Nobody knows Orlando quite like the locals. In this episode of “Hit Me With Your Best Spot Orlando,” we’re going straight to the source by talking to Orlando’s influencers about their favorite spots in and around Orlando.
Locals in this episode include:
- DJ D-Strong – DJ for the Orlando Magic
- Equity Ben – full-time dad and part-time Orlando entertainer
- Lindsey Thompson – owner of the blog Lemonhearted
Watch the full episode of “Hit Me With Your Best Spot” on the Very Local app.
DJ D-Strong – DJ for the Orlando Magic
DJ D-Strong, a local turntable wizard, is the in arena host and DJ for the Orlando Magic. He’s lived in Orlando for more than 20 years. He always wanted to be in the NBA, and now he gets to be on the court every night.
DJ D-Strong’s Picks
The Freshest Catch in Orlando – Mr. & Mrs. Crab
Mr. & Mrs. Crab combines American country flavors with Szechuan spices. Create a customized seafood boil by choosing your seafoodt, adding a sauce, and selecting your spice level. The restaurant is well-known for its Mr. and Mrs. Crab seasoning and now there are Mr. & Mrs. Crab locations across the country.
MUST TRY: Build-your-own bag
Best Spot to Grab a Drink in Orlando – Novelty at 101
MUST TRY: Old fashioned made with tequila
Novelty at 101 is a great spot to grab a craft cocktail in a relaxed environment. The bar is an event space, lounge, and hookah bar. Novelty hosts a variety of events, from bachata nights and open mic nights to bachelorette parties and birthday parties.
Best Sushi in Orlando – WAVE Asian Bistro & Sushi
MUST TRY: Sushi burger
WAVE puts an Asian spin on American classics like burgers, hotdogs, pizza, tacos, and french fries. You can also get classics like rice and noodle bowls, traditional sushi rolls, and bento boxes.
DJ Strong’s favorite dish is the crab rangoon mozzarella stick.
Equity Ben (and Family) – Full-Time Dad and Part-Time Orlando Entertainer
Equity Ben is an Orlando actor and comedian known for his silly joke of the day posts. He used to be a Disney performer, but after the quarantine began, he decided it was time to be a full-time dad to his daughter who was born in 2017. Ben and his partner, Aaron, have been in Orlando for 20 years and they love that Orlando has something to offer the whole family.
Best Beaches in Orlando – New Smyrna Beach
MUST TRY: Catch a wave
New Smyrna Beach, a city south of Daytona Beach, is lined with great beaches, shops, and galleries. Ben and family head to the north end of New Smyrna Beach because it’s quieter, less hectic, and the parking situation is easier.
Best Bagel in Orlando – Jeff’s Bagel Run
- 📍College Park
- Website: https://jeffsbagelrun.com/
- Jeff’s Bagel Run Facebook Page
- Jeff’s Bagel Run Instagram
MUST TRY: Asiago everything bagel
Jeff’s Bagel Run sells 16 different flavors of New York-style bagels. The owners started the business from their home and secured their first brick- and- mortar shop in 2021. Each bagel is hand rolled and boiled, refrigerated overnight, and then baked fresh the next day. They’re so good you can eat them hot and fresh like a donut (but they have plenty of cream cheese flavors to choose from too).
Best Splash Pad in Orlando – Winter Garden Splash Pad
- 📍Winter Garden
- Website: https://www.cwgdn.com/facilities/facility/details/Downtown-Splashpad-Pavilion-7
MUST TRY: Interactive fountain
Ben and Aaron take their daughter Charlotte to the Winter Garden Splash Pad weekly. There’s plenty of seating but you can bring your own chairs as you watch your children splash around in the interactive fountains. There are also great restaurants nearby.
Lindsey Thompson – Owner of the Blog, Lemonhearted
Lindsey Thompson started Lemonhearted in 2013 as a hobby and way to explore the creative writing process. What began as her writing about the places she went to eat has evolved into more of a guide about how to enjoy Orlando. Orlando has much more than just the Disney parks to explore, and Lemonhearted aims to be truthful about the city — providing the positives without glossing over what needs to be fixed. Lindsey’s goal is to get people excited about living in Orlando. She regularly features local businesses but, in the name of authenticity, doesn’t post any sponsored content.
Best Gift Shopping in Orlando – Miscellaneous
- 📍North Orange
- Website: https://miscmarketstore.com/
- Miscellaneous Facebook Page
- Miscellaneous Instagram
MUST TRY: Greeting cards
Miscellaneous is a cool, chic shop owned by two sisters, Dede and Landrea Cowart. There’s something for everyone in the shop, including candles, stickers, puzzles, coloring books, pins, jewelry and bath/body products. Shop here for yourself or grab a unique gift for a loved one.
Best Cup of Coffee in Orlando – Craft and Common
- Website: https://craftandcommon.com/
- Craft and Common Facebook Page
- Craft and Common Instagram
MUST TRY: The Dunes
Craft and Common is a woman-owned and woman-led coffee shop that offers an incredibly delicious and well-crafted cup of black coffee as well as a list of equally delicious specialty lattes. The coffee shop also sells sandwiches and vegan bakery treats from a nearby vegan bakery.
Plant Shopping in Orlando – Piante Design
- 📍Winter Park, Florida
- Website: https://www.piantedesign.com/
- Piante Design Facebook Page
- Piante Design Instagram
MUST TRY: Cactus
Piante Design is a boutique with a carefully curated selection of plants, florals, pots/containers and an apothecary bar. The owner has an education in horticulture and design. The team is knowledgeable and can advise guests on what to purchase based on their plant knowledge.
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