Outdoor drinking in Orlando
Places with cool patios and hot rooftop decks
Published: December 25, 2013
Church St. Tavern
120 W. Church St., 407-597-0270, thechurchsttavern.com
With lots of dark wood, high tin ceilings and cool old chandeliers, this place looks like it’s right out of a movie set. The menu is made up of inspired pub grub – kielbasa sliders, five different kinds of fries – and the beer menu is unpretentious. Try a specialty cocktail, like the mango tree – mango rum with fresh avocado and mint. Football fans, take note: This Pittsburgh-inspired watering hole is an unabashed haven for Steelers fans.
1300 S. Orlando Ave., Maitland, 407-629-1088, enzian.org
With its gorgeous horseshoe-shaped wooden bar, movie-themed mixed drinks and upscale bar food, Eden Bar is the kind of place you could find just about anywhere. But what makes it so distinctly Florida is its relationship to the inimitable Enzian movie theater, which hosts outdoor movie screenings on the lawn under the Florida moonlight, the jungly foliage that makes the bar feel semi-tropical and the one-of-a-kind pastel-hued lunacy of the Bill Plympton mural along the wall.
42 W. Central Blvd., 407-849-5200, emberorlando.com
With its indoor and outdoor bars, Ember is a fashionable adult hangout with a Mediterranean piazza theme. The oh-so-sexy bar staff serves up reasonably priced drinks, which is surprising given the expensive look of the place. Ember also has a chic menu serving bar food with an upscale twist.
The Hammered Lamb
1235 N. Orange Ave., 407-704-3200, facebook.com/thehammeredlamb
The Lamb is a friendly restaurant/watering hole in the former digs of Ethos Vegan Kitchen. Opt for a seat at the covered patio bar (bar and table seating are available inside), which is a prime spot considering the cool breeze coming off the lake right across the street. Once you hear the roar of an oncoming train, it’ll mean “train shots” (blueberry-infused 44º North vodka) for all, courtesy of the bar.
903 Mills Market
903 S. Mills Ave., 407-898-4392
903 Mills Market is the quintessential neighborhood gathering place. What began as a convenient market has evolved into the heart of this charming downtown neighborhood. There’s not a lot of space inside, so the outdoor patio is where the crowd gathers.
4201 S. Orange Ave., 407-240-2557, julieswaterfront.biz
There’s good cooking going on at Julie’s on Lake Jennie, far enough south of downtown not to be trendy, but still a lure to locals – from the mayor to the Everyman. Sit in the plastic chairs on the back deck to down the famous fried seafood and pitchers of cold beer.