Coffee House Rundown – Where to Get a Caffeine Fix in Orlando
So, you’re in Orlando and you want some delicious (non-Starbucks) coffee. Here’s the rundown of your hotspots. I’ll share my winner at the end. 🙂
(College Park Area)
You really feel like you’re in some hipster section of Seattle when you enter this coffee shop. You pay “what you’d like” for your drinks. They take whatever you feel the coffee is “worth” here. Gazing at pictures of Free Trade beans & Central American farm children, however, I always seem to pay more than if they’d just charged me.
There’s a delightful array of indoor plants and tables of various heights. The local iOS devs gravitate towards this place, I’ve found. It’s a bit of a local techie mecca—in a nice way. Always enough seating.
No food, except for delicious (quite sugary) raspberry bars or one or two random cakes. Around the street is a cool vintage clothing store called D’Echoes. Worth a look!
They have some nice groups that meet at Credo, like the Songwriter group & others mentioned on their website. The barista guys seems to be inexplicatbly committed to year-round scarf wearing—regardless of how high the temperatures in Florida rise. (Always makes me giggle.) “It’s because the a.c. is freezing!” I once heard. No, adorable hipster, no. It’s about 103 degrees. There is no universes in which a scarf is necessary in this place. But yes, you’re committed. And it’s a wool blend, so at least forgo the “I’m chilly” charade. 🙂
Pros: BEST ARRAY OF INDOOR PLANTS, NEAR COOL VINTAGE SHOP, FUN MUSIC.
706 W Smith St
Orlando, FL 32804
It’s got a really homey feel that’s trashy in a cozy way. I’ll happily set up a computer and just work remotely here all day. The barista seems to “reset” the internet every hour, which drives some people nuts. But it’s got the best iced coffee in town. Careful though, it packs a punch. So if you’ve been meaning to take on a huge project, drop in for a iced coffee here and you’ll be revved up. (I go for half-sweet-half-unsweet.) My out of town friends say the iced coffee make then a little jittery. It’s my favorite anywhere.
There’s nothing really pretentious about Austin’s, which I love. As far as the vibe goes, the homeless people blend with the hipster types. And it’s not people trying to be cool, it’s people who just genuinely are who they are. When high school gets out around 3pm, the wave of those girls usually does drive me away though.
It gets pretty crowded at night, and they are open all night long. Stop in for a piece of their delicious peanut butter pie (always split it, you’ll be sick if you eat a whole slice) at any hour of the night. They’ll also have some kind of soup to sell you at 4:00am if you’re up that late for some reason.
It’s nice they let local bands play here and kinda take over the joint sometimes. It’s convenient and appreciated to invite 40 friends to drop in and hear you jam out.
Pros: BEST ICED COFFEE, PEANUT BUTTER PIE
929 W. Fairbanks Ave.
Winter Park, Fl 32789
I’ve already touched on this one in a previous post. It’s got lots of spacious tables, nice light, and a great variety of yummy lunch sandwiches. I love this place. At night, it’s a fun little bar with a vaguely Wes Anderson feel. Where else can I order Seaweed beer? (Try it before you judge!)
They constantly show movies all day in the background, some great, some comme ci comme ça. Chairs are a little hard for all-day work meet ups. But all-in-all, this place is a gem.
Note: Not sure why, but if you’re reading there at night, might want to be reading on an iPad. Fun for ambiance.
1842 Winter Park Rd, Orlando, FL 32803
Pros: BEST FOOD, SPACIOUS SEATING.
Two words: No wifi.
Fail. Just because the French tarts are awesome doesn’t excuse this. However, it’s great for a book reading day, or grabbing a croissant and heading straight to the park. But all in all, we avoid a no-wi-fi coffee shop unless it’s to catch up on Dostoyevsky and avoid work.
Note: Somehow Disney seems to bus in all the workers from Epcot to spend the day here. It’s rather entertaining to meet the latest Epcot staff transfers from Japan, China and Norway. But usually it’s the elderly and wandering tourists. Sandwiches are okay, not to die for.
120 E Morse Blvd Winter Park, FL 32789
Pros: FRENCH TARTS.
A chain. But they do make a good cappuccino. And their black bean soup that they serve at lunch is quite nice. Aaaaannnd the cute sidewalk cafe vibe is rather charming.
If you’re taking your grandmother out for a coffee, or you want to take you mom somewhere that is a coffee shop with an actual waitress who serves you — you might like this place. The courtyard seating is rather adorable. You won’t feel comfortable sitting here to work for hours on your laptop however. It’s not a place to park yourself; it’s good for an hour or two.
118 S. Park Ave, Winter Park, FL 407.629.0042
Pros: CAFE VIBE, COURTYARD SEATING.
Not sure why, but this place never seems that homey to me. I am never sure if I’ve overstayed my welcome. Iced coffee is good, and it’s a favorite with local designers…or at least they always seem to want to meet up here.
Pros: HAS SOME CHARACTER.
444 N Bumby Ave
Orlando, FL 32803
I wasn’t sure if I should add this, since it’s veering into the “sandwiches & tea” section. (More later on that!) However they have great teas, if you prefer tea over coffee. And the sandwiches are to die for. Not sure if I’d really hang out here for a long time. It’s more a get-it-to-go place.
67 N Bumby Ave, Orlando, FL 32803
Pros: DELICIOUS TEA & SANDWICHES.
I love the clean feel of this place. Definitely a morning pick for me. Nice fresh white vibe to chill and get your early to-do list done. The vintage furniture has a Mad Men vibe.
1221 N. Mills Ave.
Pros: NICE VIBE, Fresh Feeling
It’s a tough split between Stardust & Credo. Usually, it’s Stardust if I’m hungry (tempeh tacos are so good!) and Credo if I’m not hungry & just want to get wildly productive on something or hangout with a good book.
Hope you enjoyed my round up. Feel free to comment any fav coffee houses that I missed below. 🙂