Orlando's Milk District is ditching meat and dairy for January. | Deon Cooper

Orlando Turns its ‘Milk’ District into a Vegan Neighborhood

Orlando is converting its Milk District into a vegan oasis. A number of restaurants will offer discounts on plant-based options throughout January.

The City Beautiful is ditching meat and dairy—at least for the first month of 2021. In order to promote plant-based options, Orlando is converting its Milk District into a vegan oasis.

The Milk District is located east of downtown Orlando. Originally a dairy farm, the diverse neighborhood now features a collection of award-winning bars, coffee shops, and restaurants. It also contains an eclectic music and arts scene, colorful murals, community gardens, and more.

More than 16 businesses located in the Milk District are taking part in the Almond Milk District project, which coincides with month-long plant-based campaign Veganuary. Throughout January, many of the establishments will have specials or discounts on their plant-based options.

“These days, more & more people are choosing more non-animal options, for many reasons such as: health, environment, worker’s rights, food safety, animal welfare, often lower costs of food staples such as beans & rice, and more,” a statement by the Milk District reads.

For a complete list of the businesses taking part in the Almond Milk District project, click here.

The Milk District is turning into the Almond Milk District. | Milk District

Orlando’s Vegan Scene

Orlando is well-known for its expansive golf courses and theme parks. But the city also has a rather diverse vegan scene.

In 2019, animal rights group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) ranked the city in sixth place on its list of the most vegan-friendly cities. 

Ethos Vegan Kitchen, a full-service restaurant that serves homestyle comfort food staples, is located in the suburbs of Orlando. The Loving Hut offers Asian-style plant-based cuisine. Leguminati carries a wide selection of vegan crunch wraps. The food truck Jacked Up Vegan carries everything from tacos to burgers and sandwiches. And the iconic Vegan Hot Dog Cart has been serving up meatless hot dogs to Orlandoans since 1997.

Several of the restaurants located in the Milk District are also 100 percent vegan. These include Dharma Fine Vittles and Valhalla Bakery, both of which are located in Market On South. In a statement, Chef Shaun Noonan—founder of the former, as well as the Vegan Hot Dog Cart—said he’s proud to be part of a community of businesses that are “working to embrace everyone who passes through their doors.”

“Plant-based cuisine is about community. It’s about healthier options and the impact of those options on our environment,” he continued. “It’s about making our world a better place and providing an increased quality of life for everyone, despite our differences.”