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Coolest Dive Bars in Orlando

I’ll take a cool hole in the wall dive bar over some trendy club scene any day of the week. Sure, they may be dirty, loud, and a bit ugly on the outside. But, inside they are full of character, cool people, and cheap beer. What more could you ask for in a good bar? Lucky for you, Orlando has a pretty nice selection of cool dive bars all across the city. Below are some of our favorites. Got another favorite dive bar to add to the list? Just leave a comment below!

Eye Spy

2950972007_6ac3dc9dd2_mEye Spy is located in downtown Orlando specializing in giant crowds, dancing and music. There is no cover and the bar is equipped with several hidden rooms, including the naughty room, which elicits notorious feedback from bar patrons. Recently, the bar installed fans for the heated throngs of dancers in order to prevent heat exhaustion. This bar is steeped in originality because of the numerous theme rooms that are hidden from common eye. In fact, there is an Anne Frank room that opens secretly behind a large bookcase. Moreover, cameras are strategically located in the phone booth of all places, as well as, the hidden rooms; oftentimes people are unaware that they are on film. The crowds vary depending on which night, but one thing remains certain: The bar is captivatingly dark and mildly mysterious. The help is efficient and kind, and they pour generously so as to bring the customers back.


3440261129_8db5895c07_mCasey’s in downtown Orlando sits corner-side basking in the warm glow of surging streetlights. The bar is reminiscent of college days and appeals to perhaps a wider array of people as well. The walls in the bar contain outdated movies harkening into the eighties and nineties era. These posters make for great canvases for drunken patrons to add their very own artistic vision. Casey’s, besides having friendly and attentive staff, makes extremely powerful drinks and the patrons are well aware of this fact; perhaps this is why the crowds stringently find fewer substitutes. For nights when the bar is relatively slow, this is a perfect time to capitalize on this fact, and bring in your entourage. There is outdoor seating available because the inside leaves a little to be desired. Sundays offer great music and its less full, which allows for a multitude of activities to go on. Casey’s uniquely offers popped popcorn nearing the bathrooms, which begs the question: Do people take their popcorn into the bathroom with them? Or, do they exit the bathroom and collect their popcorn on the way out. Either way, use caution and eat the popcorn only under the direst of circumstances.

The Lodge

3052506957_95bf34a65c_mThe Lodge, located in downtown Orlando on Orange avenue resembles an actual lodge, but perhaps what is most impressive, might be that the bar lighting turns it into a garage-like atmosphere. The glare from the brick roof bounces off the shiny gold tables exuding a beautiful warm light. Furthermore, the cabin-like environment offers a cozy, yet abundant area to dance, mingle or just hang out with friends. In addition to its warm environment, this bar seems to cater to an older crowd than most downtown bars in the area. Comfort seems to be the recurring motif in this bar: comfortable attire, comfortable environment, staff, etc. On a humorous note: The bar consistently celebrates Christmas in July. The pervading decorations seem to outlast even the slightest consideration as to why they are on display. Although unusual, rarely to patrons find the decor that odd, because after all, it is a lodge. If you are there on an extremely special night, it may even snow in there.


The seedily cloaked Mako’s offers up an unusual blend of debauchery and humor to its patrons. The near adolescent ghouls lurking in every corner find the most ridiculous moment to attempt a grope at an unsuspecting female. If you are a woman with morals and values, this may not be the place. Although, if what you are looking for is some downright dirty entertainment, then this might be the perfect choice. The staff borders on nakedness, and for the most part, they are relatively attractive. Grimy caked sediment and sticky spongy napkins begin to accumulate on the floor, and if you are not careful, you may soon have a trail of filth following you. Take caution when leaving the bathroom so as not to collect debris and take it into the main room. This club could certainly be seen in a third-world country. For a nominal fee, gentlemen may pay a trollop to sit on their laps while swinging. There is no reason to be ashamed if this is your type of entertainment, but it may not be for the weak at heart.

The Barbq

The Barbq hipster bar is located in downtown Orlando and it offers eighties music in an authentic and mild mannered atmosphere. You may find Robert Smith of the Cure, or perhaps Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode; actually, you have probably just run into their dopplegangers. The bartenders convey and possibly promote the very hipster type of mentality. So much of this bar neighbors the Eye Spy bar which make one question which one is which. Even these supposedly benevolent hipsters can at times become rude and drunk, so the patient staff relies on old bar tricks to keep them in line. Those tricks might be pretending not to see them, or becoming too busy to help. However, the staff is more than pleasant and patient.