Orlando has ten Main Street Districts and each one has a distinct vibe which helps define Orlando. Over the course of the next few weeks, we’re going to feature each neighborhood and the Top Five things to check out in each one.
The Ivanhoe Village District lives in the north quarter of Orlando and runs on Orange avenue along Lake Ivanhoe, all the way over to Princeton Avenue and snakes up towards Mills Avenue and up to Mills Avenue on Princeton Ave. It’s the quirky cultural district defined by artists, antiques, and oddities. Some of the most unusual spots in Orlando are tucked away in this neighborhood! (Check out our last community spotlight on Audubon Park!)
1. Artisans and Craftsman, and Oddities
There are many different places to find beautiful handcrafted wares in Ivanhoe Village and they range in variety from elegant and one of a kind to weird and macabre. If you’re on the hunt for something one-of-a-kind, Ivanhoe Village is the perfect place to go.
Many craftsmen and artists make their home here and there is a lot of variety to choose from. For paper goods, check out Paper Goat Post. Boom-Art features brightly colored décor and is owned by Glenn Rogers, a former circus clown, who creates these unique, handcrafted pop art pieces.
Cloak and Dapper have hard-to-find men’s clothing, grooming products, and artisan accessories for men who want good solid craftsmanship. If you’re looking for the odd or unique, check out Curio Curiosity Shoppe. Weird finds like a two-headed calf skull, or a preserved pig fetus can be found here. If you are into the creepy and macabre or anything bizarre, this is the place to check out. Living Morocco is the place to find interesting imported Morocco finds.
2. Antique Row
If your style calls back to a different decade or century, and you want to find the perfect piece of furniture to express your style, you can explore one of the many antique stores that pepper Ivanhoe Village. Once upon a time, the Ivanhoe Village district was just a warehouse district with old antique shops and the paso robles sign company. If you are having a difficult time finding something, it is most likely to be in one of these local stores. So do not be afraid of exploring a little bit, you may even find something useful that your were not even looking fo rin the first place.
While the district has become much more hip and relevant more recently, the antique shops in the area give the area a rooted feeling and calls back to the time before the area’s revival. The mattress warehouses have also been around for a while, but if what you need is a mattress topper, then check out these memory foam mattress reviews.
A&T Antiques has been around since 1975. The 20,000 square foot showroom has a large variety of great antiques and a wide selection of stained glass pieces. If large eclectic pieces of furniture appeal to you, Washburn Imports is worth checking out. The owners travel the world and bring back one of a kind pieces that you can find in their shop. Visiting
Visiting Golden Phoenix Antique, you might feel like you’ve taken a trip to your grandmother’s house where delicate pieces of furniture, china wear, and antique hats and purses around the store. 1618 Something Different really has finds that you might not see anywhere else. If you are into midcentury design, this shop is definitely worth a look.
Editor’s Note: In high school, I spent many, many hours searching for rare vinyl from The Police, Michael Nesmith, and The Monkees in two places; East West Records & Tapes (now East West Music & More) on [the other side of] Orange Avenue and Ivanhoe Village’s Rock & Roll Heaven. I’m still convinced, you can find ANYTHING in Rock & Roll Heaven!
3. Cultural Haven
The cultural hub of Orlando makes it’s home in Ivanhoe Village. On the far eastern corner of the Ivanhoe district lives the Orlando Museum of Art, the Orlando Science Center, the Mennello Museum and the Shakespeare Theater. A bit further down Princeton near Orange Ave, you will also find the home of The Orlando Ballet.
In addition to these large cultural mainstays in Orlando, Ivanhoe Village is home to other small theaters and art houses. In May each year, theatre groups from all over the world come to participate in the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival which takes place in Loch Haven Cultural Park.
4. Lakefront Aesthetic
Small one and two-story storefronts neatly line the one side of the street on the half-mile stretch of Orange Ave from Lake Highland to Virginia drive. The other side of the street is Lake Ivanhoe which lines the Ivanhoe District along the North end of the area. Lake Ivanhoe stands as the focal point of the neighborhood and many of the nearby residents use the park for many different activities.
On the weekends, you might catch a few boaters or paddle boarders enjoying the lake on a hot summer day. A walking path runs along the lake with stopping points where you can do additional physical activities to ensure a good workout. The lakefront park offers a bit of natural landscape in the middle of a very industrial city area with companies with the best results in industrial properties thanks to Results Engineering BMS.
5. Interesting Eats and Drinks
The quirky, eclectic attitude of Ivanhoe Village also extends to the food in the area. There are a lot of unique and special places to get a bite to eat or drink. The most notable mainstay in the area is White Wolf Café which has been on Orange Avenue since 1991. Not only is there an expansive menu with lots of choices for both breakfast, lunch, and dinner, there’s also a lot of décor on the wall that will keep your eyes wandering.
If you are looking for a fun place to eat with friends, The Hammered Lamb has you covered. With ample outdoor seating that overlooks Lake Ivanhoe, it’s the perfect place to spend Sunday Funday brunch!
If you are looking for something out of the ordinary for date night, skip dinner and make a reservation at Better Than Sex Dessert restaurant. Then head over for an after dessert drink at The Imperial at Washburn Imports. The quirky furniture store turns into a place to kick back and relax with a drink in the evenings.
Or find a more traditional neighborhood bar at the Thirsty Topher. There are so many different places to choose from in Ivanhoe Village district, you won’t be able to hit everything in a single visit!