Orlando Skyline | Photo Credit: Visit Orlando and cover photo credit: Neil Thompson [flickr]

Orlando Skyline | Photo Credit: Visit Orlando and cover photo credit: Neil Thompson [flickr]

By Matt Hinckley

The biggest misconception about Orlando: the lifestyle here is connected to the theme parks.

In reality: it is more of a southern town. We're one of the few major Florida cities not on a coast. There's also a counter culture movement here that pushes back against Orlando's chains and urban sprawl.

I love living in Orlando because: on a personal level, I grew up here, so it will always be home to me. All my family and a lot of my friends live here. On a professional level, Orlando puts me a lot closer to the farms that I use most often. The culinary scene has changed drastically since I left. There’s an underground network of foodies here that do a great job supporting the small independent spots who are operating within the throng of chain restaurants all around them.


datil_sq-3.jpg
 While the Sun Shines Apiary | Photo Credit: Matt Hinckley

While the Sun Shines Apiary | Photo Credit: Matt Hinckley

LOCAL DELICACY | Datil Pepper Sauce

When you visit Orlando, I suggest you try datil pepper sauce, because it is so unique to Central Florida and on the Slow Foods Arc Of Taste list of endangered heritage foods. They're delicious. Get some!

LOCALLY-MADE SOUVENIR | While The Sun Shines Apiary

This would make a great gift to take home because the urban beekeeper often rescues hives and treats his bees well.  T: 407.687.6724

MY COMPANY | Hinckley's Fancy Meats

We procure cured meats and charcuterie using livestock from small independent local farms. We use heritage breed livestock like Mangalitsa and Berkshire pigs, or the Florida Cracker cow. And we try to incorporate invasive species like wild boar and occasionally some pesky fish.

I recommend you try our hunter’s sausage because it’s great in so many applications. You can eat it with eggs and toast in the morning, on a hoagie roll with sauerkraut and good mustard for lunch, or in all sorts of stews and pastas for dinner. It’s a very versatile sausage.

Website | Where to Find


Chef Matt Hinckley's Orlando Guide

MORNING

 Lineage Coffee at East End Market | Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Lineage Coffee at East End Market | Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

COFFEE | Lineage Coffee Roasting

This is how I start my day. Nothing fancy. Just a Caffe Americano brewed with good beans. But by all means, be as fancy as you like.

3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando FL 32803
T: 
407.205.8096 | www.lineageroasting.com

 Photograph courtesy of Se7en Bites

Photograph courtesy of Se7en Bites

BREAKFAST | Se7en Bites

I’m a bit of a cycling junkie and right next to my local bicycle shop is a great breakfast spot called Se7en Bites. It’s two birds and one stone for me. I get great coffee and a quick bite to eat before picking up any gear I need at the shop before my weekend rides.

207 N Primrose Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
T: 407.203.0727


SHOPS, MARKETS, & RESTAURANTS

 Japanese restaurant Kappo inside the East End Market | Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

Japanese restaurant Kappo inside the East End Market | Photo Credit: Find. Eat. Drink.

East End Market

I have to say that East End Market is a great spot to check out. Not because Hinckley’s Fancy Meats are available there through Local Roots, but because there’s a wide variety of other locally-made stuff there as well. There’s coffee, a juice bar, a bakery, sushi, and a lot of packaged goods that are regionally crafted.

3201 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
T: 321.236.3316 | 
www.eastendmkt.com


LUNCH

 Photograph courtesy of Little Saigon

Photograph courtesy of Little Saigon

VIETNAMESE | Little Saigon & Pho 88

I hit the Vietnamese District around Mills/50 pretty regularly because it’s so close to my house. You can find spots there like Little Saigon or Pho 88 serving up bowls of noodles (pho) with tendon, tripe, and pig skin. They’ve been doing it for years and the people in the know (read: foodies and chefs) have gobbled it up. It has only been recently that those cuts have made their way into Orlando’s fancier restaurants.

Little Saigon: 1106 E Colonial Drive, Orlando, FL 32803 | T: 407.423.8539 | www.littlesaigonrestaurant.com
Pho 88: 730 N Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803 | T: 407.897.3488 | www.pho88orlando.com


AFTERNOON

 Photograph courtesy of Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Photograph courtesy of Dandelion Communitea Cafe

Dandelion Communitea Cafe

They have a good variety of teas. You can get your kombucha on there too.

618 N Thornton Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803
T: 407.362.1864
dandelioncommunitea.com


EARLY EVENING

BEER | Ten10 Brewery & Brew Pub

This is dangerously close to my house. They brew on site and have some great beers. I love their IPA. It’s balanced. I get a lot of IPAs that are so hop forward you can’t even tell that there is malt underneath it. The altbier and golden ale are good choices as well.

1010 Virginia Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
T: 407.930.8993
| ten10brewing.com


DINNER

 Photograph courtesy of FD Kitchen & Bar

Photograph courtesy of FD Kitchen & Bar

NEW AMERICAN | FD Kitchen & Bar

I’ve got to throw a bone out to my fellow Michael’s Genuine alum, Chef Pete Morales, at FD Kitchen. He’s cooking some modern American cuisine using some familiar farms. Opt for the Crispy Pig Snacks or Fried Chicken & Johnny Cake.

1541 International Parkway #1001, Lake Mary, FL 32746
T: 407.915.5687
fdkitchenbar.com

 Photograph courtesy of The Rusty Spoon

Photograph courtesy of The Rusty Spoon

FARM-TO-TABLE | The Rusty Spoon

Chef Kathleen Blake is also doing a great job supporting our local community of farmers and growers. Her restaurant gives hope to Church Street Station, a once popular downtown area that dried up with the birth of some gaudy tourist destinations out west. The menu changes seasonally and it’s a great menu for sharing.

Church Street Market, 55 West Church Street, Orlando, FL 32801
T: 407.401.8811
www.therustyspoon.com


LATE NIGHT

Redlight Redlight Craft Beer Parlour

I’m a beer snob. And Redlight Redlight exhibits an ace selection of craft beer. You can find first-rate local brews there complimented by some winning selections from elsewhere.

Open until 2am
2810 Corrine Drive, Orlando, FL 32803
T: 407.893.9832
redlightredlightbeerparlour.com

 Tako Cheena | Photo Credit: Dana McMahan [flick]

Tako Cheena | Photo Credit: Dana McMahan [flick]

Tako Cheena

This is a great spot to crawl into after a late night downtown. They’ve got some outside-of-the-box taco offerings that are the perfect centerpiece for afterhours discussions about how to save the planet. Be careful not to trip over hipster beards or pocket chains though.

Open until 11pm, 4am on Weekends
932 N Mills Avenue, Orlando, FL 32803
T: 321.236.7457
www.takocheenaorlando.com


A SHORT DRIVE AWAY

 Lone Cabbage Fish Camp | Photo Credit: Katy Warner [flickr]

Lone Cabbage Fish Camp | Photo Credit: Katy Warner [flickr]

 Photograph courtesy of Lone Cabbage Fish Camp

Photograph courtesy of Lone Cabbage Fish Camp

Lone Cabbage Fish Camp

This is a bit outside Orlando on State Road 520. It’s right off the St. John’s River and has been there for well over 50 years. You can take an airboat ride there to watch alligators. Or better yet, you can eat fried alligator, frog legs, and catfish there. No need to dress up.

8199 West King Street, Cocoa, FL 32926
T: 321.632.4199 | www.twisterairboatrides.com/fishcamp.html

 


Chef Matt Hinckley

Owner of Hinckley's Fancy Meats where he is curing meats and making charcuterie in Orlando, FL. A Florida native, he recently returned to his hometown Orlando after working in New York as a chef at Public, and in Miami where he was the executive chef of The Hoxton, and sous chef at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink. He is a member of The Butcher’s Guild, so don’t be surprised to find some interesting nose-to-tail picks on his menu.


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