16 Orlando destination bars that are more than just a place to grab a drink

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Wall Street Plaza: More than just block parties
With seven bars lining its brick-paved pedestrian walkway, it’s no surprise Wall Street Plaza is known as downtown Orlando’s party central – particularly on the weekends, when 20somethings gravitate to the epic block parties and liquor-infused events that transform the space from quirky daytime lunch spot or happy-hour hang to full-tilt nightlife hotspot. … Read more.

26 Wall St. | wallstplaza.net

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Inside Wall Street Plaza bar Hooch, the front of this old classic vehicle hides a DJ booth; the giant moon on the wall was commissioned by an artist.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Hang 10: Aku Aku Tiki Bar

First things first: Not all tiki bars are created equal. “Tiki-philes are very particular about certain things,” says Todd Ulmer, operating partner of Aku Aku Tiki Bar. You can’t just put some bamboo and longboards in your bar and call it a tiki bar, he says – you have to do your research. … Read more
431 E. Central Blvd. | akuakutiki.com

Photo via Rob Bartlett
The walls at at Aku Aku are decorated with tiki-related art and objects.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
CityWalk’s Rising Star

If you’re into karaoke, check this out – rather than singing along to a pre-recorded track, at Rising Star you get a backup band and singers so you can really show people how good (or bad) you are.

6000 Universal Blvd. | universalorlando.com

Photo via Universal Orlando
Ember

You’ll feel like you’re sipping your drinks in a Mediterranean plaza when you’re sitting on the patio at this impressively sprawling indoor/outdoor bar in downtown Orlando.

42 W. Central Blvd. | emberorlando.com

Photo via Ember
Hanson’s Shoe Repair

This 1930s speakeasy-themed spot doesn’t play around – you have to call in advance to get the password, which will be texted to you with a time during which you can arrive, if you want to get in. Once inside, it’s elbow room only, but the decor (and the exquisite craft cocktails) truly transports you to another era.

27 E. Pine St., hansonsshoerepair.com

Photo via Hanson's
The Big Chill: IceBar

The first thing you need to know about Icebar, opened by Orlando resident Patz Turner in 2008 after she visited an icebar in Sweden, is that you will absolutely want to wear the parkas and gloves the “ice princesses” at the front door offer you with your admission fee ($12.95 if you buy online, $19.95 and up at the door). It’s literally freezing inside the Icebar. … Read more about Icebar

8967 International Drive | icebarorlando.com

Photo via Rob Bartlett
A giant polar bear carved out of ice takes center stage at the Icebar. 
Photo via Rob Bartlett
A giant polar bear carved out of ice takes center stage at the Icebar.

Photo via Rob Bartlett
Stardust Lounge

This 1960s Vegas-themed bar, from the creators of Mucho Tacos and Tequila and Aku Aku Tiki Bar, is Orlando’s Space Age bachelor pad. Catch some burlesque, lounge on a red faux-leather banquette or play some pool in a venue that transports you to the Rat Pack era.

431 E. Central Blvd. | stardustorlando.com

Photo via Yelp