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As we all know, moving to a new area is challenging in many ways, finding your local go-to’s is one of them. But, finding those Orlando local businesses you can trust was not so hard for me.

Since moving here from the Chicago area in May, I already have my go-to Orlando local businesses that I love to frequent and know that when I go there, I will find exactly what I need. You will notice that most of my spots are food-related. What can I say– I love to prepare food and enjoy it with family and friends. I have categorized my list so you to can enjoy my go-tos, as well.

Freshfields Farm| Daily Grocery Shopping

Orlando local businessesWhen I need to stock up on meats, cheeses, and vegetables, this is the place I go. This is not your normal grocery store. As soon as you enter, you will be surprised by the huge meat selection! There are some items available frozen, but the joy of this place is selecting from the numerous fresh meats. Lamb, smoked sausages, and then the everyday chicken, beef, pork. While roaming, you will also come across fresh cheeses, their Feta and shaved parmesan are my two favorites.

Once you’re finished with your meat selection, head out the door and into the next door to the Vegetable selection. Freshfields Farms has a large selection of loose and packaged fruits and vegetables. I can always find the necessary items such as avocado, broccoli, potatoes, and my other items such as bulk beans, fresh kale and, of course, garlic. After stocking up, you can always stop at the food stand for a freshly smoked turkey leg for lunch and ice cream for dessert.

Lombardi’s Seafood | Seafood Restaurant

Orlando local businessesAlthough I like meat, seafood is my must-have! I lived in Chicago for over 15 years and while they have good seafood options, I like the seafood opportunities from Orlando local businesses much better. I love going to Lombardi’s Seafood to collect what I need to make dinner, an appetizer, or a special treat. It is so fun to go into the store, look at the huge selection and decide what I want to prepare that evening. From crab cakes, oysters, fish, clams, and king crab, you name it and they have it.  On your way out, try my family’s new favorite fish dip!

In Bloom Florist | Flowers & Gifts

Orlando local businesses

To make my table look special, or to just have fresh flowers in the house, I shop at In Bloom Florists. I love going there on Friday for the In Bloom Happy Hour. While sipping my wine, I look at the wonderful selection of flowers and gifts they prepare. If the happy hour bouquet of the day does not fit with your decor, you are free to enter the cooler and create your own bouquet. I go in for flowers but I have yet to walk out with only flowers.

903 Mills Market | Casual Cafe

Orlando local businessesWhile I am still exploring the area, there is one spot that I go to when I am just not in the mood to cook! When I am ready to put my feet up and not think about cooking but do not want to get in the car, we walk over to 903 Mills.  It is a great little spot in the Lake Davis Community and dog-friendly. We can walk over, always find a seat and relax with a glass of wine or beer, a good sandwich, salad or breakfast. Picture Source: O-Town Paper

Hot Dog Heaven | Quick Snack 

Orlando local businessesWhile running errands and getting hungry, I go to Hot Dog Heaven! A little bit of Chicago right here in Orlando. If you have never had a Chicago hot dog, you’re in for a real treat. Hot Dog Heaven is great quality, has customizable options, and tastes just like home. No need to say more. Go give them a try.

While I still am learning my new city, these Orlando local businesses have made me feel at home and I am sure that they will do the same for you. I always try to support small businesses because, well, they always have the best quality and most genuine service. I hope you try and enjoy my go-to’s!

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