Within these neighborhoods are great foodie finds that showcase Central Florida's culinary diversity for locals and visitors. Today I am taking a foodie stroll through the Audubon Park Garden District, northeast of downtown. The neighborhood was developed first by the Fairview Home Co. in 1911, according to the website apgardens.com. And the Audubon Park Garden District was formed in 2008.
From cupcakes to creative cuisine, the Audubon Park Garden District is a center of independent eateries.
Every Monday (rain or shine) from 6-10 p.m., the parking lot at Stardust Video and Coffee, 1842 E. Winter Park Road, is Central Florida's source for local food, from produce and other farm goods to prepared foods, grocery items and meals. (apmarket.wordpress.com)
Bikes, Beans & Bordeaux
This casual neighborhood cafe at 3022 Corrine Drive, is one-part coffeehouse and one-part wine bar. Called B3 by regulars, the place is owned by Jen and Darrell Cunningham, longtime Central Florida residents and cycling enthusiasts. (bikesbeansandbordeaux.com)
Blue Bird Bake Shop
Since 2008, Orlando's Blue Bird Bake Shop's cupcakes had been the talk of the town — especially from regulars of Pom Pom's Teahouse & Sandwicheria, the local spot that generated the most Blue Bird buzz. In 2010, co-owners Jeff Lambert and Joel Pfrogner unlocked the door to their own bakery at 3122 Corrine Drive. Like a well-coifed cupcake, the small bakery is a work of art. (bluebirdbakeshop.com)
This small eatery at 2920 Corrine Drive has had a few owners and was once known as Roger's. It's still the place to be for pancakes in the morning and burgers and cheesy melts at lunch. The new owners also own The Colonial Room in downtown Sanford.
O'Stromboli, 1803 E. Winter Park Road, is an eatery-deli combo with delicious pizzas, hefty salads and Italian mainstays such as chicken Parm. Don't overlook the wings.
Rainbow Sno Cones
For 17 years, Bob Homer has owned this cool retreat at 3116 Corrine Drive. It's quick-serve with attention to detail, so have patience as Homer hand-crafts each icy serving. "A neighborhood favorite is Tiger's Blood," he says of the coconut and strawberry blend. "I like it, too, but it's hard to pass on grape with old-fashioned Nehi flavor.
Stardust Video & Coffee
The Stardust kitchen is open every day at 1842 E. Winter Park Road. The most eclectic of the fuel stops, there is a set menu plus many chef specials. The from-scratch baked goods vary but cross your fingers for the whoppie pies, snickerdoodles and pound cakes. There's a full bar, too. (stardustvideoandcoffee.wordpress.com)
Sushi Lola's is a big smile in an ordinary strip mall. Find it at 2806 Corrine Drive and step inside for a fusion treat. Fab sushi (especially the lobster roll), ramen creations, bento boxes (chicken bulgogi) and wonderful — often inspired — sandwiches.