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"That's gross, I love it." - April Ludgate

Orlando Foodie Favorites

Orlando Foodie Favorites

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Food Lovers are always getting asked by friends and family what they should try next or what their favorite spot is.  Others look to rankings in the community and scour "Best Of" listings online and in print. So fellow foodie friend, OrlandoEats and I decided to make a guide of our personal favorites. Not claiming these to be the best of the best but simply the spots we hold in high stomach-pleasing esteem.

If you don't know OrlandoEats, she is a polished food lover in her own right, eating possibly more than I do around town. Watching her feast is a sight to be seen, only comparable to watching a confusingly slender and beautiful hungry hungry hippo devour dishes all over not just Orlando, but the world. What I love most about her is she's game for it all. Eating a sub outside a Wawa or dressing up for a fancy new restaurant in Disney Springs. There's no pretension about her love of food and she will never hesitate to ask any establishment for a glass of milk.

It seems only natural that we team up, because two iron stomachs are better than one, and share our favorite spots within our own ridiculous made up categories.

Favorite Gone-Too-Fast Sweet

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P is for Pie- The Blueberry & Goat Cheese Hand Pie is ridiculous, as is most of P is for Pie's selections. There is something special about this hand pie though.  Have them warm it up for you, and ask for a glass of milk and get ready for a new addiction.

Buttermilk Bakery - Any flavor Pop Tart at Buttermilk Baker is a flaky dream, but when they have the Key Lime Pop Tart, watch out cause we will throw some bows to get our hands on that one.

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Favorite Spot to Carb Up

Buttermilk Bakery - We could grab a carton of pasta before a 5K like Michael Scott but we prefer Buttermilk for our carb load up.Now that their brick & mortar cafe is open on Orange Avenue we are proud to be regulars. Whether it's sweet or savory they can simply do no wrong.

Pao Gostoso- Chances are you'll be the only non-Brazilian in this bakery, but don't let that scare you. THEY DO SPEAK ENGLISH. Every item has a English translation next to it and you can't go wrong with any of the sweets. 

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Favorite Ron Swanson Please & Thank You Meal

Pig Floyd's- You can argue that it's not traditional BBQ, but that's ok cause I've never been a big BBQ gal myself. However Pig Floyd's is my go-to spot for any meat cravings I do have because it's always so satisfying.  There's just enough twist in the menu to keep my taste buds interested. Still waiting on the turkey leg wrapped in bacon though.

Jesse's Rib Shack - Visit 2202 W. Pine Street for some dank BBQ.  Don't be intimated by the neighborhood or the two tables outside; you can just as easily eat it in you car with the AC blasting like a lot of people do.  This BBQ is worth not really knowing where you are, and they have amazing seafood as well.

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Favorite Leakfast

Se7enbites - It takes a lot of willpower to not go here as often as my stomach would like. You can keep your bottomless mimosa, and trendy spots that force you to valet. Just give me Se7enbites biscuits and leave me to my Leakfast. (Breakfast + Lunch = Leakfast) I can't wait for their new spot to open in September. Just say no to "Brunch".

The Briarpatch - I love going to Briarpatch, sitting outside people watching and casually sticking my hand out when a dog walks by. Top that off with their famous pancakes or french toast and it's a great morning out with friends.

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Favorite Spot When All That's in Your Wallet is Ketchup Packets

Banh Mi Nha Trang- Don't let a few bucks in your bank account keep you from feasting on good grub. Check all the cushions of your couch and the floor of your car because this unassuming, somewhat hidden and delicious joint is cash only.

Favorite Place Where We Don't Understand Half the Menu

Chuan Lu Garden- Chinese isn't something I crave often, mostly because the good stuff is hard to find in Orlando. I'm definitely still learning all of the dishes, but whenever I get the hankering I'm glad I live close to Chuan Lu. Now I just have to get more adventurous with the menu.

Favorite Place to Trigger a Bowel Movement

Vespr - I love Vespr for their innovative drinks as well as a standard latte.  The only problem is that they are on the opposite side of town as me. Move closer Vespr, please! (Also, their bathroom is great and has movie star lighting.) 

Lineage Coffee- Lineage is slowly taking over Orlando with just a smidge of a brick & mortar foot print. Lots of establishments are serving up their coffee. It's commercialized caffeinated genius. Here's hoping the iced lattes stick around past summer cause they keep LemonHearted real regular.

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Favorite Place When We Can't Drink Coffee Anymore

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KrungThep - We love us some KrungThep for many reasons including their tea selection, and with a full page of different brews you'll have to keep visiting to try them all.  Favorites include the Nom Yen, Matcha, and Thai Iced Tea. You also get to watch lots of girls cram onto their couch for selfies which is great people watching.

Favorite Not-As-Good-As-My-Abuela-But-Close

Café Pinar - I'll keep saying it until it isn't true. Best Cuban sandwich in town. Cafe Pinar is down past the Florida Mall, so bypass the touristy food court and Joey Fatone hot dogs and #GetInToIt. You won't regret it. 

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Favorite Homer Simpson approved "MMMMMMMM Doughnuts"

DG Doughnuts - I predict big things for DG Doughnuts. Not just because the owners are the most delightful down-to-earth  people, but because they are making truly amazing doughnuts. Not to mention they deliver! If Homer Simpson was a real person he'd have these babies delivered straight to Sector 7-G.

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Little Blue Donut Co. - Fresh made to order doughnuts in a cute blue truck.  These cake doughnuts are served up warm and you can choose your own toppings! What at time to be alive living in stretchy pants. (WHHAAAA MOMENT: They put Siracha on a donut!)

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Favorite Place to Eat While Looking Busted

King Bao - We can't be bothered to care how busted we might look when we are hangry.  So it's imperative to have safe havens with food that will comfort our broken-out skin, ripped yoga pants, and un-manicured toe nails in dirty flip flops. The inside of King Bao is nice enough, but nothing that requires much effort, just clean hands to throw down the baos.

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Christo's Cafe- When you live in College Park, you know that no matter how you look you can roll into Christo's Cafe and get a full plate of breakfast foods. Just ran a 5K? Just rolled out of bed? It doesn't matter. Christo's welcomes you with good greasy spoon diner food. It's like the diner equivalent of Planet Fitness: A No Judgement Zone.

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Favorite Food We Follow Around Town

OverRice Food Truck - This Filipino/Hawaiian food truck not only gives you delicious food you can't get anywhere else in Orlando (that I am aware of) but you get a great bang for your buck. They have my heart eternally. #FoodieCrush

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Wandering Wonton - Girls can do anything guys can do, without a food truck we might add. This one woman show travels around town cooking fresh asian fusion served with a contagious smile. From her sesame wings to her amazing baos, she is always cranking out new menu items that make us want to be better bosses in the kitchen.

Midnight Sun - What's cuter than a bright yellow truck parked around Orlando? An adorable husband and wife team inside making seriously knee-buckling flavors. LemonHearted is still having withdrawals from the roasted cherry swirl ice cream on an almond financier. (Janet Jackson's "Come Back to Me" plays softly in the background)

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Favorite Hood Tacos Worth Getting Cut For

Taqueria Ameca - Don't ever judge a Taqueria by it's exterior. Otherwise some of you might never step foot inside.  Yes, this strip off  South Orange Avenue is a little busted, but inside are flavors that will make you sing.

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Tortas El Rey - An abandoned Checkers on OBT has never seen such an upgrade.  Drive thru or sit outside and enjoy some authentic tacos and other delights. If you plan on dining outside put your "I'm a little cray" face on and dress for the scorching Florida sun. Bye Shants! 

Favorite Reason We're Glad We Aren't Lactose Intolerant (yet)

Midnight Sun - I can't gush enough about Midnight Sun. You are probably sick of me singing their praises, but you just don't know until you've experienced this creamy heaven on earth.

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Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream- Kelly's could be the next Jeni's, so visit her spot in Audubon Park and pray that she has her amazing Lavender Vanilla ice cream.

Favorite "Of Course It's Better in Italy"

Prato - I've never been to Italy, and it's annoying when fancy people remind me I haven't had real Italian food because I haven't been there. DUH! Let me eat my amazing pasta, meatballs, and pizza in peace and dream I'm as cultured as you. For me, this is great substitute to the "real thing".

Favorite Way To Undo the Damage

Eden's Fresh - Fresh salads and wraps are made in their modest locations. It's quick, affordable, and somehow the owner is able to employ the nicest staff I've ever consistently encountered.

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Sanctum Cafe- Each bowl feels like a life changing movement toward cleaner eating.  Too bad we forget about that once we leave, but in that moment we are eating healthy delicious food and loving it.

Favorite Warm Rainy Day Comfort

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Korea House- The Bibimbap is sheer comfort. Warm white rice, vegetables, meat, and a fried egg. I could eat this weekly with no complaints.  

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Pho Vinh -Oh the flavors in this bowl!The #73 at Pho Vinh comes with rice vermicelli with chicken in coconut curry broth. It's a hug in food form.

Favorite Spot When It's 70 Degrees Out

Third Wave Cafe- Ok, technically it's not in Orlando, but 45 minutes North in New Smyrna Beach is a gem within walking distance from the beach. The food is top notch, and on breezy day their patio is exactly what all Floridans long for. It's worth the trip.

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Favorite Place You'd Bring the Ninja Turtles

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Pizza Bruno- All the Turtles would dig this place, although the non-triangular shaped slices might confuse them.  They hooked me on my very first visit, and don't even get me started on those garlic knots. I don't think another pizza joint is going to outrank them in my mind for quite some time.

Pi-Fection-So many pizzas to choose from, but make sure and save room for a dessert pizza. The Brigadeiro with Strawberry is just perfection. Still hoping to run into Kaka here...

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Best Kept Secret

Pizza X-Treme - This use to be a go-to lunch spot for me when I worked across the street. Cheap lunch specials, really good pizza, all waiting for you on an empty corner next to a gas station. 

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Favorite Place You've Probably Driven By But Never Stopped

King Cajun Crawfish- You know you've driven by this place once, twice, maybe every single day and have never stopped in. Next time you and your crew are looking for some place to eat and you find yourself passing by, stop. And don't forget about the Shabang sauce, unless you can't handle da heat.

Favorite Place to Practice Your Chop Stick Skills

Sushi & Seoul on the Roll- Every time I see this truck my heart skips a beat. These guys are great and totally worth stalking. I love their Sushi and their avocado fries are a personal favorite. They are so famous some turkeys are ripping them off in Russia!  Support these homies!

Kabooki- Kabooki sushi is just always good. Everybody will chime in with their own favorite spot, but Kabooki is always a top choice. Pro Tip: Next time you go to order the Maguro Truffle, do yourself a favor and get it as a roll. 

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Favorite Cold Bowl

Lac Viet Bistro -#70 at Lac Viet, the Bún Lạc Việt.  It's a hearty bowl of vermicelli noodles, grilled pork, grilled ground shrimp on sugar cane, grilled beef and egg roll. You are welcome.

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Favorite place to NOT Buy Local

Shake Shack- Call us basic if you want, we don't really care. We both love Shake Shack, and since neither of us have must go-to spots for burgers, we are completely satisfied chowing down here, crinkly fries in hand basking in the gorgeous Lake Killarney sunset.  

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Let us also never forget an important date, 2/4/16, when a new burger was born to Mama OrlandoEats.  The Chick'n Shack Burger. One patty with cheese and one fried chicken breast.  It was truly a momentous occasion. 

 Favorite Mexican That No One Will Agree With:

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Paco's on Fairbanks- Could there potentially be better Mexican around town? Sure! But Paco's is always there for you when you need it, and it's consistent.  And there haven't been any chubby rats found to shut it down.

 Favorite Excuse to Eat More Bread

Yellow Dog Eats - What the Fig Sandwich is piled with pulled pork, goat cheese, bacon, french fried onions and fig sauce? Yes, please. I have a hard time ordering anything else from the menu when you can get this combo. 

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Favorite Hurry Up Already

Farm-Haus- We love the peeps of Farm-Haus and we are so excited they are getting their very own space in the East End Market. We can't wait to feast on their freshly made meals in the beautiful courtyard or run in and grab goodies on the go.

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Favorite "Time of the Month" Stuff Yo Face Treat

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Red Velvet Cake- Sorry was that TMI? Everyone is raving about the larger than life cookies that Gideon's Bakehouse is cranking out at the East End Market, but we both agree that the real indulgence here is the red velvet cake. We can't be held responsible for how many slices we go back for.

Happy Eating! And as always, all photos belong to LemonHearted and OrlandoEats (unless otherwise credited) and all food was purchased by us. Support your local businesses!

Make sure to follow OrlandoEats on Instagram!

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