Make us your home page

Take a food tour of Mount Dora


You've driven all the way to Mount Dora for dinner at Norman Van Aken's new restaurant. You are not amped at the idea of a post-prandial two-hour drive, am I right? Mount Dora is perfect for a weekend getaway, so make it a food-focused field trip. Wander Donnelly, Fourth and Fifth streets to find an array of noshing options (Working Cow Ice Cream; $9.95 lobster rolls at Let's Do Lunch) and gift ideas (Piglet's Pantry Dog Bakery, because you know your pooch hates it when you go away for the weekend). And then there are these, each of which merits a bit of time:

KaDee Kay Gourmet Kitchen Products is the kind of encyclopedic kitchenware store where serious cooks get lost. This isn't the froufrou Williams-Sonoma catalog stuff (seriously, a tartan plaid holiday casserole?) — you'll find cheesecloth and piping bags, extracts and herbs, cookie cutters and of-the-moment tools like a corer for stuffed cupcakes. 237 W Fourth Ave., Suite 2, (352) 383-3600.

Speaking of, Cupcake Delights, with its pale pink walls, wide plank floors and outrageous multicolored glass chandelier, offers up at least 18 daily cupcake varieties. Owner Judy Owens, whose Snickerdoodle cupcake won best overall at the Orlando Cupcake Challenge, has been in this location for 3 ½ years and in Mount Dora for nine. Five months ago she added a second location in Holmes Beach on Anna Maria. What to order? The carrot cake, red velvet and classic buttercream get high marks, accessorized elegantly by a sophisticated array of coffee drinks. 122 E Fourth Ave., (352) 383-2200.

Continuing in this vein, Le Petit Sweet is the kind of aspirational shop that gets brides flushed and flustered. It's a "custom cakery" that also specializes in macarons and bite-sized desserts, with a pressed-tin ceiling and hip little lounge area in which to nibble (okay, gobble) your sweet treats. 110 W Fifth Ave., (352) 729-2453.

You're getting thirsty, for sure. Maggie's Attic is a go-to local spot opened in 2003, a wine bar (400 selections!) and beer retailer (200 craft options!) with eclectic seating and live music some nights outside, just across the courtyard from KaDee Kay. There's also an oddball assortment of gifts, as well as wine tastings on the first and third Saturday of the month. 237 W Fourth Ave., Suite 5, (352) 383-5451.

Fully fortified, you're ready to buy some gifts for folks back home. The first stop is the Spice & Tea Exchange. Sister property to the one in Madeira Beach, this location has about the widest array of mortars and pestles I've seen in a while. With teas, sugars, gift accessories (check out the Florida Sun and Sizzle, a citrusy salt blend and pirate-inspired pepper), the light and airy shop is owned by Kim and Glenn Gordon. 431 N Donnelly St., (352) 729-6762.

And finally, swoop by Mount Dora Olive Oil Co. for a dram or two of deep emerald extra-virgin and a matching cruet of inky balsamic vinegar. The shop branches out with intriguing specialty items (Blenheim apricot white balsamic, harissa-infused oil), with dreamy stocking stuffers like pour spouts, bone salt cellars and carved wooden salad tongs. 351 N Donnelly St., (352) 735-8481.

Contact Laura Reiley at or (727) 892-2293. Follow @lreiley on Twitter.

Take a food tour of Mount Dora 12/12/16 [Last modified: Monday, December 12, 2016 3:51pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Comedy legend Jerry Lewis dead at 91


    LOS ANGELES — Jerry Lewis, the manic, rubber-faced showman who jumped and hollered to fame in a lucrative partnership with Dean Martin, settled down to become a self-conscious screen auteur and found an even greater following as the tireless, teary host of the annual muscular dystrophy telethons, has died. He was …

    In this Sept. 2, 1990, file photo, entertainer Jerry Lewis makes his opening remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon fundraiser in Los Angeles. Lewis, the comedian whose fundraising telethons became as famous as his hit movies, has died according to his publicist. [Associated Press]
  2. If you miss out on Retro Futura tour, you'll be needing a little 'Tenderness'


    Closing out Retro Futura Week is a little bit of a cheat. We started the week with the English Beat and we end it with an offshoot of the Beat, the band General Public and their hit …

  3. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 20


    The Art of the Brick: An elaborate display of more than 100 pieces of Lego artwork including the life sized sculpture of a man ripping open his chest, a 20-foot-long T. rex skeleton, a giant skull and replicas of famous works including Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night and Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona …

    Eliana Goldberg, 5, of Wesley Chapel looks at a Lego sculpture called "Everlasting" at The Art of the Brick exhibit, which opened Friday in Tampa and runs through Sept. 4. [CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]
  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters


    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Top things to do in Tampa Bay for Aug. 19


    Monster Jam Triple Threat Series: Come early for the Pit Party ($15 or free at local Ford dealers) to meet the drivers and get pictures with the trucks. 7 p.m., Amalie Arena, 401 Channelside Drive, Tampa. $15-$80. (813) 301-2500.

    A crew member from the El Toro Loco monster truck, installs a truck tire, Thursday, 8/17/17 in preparation for Saturday's  Monster Jam Triple Threat Series at Amalie Arena, Tampa. The event will be held Saturday at 1pm and 7 pm.