But First, Local Coffee
Another year, another three hundred sixty five straight days of coffee consumption for some of us. The caffeinated landscape of our city continues to evolve bringing more options for better and for worse; but it's all relative to how you like your coffee. Some people love sugary drinks, some enjoy tasting more milk than actual espresso, and there will always be people trying to impress you saying they taste hints of blueberry. Whatever level coffee drinker you are, I wanted to put together a comprehensive list not just of local joints in Central Florida, but places I've visited all over the state. Floridians love their day trips or three-day weekends, so you might as well be armed with a list of spots to get coffee.
If by chance you have a spot you go to that isn't on my list, more than likely I am aware it exists. This list is not meant to serve as an alternative to a Google or Yelp search. I'm here to tell you the places I have personally visited whether it was once or frequently. Some lists are created with photos (mostly stolen) or no photos to tell you merely what exists with no other info. I'm here to tell you guys the good and the bad of what I've paid for and tasted. So as always, don't "At Me".
Owned by a local family, Paloma is not just pleasing to the eye, but also the palate. They use Panther coffee and a local baker who keeps their pastry case filled with cupcakes macarons, and the like. It's not a huge shop, so seating is limited, but they are open a good portion of the day, so you shouldn't have difficulty spending some time here without feeling like a seat hog. They recently started serving Cuban sandwiches, so it seems more food options could be on the way.
Piccolo is owned by a wife and husband duo and is one of the newer traveling mobile coffee options in Orlando. I haven't been truly impressed with a new kid on the block's latte lately, but Piccolo was truly solid. Anyone who re-calibrates for each shot they pull to compensate for the Florida humidity is alright with me. The husband and wife team seem like pretty solid folk and I hope big things are in store for them.
Current favorite: Vanilla lavender latte
New to Downtown Winter Garden, this is the second location for Rosallie. With another cafe in Vegas, this french inspired menu offers freshly baked goods and a wide variety of coffees. This isn't a shop I'd personally bring a laptop to set up shop, but they have a decent variety of drinks to grab and go.
Pro Tip: The flavored lattes are sweet so ask for less syrup if you don't like overly sweetened drinks.
Cafe Pa' Ya' is another mobile coffee truck focusing on breakfast items and strong Puerto Rican coffee. The truck is located in the Costco parking lot at 2101 Waterbridge Blv Orlando. Owned and run by a mother and daughter team, their energy and positivity for what they are doing is refreshing and contagious. Just follow their instagram and you will see what I mean.
Located off W. Colonial in Winter Garden The Breakroom is a huge space that is often pretty quiet and low key to get work done while you sip a coffee or tea. For freelancers, you'd have minimal distractions here, and probably 0 to 1 hipster photo shoots. Oh man, did I just jinx it?
This mobile coffee cart keeps options on tap to take all over Orlando. You've gotta be down with pre-made drinks with limited offerings since they are running off a mobile keg and taps, but their Nitro Chai was rich and creamy. I was not a huge fan of their matcha, at least so far. Sorry guys! I still got mad love to give!
This Brazilian owned coffee shop is slightly hidden at the bottom of a large office building in Dr. Phillips, but it's worth finding. They have a sandwich and salad menu along with pastries, so you have sustenance if you choose to stay awhile. The seating is mainly one communal table and a few others that are in pretty close proximity to each other, so wear your deodorant.
You don't have to live the Vegan lifestyle to enjoy the Sanctum. They have a coffee menu that includes cold brew, matcha, and the golden tumeric latte seen below. Their expanded space is perfect for getting some work done wihout feeling like a bum taking up space in a restaurant. Unrelated to coffee, their #6 smoothie could potentially bankrupt me. Check it.
Sometimes I get lazy and stray from going to Lineage because the East End Market can feel like a waking nightmare when you aren't in the mood to talk to other humans. However, when I muster up the courage to go back i immediately feel like an idiot for staying away so long, because their latte is so solid. I absolutely cannot wait for their new space to open next to Lazy Moon Pizza in Mills/50. Please hurry!
If you love Stumptown Coffee, P is for Pie brews it up fresh in their bakery. No fancy lattes here, but honestly, all you need is a solid cup of joe because the baked goods do all the heavy lifting.
Located on the East side of town off Alafaya Trail, Vespr takes craft cocktails to another level. Keep tabs on their ever-changing menu, or grab a classic vanilla latte that still allows you to taste the espresso. Seating can be a challenge, as it's usually filled to the brim with UCF kids. It’s still one of my favorite spots seats or no seats.
A true community hub, Gratitude Coffee is one of our first mobile coffee trucks that has a pretty permanent home on the streets of College Park. Most recently she has been parking in front of Cavanaugh's Wine on Edgewater Drive looking to make it permanent. Her cold brew is popular, as is her lavender latte. The real draw besides the coffee is Jen herself. It doesn't get more down-to-earth and loveable than her.
Foxtail coffee seems to be eyeing an Orlando takeover with locations on Orange Avenue, inside Dovecote downtown, with more to come. Their Dovecote coffee bar takeover was pretty genius, and certainly solved the problem of seating at their Winter Park location. Their coffee is not always consistent for me, but despite that I always get impeccable service.
Downtown Deland has been growing and converting their main street into a walkable main street district for younger people that are getting priced out of Orlando. The latte was pretty decent, and the shop has a clean and simple vibe. Definitley a great place to check out when you are in Deland.
Ah, the beautiful chaos that is Stardust. Cleanliness aside, I've never had a bad iced latte. It's also the home to the popular Monday night Aubudon Farmer's Market. Use the bathroom at your own risk.
Clean and sleek, and home to the very popular, and only, coffee window in Orlando. New General uses Lineage coffee for their brews which you can order with seasonal toasts and other items on their cafe menu.
Favorite Drink: Iced Honey Latte
One of the good things Oviedo has to offer is Duo 58. This is a very cozy and intimate coffee house with few distractions and friendly baristas. They are a non-profit that focuses on charitable efforts for the children of Haiti. I actually read a book here on rainy day and it was so relaxing. Not every place has that type of vibe. They also have Waffle Wednesdays! I'm just waiting for them to marry that idea with a "Dress like Leslie Knope day".
Favorite drink: The Lorax
Yes, I know Briarpatch is not a coffee house, but there is one thing you need to know. They brew La Colombe coffee, so that is an important tidbit to keep in mind when placing your beverage orders.
No one should need any additional reason to visit the best bakery in town. However, if you are a coffee lover, and lazy; kill two birds with one cup of joe and head to Buttermilk. They serve Lineage coffe. Nothing fancy, so no lattes, but the coffee is good enough on it's own.
I've had a few meetups at Drunken Monkey over the years, and despite never really loving their coffee, the place is always packed. It's a pretty beloved spot from what I can gather, so I wouldn't let my taste buds keep you from it. If anyone in my crew suggests it, now I just get a tea and sometimes a snack. They cater heavily to vegans, and they host open mic and comedy nights on a regular basis.
Specializing in Colombian coffee, this small shop in Winter Park has always had an empty, quiet, almost forgotten vibe when I've visited. Which isn't a bad thing if you are looking for a place to work. I can't say the drinks ever made me want to run back, but it certainly has a prime location off New England Avenue.
Ice and Bites isn't a coffee house, but you can get some interesting treats here with espresso, like the affogato pictured below served with your choice of ice cream and a huge cotton candy cloud. However, I've driven across town to try an item that was posted on their social media only to be told they don't have it, so I would call before you make the trek.
Some people may not know that Barnie's actually started back in the 80's right here in Orlando. Now, their only cafe is right here in Winter Park serving up drinks and breakfast, lunch, and brunch.
Favorite drink: Turkish Latte
Black Bean Deli
Grab a cafe con leche here with some quesitos and you have a LemonHearted approved Cuban breakfast.
The old Sleeping Moon Cafe at Aloma and S.R. 436 has been transformed into a donut shop and coffee house. The Donut Central roasts their own beans and have a lengthy menu of coffee drinks to enjoy with or without a donut. Try their matcha!
A staple of Downtown Winter Garden, Axum is a busy hub of laptops and locals. They do offer some food, but honestly I normally steer clear of their pastry case and grab a bite at Plant Street Market where they also have a counter. If you've ever visited the Cat Cafe in Clermont, the shop there is also run by Axum.
My favorite drink: Pumpkin Chai Latte
If you are further north in Lake Mary, you can still get Lineage coffee over at the Cozee Cafe. They also are a full service cafe, with a scratch kitchen menu and some beautiful breakfast spreads.
A more alternative scene for college students and those who don't wish to follow the pretty hipster coffee trend. Not a regular spot for me, but a popular spot with open mic nights and other live events.
Part coffee shop, part record store. Rabbitfoot showcases local talent in grungy, hip setting in Downtown Sanford. They also offer beer, wine and a limited menu. They host local pop-ups as well as open mic nights.
A quiet shop in downtown Sanford run by mainly volunteers. Profits go to help abolish modern day slavery and human trafficking. Not a frequency visited spot for me but I’ve had some good iced lattes.
Credo continues to grow from its humble College Park beginnings with four Orlando locations serving locals. I love their seasonal extracts like Orange, Almond and Lavender added to my lattes. The College Park location also serves as an affordable event space for the community to rent when other venues are just too pricey.
There is not a whole lot of local coffee in Melbourne, it appears they are still running on Dunkin. However, I did find Anaya Coffee in the Eau Gallie Arts District. It is small on the inside, but they have a pretty spacious back patio. They have a small menu, including vegetarian options, and I had an iced Mexican mocha latte that was on point.
There is plenty of space over at Foundation Coffee in Tampa, not to mention a beautiful expansive covered patio in the back. When I visited I did not try their coffee, but I did enjoy their chai latte. Note that they are closed on Sundays.
Now with two locations in Tampa, Caffeine has great design, but more importantly one of the smoothest vanilla lattes I've gotten over on the West Coast of Florida.
Relatively new to the coffee scene, this bakery has some seriously craveable goods made by their in-house baker, but the coffee is not to be missed. It's not a large space, so it may not be your first spot to sit and set up camp, but it's worth a pit stop. It's also another spot with very friendly baristas who are happy to give you their favorite Tampa hot spots if you aren't a local.
I've always had hopes that Buddy Brew would come east towards Orlando, because their vanilla iced latte is so good. I don't think that will ever happen, but they have 6 locations including the bar inside the Oxford Exchange, so there is no reason to miss them when you travel west.
A truly beautifully crisp and minimal spot in Lakeland, Concord has never disappointed me with drinks or service.
Favorite drink: Matcha Lemonade
Cozy doesn't begin to describe Hillcrest Coffee, where the owner literally transformed and updated a 92-year-old house in the historic Dixieland neighborhood of Lakeland. You can enjoy locally roasted Patriot Coffee Roasters, play some board games, or pop open your laptop and get some work done.
My first trip to Bandit was over a year ago, and I love visiting St. Pete just to go see them. Bandit hits the rare perfect coffee trifecta. Amazingly good coffee, personable and friendly staff who know how to construct sentences and don't intimidate you, and a beautiful space. I need Bandit in Orlando. Please. Please. Come.
Coffee in the morning, cocktails at night, and... oysters?! Yes, you can go to Intermezzo anytime and find something to enjoy in their beautiful space on the main drag of Central Avenue in downtown St. Petersburg. The coffee is great but the matcha lemonade is not to be missed.
The journey for Vagabond began in a vintage camper, so all you mobile coffee peeps, don't give up hope. Their cafe in historic Murray Hill is hip without being hipster. An in-house baker provides the goods, and the coffee is delicious.
With three locations and a roastery in Jacksonville, Bold Bean should be on any coffee scouting you do on a day trip. After getting caught soaking wet in a brief Florida downpour, their chai latte warmed me right back up.
Miami is just a dream when it comes to coffee shops. I think my favorite from my most recent visit was All Day. Everything is well designed and carefully selected down to the gold flatware, but truly the coffee could be served in a recycled paper cup out of their coffee window, and it would still be amazing. It was voted "Coffee Shop of the Year" in 2016 by Eater, and it's clear to see why. The most wonderful iced latte I've had in recent memory, a delicious, locally sourced breakfast, and lots of Miami eye candy.
Paint some colorful murals, strategically place large fans, and concoct some cold brew recipes and you have Box Coffee in Wynwood. It's just too hot outside to drink a hot cofffe, so at Box Coffee they only serve cold brew based drinks.
Located in one of the more photographed walls in Wynwood you will find MIAM, a casual and not overly cool coffee shop. They also have breakfast, lunch, and brunch menus to check out. They did not have decaf when I visited them in the late afternoon, but their chai was a great back up.
Located in the design district in Miami, OTL has a limited but delicious menu, pops of pink and teal, and perfect lattes. No seriously, the lattes were so good.
All coffee shops were personally visited by me, all pictures are mine (do not use without permission) and all coffee was paid for by me. I don't ask for free anything and neither should you.