The Orlando Real - Life in Orlando

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By Yasmene Warren

You’ve had Mexican food. You’ve probably also had Cuban and Puerto Rican food. You may have even had some good Dominican or Venezuelan food. But how many Peruvian food joints in Orlando can you count on hand? We’ll give you one: Papa Llama!

What is Papa Llama?

Papa Llama - Good Food & Natural Wine is a restaurant on Curry Ford Road in Orlando that “focuses on the vibrant and unique flavors of Peruvian cuisine, paired with the raw & alive aromas of natural wine and craft beer,” according to its website.

Papa Llama was brought to life in 2016 by Peruvian immigrants Kevin and Maria Ruiz as an “experimental, third culture pop-up” and got its first brick-and-mortar up and running in August of 2020. This restaurant…

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by Yasmene Warren

Calling all coffee lovers! America may run on Dunkin, but Orlando’s Stemma Craft Coffee has quite a bit to offer “the city beautiful.” Let’s check it out!

What is Stemma Craft Coffee?

Stemma Craft Coffee is a new coffee shop located downtown on North Orange Avenue and has been serving the Orlando community sustainably sourced coffee since October of 2022. It’s open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., so whether you’re an early bird or a late riser, there’s plenty of time to get a taste of what’s on the menu!

This coffee shop is all about family as owners and mother-daughter-duo Rebecca and María Blandon opened Stemma to honor Rebecca’s late father, who dreamt about opening a coffee shop with his family.

Stemma Craft…

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By Yasmene Warren

Living the city life doesn’t always have to mean living the expensive life, and that goes for a tourism hotspot like Orlando as well! We may be known for our thrilling theme parks, and that may be why you’re here, but what are some things you can do here that won’t break the bank? Let’s find out!

Disney Springs

Let’s start with something Orlando is known for: Disney.

Disney Springs is one of the many Walt Disney World parks Orlando has to offer, and the best part about its existence is that it’s free! Disney Springs offers free admission and free parking.

Image by Disney Springs

At Disney Springs, there are a multitude of dining options; whether you’re trying to dine in, eat out at a food truck, sit down at a bar or…

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by Yasmene Warren

After a long, grueling day at work, sometimes, all you want to do is unwind in a calm environment with a delicious, hand-crafted drink. Luckily, at this bar called Sunroom, that’s exactly what you can do.

Where Is It?

Sunroom is located on North Mills Avenue just moments from the beautiful Downtown Orlando. You can find it right next to its sister bar, the Guesthouse, and near a taqueria called Black Rooster as they all share a building!

This bar is for evening drinkers only as its opening hours are from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m. every Tuesday through Saturday.

Feelin’ Thirsty?

This holiday season, Sunroom debuted its holiday-themed menu, Santa’s Shred Sled, with sections named “Boozy,” “Yule Shoot Your Eye Out,” “Winter…

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by Holley Long

Is your sweet tooth calling? Indulge it with the winning combo of ice cream and waffles at the Dolly Llama, now open in Winter Garden Village.

What is it?

Founded by real estate leader Eric Shomof and European restaurateur and entrepreneur Samuel Baroux, the Dolly Llama takes its name from a real llama that lives on a farm in France and brings joy to everyone she meets, according to the company website. The waffle and ice cream shop endeavors to bring that same joy into the lives of all who come through its doors. 

Waffles take up a good portion of the menu, but the shop also has an abundance of different flavors of ice cream to check out. Get a scoop on a waffle—liege or bubble—or have it in a cup with toppings galore.…

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by Yasmene Warren

In search of a calm, cool place to grab hand-crafted drinks and a bite to eat on the low? Then look no further! Located in Windermere hidden within the restaurant Feather and Quill is where you’ll find the discreetly located bar Propag8, which is just the kind of place you’re looking for.

What is It?

Propag8 is a speakeasy, which is an illicit establishment that sells alcoholic beverages, something that came about during the Prohibition era. Now, speakeasies are a fun way to experience the thrill in the chase as most speakeasies, like Propag8, lack signage and require a password for entry.

Propag8 is one that does require a password, and it changes every night. The only way to get this password is by following the bar’s…

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by Holley Long

Growing up, I always wanted to live in a town with a local bookstore, and when I moved to Winter Garden, I was thrilled to find one with a name I could relate to: Writer’s Block Bookstore.

About

Writer’s Block Bookstore opened its Winter Garden location in 2020, six years after opening its first store in Winter Park. The store began with the hope of providing a literary community in areas where one was lacking, and it delivers on that everyday. 

Books and More! 

Writer’s Block fills its shelves with all of the popular and newly released titles, but it also shines a light on the work of independent authors not always found in mainstream bookstores. In addition to books, the store sells gifts like games and puzzles, so you…

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by Kismet Kohn

The Central Florida Zoo offers gorgeous scenery and fun for the whole family! Whether you want to see exotic animals, spend the day ziplining, or visit the botanical gardens, there’s something for everybody. To make it even better, every year starting in November and ending in January the zoo hosts the Asian Lantern Festival to celebrate the new year! 

It ends on January 15th, which is this upcoming weekend so be sure to grab your tickets here.

 

Where is it?

The Central Florida Zoo is located in the heart of downtown Sanford, which features a beautiful RiverWalk, delicious restaurants, and craft breweries. Sanford is just twenty minutes from downtown Orlando and showcases nineteenth-century Victorian homes.

The…

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by Yasmene Warren

If a taste of Asia is what you’re looking for, then look no further! The City of Orlando has plenty of restaurants to go around! Here are three Asian restaurants in Orlando that’ll bring you a unique Asian dining experience and save you hundreds on an international plane ticket!

Nine Spices Hotpot

Located just mere minutes away from Universal Studios on South Kirkman Road, Nine Spices Hotpot is a restaurant that makes you put your cooking skills to the test!

At Nine Spices, their dining style is centered on a cooking method that originated in China where your table has a heat source to keep your own personal soup bowl simmering while you get to choose from a wide assortment of meats, noodles, and veggies to cook right in…

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by Kismet Kohn

Looking for a unique and delicious savory and sweet place in Central Florida? Look no further! Wafu offers the best of both worlds with warm stuffed waffles and chilly soft serve in a fish-shaped cone.

Where is it?

Wafu is located on the second floor of the East End Market, which is just on the edge of Winter Park. Within East End Market, you can also find places that sell local handmade goods, plants, unique gifts, and more! Some weekends, the market will hold events that have live music and more vendors that show up. Across the street from East End Market are also stores that sell vintage clothing, vinyl records, and antiques.

Taiyaki

One of the primary selling points of Wafu is the delicious taiyaki, a traditional…

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