The Twenty Best and Coolest Bars in Orlando Florida
‘The City Beautiful’ lives up to its name, especially at night; when the sun sets on the sunshine state the city truly comes alive with art, music, and culture.
I’ve been an Orlandoan for nearly twenty-five years and trust me when I say it’s so much more than golf courses and tourist traps. The nightlife of Orlando is unmatched in so many ways, but what compliments it so is the city’s bar scene. Whether you’re visiting Orlando for the first time or you’re a local, looking for a fresh setting to meet with old friends, PHASR has you covered. Lift your spirits because these are the twenty coolest and best bars in Orlando!
Mathers Social Gathering
Mathers Social Gathering is a stylish, dark wood, exposed brick-filled hideaway housed on the third floor of a vintage furniture store from the late 1800s. Designed as a social gathering, Mathers promotes group interaction in a sophisticated yet comfortable setting. Ample parlor seating allows patrons to relax with their friends and mingle with other guests while enjoying the swanky, historical atmosphere reminiscent of a late 1800s Orlando.
Their dapper bartenders use boutique spirits and seasonal fruit, with house-made cordials, bitters, and syrups to create classic cocktails and modern libations. They serve small plates upon your request to complement your favorite cocktails; so take a seat and allow one of their butlers to be at your service.
Hanson’s Shoe Repair
Hanson’s is at 27 E. Pine Street in a building that was erected in 1883-1884 with a nineteenth-century commercial style. Andrew Hanson gained it in 1894 for his “Hanson Shoe Repair Shop” which had Orlando’s first electric sign. This building may be the oldest building still standing in downtown Orlando. What makes Hanson’s Shoe Repair exciting is their speak straightforward approach.
Every day there is a new password you have to acquire it via their Twitter page or calling them directly. If you want an old school experience with your drinks, then you’re in look because Hanson’s is the place for you.
Cocktails & Screams
Cocktails & Screams is Orlando’s only Halloween-themed bar. If you want to be fully immersed in all the feelings Halloween brings you from the creepy to the comical, Cocktails & Screams is the place to be. They create a fun environment for everyone with just the right wicked twist. Check out their wild drinks that include Frogs Breath, Witch’s Brew, and Frank’s Stein!
While you’re there, be sure to catch the regular piano organ performances and their secret Witch Doctor room. The only way to get in is by answering a riddle and once you’re in, the Witch Doctor will make you anything that is not on the menu!
Hourglass Brewing aims to make a world-class beer. Using the best of local and exotic ingredients from across the globe, with an emphasis on turning outlandish ideas into nuanced, drinkable brews. Hourglass Brewing is a family-owned, award-winning craft brewery in Central Florida. Established in 2012, Hourglass contributes to the community by not only providing a wide selection of beers that caters to any palate, but by working with local businesses, and even local bands, in order to lift our hometown.
Be sure to check out their regular art exhibits, live performances, and their evolving drink menu.
Tuffy’s Bottle Shop
Tuffy’s Bottle Shop Lounge is a massive warehouse space in Downtown Sanford that features local craft beers, live performances, a “beer garden”, outdoor/indoor games, a secret tiki bar, and some good eats! Explore the variety of entertainment Tuffy’s offers at their down to Earth bar. Hang out by the fire pit with some local craft beers, try a new cider by the stage with local talent, or test out your taste buds at Swine & Sons on location.
You know how I mentioned a tiki bar inside of Tuffy’s? That tiki bar is none other than the Suffering Bastard. The hidden little tiki bar takes walk-ins, but you’re better off with a reservation. It’s a small space with big atmosphere and a killer drink menu. Be sure to also give their food menu a look too and try their take on the Cuban sandwich. A Suffering Bastard is a classic exotic drink often associated with tiki bars in case you are curious!
The Courtesy is a cool speakeasy with a warm, swanky vibe specializing in imaginative craft cocktails. Their cocktail menu changes 3 times a year with a process that begins with discussing seasonality and the newest/latest liquors, vermouths, amari, bitters, sherries, etc. From there, their bartenders roll up their sleeves and work hard to bring their creativity and passion to your palate. Want to try your hand at making cocktails? Be sure to check out some of their classes throughout the month.
Combining video games and craft brews is not a new concept. However, Player 1 prides itself on being the place in Orlando to celebrate the video game industry while offering local and national support of craft breweries. $5 cover charge gets you unlimited access to their rotating selection of classic arcade cabinets, as well as a large variety of consoles from every era.
Player 1 is a crafty place, which means they only serve craft beers, sakes, meads, and wines. You won’t find any liquor there and you definitely won’t find Bud Light there. If you’re new to craft beers, their staff is more than happy to help you make a selection.
The Guesthouse features craft cocktails in a chic, plant-filled bar with an outdoor area and a boisterous, happy hour scene. The Guesthouse is warm, inviting, and positions itself as the perfect place to catch up over drinks. Enjoy their happy hour from 4 to 8 every day.
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen
Chroma Modern Bar + Kitchen serves a colorful spectrum of small plates with big tastes. Someone has thoughtfully designed every detail of the restaurant to create a social environment where guests can connect, dine, and unwind. Chroma’s visible kitchen faces the vibrant bar and lounge where guests can choose from a range of local and craft beers, specialty cocktails, and fine wines-on-tap. Diners can opt to sit inside in cozy banquettes, enjoy a meal outside on the covered patio or outdoor lounge, or in the solarium complete with views of Lake Nona’s community art installation, “The Beacon.”
DOMU originally started in November 2016 in the Audubon Park District of Orlando, Florida. Created by chef/owner Sean “Sonny” Nguyen, his vision was brought to life with a neighborhood restaurant and bar that offered house-made noodles, creative takes on small plates, and seasonal cocktails. DOMU is a slang term for “a dream come true” and the ambiance oozes that ideology of going against the grain and creating something unique. Learning true Japanese techniques and infusing them into the chef’s modern-day take was the heart and soul of this concept.
The Ravenous Pig
The husband-and-wife duo, James and Julie Petrakis, both grew up in Winter Park, Florida, and met while studying at the acclaimed Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York. Collectively, their resumes included working in kitchens spanning from New York City to Atlanta. It was during this time where they gained a strong appreciation for local and sustainable ingredients. The couple returned to Orlando to start a family and open their first concept, The Ravenous Pig, in 2007.
Today, James and Julie are culinary leaders spearheading Orlando’s burgeoning food movement with multiple concepts in Orlando, including The Ravenous Pig (2007), an award-winning American Gastropub; Cask & Larder (2012), a Southern Public House featuring seasonal ingredients in Orlando’s International Airport; and The Polite Pig (2017), a fast-casual concept in Disney Springs combining local Florida flavors with wood-fired, smoked modern barbecue. Their newest venture is The Ravenous Pig Brewing Company (2019), a 3,000 square foot facility that will produce namesake brews, available at both The Ravenous Pig and The Polite Pig and will also feature a future beer garden (2020).
Crooked Can Brewing Company
Built upon the founders’ passion for craft beer, Crooked Can Brewing Company is a local craft brewery built inside the Plant Street Market in downtown Winter Garden, Florida. The brewery represents a unique image and creates a cultural following for a way of life. The brand represents a free spirit, laid-back approach but with a purpose.
They produce unique craft beer with an excellent taste and consistent quality. They monitor the brewing process under the close personal attention of an award-winning experienced brewmaster to ensure it reached the vision batch after batch using traditional brewing methods and innovative brewing practices. The brewery has an onsite tap and tasting room featuring flagship brands besides many other limited edition, seasonal, and specialty batches.
The Enzian is one of Central Florida’s greatest independent film theaters. Not only for its film-loving community, festivals, or curation but also for its Eden Bar! Enjoy lunch or dinner at Central Florida’s best alfresco dining destination. With daily food and drink specials, lunch offerings, and a late-night menu, the Eden Bar is one of the unique outdoor restaurants and bars you can visit.
If you’re looking for a loud and fun night, Will’s Pub is where you’ll want to be. Will’s Pub sits in the heart of Orlando and is a central hub for the local music scene. The music venue is home to a wide range of music while also serving a multitude of craft beers and liquors. Drop in for one of their shows, stay for the drinks, and check out one of their parking lot market pop-ups.
The Geek Easy
It’s like a sports bar, but for geeks and no sports. Hidden behind ‘A Comic Shop‘ near Full Sail University, The Geek Easy is a great way to get out with friends if the typical bar scene isn’t for you. Enjoy their cosplay events, concerts, movie nights, and more. While you’re there, be sure to check out their arcade cabinets and food menu.
The Falcon Bar & Gallery
Hit up The Falcon Bar & Gallery if you want to get your drink on while checking out a rotating monthly art gallery. Sample the finest craft beers, wines, spritzers, session cocktails, and ciders in Thornton Park. What makes The Falcon so great though is not just their art or drinks, but also their sense of community. Join them for a myriad of events like their Running Club or Bob Ross meets Metal night!
Aku Aku Tiki Bar
Aku Aku is a tribute to one of the greatest eras in Tiki, the 1960s. The Stardust Casino in glitzy Las Vegas opened its doors in 1958. Soon after, it opened Aku Aku restaurant. With its beautiful tropical decor and its two Monolith Moais out front, it was the place to be, and the place to be seen. Here in Orlando, we have a perfect tribute in the Stardust Lounge with its wonderful Retro vibe and classic drink menu, and the Aku Aku tiki bar. Aku will transport you to a tropical paradise of bamboo and thatch and its meticulously made tropical libations.
Corona Cigar Company & Diamond Crown Lounge
Dubbed the “Ultimate Cigar Experience”, in the heart of Downtown Orlando. From their Central American décor to the authentic Nicaraguan furniture and Latin music, they spared no detail. Enjoy a fine cigar, an aged whisky, great people watching, and best of all – cigar-friendly camaraderie! There is no cover charge or membership fee required to partake in the fun… just a friendly attitude and a smile!.
Corona Cigar’s Downtown Orlando location features the Diamond Crown Lounge and has one of the world’s largest selection of fine Cognacs, aged single-malt Scotches, their exclusive Single Barrel Bourbons, prohibition-era whiskies, and pre-embargo Cuban rums.
Bauhaus represents a movement in design and architecture that started in the early 1900s that focused on the art of building. The aim was to reconcile artistry and craft to create a new industrial aesthetic, what we now know as design, and they knew the school as The Bauhaus.
Bauhaus is on the first floor of the historic Hanson building mentioned prior, which is one of the oldest buildings in downtown Orlando. Bauhaus has preserved the building’s original architecture and personality, making the quality of its craft cocktails synonymous with the building.
What Are Your Favorite Bars In Orlando?
Are you already a fan of a few of these bars in Orlando? Perhaps we missed one of your favorites? Let us know on social media what your favorite Orlando watering hole is!