ll find all the standard sushi and sashimi at Fuji, but it’s the “exclusive” rolls that really make this place shine. Witness the alligator roll: alligator, crab, cream cheese with both cocktail and eel sauce. Or how about the Pretty Eye that showcases deep-fried squid stuffed with salmon and finished with tamago, crab and ponzu sauce.
Alafaya, (407) 227-0060, FujiSushiFlorida.com

TACOS
Hunger Street Tacos
It doesn’t have to be Taco Tuesday to find us at Hunger Street, where bold flavors reign supreme. It’s hard to find a bad one in the bunch when you have options like sautéed hibiscus and guacamole or seared brisket with chorizo, refried beans, scrambled egg, Chihuahua cheese and an avocado-tomatillo green salsa.
Winter Park, (321) 444-6270, HungerStreetTacos.com

THEME PARK DINING
Mythos Restaurant
Over at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, walking into Mythos is a bit of adventure all its own. The large rock formations, cascading waterfalls and cave-like interior create a cinematic experience as you get ready to dine on a varied menu that crosses lines between American, Asian and Mediterranean cuisines.
Orlando, (407) 224-3663, UniversalOrlando.com

WINE BAR
The Wine Room
A Park Avenue staple since 2006, this wine shop and bar caters to all palates from novice to full-fledged oenophile. By purchasing a $3 tasting card, you’re awarded access to the wine-dispensing machines that keep the wine fresh and, with just a press of a button, give you a taste of everything from Cabs to Rieslings.
Winter Park, (407) 696-9463, TheWineRoomOnline.com

WINGS
The Polite Pig
Plump and juicy, these wings cooked up over at Disney Springs are spared being drowned in sauce in favor of a delicious dry rub that creates a wonderful textural balance. Served with pickled carrots, you can opt for a dipping sauce if you like (they suggest a vinegar-based barbecue ranch), but we won’t judge if you just eat them au naturel.
Disney Springs, (407) 938-7444, PolitePig.com

RETAIL
ACTIVEWEAR
Sassy Pants Activewear Boutique
Because yoga pants are what busy and active ladies live in, we’re glad places like this one exist. Where else would we get all the brightly colored active wear that makes the idea of actually working out much more palatable? Additionally, the clothes here are not just fun (and sassy) but actually comfortable and flattering—it’s enough to add some extra pep to your step.
College Park, (407) 219-5399, SassyPantsOrlando.com

ANTIQUES
Orange Tree Antiques Mall
The best antiques stores are the ones you get lost in. Hours go by and when you finally emerge from the sea of collectables and one-of-a-kinds, you still feel like you haven’t seen everything. So is the case at this antiques mall, which has aisles and aisles of treasures waiting to be discovered. Perfect for finding a unique gift for that hard-to-buy-for family member, this store has a lot to uncover.
Winter Park, (407) 644-4547, OrangeTreeAntiques.com

ART SUPPLIES
Art Systems of Florida
If you are looking to create your next work of art, or perhaps put your latest masterpiece in a proper frame, Art Systems has got you covered. With an array of products and wide-ranging selection of tools of the trade, this is your one-stop shop for all your creative needs.
Winter Park, (407) 679-4700, ArtSystemsFL.com

BEAUTY PRODUCTS
Wildflower Beauty by Jessica
The lady behind this brainchild line of products knows how important it is to take care of your skin. She started this line because of her own sensitive skin that would react to the harsh additives cosmetic companies use. Made with all-natural, non-irritating ingredients, the soaps and balms at this shop will allow your natural beauty to shine through.
Winter Garden, WildflowerBeautyByJessica.com

BIKE SHOP
Winter Park Cycles
You’ll find all the hottest bikes as well as the latest products and gear at this popular shop, but what they truly focus on is the customer. The overly friendly and knowledgeable staff love talking bikes and will help you find what you need even when you don’t know exactly what you are looking for.
Audubon Park, (407) 894-3531, WinterParkCycles.com

BOOKSTORE
Bright Light Books
Augustine Birrell, the writer and one-time Chief Secretary for Ireland, once said that all the best books are necessarily second-hand. This bookstore must agree with him because their used book section is extensive. Beyond that, the store also has new books as well as some DVDs and CDs. Organized, bright and friendly, this store will awaken the bibliophile in you.
Multiple locations, BrightLightBooks.com

BRIDAL SHOP
Carolyn Allen’s Bridal & Tuxedos
Before you can say, “I do,” you have to say yes to the dress and trying to find the perfect gown for the big day can be a frightening task when going at it alone. Thankfully this bridal salon is there to help with a wide selection of designer dresses and a diligent staff to help you choose the right one, so you can reduce the stress and cross the most important item off your to-do list.
International Drive, (407) 238-2772, CarolynAllens.com

DIAMOND RINGS
International Diamond Center
If bling is your thing then this is the jeweler for you. Owner Keith Leclerc not only stocks the latest designs from familiar names like Tacori and Forevermark, he’s also a diamond expert, having spent time traveling around the world to educate himself and has provided stones to some of the jewelry world’s biggest names, including Harry Winston.
Multiple locations, ShopIDC.com

FINE JEWELRY
Tharoo & Co.
With plenty of stunning earrings, necklaces, bracelets and watches, you’re bound to find the ideal gift for that special someone here. And if you’re not sure, these guys know their stuff, so let them guide you to making a purchase that will make you feel as good as you look.
International Drive, (407) 264-0200, TharroCo.com

FLOWER ARRANGEMENTS
Windermere Flowers & Gifts
This boutique florist specializes in European and lush tropical arrangements, as well as custom designs, sympathy arrangements and wedding flowers. Beautiful and elegant, the bouquets to be found here will bring color to your life and beauty to all who view them.
Windermere, (407) 296-9002, WindermereFlowersAndGifts.com

FURNITURE
Foreign Accents
In a market where mass production is the norm, this furniture store invites customers to see the artistry of their home furnishings. In their store room you’ll find handcrafted wood furniture, forged iron gates, hammered copper sinks, carved stone fountains and handpainted pottery, all sourced from skilled craftsmen located around the world.
SoDo, (407) 648-2464, ForeignAccents.com

GROCERY
Publix
As Florida’s largest grocery chain, the forest-green logo of this brand may be one of the most recognizable symbols for residents of the Sunshine State. But although ubiquitous, walking into your local Publix still always feels like a personable experience. The produce is top-notch and the Pub Subs are our favorite, but truly it’s the people who keep us shopping here.
Multiple locations, Publix.com

GUITARS
Blackbird Vintage Music
Like good wine, a well-made guitar improves with time. Pick the strings on a 1980s Gibson Les Paul or hit a power cord on a 1969 Fender Telecaster and you’ll be able to hear the deep resonance and appreciate the quality craftsmanship. They just don’t make ’em like this anymore.
Orlando, (407) 704-7379, BlackBirdVintageMusic.com

HIGH-END WOMEN’S BOUTIQUE
Tuni
Bringing trendy and chic to Park Avenue, this well-established clothing boutique has been serving customers for 20 years. With contemporary styles from known and emerging designers, this store is where you’ll find that cocktail dress that makes you look flawless and the accessories to match.
Winter Park, (407) 628-1609, ShopTuni.com

LEATHER GOODS
Freehand Goods
This store claims to make goods to last you a lifetime, which means only the highest-quality leather will do. And everything, from the wallets to the luggage tags, is handcrafted in limited runs to add a unique quality to each item, giving your personal style a bit of exclusivity.
Audubon Park, (855) 409-3441, FreehandGoods.com

MENSWEAR
John Craig Clothier
For the distinguished gentleman, there’s only one men’s shop to outfit yourself properly. The staff is hip to the latest trends and with luxe offerings from Citizens of Humanity, Canali and others, you’ll be dressed to the nines and turning heads in no time.
Orlando, (407) 393-3747; Winter Park, (407) 629-7944, JohnCraigClothier.com

PET SUPPLY
All 4 Pets
If you love your furry friends as much as us, you’ll want to make this pet store your regular stop for all things. They carry an impressive line of natural foods and even offer grooming services so you can drop Fido off to get prim and proper. Be sure to grab a new squeaky toy on the way out.
Multiple locations, All4PetsOrlando.com

PLANT NURSERY
Lukas Nursery & Butterfly Encounter
A fourth-generation, family-owned agri-business, this nursery is one of a kind because it’s also a year-round butterfly and bird conservatory. When it comes to the plant nursery, there are over 2,000 varieties to view so bring your walking shoes as there’s a lot to see here.
Oviedo, (407) 365-6163, LukasNursery.com

PRODUCE/FARMERS MARKET
Clemons Produce
Serving Orlando for almost 50 years, this produce market provides the freshest fruits and vegetables around. Much of the greens here come from local farms but if not, the origins of items are clearly marked. Clemons also exceeds in its wide selection of fruits and veggies, some of which are near to impossible to find at the supermarket.
Conway, (407) 897-1413

RUNNER’S GEAR
Track Shack
For more than four decades, this has been the premier running store in the area and it’s easy to see why. Not only do they stock all the latest apparel and accessories, but they’ll even give you a one-on-one consultation to discuss your running habits and goals to determine which shoes are the right ones for you. And if you’ve got a big marathon coming up, you can train with their experts to get ready to hit the ground running.
Orlando, (407) 898-1313, TrackShack.com

STATIONERY
Rifle Paper Co.
A handwritten card from a dear friend is never an unwanted gift, so whenever we need to convey a sentiment to our loved ones, this store is our first stop. Although the colorful designs of the shop’s writing materials are what first drew us in, we’ve also since come to love the tastefully decorated wallpapers, notebooks, iPhone cases, aprons and more.
Winter Park, (407) 622-7679, RiflePaperCo.com

VINTAGE WOMEN’S CLOTHING
The Owl’s Attic
If your hippie heart is stuck in the ’60s and ’70s, this cozy women’s vintage clothing store is for you. Also providing antique homewares and old-fashioned accessories, this store is curated by its owners, so there’s no digging through piles of worn clothes looking for diamonds in the rough because everything here was handpicked for its quality and timeless aesthetic.
Audubon Park, (321) 300-6957, TheOwlsAttic.com

WINE SHOP
Digress Wine
Formerly known as Cavanaugh’s Fine Wines, this shop was recently bought by two local winos who have slowly been remodeling the cellar and adding a bar area. But while we’re excited about the new layout, the expertise of the owners (both are former wine sales reps) and their willingness to flout wine conventions is what has us excited.
College Park, (407) 426-7510, DigressWine.com

HEALTH AND BEAUTY
BARBERSHOP
Floyd’s 99 Barbershop
The skilled stylists at Floyd’s know how to keep us looking our best whether we are stopping in for a quick shape-up or in search of something new to change our style. And guys will surely want to make an appointment for a straight razor shave as the whole experience brings a bit of old-school charm to this modern-day barbershop.
Multiple locations, FloydsBarberShop.com

COLORING
Studio C By Carolyn Romero
When your locks are looking dull, it’s time to hit the salon for a color refresh. This beauty parlor is where we go when we need bold color, soft highlights or just to lighten things up a little. Carolyn and her stylists always make us feel relaxed while transforming our tresses.
Altamonte Springs, (407) 865-6567, StudioCbyCR.com

DAY SPA
The Woodhouse Day Spa
After a long week at the office or a weekend of chasing the kids around, there’s only one way we like to recover and that’s by spending the day pampering ourselves. A mix of massages, facials and skin treatments await at The Woodhouse, but we strongly suggest choosing one of their signature services to take full advantage. The four-hand massage feels like heaven as two therapists work their magic from head to toe.
Dr. Phillips, (407) 965-3131, WoodhouseSpas.com

FACIALS
Skin Studio
The estheticians will analyze your skin to help determine which of the several facial treatments offered is right for you. Each one provides its own unique benefits to help exfoliate and rid any impurities, leaving your skin replenished and giving you that glow the moment you step out of the chair.
Baldwin Park, (407) 844-8337, SkinStudioOrlando.com

HAIRCUTS
Lamb Eats Ivy
Instead of just following fashion trends that can be hard to maintain in the long run, the attentive hair stylists at this salon are focused on making your hair work for your life— while also creating incredible styles. If you’re looking to change up your look completely or just clean up an overgrown mane, we recommend booking an appointment ASAP.
Thornton Park, (407) 245-7006

MAKEUP
About Face Design Team
The professional makeup artists at this studio know how to make you look your best for any occasion whether it’s for saying your vows in front of all your friends and family or for an appearance in front of the camera. Using the latest tools and techniques of the trade, the team behind About Face Design will make you look impeccable and ready for anything.
Winter Park, (407) 647-2700, AboutFaceDesignTeam.com

PERSONAL TRAINING
Florida Fitness Concepts
These trainers will cater a special routine designed to push you to your limits, but they’ll also give you the confidence to not only meet your goals, but continue to set new ones. You’ll look great and feel even better as you adopt a new regimen that will carry you as far as you will let it.
Orlando, (407) 497-2179, FloridaFitnessConcepts.com

PILATES
Club Pilates
This studio makes everyone from beginners and beyond feel like an important part of the class, whether you’re taking private instruction or in a group setting. With state-of-the-art equipment and amenable instructors to help guide the way, your body will be opened to a whole new state of being.
Multiple locations, ClubPilates.com

TANNING STUDIO
South Beach Tanning Company
No matter what the weather is like outside, you can always catch some rays at this tanning salon. Various levels of tanning beds will help you establish a base tan or get some deeper color, while their “sunless” spray tans use airbrush technology to give even more precise body coverage.
Multiple locations, SouthBeachTanningCompany.com

WAXING
Flawless Wax & Spa
Trying to find an esthetician that you trust to handle your waxing needs can be a bit over-whelming. That’s where the expert team at Flawless Wax & Spa comes in as they specialize in high-quality services that produce results like effortlessly smooth legs, perfect eyebrows and, well, flawless bikini lines. Orlando, (407) 792-5677, FlawlessWaxNSpa.com

YOGA STUDIO
Warrior ONE Yoga & Spin
Practicing your vinyasa, finding your balance in tree pose and tapping into your inner strength is all possible when you attend the classes at this yoga studio. Besides getting the instruction you need to perfect each pose, we love how the teachers here have created a welcoming community that allows everyone from novices to well-seasoned yogis to flourish. Namaste!
Audubon Park, WeAreWarriorOne.com

LIFESTYLE
ART GALLERY
Gallery Eola
The intimate nature of this gallery is ideal for closely taking in the details of every portrait and painting that grace its walls. And while this space is certainly the new kid on the block, having opened up just this past year, in a short amount of time this showroom has already exhibited so many interesting works from provocative and talented artists.
Thornton Park, GalleryEola.com

CHILDREN’S ACTIVITY CENTER
Crayola Experience
Never has trying to color inside the lines been so much fun as a trip to this land of scribble scrabble. With several interactive areas and informative educational tools located throughout the 70,000-square-foot facility, kids get a hands-on experience that will create lasting memories and plenty of items to hang on the fridge.
Florida Mall, (407) 757-1700, CrayolaExperience.com

DANCE CLASSES
Arthur Murray Dance Centers
So your significant other loves to cut a rug, but you have two left feet. Time to call in the patient professionals at Arthur Murray that will show you how to move so that you can handle your own on the dance floor, and with a little practice and persistence, maybe just steal the show at the next wedding you attend.
Multiple locations, ArthurMurrayOrlando.com

ESCAPE ROOM
America’s Escape Game Orlando
The live action puzzles presented at this exciting I-Drive attraction are challenging, so bring your brainiest friends along with you. With lots of different themes including The Care-Taker where you must save someone from a pack of mutated wolves and The Lost Tomb of Monthu where you need to find the mysterious red ruby and escape before time is up, it’s hard not to get lost in each adventure.
International Drive, (407) 412-5585, AmericasEscapeGame.com

PAINT YOUR OWN POTTERY
All Fired Up
Practice what Bob Ross taught you at this pottery painting studio where guests can pick from a wide variety of plaster knick knacks and dishes and then slap on all the color they want. This store takes care of glazing your piece and firing it up, so all you have to do is come back to pick up the finished product.
Winter Park, (407) 644-9363, AllFiredUpOnline.com

PET BOARDING
V.I.Pet Resort
Heading on vacation and leaving your pet behind is bittersweet, but at this palatial pet spa, they’ll be treated like rock stars. Playtime with other pets, tasty treats and their very own private air-conditioned suite complete with maid service are just some of the amazing amenities that may just have your dog or cat hoping that you extend your vacation a few extra days.
Orlando, (407) 355-3594, VIPet.net

PUBLIC PARK
Bill Frederick Park
Set along Turkey Lake, this 183-acre woodsy space is ideal for nature lovers. The park offers plenty of family activities including fishing, canoeing, boating, camping, playgrounds and a small animal viewing area. Although it is surrounded by suburbs, this nature reserve is a quiet refuge from the chaos of the modern world.
MetroWest, (407) 246-4486, CityOfOrlando.net

TOUR
Greenwood Cemetery Moonlight Walking Tour
Offered free to all who wish to learn more about Orlando’s history, this entertaining tour will take you on a two-mile stroll through the historic Greenwood Cemetery where you’ll briefly visit about 100 graves of notable people from the city’s history. With cemetery sexton Don Price as your guide, you’ll learn about how the city came to be and the meaning behind many of the local street names.
Orlando, (407) 246-2616, CityOfOrlando.net/Greenwood

TRIVIA NIGHT
MissingLink Entertainment
Wanna win free beer? That is what is on the line (plus a gift card and bragging rights) each week at MissingLinks’ trivia challenges. Test your knowledge against four trivia-packed categories loaded with bonus points, special questions, and, of course, lots of lager. Multiple locations, Facebook.com/pg/MissingLinkEvents

READER’S CHOICE 2018
Food and Drink
BREAKFAST – The First Watch, Multiple locations

CHEF’S TASTING MENU – Morimoto Asia Street Food, Orlando

HAPPY HOUR – Tasting Room, Orlando

ICE CREAM – Kelly’s Homemade Ice Cream, Orlando

ITALIAN ICE – Jeremiah’s Italian Ice, Multiple locations

ITALIAN RESTAURANT – Prato, Winter Park

PASTRY SHOP BAKERY – Bluebird Bake Shop, Orlando

PERUVIAN CUISINE – El Inka Grill, Orlando

ROMANTIC RESTAURANT – Chef’s Table at the Edgewater, Winter Garden

STEAKHOUSE – Christner’s Prime Steak and Lobster, Orlando

SUSHI – Kabooki Sushi, Orlando

WINE LIST – Luma on Park, Winter Park

Retail
CARD GIFT SHOP – Driftwood Market, Orlando

FURNITURE – Foreign Accents, Orlando

Health and Beauty
BLOWOUT – Cherry Blow Dry Bar, Orlando

EYELASH EXTENSIONS – Amazing Lash Studio, Orlando

GYM WORKOUT CENTER – RDV Sportsplex, Orlando

Lifestyle
DOG GROOMING – Topknots Pet Grooming

DOG TRAINING – Central Florida K9

VETERINARY CARE – Winter Park Veterinary Hospital

This article originally appeared in Orlando Family Magazine’s June 2018 issue.