What I Wore & Travel Pro Tip
If you plan on visiting Winter Garden or any of the Historic towns surrounding Orlando, then I highly suggest taking a RockFlowerPaper totebag with you! There are plenty of local vendors that make and produce their own products and items. You’ll find soaps and scrubs, jewelry designers, and artisans selling ingredients! Instead of bagging my purchases in paper or plastic bags, I always find it the best option to have a totebag on me when I travel as it’s one of the small things I can do to help them environment.
After taking day trips to Lakeland and then Tampa, I was very energized to explore more of Central Florida. Just before the pandemic and then lockdown late last year, my parents and I decided to spend a Saturday afternoon in Winter Garden, Florida! Winter Garden is the perfect day trip from Orlando being just a 15-mile drive north, which makes it a place to explore for half a day. It’s more residential, and the town center celebrates local businesses! After spending just an afternoon and part of the evening there, I thought I would put together an evolving blog post of not just things to do there, but publish food lovers guide to Winter Garden, Florida! One of the first things you’ll notice about Winter Garden is how everything is centered around food and food experiences, so here’s a guide to Winter Garden, Florida if you’re looking for a fun food-filled afternoon!
- Axum Coffee - One thing I noticed since exploring more of Orlando and the Central Florida area, is that coffee is a big deal here. The explosion of new coffeehouses and roasteries is exciting for someone who enjoys 2 cups of fine beans a day! So when I was putting together my guide to Winter Garden, I knew I needed to add Axum Coffee to the list as it’s one of the very first coffeeshops in Central Florida. We made this the first stop on our visit and grabbed a bag of their Fazendo do Salto from Brazil, which has notes of nuts and cocoa.
- Piccolo Coffee Co. - As we were walking down the high street, I immediately saw Piccolo Coffee Co. I wasn’t in the mood for a milky coffee, so I grabbed an espresso and I was delighted! Yes, every coffeehouse offers espresso, but the fact that they brand themselves as an espresso bar is worth noting! Either grab an espresso or cold brew here or purchase a bottle of their cold brew to take home!
- Crooked Can Brewery - Another big trend I’m seeing in Orlando is the beer scene! After spending 4 days in San Diego last year, I keep referring Orlando to the San Diego of the East Coast! Every neighborhood has it’s own brewery out here that takes into account of the local community and its offerings. We were keen to try Crooked Can after purchasing one of their ales at a shop near us on the other side of Orlando! If you’re looking to star one thing on this guide to Winter Garden, then it should be to try Crooked Can Brewery’s Axum Coffee Chocolate Stout! I would suggest getting a flight and trying a few of their varieties.
- Plant St. Market - One of the most prominent places and the best things to do in Winter Garden, Florida is hanging out at Plant St. Market! It’s one of many indoor markets with multiple vendors in Orlando and you can find plenty of local vendors here selling everything from produce, pizzas, cold-pressed juices, and more. We went for the pizza and enjoyed it with our Crooked Can beers!
- Melts on Main - If you’re looking to get lunch in Winter Garden, then I would highly suggest Melts on Main! They bring lots of classic Mediterranean flavors and puts together delicious and fresh soups, salads, and sandwiches. The interiors are warm and inviting and the staff is incredibly friendly too!
- Market to Table - We didn’t get to eat here, but I’m adding this to my guide to Winter Garden because it was suggested to me about a handful of people whose tastebuds I trust! If you’re looking for nice restaurants in Winter Garden that are sure to impress then head to Market to Table. They cook up elevated American classics with locally sourced products. The menu is seasonal, so this can be a place you visit regularly to try new things!
- Scoops Old Fashioned Ice Cream Store - After enjoying the pizza and beer at Plant St. Market, we decided to head over to Scoops for ice cream before heading home. Think about your traditional ice cream parlor and Scoops will serve you one better! They’ll serve you up a cone or a cup, but I want to head for the floats next time!
- The Bulk Pantry - My dad had just finished Whole30 when we headed to Winter Garden. He had only added a few things back into his diet, but was sticking to Keto or Paleo desserts in the meantime. Since he couldn’t enjoy an ice cream with my mom and I, we ended up grabbing a few Keto-friendly sweet treats from The Bulk Pantry! They were delicious and had such an incredible variety! I would pay a visit even if you’re not Keto because they also have shelves of some local products like coffee, honey, and teas.
- The Sacred Olive - We spent about 2 hours in this shop. If you love cooking, then make sure to visit The Sacred Olive! They sell gourmet olive oils and vinegar and we ended up picking up a few different bottles of their infused ones. There are so many options, it can be hard to choose, but the shopkeeper was able to guide us to great options! My tip would be to go to the back of the shop and pick up a bottle of green olives too!
- Heirloom Amish Furniture & Market - Right next door to The Sacred Olive is an Amish furniture shop. Not only do I suggest walking around the shop, but make sure you check out their market items sprinkled throughout the store. The Amish are known for their dairy products and jams, which Heirloom offers! Make sure to grab a block of cheese and a jam to enjoy at home!
- Market to Table Products - I’ll be honest that I ended up adding Market to Table to the eatery list above because I was able to trust my sources and because we ended up purchasing some of their professionally-inspired products recently. If you don’t see them at Plant St. Market, then be sure to ask them directly about their products. They sell ready-made meals that you just cook at home, but also broths, ghee, butter, marinades, and other ingredients to bring the Market to Table experience home with you!
As mentioned above, this is an evolving guide to Winter Garden, Florida and there is lots more to see in the Historic Downtown area. I urge you to visit and if you’ve been there already, please leave me any additional recommendations below!