Galentine's Crawl Orlando
Thanks to one of my favorite shows, Parks and Recreation, we get to give our girls an extra dose of intense Leslie & Ann BFF love on Galentine's Day; hopefully with a waffle-based meal thrown in. However, during the other 364 days of the year, life gets in the way, and we end up catching up with our most treasured girlfriends via texts or through DMs of memes related to our special bonds and shared interests.
When we do finally get our schedules coordinated for hang time, that doesn't mean we have an itinerary Leslie Knope would be proud of. To save all my busy ladies some planning, I put together some local ideas for your next gal pal excursion littered with all of the current basic necessities that most all ladies love, as well as Leslie Knope approved compliments for the journey. Galentines crawls don't have to only happen on February 13th, because any time a group of women get together for brunch, we embody the spirit of the holiday.
If you live near Winter Garden and you need to catch up on each others lives or fight about whether you are team Riggins or Saracen, meet up at Press'd Juice Bar in the Plant Street Market. To make a day of it, hang on the patio and enjoy a brew or cider from Crooked Can, and walk down Plant Street and visit all the local shops and boutiques.
Ladies of Ivanhoe Village can visit the Purple Ocean truck parked on Orange Avenue for some gorgeous acai bowls. There are a few tables and chairs next to the truck, but you can also stroll down Orange Avenue and visit Dora Mae to shop her glittery jewelry or make your way down to Paper Goat Post and Horizons Vintage for more shopping, but stopping each other short of buying toe rings.
Create your Nature is nestled in-between lots of good walk-able treats. Grab an acai bowl and a coffee from Foxtail where you can enjoy the courtyard and then make your way down to Buttermilk Bakery for a carb loaded treat. Don't stop there, Avalon Exchange is just a few more blocks down for a quick resale shopping spree and affirmations that they are "brilliant and kind and stupid hot, and they are definitely going to find a wonderful guy who loves them and respects them and fills their home with multiethnic genius babies."
At the newest juice bar in town you can easily split an acai bowl because they are huge. If the weather allows you can walk (if you dare) down 17-92 to KrungThep or the Glass Knife, or better yet head down over to Orange Tree Antiques for some retail therapy and solid advice that "sperm that is worthy of their perfect eggs does not grow on trees."
ALL THE TOASTS
The avocado toast at Swine & Sons is a shareable size and pro tip it's walking distance to Rifle Paper Co. What else could you need in a lady date? After you've strolled Hannibal Square for some photo ops agaisnt white and ivy covered walls, circle back to Ravenous Pig for cocktails and self-worth promoting gestures like "your brain is almost as perfect as your face."
Avocado toast at BBD is for early morning lady dates only, but it's worth it if you also want to add in a group pic in front of the pink wall next door. Don't forget to give them solid career advice over breakfast like "you beautiful tropical fish, you’re smart as a whip and you’re cool under pressure.”
Have any artsy ladies in the group? Cross the street and check out Sam Flax for supplies or cute gift ideas and take a few pics around the colorful art on the exterior of the building.
Voted best avocado toast in Orlando, this should be a stop for any hangry ladies who have a craving. The great thing about Farm & Haus is that it's a crawl on it's own being situated in the East End Market. Once you've enjoyed the market you can cross the street and shop at Owl's Attic, Park Ave CD's and grab a beer at Redlight Redlight where over drinks you remind your friend they are a "cunning, pliable, chestnut-haired sunfish."
New to the food menu at Vespr is this Milk + Honey toast your crew is sure to want to try. Coffee talks should always be uplifting and positive including gems like "your ambiguous ethnic blend perfectly represents the dream of the American melting pot."
Crawls in shopping centers can be tough, but across the street in Waterford Lakes you can hit up Forema Boutique, go collectively buy things you don't need in Target together, and then hit up the Fresh Kitchen.
With plenty of seating indoor and outdoor at New General, you can grab different seasonal toasts and lattes everyday while at the same time doing a little bit of shopping. Toast talks can turn into therapy sessions so be ready to champion your friends love-life by telling them "you beautiful spinster. I will find you love.”
Because New General is Park Avenue adjacent, you can certainly make an full crawl after stopping here first and supporting a locally owned business.
ALL THINGS PINK
Mathers Social Gathering Frosé
Tell your clam fam to start early at Mathers around 4PM and enjoy their frosé in a much more quiet atmosphere for happy hour. From there have dinner at the Artisan's Table and then end the night with laughs at Saks Comedy Lab or retro fun at Joysticks Orlando where photo ops are plentiful and you can cheer on the iPhone photo shoot by telling your gal "you are a beautiful, sassy mannequin come to life."
The Sanctum is the perfect hub for the ladies in your life that are all in the mood to eat healthy. Put on your yoga pants and put up the messy buns, but don't forget your cameras to capture the beautiful Rose latte currently running as a special. After all that healthy eating applaud your day of sustainable eating and cleansing by telling each other "you are the most beautiful, glowing sun goddess ever."
Behold pink walls and pink ice cream. Kelly's has everything that you need to end any adventure in Audubon Park with a delicious finish. Definitely go try on clothes at Owls Attic next door before you indulge and don't forget to also check out the Lovely Boutique Market. While your friends try on vintage they aren't sure about, be their cheerleader and remind them that they can pull off anything telling them "you are an opalescent tree shark."
For your adventurous foodie friends you might want to make a stop at the Sausage Shack in Hannibal Square. The sausage wrapped in pink cotton candy may not be for everyone, but it’s an experience to say the least. If your friend goes for it and has melted cotton candy all over her face praise her by telling her "you are a beautiful rule breaking moth."
If cotton candy dogs aren't your thing they do serve up a pretty satisfying doughnut dog worth checking out. I, myself, was surprised at how good it tasted.
SALAD WITH A SIDE OF FRIES
It's lady law that when you order a salad (which is not Leslie Knope approved) you are allowed to order a side of fries with no judgement. The Strand has some of the best salads in the city (in my humble opinion) but don't ever think I forget my side of fries to share with my friends.
On a beautiful day, the patio at the Greek Corner is a great place to grab what feels like a healthy lunch or dinner, until you decide to share a plate of Feta fries. Yes, Feta fries!!! The many antique shops of Ivanhoe are nearby to check, out as well as drinks across the street at the Hammered Lamb.
Full disclosure, a side of fries is not offered at Greenbeat (BYOF), however substitute fries with a side of their delicious hummus and I promise you it's almost just as good. For any 9 to 5 queens in and around downtown, this is a great spot for a power lunch catch up and maybe plan the next municipal issue to tackle.
My friend Sarah and I use to have "healthy" lunch dates at Da Kine and then inevitably afterwards we would end up in the McDonald's drive thru because one of us was craving fries. So remember, a salad of any sort can always end with a trip to the drive-thru with true ride-or-die friends. I recommend blasting 90's music while doing this. It just feels right.
Teak has an expansive patio if you have a large group of ladies looking for a spot to brunch together. They have some pretty tantalizing brunch options like French Toast covered in Cinnamon Toast Crunch, not to mention a donut burger. However their garlic bistro fries are a great side to accompany one of their salads.
NOT SO BASIC
I'm a gal who loves her video games, especially the old school Nintendo titles. Player One is an awesome spot near Disney Crossroads that has emmulators with all your favorite old school games and a full bar you can sit at to play newer games. If you have a group of lady-gamers, this is great outing that can end with dinner in Disney Springs.
The Geek Easy is like a sports bar for nerds, where you can hang out, play board games, watch whatever movie they are showing in-between looking for the newest graphic novel you've been wanting to add to your collection. It can easily become a regular spot to gather with your crew since they hold regular trivia nights and weekly karaoke.
Downtown Orlando doesn't always feel lady friendly, but at Joysticks you can get play video games, try their themed drinks, and live all your retro dreams. If you are a karaoke fan, check out their Wednesday night I love 80's karaoke.
The OMA is a great place for ladies to spend some quality time together and take in the arts. We'd think nothing of all heading as a group to the Met if we lived in NYC, so why disregard what we have here locally? They have a great contemporary wing right now you should bring your crew to check out. When your friend shares her thoughts on a particular piece and you aren't quite following, just agree and call her "a fluorescent lightbulb of truth."
WINE AND CHEESE
Sometimes you just want to feel a bit more sophisticated than shopping inside TJ Maxx with a large fry stuffed in the your romper pockets (true story), so for times like that, there is the very classy charcuterie board. At Bulla Gastrobar you can create your own board from their cured meats and cheese selection. When then conversation eventually turns serious you are the type of friend that will comply with the request "I need you to text me every thirty-seconds saying that everything is going to be ok."
Now I'm all about sharing a pizza from Prato with my girls, but don't sleep on the meat and cheese spread that they have. I've personally hosted my own Galentine's dinners at Prato and it's my favorite spot to class it up and celebrate my ladies, gift bags and all. This is the perfect time to tell all your ladies they are "sweet, slightly aged bottles of wine".
Road trip! Ok, not really, but you do need to head down to the corner of E. Colonial and Goldenrod to find these beauts. These frappes come with literally dozens of options of sweet toppings with either a chocolate or vanilla base. When your girlfriend says she needs chocolate, you take her here. After you are sufficently chocolate wasted, hug your friend and tell her she "is a rainbow infused space unicorn."
It's rare to have a Midnight Sun sighting in Orlando nowadays, but they are at the Deland Farmers Market every Friday night! Exploring downtown Deland with your best gal pals is a great option for dinner at BakeChop, shopping and wine at So. of NY Market, antiquing, and plenty of local shops off the main drag to visit.
Ladies of UCF: If you are struggling to fit sisterhood time in-between classes, cramming, and working, Ice & Bites is on your side of town and is a quiet and quaint cafe to meet up and grab a happy affogato, boba, or taiyaki. This is also a great place to break out the 17-section binder you've created to help them achieve all their life goals and dreams.
Down near Pine Hills you'll find Bambu, a small cafe with some pretty fun and colorful furniture. A quick sweet catch up can turn into a full on photo shoot. My favorite item is the Hong Kong Waffle with ice cream and a variety of toppings.
To all the ladies celebrating ladies, I salute you.
All photos were taken by me and are property of Lemonhearted Creative. All food shown in this round-up was either purchased by me or was part of a paid photo shoot and in no way reflects sponsorship of these businesses.