Spoiler alert: There is more to Orlando than just theme parks and family-friendly attractions. What most people don’t know is that it is also a stand-up comedy mecca. There are multiple places to go any day of the week, and famous comedians have started their careers right here in Orlando. So if you feel like you are drowning in stress and need to unwind with a good laughing session, then try out these 10 local hotspots.
1. The Other Bar
The Other Bar has become a classic for stand-up comedy in Orlando. The Other Bar hosts different local comedians every week. It’s a small hole-in-the-wall bar with a lot of charm and great prices on drinks for college students.
18 Wall St. | Stand-up begins at 9 p.m.
2. Jack's Pub n' Grub
The name says it all. This venue is a classic pub complete with pool tables and a wide and fairly priced beer selection. The menu serves classic and tasty bar food, such as chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, hamburgers and fish n’ chips.
5494 Central Florida Parkway | Stand-up begins at 9 p.m.
3. The Falcon
This is not your typical bar scene. This bar is unique because it is a hybrid bar and art gallery, and it serves craft beers and wines. It is dog-friendly and is perfect for those who like their comedy with a side of culture.
819 E. Washington St. | Stand-up starts at 8 p.m.
4. The Geek Easy
Described on its website as “a sports bar for nerds ... with no sports,” this bar was created by a comic book store owner and boasts a superhero theme. It has a comedy open-mic night the first Wednesday of every month and serves a variety of burgers and sandwiches, such as Groot’s veggie burger and the 3-D grilled sandwich.
114 S. Semoran Blvd. | Stand-up begins at 8 p.m.
Spacebar is a hole-in-the-wall bar that hosts a comedy showcase. This bar is the epitome of the #TBT and the term “kicking it old school.” It features a wall of vinyl records and decor that makes you feel like you’re in a pop-rock music video. Spacebar is the perfect place for some great laughs.
2428 E. Robinson St. | Stand-up starts at 10 p.m.
6. The Caboose
The definition of a dive bar in the best possible way, The Caboose is perfect for those who enjoy a straightforward, no-frills atmosphere. Bonus points: Rumor has it that Caboose has a resident dog that you can pet if you visit!
1827 N. Orange Ave. | Stand-up starts at 8 p.m.
7. Drunken Monkey
Friday at the Drunken Monkey is comedy showcase night. Come out and see local comedians while drinking some of the best coffee in Orlando. The Drunken Monkey has a classic college-town coffeehouse feel and serves healthy breakfast and lunch food all day, such as quiches and grilled wraps.
444 N. Bumby Ave. | Stand-up starts at 8:30 p.m.
8. Mikki V's BBQ and Grill
This full-service bar features a menu with a wide variety of options, such as mac and cheese, barbecue, chicken and shrimp. A great casual hang-out spot with delicious food. If you want to forgo the typical bar experience for a more relaxed night out, then Mikki V’s is the place for you.
156 Tuskawilla Road | Stand-up starts at 8 p.m.
9. Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre - The Garden Room
Sleuths caters more towards the Orlando tourists, but you can’t beat the talent. Sleuths Mystery Dinner Theatre features both up-and-coming and professional touring comedians and also serves drinks and food. Admission to the event is free with the purchase of any drink from the Sleuths’ bar.
8267 International Drive | Stand-up starts at 10 p.m.
10. Austin's Coffee
What better way to end your weekend than with some laughter and a nice cup of coffee? This bohemian cafe offers a large variety of coffee, plus craft beer and organic wine. During the day, it’s a great place to relax and get work done, but at night, Austin’s hosts a wide variety of entertaining events. The comedy open-mic night is always a crowd-pleaser.
929 W. Fairbanks Ave. | Stand-up starts at 9 p.m.
Jillian James is a contributing writer for the Central Florida Future.