Hit Me With Your Best Spot: Hummingbirds, Fish Bowls, and Bathrooms

LeeAnn Huntoon

LeeAnn Huntoon

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LeeAnn Huntoon

Tourists may love Orlando, but nobody loves it like the locals. In this episode of “Hit Me With Your Best Spot Orlando,” we’re going straight to the source to ask these local business owners and influencers where they love to hang out, dine, and shop local.

Locals in this episode include:

  • Shannea “Nikki” Akins & Inez “Elaine” Akins – Owners of Nikki’s Place
  • Steve Lewis – Owner of Gideon’s Bakehouse
  • Lisa Hardt – Runs the Instagram Page @theshittybeautiful

Watch the full episode of “Hit Me With Your Best Spot” on the Very Local app.

Steve Lewis – Owner of Gideon’s Bakehouse

Gideon’s Bakehouse is known for serving some of the most delectable fresh baked cookies in Orlando. Owner Steve Lewis opened his first location in the East End Market in 2016. The gothic-themed bakery in Orlando quickly gained global popularity with its ½-pound, small-batch handmade cookies. The second location in Disney Springs softly opened in late 2020 and consistently has a long line out the door of people eagerly waiting to get their cookie fix.

Steve’s Picks:

Best Dessert in Orlando – Sister Honey’s

MUST TRY: The Humming Bird Cake

The “king of cookies” and owner of Gideon’s Bakeshop, knows a good dessert when he tastes one. We asked Steve where to find the best Hummingbird Cake in the city and he did not disappoint. Sister Honey’s is a small award winning local bakery in Orlando that offers a mouth-watering menu of cakes, pies, and other delectable desserts.

Sister Honey's
$$$$
Getting there
247 E Michigan St, Orlando, FL 32806, USA
Hours
Mon Closed
Tue-Sat 11am–6pm
Sun Closed
More Info

Handmade Goods in Orlando – Freehand Goods

MUST TRY: The Caribbean Breeze Candle

Freehand Goods inside the East End Market is Steve’s recommendation for where to shop local for high-end hand-crafted goods. A percentage of the t-shirt sales at Freehand Goods go to conservation efforts in Florida. So not only do you look good, you can feel good about your purchase too.

Favorite Place to Unwind in Orlando – Bok Tower Gardens

MUST TRY: Pipe Organ Performance

Located just outside of Kissimmee, Bok Tower Gardens is a magical place to explore. Take a walk through the lush garden and make your way to the stained glass tower. If you get there at the right time you can hear the pipe organ being played.

Shannea “Nikki” Akins & Inez “Elaine” Akins – Owners of Nikki’s Place

Nikki’s Place is a local restaurant known for serving some of the best soul food in Orlando. The unassuming eatery has been serving up traditional southern classics and catering special events in Orlando, Florida since 1999.

Nikki and Elaine’s Picks:

Fun on a Budget – Magical Midway

MUST TRY: The Sling Shot

If you want to have fun in Orlando while avoiding the large crowds and huge ticket prices, Nikki and Inez have the spot for you. Magical Midway on International Drive is the place for no-frills budget thrills. You can pay as you go so you don’t have to worry about not getting your money’s worth when it comes to the rides.

Magical Midway Arcade & SlingShot
Getting there
7001 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, USA
Hours
Mon-Sun 11am–1am
More Info

Seafood in Orlando – High Tide Harry’s

MUST TRY: The Fish Bowl Cocktail

In the mood for some fresh seafood in Orlando? Nikki and Elaine recommend High Tide Harry’s. Snow crab and shrimp are the main attraction but they also have frog legs, catfish, and almost anything else that swims. The seafood restaurant in Orlando also serves steak, ribs, and chicken for those who prefer the turf over the surf.

Where to Relax in Orlando – Lake Eola Park

MUST TRY: Swan Boats

Lake Eola Park is located in the heart of Downtown Orlando. The pedestrian trail around the lake is approximately 1.1 miles making it a great location for a stroll and reflection. The lake is surrounded by beautiful foliage and is home to beautiful swans, ducks, geese, and turtles.

Lisa Hardt – Runs the Instagram Page @theshittybeautiful

What started as a fun personal project featuring creative commodes quickly became a social sensation. @theshittybeautiful provides a unique view from the loo inside some of your favorite restaurants and watering holes.

Lisa’s Picks:

Best Bar in Orlando – The Thirsty Topher

Lisa, the porcelain princess is up next with her pick for the best watering hole in the city. The Thirsty Topher is a chill bar in Orlando that offers beer and wine. Not sure what to get? The bartenders are glad to help you find the right beverage for your taste without being pretentious.

The Thirsty Topher
$$$$
Getting there
601 Virginia Dr, Orlando, FL 32803, USA
Hours
Mon-Thu 3pm–12am
Fri 3pm–2am
Sat 12pm–2am
Sun 12pm–12am
More Info

Favorite Orlando Theater – Renaissance Theatre Company

The theatre in Orlando performs original immersive shows. The theatre company opened in October of 2021and has been well received by the public. The performance space is focused on fair pay for artists so when you pay for your ticket you know that the actors and performers are being paid fairly.

RELATED CONTENT: Renaissance Theatre Company Presents The Return of “Nosferatu”

Comic Book Shops in Orlando – Blackbird Comics & Coffehouse

MUST TRY: Monthly Bingo Night

Blackbird Comics in Maitland is Lisa’s “Nerd Heaven.” The comic book shop and coffeehouse in Maitland has tons of comic books, graphic novels, and merchandise to look through and purchase. You can also rent board games to play while you sit and drink your coffee. Stop in and get lost in the endless supply of comics or check out an event. Blackbird Comics offers crochet classes, jewelry-making classes, DND, Magic the Gathering, and a monthly Bingo game.

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