There are few luxuries in life more satisfying than a well-crafted cocktail, and residents of the City Beautiful are fortunate enough to be able to choose from a myriad of cocktail bars and beer houses that fulfill the need for mood-transforming elixirs.
Ann Teague's Lamp Supply
22 S. Magnolia Ave.
Friendly staff, eccentric decor and luscious cocktails make this a bar worth visiting. You're bound to have a great night sipping their gin-based "Enter the Dragon" while laughing with friends, or maybe someone you're meeting for the first time.
BauHaus + Hanson's Shoe Repair
27 E. Pine St.
Low lighting, a lone bartender and seating in a narrow hallway create a sense of intimacy at BauHaus, located on the first floor of the historic Hanson Building. Perfect for a date night or to catch up with friends, this bar is home to beautiful drinks and shares space with its sister bar and speakeasy, Hanson's Shoe Repair. At Hanson's you can enjoy a drink on the rooftop while silent movies play on the projector. Remember to look up the day's entry password before you head out for the evening.
1321 N. Mills Ave.
Open seven days a week, and decorated like a perfectly eclectic Airbnb, this bar is aptly named and a reliable spot for delicious and classic cocktails. While we love their Whiskey Smash and Army-Navy, you'll be happy with pretty much anything on their menu. The Guesthouse is a neighbor to Black Rooster Taqueria, allowing you an easy and tasty bite before, during or after your drinks.
1036 N. Mills Ave.
Enjoy a cocktail at Lil Indie's under the guard of a haunting airbrushed Ronald McDonald, or grab a seat on one of their Victorian-style couches. We're partial to their gin-based "Love Walks In," but feel confident knowing every drink on their list is a hit. With live music, DJ nights — like Nigel John's Funk Omakase on Thursdays — and local art featured on their walls, Lil Indie's is a must on Mills 50, and they're part of the same establishment as Will's Pub and Dirty Laundry.
724 Virginia Drive
Featuring a free pool table, a dartboard and a free Pac-Man video console, Matador is a great venue to pass the night with friends. Beyond friendly, the Matador staff tap their own gin and tonics made with New Amsterdam gin and Jack Rudy syrup. You can't go wrong sipping a "Sunflower" while backdropped by decadent red velvet curtains. And if you need to fuel up, Santiago's Bodega is a few steps away.
The Nook on Robinson
2432 E. Robinson St.
A dynamic venue offering beer, cider, wine and more, The Nook on Robinson also hosts Movie Trash screenings and Circuit Church, a regular live electronic music event. Order and enjoy Florida-based beers in house or take them home with you.
1319 N. Mills Ave.
Walking into Sunroom is like walking into a well-curated feed of plants, minimalism and terrazzo features. (It's the sister bar to the Guesthouse, so that makes sense.) Their custom craft cocktail menu offers over a dozen choices, built for you by knowledgeable bartenders. Arriving early or after their 10 p.m. busy hours is advised, as they often reach capacity on the weekends. After ordering your cocktail (we love the "Amar'e Stoudemire"), step outside to enjoy your drink on their patio, shared with the Guesthouse.
720 N. Mills Ave.
Recently featured in the Michelin Guide, Tori Tori is a stunning izakaya on the edge of Mills 50. Cozy up in a booth, the outside patio or at the bar sipping warm sake, or choose from one of their cocktail features while enjoying rounds of delicious small plates. We can't get enough of their "Floral" cocktail and soy–garlic butter mushrooms.
211 N. Lucerne Circle W.
A historic building and hotel, The Wellborn's menu includes handcrafted cocktails, small plates and desserts. Sip away in good company on the upstairs wraparound porch, or secure a seat in the brick-lined courtyard. Make sure someone in your squad brings a fully charged phone with plenty of storage space because photo opportunities at the Wellborn abound!
Whippoorwill Beer House and Package Store
2425 E. South St.
Whippoorwill offers a robust rotating draft beer menu on 16 taps and an even larger selection of beer from their package store (seemingly hundreds of options). For $50 a month, wine lovers can join their wine club featuring two bottles not available at the bar.
Whiskey Lou's Lounge
121 N. Bumby Ave.
Grab a very affordable drink and play pool on one of their three tables at a bar that's been serving Orlando for over 50 years. Soak in the wood-paneled, divey vibes and maybe grab a selfie with the Blues Brothers statues holding court near the pool tables.