East End Market in Orlando, FL

This past Sunday, I channeled one of my favorite European memories of visiting Mercado San Miguel in Madrid and spent a morning at East End Market.

sub-par flat white, above-par atmosphere

Instead of a traditional farmers market, East End boasts small stalls inside a building where you can buy cheeses, fresh breads, locally-raised meats and produce, baked goods, and coffee. Most stalls that sold food included dishes you could eat there and bar seating, so it was the perfect way to welcome a lazy cold Sunday.

We started with my necessity at the Lineage coffee stand. I ordered a flat white and ManFriend had the latte and I really, really wanted to love it, but I just didn’t. Something about the way the coffee was roasted just didn’t suit me (or the ManFriend, either, but he’s not a coffee drinker so I usually don’t rely on his critiques when it comes to the drink of life.)

After checking out our options and the outdoor community garden, we ditched the espresso and opted for a flight of 5 Florida local craft brews. Who needs coffee when you can have beer, right? Local Roots boasted a gorgeous bar with maybe seven or eight local beers on tap, as well as wine, mimosas, and dry goods. We tried an assortment of IPAs, lagers, and a blueberry beer that will change your perspective on blueberry beers. We split the “Rise and Shine” breakfast sandwich from the little cheese stall called La Femme Du Fromage. The sandwich included egg, thinly sliced ham, fresh pesto, melted cheeses, greens, and cold tomato on a grilled, crisp bread. I will forever crave pesto on my breakfast sandwiches from now on.

breakfast of champions at Local Roots

Had I not eaten the sandwich, I would have tried the vegan zucchini noodles and “cheese” special from the Skyebird Juice Bar, but that gives me something to go back for. The quaint, unexpectedly relaxed market is the perfect local hidden gem in the heart of an otherwise tourist-trapped city.

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