A common misnomer by visitors to Orlando is that the city lacks real neighborhoods with any style or originality. But those of us who live here know better. There are plenty of great neighborhoods and business districts throughout Orange County with locally-owned shops and restaurants worth checking out. Case in point – Ivanhoe Village. Once known as “Antiques Row,” Ivanhoe has a Bohemian flare with some of the most unique businesses in Orlando. Most are located along North Orange Avenue between East Princeton Street and Magnolia Avenue. Here’s a list of some of our favorites.
1. White Wolf Cafe
Widely regarded as a North Orange Avenue landmark, the White Wolf is popular with locals and tourists alike. When the cafe started in 1991, it was known more for its array of antiques and eclectic decor. Today, you’ll find customers more interested in the diverse breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus and the many libations available at the bar.
2. Cloak & Dapper
Owner Calvin Cearley describes his shop as the “modern man’s general store.” Specializing in American-made essentials, the Cloak & Dapper collection includes hard-to-find men’s clothing, grooming products, and artisan accessories like wallets, canvas bags, and ceramic flasks.
3. 1618 Something Different
Stepping through the doors at 1618 Something Different is like stepping through a funky retro time portal. On the other side, you’ll find a shagadelic space filled with vintage mid-century furnishings from sofas and chairs to tables, desks, and credenzas. This is the kind of place where Don Draper would shop, if he lived in Orlando.
4. Washburn Imports
If your taste in furniture trends more toward the exotic, Washburn Imports is sure to have something just for you. The owners frequently go on trips to faraway lands like Bali and Java and hand select items for the Ivanhoe shop, as well as the location in Sanford. Many of the pieces are a little on the ginormous side and too large to fit in a normal size room. But it’s one of those places where it’s fun to browse and fantasize about your dream home!
5. The Imperial
In the evenings, Washburn Imports transforms into The Imperial, a bar and event space. With over 40 beers and wines to choose from, it’s the perfect place to end a long day by kicking back and relaxing with a strong drink.
6. Boom-Art by Rogers Studio
Need some color in your life? Glenn Rogers over at Boom-Art can help. The former circus clown creates hand-painted items for the home or office from side tables and chairs to light switch covers and barstools. Everything has a pop art touch with imagery featuring entertainment icons like The Beetles, Marilyn Monroe, and Charlie Chaplin.
7. Rock & Roll Heaven
Who said vinyl is dead? It’s back in a big way at Rock & Roll Heaven, which has one of the largest selections of vinyl in the entire state. Whatever music artist or spoken word album you might be looking for, this store surely has it.
8. Curio Curiosity Shoppe
In the market for a pig fetus preserved in a jar full of formaldehyde? A two-headed calf skull? Anything creepy and macabre? Packed into a tiny storefront on North Orange Avenue, the Curio Curiosity Shoppe is stocked with hundreds of bizarre items that would make the perfect conversation piece at your next party, or funeral.
9. A&T Antiques
Family owned and operated since 1975, A&T Antiques is a go-to source for designers, homeowners and filmmakers looking for unique vintage pieces. The sprawling 20,000 square foot showroom features a healthy selection of American and European antiques, stained glass pieces, and larger-than-life accessories.
10. Twisted Bliss
An excellent place to take a break in between shops or meals is Twisted Bliss, a psychedelic-themed sweet spot known for its gelati and other frozen treats. Enjoy a gelati with a tropical-flavored Italian ice and some funky toppings (Capt’N Crunch!)…if you choose.
11. Living Morocco
A few doors down from Rock & Roll Heaven, Living Morocco carries handmade accent pieces designed to give your home an extra touch of Mediterranean elegance and Moorish flare. The shop has a large inventory of Moroccan Henna lamps and sconces, mosaic tile tables, hand painted plates and tajines, and wrought iron furniture.
12. Lure Paper Goods
While located several blocks away from North Orange Avenue on Virginia Drive (an area designated as part of Ivanhoe Village), Lure Paper Goods sells screen printed ephemera from notecards and journals to greeting cards and posters.