Orlando's SoDo neighborhood has come into its own

East West Records
East West Records Photo by Jen Cray

It wasn’t long ago that SoDo was barely a neighborhood, just a strip of a few restaurants to service the employees of and visitors to Orlando Regional Medical Center. This area that runs along Orange Avenue from the 408 to a little past Michigan has truly come into its own in the last few years. It was put on the map in national news after the Pulse tragedy in 2016, but it is much more than that. With constant construction and an influx of new housing, restaurants and shopping centers, SoDo is a truly up-and-coming spot.


Taqueria Ameca

3558 S. Orange Ave., 407-852-0502, taqueriaameca.com

If you want authentic Mexican tacos, this is your new spot. The menu is in Spanish and the prices are low, making it perfect to try a little bit of everything.

Bakery Plus

915 E. Michigan St., 407-849-1888

Get your doughnut fix on the fly at this simple neighborhood staple.

Johnny's Fillin' Station

2631 S. Ferncreek Ave., 407-894-6900, johnnysfillinstation.com

Grab a beer and some onion rings and enjoy sports on every TV or live music at Johnny's Other Side.

Gringos Locos

517 E. Michigan St., 407-802-4637, gringoslocos.com

This new location of Orlando's favorite drunk-food providers serves up everything from Double-Ds tacos to the Mouth-Hugger burrito.


The Waterfront

4201 S. Orange Ave., 407-866-0468, thewaterfrontorlando.com

The best place in the neighborhood to grab a drink and some food lakeside. Make sure to try their boozy slushies, including the Moscow Mule slushie.

Vanbarry's Public House

4120 S. Orange Ave., 407-704-8881, orlandopublichouses.com

A neighborhood favorite, this hangout lets you roast marshmallows on the patio and features live music every night.


East West Records

4895 S. Orange Ave., 407-859-8991

Perfect for the nostalgic types, this record shop has been around since the '70s, and the original owners still oversee the day-to-day operations. The shop sells vintage vinyl as well as new pressings and CDs.

Costume Couture

3510 S. Orange Ave., 407-270-7360, costumecoutureorlando.com

Be that "extra" friend at Halloween this year by donning an outlandish and over-the-top costume designed by this local business.

Gypsy Apothecary Herb & Metaphysical Shop

3540 S. Orange Ave., 407-745-5805, gypsyherbshop.com

Align your chakras with the stones, Eastern remedies and more found at this holistic retailer.

Free Kick Orlando

3180 Southgate Commerce Blvd., 407-970-9428, freekickcenter.com

Pretend you're on the Orlando City team with all of your buds at this indoor soccer gym. Scheduled pickup games mean you never have to worry about your keeper bailing.


1912 S. Orange Ave.

Construction has begun on the memorial for the victims of the 2016 Pulse tragedy, but you can still visit the front of the building to pay your respects.


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