Best of Orlando 2017 - Food & Drink

Our readers voted online for their top picks in dozens of categories, from sweet shops to car dealers, bloggers to wedding venues. We carried our snazzy "Best of ORL" sign to various winning spots for photos, then had a "blast" coloring it for the cover.




Axum Coffee

Roberto Gonzalez

Best of Food & Drink
Best of Home Shopping
Best of People & Media
Best of Fun & Leisure
Best of Health & Beauty
Best of Kids & Pets

Coffee for Good Causes

Renaut and Brooke van der Riet opened Axum Coffee (Above) in Winter Garden in 2010 with a single goal: to give away the store’s profits to organizations that are doing good in the world. The first project they targeted was the impoverished town of Axum in Ethiopia. Since then, the van der Riets have expanded their mission to include everything from a local hospital’s cancer wing to agencies working to stop human trafficking in Indonesia. Of course, to make those profits, they had to create a successful shop. To do that, they focus on their coffee—which is roasted just a few blocks away in their roastery—and on their service. “It’s our people who set us apart,” says shift leader Josh Neal. “We want somebody who has the correct attitude. We can teach anybody how to brew coffee, but you can’t teach kindness.”
—Loraine O’Connell

Community Coffee Spot

1 Axum CoffeeDowntown
Winter Garden
axumcoffee.com

2 Downtown Credo
College Park and Florida Hospital Orlando
downtowncredo.com

Foxtail Coffee Company
Winter Park and DoveCote Restaurant
foxtailcoffee.com

CATERER

1 Arthur’s Creative Events & Catering
Altamonte Springs
arthurscatering.com

2 Puff ’n Stuff Events and Catering
Orlando
puffnstuff.com

3 4 Rivers Smokehouse
Six Orlando-area locations
4rsmokehouse.com

PLACE FOR A FROZEN TREAT

1 Jeremiah’s Italian Ice
10 Orlando-area locations
jeremiahsice.com

2 Twistee Treat
Six Orlando-area locations
twisteetreat.com

Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt
11 Orlando-area locations
menchies.com

CHOCOLATE SHOP

1 Peterbrooke Chocolatier
Downtown Winter Park
peterbrookewinterpark.com

2 Farris and Foster’s Famous Chocolate Factory
Baldwin Park
farrisandfosters.com

3 Godiva Chocolatier
Three Orlando-area locations
godiva.com

DOWNTOWN RESTAURANT

 1 The Rusty Spoon
Church Street
therustyspoon.com

Kres Chophouse
Church Street
kresrestaurant.com

3 Artisan’s Table
Pine Street
artisanstableorlando.com

COLLEGE PARK RESTAURANT

1 K Restaurant
Edgewater Drive
krestaurant.net

2 RusTeak Restaurant & Wine Bar
Edgewater Drive
rusteakwinebar.com

3 The Tap Room at Dubsdread
Par Street
taproomatdubsdread.com

RESTAURANT ROW RESTAURANT (SAND LAKE)

1 Eddie V’s
eddiev.com

2 Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar
roccostacos.com

3 Seasons 52
seasons52.com


Yard House (DARDEN RESTAURANTS)

I-DRIVE AREA RESTAURANT

1 Yard House
I-Drive 360
yardhouse.com

2 Café Tu Tu Tango
Southern I-Drive area
cafetututango.com

3 Texas de Brazil
Outlet Marketplace
texasdebrazil.com

WINTER GARDEN RESTAURANT

1 Chef’s Table at the Edgewater
West Plant Street
chefstableattheedgewater.com

2 Urban Flats
West Plant Street
facebook.com/urbanflatswintergarden

3 4 Rivers Smokehouse
South Dillard Street
4rsmokehouse.com

WINTER PARK RESTAURANT

1 Prato
Park Avenue
prato-wp.com

2 Luma on Park
Park Avenue
lumaonpark.com

3 Bosphorous Turkish Cuisine
Park Avenue
bosphorousrestaurant.com

SEMINOLE COUNTY RESTAURANT

1 Hollerbach’s Willow
Tree Café
Downtown Sanford
hollerbachs.com

2 Nonno’s Ristorante Italiano
Altamonte Springs
nonnositalianrestaurant.com

3 Palma Maria Restaurant    
Casselberry
palmamaria.com

SPECIALTY FOODS STORE

1 Whole Foods Market
Three Orlando-area locations
wholefoodsmarket.com

2 The Fresh Market
Six Orlando-area locations
thefreshmarket.com

3 Trader Joe’s
Winter Park and Restaurant Row
traderjoes.com

HOTEL LOUNGE

1 Bösendorfer Lounge
Grand Bohemian Hotel
Downtown Orlando
grandbohemianhotel.com

2 The Alfond Inn
Downtown Winter Park
thealfondinn.com

3 W XYZ Bar
Aloft Orlando Downtown
aloftorlandodowntown.com

PLACE FOR LOCAL BREWS

1 Crooked Can Brewing Company
Downtown Winter Garden
crookedcan.com

2 Red Light Red Light Beer Parlour
Audubon Park
redlightredlightbeerparlour.com

3 Wop’s Hops Brewing Company
Sanford
wopshopsbrewing.com

WINE STORE

1 Total Wine & More
Three Orlando-area locations
totalwine.com

2 Tim’s Wine Market
Three Orlando-area locations
timswine.com

3 ABC Fine Wine & Spirits
Multiple Orlando-area locations
abcfws.com

TACOS

1 Tijuana Flats
Multiple Orlando-area locations
tijuanaflats.com

2 Gringos Locos
Downtown Orlando
gringoslocos.com

3 Rocco’s Tacos and Tequila Bar
Restaurant Row
roccostacos.com

FRENCH FRIES

1 Five Guys Burgers & Fries
Multiple Orlando-area locations
fiveguys.com

2 Chick-fil-A
Multiple Orlando-area locations
chick-fil-a.com

3 McDonald’s
Multiple Orlando-area locations
mcdonalds.com

Confection Perfection

Winning the community’s affection when Sweet By Holly opened in Waterford Lakes in 2008 was easy until a slew of other cupcake shops cropped up shortly after. But Regional Manager Ashton Cole says customers stayed loyal to Sweet’s unique melding of flavors, like that found in the Creamsicle Cupcake, which mixes orange and vanilla bean into buttercream frosting that sits atop yellow cake, speckled with orange zest and stuffed with marshmallow cream. Sweet owner Hollis Wilder, a former private chef for hit television shows such as Seinfeld, and champion of Food Network's Cupcake Wars (winning it with her salmon cupcake), has moved back to Los Angeles to spend more time with her middle school-aged children and dive back into personal cooking. Cole says Wilder still crafts new confection concoctions from afar, like the Peach-Tini Cupcake that debuted for Mother's Day, adding to the shop's 84 existing flavors. "As long as you have a cell phone in hand, you can connect to anyone, anywhere," he says. 
—Megan Stokes

Place for something sweet

1 Sweet by Holly
Waterford Lakes
sweetbyholly.com

Better Than Sex
Ivanhoe Village
betterthansexorlando.com

3 Nothing Bundt Cakes
Winter Park and Restaurant Row
nothingbundtcakes.com

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