I have never considered Orlando a permanent home. When I moved there four years ago, I knew I was only going to stay until I finished my degree. I moved from university dorms to different cheap apartments nearby, never really attaching myself to any place. As I said goodbye this last weekend, I realized that I have grown to love this city with all its quirks, and there are some things that I will miss. Disney is what gives Orlando its size and its multitude of tourists but there is a culture beyond Mickey Mouse. It just takes some searching to find it. I have spent the last couple years discovering this culture – these places and events.
Dandelion Communitea was my first introduction to the city beyond Disney and UCF. Located near Mills and 50 (one of the best food areas in Orlando), this restaurant is a bright green beacon of joy. With free wifi, locally sourced produce, too many types of tea and a fantastic paint job, this is hands down my favorite restaurant in Orlando. Besides, they sell kombucha AND local beer. All items on their menu are vegetarian (with vegan and gluten free options clearly labeled) but they promote flexitarianism so they aren’t snobby like another place I visited in Orlando (cough, cough…). If you have visited me in Orlando, I have probably forced you to come to Dandelion with me. My favorites are the Sweet Potato Burrito and the Buffalo 66 but I haven’t discovered anything on the menu I didn’t like. Pictured above are the Spring Rolls.