A neighbourhood guide to the Milk District and Audubon Park
Beyond the world-class theme parks and family-friendly attractions, Orlando’s up-and-coming Milk District and Audubon Park Garden District are where the city’s real magic happens. Adjacent to the T. G. Lee Dairy corporate office, the aptly named Milk District and nearby Audubon Park Garden District have become culture and nightlife destinations for foodies, locavores and craft beer aficionados. Take a look at our neighbourhood guide to find out where to visit on your next trip to Orlando.
The once small-town strip of Corrine Avenue in Audubon Park has become the centre of Orlando’s local food scene. The quiet and lush Garden District, bordered by the botanical Harry P. Leu Gardens, holds a weekly outdoor Community Market every Monday evening in front of hipster cafe Stardust Coffee and Video. Open daily, East End Market acts as a hub for local artisans and crafters. The two-storey building houses more than a dozen independent merchants including La Femme Du Fromage (handcrafted and artisan cheeses), Olde Hearth Bread Company, Local Roots farm store and Basque farm-to-table restaurant, Txokos.
Established in 1958, the Milk District’s Sportstown Billiards was responsible for launching Orlando’s craft beer craze in the late 2000s. As a result, the formerly industrial district is now lined with trendy pubs such as Milk Bar, Spacebar and Sandwich Bar. Sportstown is perhaps the most popular and most crowded, serving over 250 craft beers, a full menu of bar fare and an expansive array of arcade and board games. In neighbouring Audubon Park, the mellower Redlight Red Light Craft Beer Parlour is consistently rated as one of the nation’s best beer bars. Also in Audubon is the Smiling Bison, a craft bar and restaurant serving up locally sourced cuisine and nightly entertainment.
For amateur entertainment at its finest, Big Daddy’s in Audubon Park is Orlando’s number one karaoke bar and the perfect place to let your inner-star shine. If your music preference is more independent, look no further than Park Ave CDs with its huge selection of new and used records, band merchandise, clothing and books. If you’re lucky, you can catch one of its frequent in-store performances and record signings. The district is also home to one of Orlando’s premiere concert venues, The Plaza Live. Opened in 1963 as the city’s first two-screen movie theatre, this converted concert hall with its rotating neon spire retains its air of nostalgia and presents touring national and international acts, as well as the Orlando Philharmonic Orchestra.
Sweets and Treats
You can also satisfy your sweet tooth at one of the area’s many gourmet bakeshops. Audubon Park’s Blue Bird Bake Shop, which specialises in cupcakes, is just a short walk from P is for Pie, which needs no further description.
Written by Justin Braun