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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.