Annual Manual 2016: Thornton Park 

click to enlarge The Veranda

The Veranda

Historic homes and cobblestone streets are the markers of this neighborhood. All at once walkable, quaint and cosmopolitan, it's what other big-city-dwellers think Orlando lacks. Joke's on them.


Beyond the macarons and laminated pastries and rows of quiches is a tiny treat worth trying. Canneles at Benjamin French Bakery & Cafe on Washington Street are buttery, gooey and flavored by fruit or filling – like pistachio, raspberry or Nutella – and only cost about $2 each. It's worth it to buy one of each.

Benjamin French Bakery & Café, 716 E. Washington St., 407-797-2253,


At the corner of Washington and Hyer, the Falcon Bar & Gallery is filled and fringed with local color – literally – from the local art that graces its walls, to the old-school dating wall plastered with photobooth pics, to the new swan mural painted in February by Miami artist Evoca1.

The Falcon Bar & Gallery, 819 E. Washington St., 407-423-3060,


When you walk into Aku Aku Tiki Bar, a hidden haunt next to World of Beer on Central Avenue, the Tiger Fucker should be your cocktail of choice. A deadly concoction of sweet huckleberry vodka and fiery blackberry-jalapeño syrup, it's also literally on fire, so watch your eyebrows.

Aku Aku Tiki Bar, 431 E. Central Blvd., 407-839-0080,


After the citywide mayhem that ensued last year after the owners of the Constitution Green property decided to develop it (and then didn't; the city bought it in January), there's more to appreciate about the century-old live oak that stands in the middle of this green space on Summerlin Avenue and South Street.

Constitution Green, 300 S. Summerlin Ave.


Behind the gingerbread awnings of the Summerlin House, the Veranda at Thornton Park is cloistered within a cluster of turn-of-the-century bungalows. The hallowed hall was the site of Vowed and Proud, the reception following the mass same-sex wedding at City Hall after the Supreme Court ruling for marriage equality.

The Veranda at Thornton Park, 111 N. Summerlin Ave., 914-497-3986,


Taking a cue from other story-telling events like the Moth and the radio show "This American Life," Orlando Story Club meets the first Wednesday of each month at the Abbey. A different theme is chosen for each show and participants are selected randomly to come up and tell their story.

The Abbey, 100 S. Eola Drive, 407-704-6103,

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