Thursday, January 03, 2008

Guide to Winter Park

Note: This is an update as of 10/8/08.

Cup O'Soul has moved to 711-A Orange Avenue, a couple of blocks closer to campus. Strollo's website is still in the works, luckily the restaurant is much further along.

The weather is just beginning to break in Florida as we move from the rainy season to the dry season. Temperature in the 80s during the day, in the 60's at night. Perfect strolling weather. If you have a day free, rent a car and go to the beach at Canaveral National Seashore. Just one hour away.

Note: This is an update as of 4/28/08.

The The Authentic Cuban Cafe is supposedly under new management. The quality is still the same, but the prices have risen.
I should have mentioned Tolla's last time round. Good honest Italian-American food. I love their linguini with clams.
Try Cup O'Soul on Fairbanks. Good coffee, cakes, and lunches. And they serve their coffee in ceramic cups. Yay!
Also another new place on Fairbanks. Strollo's Cucina Due. Has some interesting Italian deli (pancetta etc.) and the bread is not bad, but they have really good lunchtime sandwiches and desserts.
OK so the Cheese Shop on Park is not a restaurant, but they have really good cheese. Get some bread from the Olde Hearth at the Farmers' Market, a couple of tomatoes and some fruit, wander over to this place and pick up a perfectly ripe cheese, wander to central park and as we say in my country -- Bob's your uncle!


We have a couple of NITLE workshops coming up here at Rollins next week. So while we have visitors in town I thought they may like to explore a bit and sent them the following. The hotel mentioned, is the Comfort Suites on Orange. If you know Winter Park, what would you add?

I have already heard that I should add The Enzian, Hannibal Square, Red Light Red Light, Mad Cow Theater, and The Authentic Cuban cafe. All good ideas.

Places to eat and things to do in and around Winter Park – Jonathan Miller.

There is no shortage of information on the web about things to do and places eat in and around Orlando and central Florida. This list is one resident’s (albeit a recent arrival) idiosyncratic short list of things to do and places to eat around Winter Park and may give you a different impression of this area from the usual impression of the area as the “House of the Mouse.”

Restaurants, Coffeehouses and Bars in Winter Park

Palmanos – best coffee in town in a hidden courtyard off Park Ave. One block from campus.
Eola Wine Company – great people watching spot on Park Ave. with good selection of wines and food.
Ravenous Pig – New and very good “gastropub” with lots of fresh ingredients, between your hotel and the College on Orange Ave.
Fiddler’s Green. Classic Irish pub with darts, music. Food is good. Guinness is better. Between your hotel and the College where Orange meets Fairbanks.
Stardust Café – About 2.5 miles from your hotel. My second favorite coffee shop in town. Good food, great video collection, definite coffee house atmosphere. Free wifi.1842 Winter Park Rd, Winter Park, at the corner of Corrine.
Thai Place – best Thai food in town. Two miles north of your hotel next to the Winter Park Village shopping complex.
Little Saigon – 1106 E. Colonial. Less than a mile from your hotel. Good Vietnamese food in the Vietnamese section of town at Mills and Colonial.
White Wolf Café – Half a mile south of your hotel on Orange. I haven’t visited but want to. I have heard good things. It is in an interesting part of town with antique stores and Lake Ivanhoe.
Luma is a crazy hip place, very expensive.
Cafe de France has good French food and a quietly formal (at least by American standards) atmosphere. I was taken here during my interview and when I went back many months later the waiter remembered me.
Park Plaza Garden and Spice occupy opposite sides of the avenue and offer similar fare and a similar experience. Good places to be see and be seen if you sit outside and, after all, why don't you sit outside? It's Florida!
Bosphorus is a good Turkish restaurant, the best taramasalata (oops, that is what they call it is Greece!) You must try what my son calls the "volcano bread and see if your waiter will read your fortune in the lees of the Turkish coffee.
Tolla's is one of my favorites. Good authentic Italian-American fare and a very welcoming atmosphere.

Things to do

Winter Park Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday 7 am – 1pm. Corner of New York and New England, three blocks from the College. You gotta love a green market in January with fresh strawberries and citrus.
People watching on Park Avenue – Park Ave. is the entrance to the College from the north. Sit at any one of the many outdoor cafes and restaurants and watch the beautiful people.
Cornell Fine Arts Museum – On the Rollins Campus. Great permanent collection and some stunning visiting exhibits.
Morse Museum of American Art – At the other end of Park Avenue. A world class Tiffany glass collection.
Polasek Museum and Sculpture Garden – One block from the College on Osceola. Small lakeside jewel of a garden. The gallery tour costs, but access to the garden is free.
Orlando Museum of Art – Less than a mile east of the Comfort Suites by either East Rollins Street or Princeton Street. Located in Lock Haven Park along with the Science Museum and the County Historical Museum.
Scenic Boat Ride – 312 East Morse. About three blocks from campus. Hokey but fun tour of three of the lakes of the area. They get the history right, you get to indulge in house envy.
Urban Think – Great bookstore, near some good cafés and restaurants in downtown Orlando next to Lake Eola and Thornton Park. Two miles south of your hotel.


Bryan's workshop blog said...

That's very helpful, Jonathan. Looking forward to exploring. Hm, maybe starting with Little Saigon.

Anonymous said...

Great recommendations!
Maybe you'd like to include the Cady Way Bike Trail or another venue for walking/running?

Jonathan Miller said...

Darla makes a great suggestion. The Cady Way Trail is one of my favorite walking and running trails. Here is a map

But it is a bit far from the NITLE hotel on the other side of Winter Park.

The Saipan Blogger アンジェロ・ビラゴメズ said...

Hi Jonathan,

Thanks for linking to my food blog. It has sort of been lagging since I moved to Japan in 2005, but I hope to get it up and running this year.

If you ever feel like putting together a list of alumni blogs, check my main blog, The Saipan Blog, out at:

I graduated in 2004.

Janet said...

Nice guide, but I'll have to say Siam Garden on Webster is better than Thai Place and even better than both of those is Thai House on Colonial and Bumby (in Orlando).

Anonymous said...

Hi Jonathan

We are using your blog as an example in our IT class

Paul G said...

As an area native, I have to say that you made pretty good choices for a recent transplant.

I'll have to side with you on Thai food - Thai Place is the best I've had; I used to eat there so often that they owner knew me and had my Singha beer ready for me before I was at my table.

Anonymous said...

I love Palmanos, that owner is HOTT!!!