Orlando’s Ivanhoe Village Main Street
Want to know what makes Orlando special? Theme parks and attractions are part of the equation, but ask any local, and they’ll point you to charming neighborhoods and nearby cities with dining, nightlife, shopping and culture worth experiencing time and again. Adjacent to the heart of downtown Orlando and part of the Orlando Main Streets program, Ivanhoe Village Main Street is one of them — here’s why.
Learn more: Orlando Neighborhoods
Encompassing historic neighborhoods, acclaimed dining, cultural venues, specialty shopping, funky street art and lots of indie flair, Ivanhoe Village Main Street is the sort of community that has something for everyone — unless you’re looking for the “same old, same old.” It’s nestled between downtown Orlando’s core and the vibrant Mills 50 district.
Learn more: Downtown Orlando
The area is centered by its namesake, Lake Ivanhoe. (Get out and enjoy some paddleboarding on it while you’re there.) The surrounding homes are part of the National Register of Historic Places, but despite that designation, this vibrant community doesn’t live in the past. Numerous new restaurants, shops, apartments, condominiums and other construction have sprung up in recent years, with more on the way.
Like most of Orlando’s urban core, Ivanhoe Village is also awash with natural beauty thanks not just to its central lake but to tree-lined streets and a robust parks system that present numerous opportunities for walking and biking. What’s more, the community connects to the Orlando Urban Trail, a 3-mile path that runs from Lake Highland in Orlando to Mead Botanical Garden in Winter Park, including six gorgeous lakes.
Learn more: Orlando Ecotourism
Gourmet takes on comfort food classics is integral to Orlando’s homegrown dining scene, and Ivanhoe Village Main Street is a prime example. One of the area’s newest additions is also one of its most acclaimed: The Pinery, a MICHELIN Recommended restaurant that celebrates Florida’s forgotten history.
Learn more: Orlando’s MICHELIN Guide Restaurants
Also new to Lake Ivanhoe is Russell’s on Lake Ivanhoe, which offers upscale casual dining with a fresh, innovative menu, complemented by amazing views of the district’s central lake. Another fresh addition is The Hall on the Yard, presenting a collection of diverse culinary offerings and three premium cocktail bars.
Learn more: Eat & Drink in Orlando
You’ll find plenty of long-running local favorites, too, starting with White Wolf Cafe & Bar. One of Orlando’s most in-demand brunch spots, they’ve been serving breakfast, lunch and dinner daily since 1991. Also in the area, Santiago’s Bodega has authentic Spanish tapas, and The Greek Corner has Mediterranean favorites. For a taste of something sweet, stop by Better Than Sex, where dessert is the only thing on the menu. (It’s great for date nights, too.)
As good as Ivanhoe Village Main Street’s dining is, the nightlife is even better. Take The Imperial at Washburn Imports, for example. By day, it sells furniture, but at night, it transforms into one of Orlando’s hottest speakeasies, offering a wide range of craft beer and wine. For a furtive vibe without the alcohol, visit The BANDBOX — Orlando’s first spirit-free speakeasy, tasting lounge and bottle shop.
Learn more: Orlando Speakeasies
Speaking of beer, you can quaff locally crafted brews at Ivanhoe Park Brewing Co. and Ten10 Brewing Company, the latter of which straddles the “line” between Ivanhoe Village and Mills 50. Other nightlife standouts include Savoy Orlando, which caters to LGBTQ+ revelers, plus The Hammered Lamb, The Lucky Lure, Caboose, Hideaway Bar, Nora’s Sugar Shack and The Matador.
Learn more: Mills 50
Officially part of Ivanhoe Village Main Street but also easily accessible from downtown’s Mills 50 district, beautiful Loch Haven Cultural Park is a nexus of art and culture in Orlando. It’s anchored by the Orlando Museum of Art, which was founded in 1924 and hosts a dozen or more rotating exhibits every year.
Learn more: Orlando Arts, Culture & History
Culture aficionados will find even more to love here, including The Mennello Museum of American Art, Orlando Shakespeare Theater (aka Orlando Shakes) and the headquarters for Orlando Ballet, which performs at downtown Orlando’s Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. Loch Haven Park is also home to the STEM-focused Orlando Science Center and the Orlando Family Stage, both of which are geared toward kids and their families. You can even visit the Orlando Fire Museum while you’re there.
Learn more: Orlando STEM Attractions
Also worth noting is Orlando Fringe, aka the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival, which is held in and around Loch Haven Cultural Park in May. The oldest fringe festival in the U.S., Orlando’s edition carries on the European tradition with a smorgasbord of theatrical and performing arts, including programming for kids. Plus, it's a lot of fun.
For years, Ivanhoe Village Main Street’s primary lakefront shopping district was locally known as Antique Row. Not only can you still get in some quality antiquing when you visit the area, but that retro mindset has influenced many of the newer retail options that evolved with the area’s dining and nightlife.
Learn more: Orlando Shopping
For instance, audiophiles won’t want to miss Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven, offering vintage records and collectibles. Similarly, if you prefer retro fashion and style to today’s tastes, dig into the finds at 1618 Something Different.
Of course, Ivanhoe Village boasts many forward-looking retailers, too, including clothiers, gift shops, jewelers and a world-class wine shop, plus an array of fitness and beauty providers. Some of the best include Tim’s Wine Market, The Barefoot Spa and Project 7 Yoga. Check out this popular district the next time you’re in Orlando.