Bars in Sanford

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At La Sirena Gorda Cabana—a.k.a "The Fat Mermaid"—you won't get to eat Mexican food with real-life mermaids, but but you likely won't mind. There are better options. The crowd-pleasing cinnamon margarita, for instance, gives palates something to think about with a complex mix of spice and tequila. Then there's the verdant lawn where folks can enjoy favorites such as papas rellenas or smothered burritos in a breezy al fresco dinner setting. The cozy interior gives the outdoor seats a run for their money with live music and convivial karaoke nights, both perfect soundtracks for a flavorful platter of pork-topped nachos.

118 S Palmetto Ave
Sanford,
FL
US

World of Beer draws barley astronauts in its gravitational pull, boasting 40 craft draft beers from around the globe and a collection of asteroid-sized pub bites. The bar’s expert staff pairs beer lovers with superb selections such as Magic Hat #9 ($5), a crisp English ale, and Lost Coast Tangerine Wheat ($5), which piques palates with citrusy flavors flowing through the confluence of wheat, crystal malts, and Perle hops. Add salty satisfaction to a hopping hop-laden party with an order of soft pretzels ($4) or pretzel bites ($4), or talk sense into a Stone Arrogant Bastard Ale ($6) with a pastrami sammie ($9) or buffalo chicken dip ($8). Sip suds on the outdoor patio or inside among the brick walls, warm lighting, and numerous flat-screen TVs. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights, live music enables rhythmic imbibing and air-drumming using plates of beef sticks ($1).

1125 Townpark Ave
Lake Mary,
FL
US

When French native Joel Martin was young, his family moved to Africa. While there, Joel learned to stalk many jungle creatures including crocodiles with the help of his Malgache friends. Years later, in 1995, Martin packed up his own family and moved them to Florida, where the heat and humidity reminded him of his beloved childhood in Africa. Today he owns and operates Black Hammock Adventures, located near some of Orlando's busiest attractions, and charters picturesque airboat rides on the gator-infested waters of Lake Jesup. His boat, equipped with Goliath's desk fan, skims earplugged riders past alligators and other lake fauna at speeds of up to 45 miles per hour. During rides, experienced guides pilot the vessel safely through narrow creeks and shallow wetlands, and help tourists to spot sunning reptiles. After zooming by a congregation of gators, guests can stop by Black Hammock's free wildlife exhibit, enjoy a lively libation at the Lazy Gator Bar with live music every weekend, sit down at the full service restaurant featuring Executive Chef Barth that is known for its fried gator tail, or hand over their cameras as they pose for pictures with a live baby alligator or barter for an autograph with hunks of raw meat.

2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd.
Oviedo,
FL
US

Hugo Joe’s seasoned culinarians answer the persistent calls of hungry bellies with a menu brimming with flame-licked specialties from the U.S. and around the globe seven days a week. Discuss the many traits of the multifarious cucumber over a pile of tangy fried pickles with sour cream ($4.99) before making your way to a hearty oven-baked chicken parmigiana sub ($7.49) or a texas burger, a veggie-and-swiss-topped slab of succulence nestled between slices of texas toast ($8.99). For a taste of Italy that doesn’t require an ample licking of a world atlas, order one of the shrimp and pasta dishes ($15.99) or opt for the baked ziti covered in three cheeses and house sauce ($10.49). The wings ($6.49/half-dozen), coated with a choice of sauce, target mouths in the mood for bison airfoils. Stamp a palette’s passport with the mark of Switzerland sans ink with a wienerschnitzel ($14.49), or conquer a bucket of Hugo Joe’s signature oysters ($24.99).

1802 West Broadway Street
Oviedo,
FL
US

The view of Florida wildlife from the lakeview terrace at The Lazy Gator Bar needs no food or drinks to make it worthwhile. Over buckets of beers and colorful mixed drinks resting on tables, the setting sun casts an orange-pink glow that adds a charming touch to the airboats coming in from a tour. This glow even makes Hammy look friendly––the 11-foot-long alligator who soaks in a pool at the live gator and bird exhibit adjoining Black Hammock Gift Shop. Waiters bring out bar snacks from the restaurant, while guests to linger over drinks as bands play live music on weekends.

2356 Black Hammock Fish Camp Rd
Oviedo,
FL
US

Amid the melodies of nightly karaoke, Devaney's marries hearty pub fare with daily drink specials. Signature cocktails and beer—from breweries including Bell's, Lagunitas, Victory, and Stone—wash back burgers, sandwiches, and wings. A surfeit of sports décor represents various teams battling on the flat-screen TVs, which beam down on tabletops and bar seating filled with patrons cheering as their favorite mascot executes a perfect high-five. The bar further engages crowds with Wednesday-night bingo, Thursday-night trivia, and weekly live bands, who are only sometimes possessed by ventriloquist dummies.

7660 University Blvd
Winter Park,
FL
US