Heading to Orlando for the weekend? Here’s an ex-barista-shift-supervisor-possibly-coffee-master’s guide to the best bux in town.
Partner #1238042. Now if only I’d gotten those sweet stocks.
This might just be a blog about traffic. It all depends on how you want to look at it. But the location I choose for my short in a tall Pike, or Caramel Americano on fancy days, is intentional. You might think they’re all the same. Just a chain coffee place full of mermaid green commercial space. They’re nothing like those indie coffee shops with their local flavor, right?
I will begin with my least fave local Starbucks:
#10 The Fairbanks Store
2519 Aloma Ave
Winter Park, FL 32792
This Starbucks is at the bottom of my list but not because of a bad experience their or anything like that. A lot of it is about location. It is on the side of Aloma (also known as Fairbanks) which can get really congested and make an exit left turn impossible.
#9 Howell Branch and 436
Casselberry Commons 2535 Howell Branch Rd
Casselberry, FL 32707
My second least fave store is the Howell Branch one. Now first, I will say the baristas there are always great. If you’re new in town and want to meet some nice folks, this is a great place for that. This really isn’t a bad store. I suppose it’s greatest flaw is that it’s on 436, one of the worst Orlando roads.
#8 Colonial 1 and 2
3011 E Colonial Dr & Colonial Plaza Marketcenter, 2604 E Colonial Market
Orlando, FL 32803
The Colonial stores are double trouble.These two stores are almost across from each other on Colonial and make meeting friends for coffee in this area extra confusing. Okay, so one especially sad Christmas Eve I went to the wrong store to meet friends for hot chocolate and only found out later they were at the other store. Aside from that, these stores have your basics.
#7 Waterford Lakes
Waterford Lakes Town Center, 895 N Alafaya Trail
Orlando, FL 32828
So the secret to getting to the Waterford store is taking the side entrance into the Waterford Lakes Shopping Center. Do not, do not I repeat, at any cost, go straight into the middle. The time and headache of a four way stop with 2 to 3 lanes on either side and bad drivers will make you hate your life.
#6 Thornton Park
20 N Summerlin Ave
Orlando, FL 32801
This store would be higher up if you didn’t have to use a parking garage. It is in a completely adorable side of town.
#5 University and Goldenrod
University Square, 7420 University Blvd
Winter Park, FL 32792
This store is very convenient. There’s a drive-thru, lots of parking and easy access from both roads at the intersection.
4650 N Alafaya Trail
Orlando, FL 32826
This is the quintessential college coffee cafe. There’s plugs by the tables and always always people with their books cracked open. There’s bar seating by the coffee bar so you can take a break from studying and bug the milk frothers. There’s outside seating with a lovely view of UCF right across the way.
#3 Grand Bohemian
Grand Bohemian Hotel Orlando,325 S Orange Ave
Orlando, FL 32801
Sports fan will love this store–basketball ones especially. Basketball players in town to play the Orlando Magic always stay here and get coffee the afternoon before the game.
#2 Park Avenue
400 S Park Ave
Winter Park, FL 32789
If you haven’t already been to Park Avenue, then you may not know that this Starbucks is one of the many gems to visit when you’re strolling through this ritzy part of town. You’re a short walk from the gorgeous Rollins College and a right be an grass picnicking park and outside street. The brick cobbled streets make this a beautiful location for an evening cruise followed by dinner and drinks on the Avenue.
Any serious shopping trip or elegant meal is incomplete without a stop by the coffee shop. This bustling store is always full of delightful foot traffic. You’ll see people in their Park Ave finest getting java-ed up. Look for especially intriguing characters on days of events like the car shows, dinner on the avenue or art festivals. You can also pair your coffee with local goods by walking to the Farmers Market right across the train tracks on Saturday morning.
The baristas here are used to the Avenue’s clientele and you will often see them gabbing with the regulars. The outside seating is nice, but there isn’t nearly enough. If you go in the alcove on the side there is a lovely view of the surprisingly grand SunTrust bank. Some Rollins students make it work as a study spot, but I prefer this location for a post-dinner espresso after a dressy dinner out.
#1 Red bug and Tuskawilla
Willa Springs, 1400 Tuskawilla Rd
Winter Springs, FL 32708
Read why at OrlandoLifeBlog.