Neighborhood Guide: SoDo (South of Downtown)

Neighborhoods featuring bungalows and turn-of-the-century homes and having a down-home feel are what dwellers and visitors find in the SoDo (South of Downtown) district. The area's landmark is Fort Gatlin where the Army established a military outpost during the Second Seminole Indian War from 1838 to 1849. Today, the area is flourishing with bars, restaurants and chain stores. Take a trip to South Orlando and experience part of Orlando's history. (Photo by Sandra Carr)

Updated: February 18, 2010

Historic Haven

Lido's Italian Restaurant

2509 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Experience authentic Italian dishes, including lasagna, ziti, manicotti and ravioli in a small but cozy family-owned restaurant that has been serving the South Orlando community for more than 30 years.


1912 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Watch chiseled bartenders wearing barely anything at all while shaking their booty on top of the bar for tips or dance the night away in the jewel box at this gay-friendly nightclub.

Numero Uno Cuban Restaurant

2499 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Dig into Cuban delicacies during lunch or dinner at this family-run restaurant in South Orlando. Menu options include green plantains stuffed with chicken, shredded flank steak, Paella Valenciana, the Cuban sandwich and flan.

Massage Envy

45 W Crystal Lake St, Orlando, FL 32806

Relax under dim lights, calming decor and cream and purple hues while a masseuse provides you with a pampering session, including a Swedish or hot stone massage in the SoDo district.

Legends Sports Bar & Grill

1315 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Spend the evening watching the game on numerous flat-screen TVs with doctors and nurses from Orlando Regional Medical Center while having a brew and grub at this South Orlando sports bar.

Brasas Chicken

4797 S Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32806

Take a stroll to the Fort Gatlin Shopping Center where Peruvian cuisine rules the menu. Rotisserie chicken is the main attraction paired with arroz con frijoles, rice and beans or papas fritas.


45 W Crystal Lake St, Orlando, FL 32806

Be daring and get a new hairdo or makeover at this South Orlando salon. The huge front window near the main entrance gives passers-by a chance to watch stylists in action. Offerings include hairstyling, makeup and skincare.

Jason's Deli

25 W Crystal Lake St, Orlando, FL 32806

Find sandwiches, salads and soups galore containing fresh, healthy and organic ingredients at this SoDo eatery. Rest assured menu items don't contain high fructose corn syrup, trans fat or MSG.

24 Hour Fitness

15 W Crystal Lake St, Orlando, FL 32806

Work up a sweat pumping some iron or hitting the treadmill and other cardio machines at this 50,000-square-foot fitness facility. Take advantage of the pool, spa, sauna and steam room before heading home.