City guides

Iconic bars in Orlando

Discover the crème de la crème of Orlando's nightlife scene.

November 16, 2023
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5
 min read
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Last updated:
Jan 12
A view of the Orlando skyline.

Orlando, known for its theme parks and sunny weather, also boasts a vibrant bar scene that's waiting to be explored. From historic watering holes to modern speakeasies, the city offers a diverse range of places to unwind. Let's dive into some of the most iconic bars that have left an indelible mark on Orlando's nightlife.

The Courtesy

The Courtesy is not just a bar; it's a testament to the art of mixology. Located in the heart of downtown Orlando, this establishment has been a beacon for cocktail enthusiasts. The ambiance is intimate, with dim lighting and rustic interiors, making it perfect for date nights or quiet evenings with friends. The bartenders here are more like artists, carefully crafting each drink to perfection. Their menu changes seasonally, ensuring that there's always something new to tantalize your taste buds. Whether you're a cocktail aficionado or a newbie, The Courtesy promises an unforgettable experience.

Mathers Social Gathering

Imagine a place where the elegance of yesteryears meets the vibrancy of modern Orlando. That's Mathers Social Gathering for you. Set in a beautifully restored vintage building, this bar exudes sophistication. The interiors, adorned with leather couches, dark wooden panels, and antique books, transport you to a different era. But it's not just about the aesthetics. The drink menu is equally impressive, featuring a mix of classic cocktails and innovative creations. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply want to indulge in some luxury, Mathers is the place to be.

Lil' Indies

Music and drinks are a combination that never goes out of style. Lil' Indies offers just that, but with a unique twist. Located away from the bustling tourist spots, this bar is a favorite among locals and discerning visitors. The intimate setting is perfect for enjoying live performances, ranging from jazz to indie rock. The drink menu complements the musical offerings, with a selection of craft beers, wines, and signature cocktails. It's not just a bar; it's a cultural experience that celebrates the rich musical heritage of Orlando.

Barley & Vine Biergarten

If open skies, fresh air, and a pint of beer sound like your idea of a perfect evening, then Barley & Vine Biergarten is your paradise. Located in the eclectic Milk District, this outdoor bar offers a relaxed setting to enjoy a diverse range of brews. The wooden benches and greenery create a laid-back atmosphere, making it a perfect spot for casual gatherings. The beer menu is extensive, featuring local favorites and international classics. And if you're not a beer person, worry not. Their wine and cocktail offerings are equally commendable.

Wally's Mills Avenue Liquors

Wally's is not just a bar; it's an institution. Serving Orlando for over six decades, this place has seen the city evolve and transform. The retro interiors, complete with neon signs and vintage posters, are a nod to its rich history. But don't be fooled by its old-school charm. The drinks here are strong and the vibe is lively. It's a melting pot of diverse patrons, from longtime regulars to curious tourists. If you want to experience a slice of authentic Orlando nightlife, Wally's is a must-visit.

Guesthouse

Guesthouse is more than just a name; it's an ethos. This bar feels like you're stepping into a friend's living room, albeit a very stylish one. With an abundance of plants, ample natural light, and chic decor, it's a refreshing change from the typical bar scene. The bartenders here are known for their expertise, crafting cocktails that are both visually stunning and delicious. The drink menu is a delightful mix of classics and innovative concoctions, ensuring there's something for everyone. Whether you're catching up with old friends or making new ones, Guesthouse offers a warm and welcoming environment.

Tap & Grind

Tap & Grind is where the laid-back vibes of a beach shack meet the sophistication of a craft beer bar. Inspired by surf culture, the decor is a mix of vibrant murals and rustic woodwork. But the real star here is the beer. With a focus on rare and unique brews, Tap & Grind is a haven for beer enthusiasts. The staff is knowledgeable and always eager to offer recommendations. And if beer isn't your thing, their selection of wines and cocktails is equally impressive. It's the kind of place where you can kick back, relax, and let the world go by.

Stardust Lounge

Beneath the bustling streets of Orlando lies a hidden gem: Stardust Lounge. This underground bar is a world of its own, offering an experience that's both sultry and mysterious. The vintage decor, complete with red velvet curtains and dim chandeliers, sets the mood for a night of intrigue. But it's not just about the ambiance. Stardust Lounge is known for its burlesque shows, which add a touch of glamor and allure to the evening. The drink menu is equally captivating, featuring a range of cocktails that are as enticing as the performances.

The Woods

Tucked away on the second floor of a nondescript building, The Woods is a sanctuary for those in the know. The rustic interiors, with exposed brick walls and wooden beams, create a cozy atmosphere that's perfect for intimate gatherings. The bar takes pride in its extensive whiskey collection, which features selections from around the world. Each bottle is carefully curated, ensuring that patrons get only the best. The bartenders are skilled craftsmen, creating cocktails that are both classic and inventive. It's a place where you can savor every sip and enjoy the finer things in life.

Hanson's Shoe Repair

In a city full of secrets, Hanson's Shoe Repair is perhaps the most intriguing. This speakeasy-style bar is a nod to the Prohibition era, complete with a password-protected entrance. Once inside, you're transported to a bygone era, with vintage furniture and soft jazz playing in the background. The drink menu is a reflection of the setting, featuring classic cocktails made with precision and care. It's an immersive experience, one that offers a glimpse into the past while celebrating the present.Orlando's bar scene is as diverse as the city itself. Each establishment offers a unique experience, reflecting the city's rich history and vibrant culture. So, next time you're in the City Beautiful, make sure to raise a glass at one of these iconic spots. Cheers to unforgettable nights and the memories they bring.

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