Beer makes us hungry. That's a pretty well established fact. But in years past, you had to settle for whatever salty snacks were available behind the bar if you wanted to fill your stomach after knocking back a few rounds. You might have been able to get a burger or some loaded fries if you were drinking at the right place. But in recent years, bar culture has really stepped up its food game. Whether they're preparing top-notch takes on old classics in their own kitchens or inviting up-and-coming chefs by once a week for adventurous pop-ups, Orlando watering holes have embraced the bar food for foodies trend. Here are three that we think are worth your time.
Market on Magnolia150 S. Magnolia Ave. | 407-412-9230 | marketonmagnolia.com
Downtown's first "food hall," located in the former Frank & Stein's spot on the corner of Magnolia Avenue and Church Street, retains the wall of beer taps installed by the former tenant. But instead of pairing an overpriced hot dog with your suds, you can now try food from three different and distinct kitchens set up around the space. Da Kine Poké, known for their poké food truck that we named "Best Reason to Scrape a Bowl" in our Best of Orlando 2016 issue, offers Hawaiian bowls of rice, fish and an array of toppings. The pizza oven at 081 Wood Fired Pizza can cook you a signature Neapolitan pizza in mere minutes. Or you can tuck into big, meaty sandwiches from Belle Isle's venerable Gnarly Barley. With high quality all around, the only tough part of taking in a lunch and brew at Market on Magnolia is deciding which spot is going to get your money.
Redlight Redlight2810 Corrine Drive | 407-893-9832 |redlightredlightbeerparlour.com
Audubon Park's mecca for beer nerds from across the country has had a long history of supporting the local food scene. Regulars may remember frequent appearances from Bruno Zacchini's (of Pizza Bruno fame) Bruno's Big Bites cart at the previous location on Bennett Road. But the bigger space on Corrine Drive has allowed them to bring in even more gourmet bites for those who are as discerning in their dinners as they are in their beers. Papa Llama, a pop-up kitchen specializing in Peruvian bites like lomo saltado and braised carne over jasmine rice, makes frequent stops. And regular pop-ups from Winter Park's Swine & Sons are being reciprocated this week when Redlight Redlight co-hosts the Order of the Red Banner Dinner – a beer dinner with several different variations of Cigar City's Marshal Zhukov's Imperial Stout – at the Fairbanks Avenue eatery. Keep an eye on Redlight's Facebook page for info on upcoming events, or just roll the dice and drop in pretty much any night of the week.
The Bear & Peacock1288 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park | 407-801-2714 | thebearandpeacock.com
The Bear & Peacock, which is the taproom attached to Winter Park's Brewstillery, which is the home of Winter Park Distilling Company (yes, it's complicated) hosts weekly pop-ups from Yuki Hana every Thursday from 5-9:30 p.m. The Oviedo sushi shop sets up a satellite kitchen in the courtyard, serving pork-belly bao and various yakitori meat skewers for you to nibble on while sipping on house-made beer, bourbon, vodka and rum. Not all at once, though.