Bars in Orlando really do come in all shapes and sizes. Stay confined to your theme park of choice and you’ll find spacious live music venues and open-air bar seating hundreds of people at a time – often holding nightly performances to keep the crowds entertained.
The more adventurous holiday-makers interested in venturing into the city’s lively Downtown area won’t be disappointed either. Around Church Street and North Orange Avenue there are dozens of bars all offering something a little different, from tiny local watering holes to fancy cocktail bars and even a few rooftops. Orlando isn’t in short supply of lakes either, so we’ve also thrown in a couple of idyllic drinking spots good for a sundowner or two next to the water. See our list of the 10 best bars in Orlando below.
Olde64 keeps things relatively simple, which means they excel in what they’re good at: beer, whiskey and a friendly atmosphere. Located on the ever-happening North Orange Avenue (the epicenter of Downtown Orlando’s bar and club scene) the spacious inside-only bar feels stylish without ever trying too hard; framed retro posters hang from the immaculately painted ocean-blue back walls, while the mosaic tiled floor underfoot feels reassuringly authentic. DJs do play here on occasion, but this is generally more of a sit-and-chill kind of place rather than a hands-in-the-air party venue (unlike Aero rooftop bar upstairs in the same building). Read More...
- Opening Hours: 1 407 648 5441
- Address: 64 North Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida
- Tel: 1 407 648 5441
This hugely popular bar sits just off International Drive strip, not too far away from SeaWorld and Disney. Pay a visit during daylight hours and what you’ll find is a pretty standard Mexican joint, with all the usual taco, enchilada, and tortilla offerings. Rocco’s really comes alive after dark though, as the crowd descends upon the spacious bar, migrating away from the less-social booths at the back. On the drinks front, we shouldn’t even have to tell you what the house specialty is… tequila, of course, and lots of it! And when we say ‘lots’ we mean different 425 varieties… so they claim. Order one of their signature margaritas or just shot the stuff back if it’s not a work night. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 11:00-02:00 daily
- Address: 7468 W Sand Lake Rd, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
- Tel: +1 407-226-0550
For cocktails, this former cobbler’s shop turned speakeasy rooftop bar is about as unique a place as you’ll find in Orlando. Intimate might be an understatement here, with only a dozen or so seats and standing space for perhaps 20 more. Take your spot at the dilapidated main bar to chew the fat with bartender, or head outside to the slightly more modern (but just as compact) rooftop terrace to catch the live band or a movie screening. Do also explore Hanson’s impressive cocktail menu as much as your liver allows; it’s rated as one of the best in the city. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 20:00 - 02:00
- Address: 27 East Pine Street, Orlando, Florida
- Tel: +1 407-476-9446
The Lucky Lure
There are so many great lakes on Orlando, but no so many great watering holes that take advantage of the tropical views to be had, particularly at dusk. The Lucky Lure, however, is one fine exception to the rule, offering a range of beers, wines and a small but interesting lineup of liquor and hooch in an open-air setting right by Lake Ivanhoe. There’s absolutely nothing glamorous about the décor, in fact it pretty much falls into ‘dive bar’ status with its complete lack of grooming - but that’s all part of Lucky Lure’s charm. Make sure you arrive in time for a cold beer as the sun sets over the water, while there’s also a pool table, foosball table and some live sports screens to keep you occupied for the rest of the night.
- Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 15:00-02:00 / Sat-Sun 12:00-02:00
- Address: 1427 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL 32804
- Tel: +1 407-250-6949
World of Beer at Lake Eola
Recently refurbished, this modern beer bar sits idyllically next to Orlando’s central-most lake at Eola Park in the very heart of Downtown. For beer fans, this is good as it gets; WOB has hundreds of bottles imported from every corner of the planet, with a focus on US craft ales and European pale ales. The setting is just as good, particularly if you grab a table outside amidst the leafy surrounds of the park, with the water of Lake Eola just a few meters away from you and your cold glass of beer. Open from 11:00 daily, there’s also a hearty menu of wings, tacos, burgers, sandwiches and other stogy mains to soak up all that ale.
- Opening Hours: 11:00 - 02:00
- Address: 431 E Central Blvd, Orlando, Florida
- Tel: +1 407-270-5541
Jelly Rolls - Disney’s Boardwalk
This adults-only bar at Disney’s Boardwalk promises a lively night indeed, with two pianists on stage who battle it out with classical takes on all popular hit songs, as well as requests from the crowd. Audience participation is more than encouraged too, with sing-alongs and even audience members being invited up to take the place of one the pianists. There is a cover charge of around $12, but think of Jelly Rolls as more of a live show (this is Disney after all) and you won’t leave disappointed – unless pianos really aren’t your thing.
- Opening Hours: 19:00 - 02:00 daily
- Address: Disney’s Boardwalk, 2101 Epcot Resorts Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
- Tel: +1 407-560-8770
The Courtesy Bar
A must-visit for cocktail lovers, Courtesy Bar mixes things up with some inventive takes on all the classics, as well as constantly evolving their drinks menu on a regular basis. They’ve also got about ten different kinds of absinthe and three different cocktails on tap, just going to show how seriously the young and friendly team behind Courtesy Bar take their liquor. It’s a classy affair inside too, with exposed brickwork, dangling fairy lights and tiled floor all helping to create an industrial-chic look that never goes too over-the-top.
- Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 17:00-02:00; Sat 19:00-02:00; Sun 15:00-02:00
- Address: 114 N Orange Avenue
- Tel: +1 (407) 450-2041
The Imperial Orlando
This non-nonsense beer and wine bar at the top of North Orange Avenue near Lake Ivanhoe oozes a definite rustic charm, with its no-frills wooden tables and collection of worldly trinkets cobbled together behind the bar. The venue is actually part of Washburn Imports, a popular furniture retailer specializing in Asian items. Craft beers are a big deal in Orlando, and The Imperial jumped on the bandwagon long ago. There’s around 40 different varieties available and about the same number of wines by the bottle.
- Opening Hours: 17:00-24:00 (Fri/Sat closes 02:00)
- Address: 1800 N Orange Avenue, Orlando, Florida
- Tel: +1 (407) 228-4992
One glance at House of Blue’s (HOB) impressive calendar of events and it’s clear to see that this is one venue which takes its live music seriously, with some huge homegrown and international names booked in on a regular basis. The large venue is divided up into several zones, include a dining room, laidback bar area and a main concert hall, which is where the music happens. Non-blues fans shouldn’t be put off either; HOB is much more than just soft rock, with everything from EDM to pop, acoustic solo artists to thrash metal being belted out to hundreds of fans every week. Read More...
- Opening Hours: 16:00 - 23:00
- Address: Downtown Disney, 490 Buena Vista Dr, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830
- Tel: +1 407-934-2583
Howl at the Moon
This popular nightlife chain now has some 20 locations nationwide, and the premise of this Orlando spot is no different, creating a high energy show with live piano performances. The show really relies on audience participation, as well as the multi-talented backup band, with singing, dancing, clapping and even stomping all encouraged. Overly sweet cocktails are also available in the bucket form, which helps the camaraderie no end. Howl at the Moon is 21 and up only, and the fun starts daily at 19:00, closing at 02:00 (doors open at 18:00 on Fridays).
- Opening Hours: (Sat-Thurs) 19:00-02:00 (Fri 18:00-02:00)
- Address: 8815 International Dr, Orlando, FL 32819, United States
- Tel: +1 407-354-5999