Craft Coffee, Craft Beer, Lovecraft? Night Spots around UCF Have It All

The University of Central Florida’s team is the Golden Knights. As such, medieval names are pervasive among the haunts in East Orlando that border the campus. Cases in point:the Knight Library, a college hang if ever there was. Those in that age range may enjoy the camaraderie of their cohorts in such a haunt. UCF alums and others may enjoy mixed company at other venues. Craft beer enthusiasts will find their fantasies fulfilled at the World of Beer, but also at the Public House, another haven for hops, and an independent choice, as well. Coffee and tea aficionados might head to Vespr Craft Coffee & Allures and burgeoning oenophiles can hit the tasting room at the Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurant. They may decide to stay for a whole bottle. If it takes more than the menu and tap selection to pique your interest, consider bowling a few frames – perhaps even line dancing – at nearby Firkin & Kegler. And gaming geeks? If any even care about who’s playing at Bright House, they may not once they hear about the Cloak & Blaster, a phenomenally creative addition to the area that combines gaming – card, tabletop and video – with a friendly neighborhood tavern where sci-fi and fantasy are the order of every evening.

East Orlando


The Knight Library, quite simply, is College Bar Central. Depending on when you show, it could lean more sports bar or more dance club, but nightly specials cater aggressively to the local student populace. Single Saturdays, for example, feature...  Read More



This massive family entertainment center features a vast bowling area, bars, billiards, darts and an arcade. It's equally appropriate for kids birthday parties and grown-ups' nights out to do something a little different with friends. The Firkin...  Read More



Cooper's Hawk is winery based in Chicago. How's that, you ask? Simple: they fly in high-quality grapes from west coast regions – California, Oregon and Washington – and craft the wines in Chi. Since 2005, its tasting room/bar/restaurant...  Read More



Folks throw the "craft" word around quite a bit of late. At Vespr, they really mean it. With a philosophy that's rooted not only in the handmade production of fine beverages but sustainability and creative comfort, as well, Vespr offers visitors...  Read More



With a rotating roster of nearly 20 machines, this unassuming little gem of retro-hip sits tucked inside the aging-but-charming Oviedo Bowling Center (which actually suits it quite well). With a host of beers available – including locally...  Read More



The name says it all, doesn't it? Fans of this franchise, which has capitalized on the exploding popularity of craft beer, can never try everything they'd like on one visit. The UCF-area location is no different, offering a vast array of cans,...  Read More



Geeks, you have a home. And yea, though you may have thought it was in Middle Earth or the Seven Kingdoms or on the forest moon of Endor, it's actually in Waterford Lakes. Which means travel time will not cut into your gaming. Welcome to the...  Read More

East Orlando


First off, CaddyShanks knows it's beverages. Beer enthusiasts will have a massive list from which to choose (over 150 bottles and drafts; there's an impressive ine list, too!) while they navigate more than 25 high-def screens that feature all...  Read More

East Orlando


Amid a sea of chain offerings and college bars that seem, well, extremely college-y, the Public House offers a decidedly 21+ haven for lovers of craft beer who don't want to stray too far from campus. Or home. Locals are discovering the charms...  Read More



A welcome addition to the East Orlando dining and drinking scene, DeVine Wine Bar & Grill is a decided culinary uptick amid its strip mall brethren (a pancake house, a wing joint) offering creative, seasonal small plates for sharing...  Read More


Meet A.D. Thompson

A.D. Thompson has spent more than 20 years as a professional writer and roughly 15 as a Floridian. The words, she has found, come easier with bare feet and rum.

A roller coaster enthusiast,...  More About A.D.