Orlando Coffee Shops by Neighborhood
This isn’t actually Apopka’s first local coffee shop, but as others have come and gone without notice, this one may have the legs to stick around. This renovated home on the corner of W 2nd Street and S Lake Avenue has comfortable nooks for hanging out, getting work done, or even having a small event. The coffee is good and it’s far from pretentious or uncomfortable.
Clermont quietly has been adding more local businesses to its roster and its not surprising coffee shops are seen among the growth. Located inside the historic Citrus Tower you will find a coffee counter run by Mountaineer Coffee. Mountaineer is a local roaster with roots in Brooksville. Great coffee, hospitable service, and homemade pop tarts. While this isn’t a traditional coffee shop as it sits at the bottom of one of Florida’s first attractions, there is seating for working and conversation, and even wi-fi if you choose to take your coffee up to the observation deck.
In my humble opinion, the Energy Lab in downtown Clermont may just be the best coffee shop you haven’t visited yet. The master barista, AJ, knows the intricate science behind each cup and takes his time perfecting your drink. It’s rare for me to order a straight shot of espresso, but with AJ at the helm, I’d pretty much drink anything he put in front of me.
This is a new spot in Clermont! It’s only a few months old but has already supplied a homey atmosphere for visitors and Lake County locals. The owners run this non-profit shop to help give back not just to the local Lake County community, but efforts in Malawi as well.
A true community hub, Gratitude Coffee is one of our first mobile coffee trucks to find a permanent home on the streets of College Park. Her cold brew is popular, as is her lavender and rose cardamom lattes. The real draw besides the coffee is Jen herself. It doesn't get more down-to-earth and lovable than her. If you are looking for a much needed dose of positive vibes in your day, she gives generously. You can read her full story here.
Credo now has three locations within close proximity to each other. I still enjoy 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.
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. If you want a colorful latte, just let them know.
One of the only independently run coffee shops in the area, Trilogy serves a solid cup of coffee with plenty of milk alternative options. The shop has a clean and simple vibe and they sell some merchandise sourced by a few local makers as well. There are other coffee options in Deland, but this is where your money should go.
Many people visit because of the beautiful job the owners did with the design but make no mistake, the drinks are delicious. They have easily become known for their craft cocktail menu, attention to detail down to garnishes, and welcoming atmosphere. They also have one of the BEST vanilla chai drinks you are going to find in town. You can park behind the building or in the metered spaces on the street. Meet the owner behind the concept in my interview here.
Inside of the Milk District’s popular bar and community hub is an indepenent coffee counter run by Easy Luck. Thanks to the beautiful space curated by the main proprietor Whippoorwill Beer House, you can enjoy coffee and toast in cute setting, and kill time until the bar opens if you wish. The coffee counter closes at 3PM.
Even though 90% of their menu is tea, coffee lovers should absolutely try their iced coffee drinks. My favorite at the moment is the Mousse Coffee. The coffee is creamy and sweet and the mousse on top adds a hint of salty goodness.
We are now blessed with two beautiful Lineage Coffee shops in Orlando, in the East End Market and their E. Colonial space. There is ample parking and Buttermilk treats to feast on. The coffee never disappoints even if I never feel quite cool enough to hang there.
Drunken Monkey isn’t in my heavy rotation, but 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.
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 turmeric latte seen below. Their expanded space is perfect for getting some work done without feeling like a bum taking up space in a restaurant. You can also grab a coffee at their sister restaurant Proper & Wild, or at their second location in Altamonte. Unrelated to coffee, their #6 smoothie could potentially bankrupt me.
Well, Foxtail is officially everywhere, so it’s becoming a neighborhood hang in seemingly every neighborhood. Except Apopka. New locations have opened by UCF, the Hourglass District, Lee Road, Downtown, and soon to come to College Park. An exciting update is that now at the Lee Road location you can pick up the amazingly decadent DG Doughnuts!
This salon/coffee counter is out in Lake Nona, so it’s not in my regular rotation. What’s good is that they use Lineage coffee, so if you find yourself out in that part of the world you are pretty much assured a good cup of coffee. Chances of a photo shoot happening while you are there is 100%.
This neighborhood coffee shop is located in a renovated home, with very minimal and clean decor. They are known for good drinks served with very cute desserts. It's a quiet place to hang out or work with ample parking with no pretentious baristas in sight. Find a full write up here.
This shop in downtown Longwood may not be on the radar of many who don’t live in the area, but they have a large outdoor patio and cozy inside seating for work or play. If you don’t want to use a plastic or paper straw, try one of their noodle straws!
Matt and April started their coffee adventure this year, popping up under a tent on Orange Blossom Trail in Lockhart. Now their airstream is finished and they are serving their drinks out of it, with expansion plans for a dog park and open-air seating area. They use Lineage Coffee and sling all types of hot an iced drinks along with monthly seasonal specials. For now, catch them early in the airstream, before 10:30 a.m. until further notice.
Finding good coffee on visits to Mt. Dora has proved difficult and often resulted in a Starbucks run. Allyson’s Bake Shop was a surprising find in an area where you could easily waste money on a bad cup of joe. The shop is beautiful and worth a stop even if you don’t feel like grabbing a dessert.
New Smyrna Beach
Not only is this a beautiful locally-owned shop filled to the gills with locally sourced items, but it’s also a great coffee shop. The owners use Trilogy coffee and do their part for the environment but not using all bio-degradable cups and straws.
Third Wave is a quaint gem in New Smyrna Beach where you can take a break from the tides and eat some great food and enjoy delicious coffee. Their back patio area is tropical and picturesque, or you can sit inside and enjoy the A/C. Either way, it’s one of NSB’s more popular spots for good reason.
I loved Duo 58’s old cozy space, but their new location is gorgeous and spacious. It’s a little further out than the last location, but if you make the drive you’ll definitely be glad you did. The food offerings are prepared fresh and should absolutely be added to your order. The expansive space will also be used as an event space soon.
Inside the Lotte Market you’ll find a delicious food court and this coffee and tea counter. While it’s heavy on milk teas and bobas, there are interesting coffee drinks to be found on the menu.
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 and grabbed a few local donuts from Donuts 2 Go.
I’ll level with you, I haven’t been to visit this shop yet because it’s an hour from my house, and work definitely gets in the way of 2-hour coffee adventures, BUT if you live nearby you should go check it out. I’ve heard all good things, and they appear to have way more than just coffee. Photo credit: Vanessa’s Coffee Shop
While Vespr sits quietly over on the East side of town they have one of the most impressive craft cocktail menus that continues to change. They just announced new drinks on their Instagram this week. If that isn’t your jam, you can go 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.
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.
Truthfully, Piccolo is one of my favorites. If they had existed when I was a teen growing up in Winter Garden, they would have done serious damage to my West Oaks Mall paycheck. Owned by a husband and wife team, they hustle hard seven days a week with their location inside Eggs & Oats, and their coffee cart pop-ups at local farmers markets. Make sure to check out their regularly rotating seasonal drinks.
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.
Located in 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.The flavored lattes are sweet so ask for less syrup if you don't like overly sweetened drinks.
Axum is a staple of Downtown Winter Garden as 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.
It’s located in downtown Windermere and owned by a local family. 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’ve also added a back patio with additional seating for cooler Florida days.
It’s 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.
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. They also just added a second location downtown in the 55 West building.
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.
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.
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. I love their Turkish latte.
Grab a cafe con leche here with some quesitos and you have a LemonHearted approved Cuban breakfast.
BEYOND CENTRAL FLORIDA
There is not much 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.
Located in the Heights Public Market you will find the one and only coffee bar run by Commune + Co. If the bar is full, no need to worry, there is plenty of seating all around the market to enjoy your drink. The horchata latte shouldn’t be missed.
You can sit and enjoy a meal at the Hall on Franklin and add a coffee to your order, or you can walk up to their open coffee bar and grab something to go. They also have an assortment of teas, signature sodas, and hot chocolate.
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.
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. It is also teasingly close to Born and Bread, so if you go on a Saturday make sure to hit up both spots. If you aren’t feeling like coffee try the 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.
I love visiting St. Pete just to visit Bandit. They are 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 would love to see Bandit in Orlando.
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. Right now it’s the temporary home of Valhalla Bakery while their new space is built out, so even more reason to visit.
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.
Rabbit Coffee Roasting
You’ll find this coffee counter inside the Grandview Public Market. You can actually find their beans all over Florida. Beyond basic coffee drinks they have fun flavors like thin mint lavender! If they have it, try the Cinnamon Toast cold brew.
It's a popular spot, being both in a busy area on Clematis Street and having a gorgeous mural in their courtyard. Despite other coffee shops coming into the area, Subculture still attracts large crowds.
On a quiet Saturday morning the cafe was half full but still a peaceful place to sit and enjoy a delicious almond croissant and a very grand looking overnight oats with coffee. There is much more to the menu than sweets, so you can visit anytime of day. I would definitely stop by when in town.
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 (unless otherwise stated) and all coffee was paid for by me. I don't ask for free anything and neither should you.