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One of the best new patio bars in town, the Biergarten is inviting, with a friendly staff, tons of beer options and a great atmosphere. Expect a mixed crowd of all ages, especially on the weekends when folks are day-drinking.
Cool art on the walls, a great selection of craft beers, spot-on curation of the Netflix queue – if your college buddy had a dozen vintage arcade games in his living room, you’d feel like you were there. The room fills up late with a young crowd ready to drop cash on the serious beer selection – the cost is balanced out by free play on almost all the games (plus there’s usually a happy-hour deal to be had). Clean, comfortable, clubhouse vibe.
The dream of the ’90s is alive at Bullitt Bar – not the Portlandia one, the one that features flocks of tattooed girls in baby tees and pigtails and walls packed with collectible gig posters. The naked-lady wallpaper (better than Wally’s, and that’s high praise), the beer cooler housed in the back end of a ’70s van (painted with, yep, boobalicious ladies) and the booths done up in muscle-car seat upholstery make Bullitt look like a Vegas reconstruction of an “LA rocker bar,” but don’t overthink it – this is a hangout for strong drinks, loud music and big dumb fun.
People sometimes call Burton’s a dive bar, but that’s a misnomer – it’s much too clean and friendly to be called a dive. Burton’s is that type of bar you could classify as a “utility bar,” a place where absolutely everyone is comfortable. Here you can sit at the bar and watch sports while downing Miller Lites, debate politics while kicking game-animal ass at Big Buck Hunter, discuss the last book you read over a round of Lagunitas IPAs or just watch Thornton Park street life pass you by as you lounge outside with your dog.

The Caboose is as unpretentious as a bar gets, with loud music, a piecemeal approach to furnishing the space – which is now twice as big as when they started – and no-frills ways to get wasted with stiff drinks and domestic pitchers. You can disappear here.

When you step into Cloak and Blaster, you’ll forget you’re in a Waterford Lakes strip mall: It feels like a cross between a Middle-Earth tavern and the Great Hall at Hogwarts. A creative menu of beer-based “cocktails” (the “Wolf Bite” is the prettiest and tastiest), tons of table space for gaming and a decent selection of beer and cider means you’ve found your geeky home.
One of the first Orlando bars to kickstart the craft-cocktail movement here, the Courtesy is a don’t-miss on any true connoisseur’s barhop. Truly creative drink recipes are tested exhaustively before hitting the menu – no “hey, this might be good” sloppiness here – and only a few customer favorites stick around through the menu’s seasonal updates. In addition to the delicious drinks, the vibe is sophisticated without being stuffy: Lighting and sound levels are both pleasingly low, while style points for the vintage furnishings and long banquette are high.
Equal parts craft beer joint, sports bar and restaurant, Crafted endeavors to be something for everyone with mixed results. The modern pub-grub fare is highlighted by a decent selection of messy burgers fashioned from a mix of short rib, brisket and chuck. The cottage pie with steak tips is also worth considering, but be wary of overdressed Cajun snapper and insipid barbecue-rubbed grilled wings. There’s a nice selection of craft brews available on tap or by the bottle.
It’s hard to find a clunker in this downtown brasserie’s menu of approachable French cuisine, be it starters like French onion soup (a specialty), tomato water risotto or Vietnamese seafood stew, or entrees like steak frites, moules frites or vermouth-braised pork cheeks. Partake in their progressive cocktail program, or enjoy one of the many French wines by the glass offered. Closed Sundays.
It’s a place that can make a couple looking for craft cocktails just as happy as a crowd who just want to split a few pitchers of beer. The splashing fountain and tropical landscaping make it picturesque (when the weather’s nice), the menu is a good balance of satisfying bar snacks and more upscale fare, and the best movies in town are screening inside, just steps away. Unbeatable.
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