While Orlando overflows with unique eateries, none are as quirky and entertaining as the Drunken Monkey. Located on the corner of Amelia Street and North Bumby Avenue, this coffee house and restaurant sports an eclectic, artsy interior complete with wooden furnishings and locals’ paintings adorning the walls. While the store lacks outside seating, Drunken Monkey offers a drive-thru service for their smaller menu items.
While the Drunken Monkey serves primarily a coffee house, it offers a decent array of food and cold beverage items ranging from hot sandwiches to soups and smoothies. Their menu caters to both vegans and meat-eating customers, so there is something on the menu for everyone. Both the Cuban ($6.95) and Basil-Pesto Turkey($6.95) panini sandwiches proved strong choices bolstered with rich flavor and simple, yet effective presentation.
On the beverage side of things the Drunken Monkey does not disappoint. Using fairtrade and organic beans from around the world, its coffee offers a bold flavor profile with a subtle aftertaste. The restaurant’s smoothies, like the Chocolate Mojo Jojo ($4.04), balance the flavors of yogurt and chocolate well, proving that the Drunken Monkey is not simply just a one-trick pony.
Aside from fantastic food and a pleasant atmosphere, the Drunken Monkey also hosts two amateur comedy nights on Fridays and Saturdays starting at 8:30 p.m. On Fridays the shop schedules performers in advance, while Saturdays are open mic. Along with comedy, local artists can also showcase their talent at the Drunken Monkey, as most of the art adorning their walls is for sale and painted within the Orlando area.
The only real drawback to the shop is its parking situation. Drunken monkey’s property is taken up mostly by the building itself, making parking difficult especially during peak hours. However, the drive-thru helps ease the strain of an already crowded interior. For anyone looking to stay a while the Drunken Monkey offers free wifi and a somewhat spacious sitting area.
Orlando‘s culinary world constantly expands, but it is often times the out-of-place, quirky institutions that garner the most praise. The atmosphere and attitude of Drunken Monkey not only make it a haven for those with a more artsy affiliation, but also a place for anyone looking for a decent meal. It goes without saying that this coffee house deserves a top spot on any restaurant travel guide.
Where: Drunken Monkey coffee house
What: restaurant and coffee bar
Price: under $10