Best of Orlando® 2021: Katie Johnston's Picks

Katie Johnston is the director of Pulptown, a hyperlocal newsletter and podcast covering everything sweet and juicy in Orlando. She moved to Orlando after graduating from the University of Alabama in 2006 for a change of scenery and hasn't been able to leave since. She enjoys long walks with her pup, the casual over-consumption of wine, and the fact that dining al fresco is a year-round possibility here.

Editor's note: Befitting a woman who lives life in a higher gear than most of us, Katie's picks are crisp, concise and social media-centric for speed of connection. Handles are Instagram unless otherwise noted.

• Best IG reels to not take seriously: @qreatecoffee

• Best local TikToker: John Morgan, Esq., aka @forthepeople

• Best chicken sandwich: @winterparkbiscuitco (and it's vegan!)

• Best big ticket: @theforeignerexperience or @sosekifl

• Best outdoor event: Frontyard Festival at @drphillipsctr

• Best community collaboration: health care workers + vaccinated Orlandoans

• Best 911 response: sending mental health professionals instead of police for some calls

• Best remix: Sloane, daughter of @orlpride's Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger (work/life partner goals!)

• Best home to quarantine in: @orlandoplantlady's gorgeous pad

• Best girl gang: Dorsa Vaziri's @wowrolling

• Best inspiration to get out more: @thegreatoutdorks

• Best small piece of good news you've heard all year: the return of the Lime bikes 

• Best shitshow: Poozeum exhibit at @orlandosciencecenter (it's a literal shitshow!)

• Best friend to lean on this year: your mental health counselor/therapist friends 

• Best sorta-outdoor activity for cooped-up kids: @wildfloridairboats' drive-through safari

• Best breadwinners: @nomadbakehousefl

Best pop-up to satiate your hunger while impressing the 'gram: @smokemademeats

• Best tease: @perlaspizza (RIP ... for now?)

• Best meme: Bernie and his mittens all over Orlando (especially in @pulptown's Jan. 21 Instagram post, if I may say so myself) 

g_s-bernie.jpg

• Best art exhibit: @jefre_artist's Points of Connection at @orlandomuseumofart

• Best disguise: masking at @publix ... no one will ever know it's you 

• Best surprise: @orlandomagic making a splash in the draft

• Best use of an empty storefront: The Milk District Spot, @themilkdistrict's small business incubator program

• Best community mixer: @cffound's Table Talk (returning October 2021)

• Best Instagram series: @yelporlando's #meettheowner  

• Best dynamic duo: Alex Marin and Joey Conicella of @eathungrypants 

• Best way to feel rich while reminding yourself you're really not: resort passes 

• Best couple: coming soon, @grilledcheezusorlando and @phatashbakes on Mills

• Best exhibit of caring about community: Jason Lambert and staff's commitment to COVID protocols at @thehammeredlamb

• Best content when you can't take much more sad news: @liberationcathouse's steady stream of adoptable cuties 

• Best glow-up: @thecitybeautiful (someone got a social media person and it shows)

• Best way to support local farmers: CSA boxes. My favorites: @everoakfarms and @infinitezionfarms

• Best highbrow way to relax: Re:Charge by @timucuaarts and @creativecityproject

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