Closer to the beach than Wilton Manors hangouts, Dudes (3270 N.E. 33rd St., 954-568-7777) is a fairly standard gay neighborhood male-strip bar with occasional piano cabaret and other live shows. It's a good bet if you're in the area, but it's a dated-looking space that lacks energy of many strip bars and other gay clubs in the area.
A classic, old-school diner along trendy Los Olas Boulevard, The Floridian (1410 E. Las Olas Blvd., 954-463-4041) is one of those longtime favorites for 24-hour snacking. It's near the beach (and so a short drive from many gay resorts), and the food here is pretty tasty, if predictable, including a huge assortment of eggs dishes, country-fried steak and eggs, smoked-salmon eggs Benedict, burgers, club sandwiches, salads, mahimahi sandwiches - the list goes on and on. At 2:30 am after the bars have closed, if you've worked up an appetite out dancing, you'll be happy this Fort Lauderdale institution exists.
With a huge following among Wilton Manors gays and lesbians and a sleek, modern interior with a large and comfortable outdoor seating area, Galanga (2389 Wilton Dr., 954-202-0000) is one of the best spots in the area for fresh and creatively prepared sushi rolls, sashimi, tom kha soup, Thai beef salad, and a wide range of Thai, Japanese, and Pan-Asian grills and noodle dishes: the "lobster love affair" with picked claw meat over avocado-mashed potatoes with a red curry sauce; crispy duck with a tamarind sauce; chicken over drunk noodles with a spicy basil sauce, and so on. The Elton John roll (salmon, white fish, cucumber, avocado, masago, tuna) is a favorite from the sushi list. Galanga serves big, pretty sake cocktails and other delicious drinks, and there's a nice wine list as well.
A mainstay gay video and sports bar of the Wilton Manors scene, Georgie's Alibi (2266 Wilton Dr., Wilton Manors, 954-565-2526) is a must for many a bar-hopping tourist and local. With other Georgie's bars in St. Petersburg and Palm Springs, this brand has become quite famous among gay revelers. The Wilton Manors branch is spacious and nicely laid out, with a big patio, and it's also a very popular option for light dining (sandwiches, salads, and the usual bar and comfort foods).
Greek Islands Taverna (3300 N. Ocean Blvd., 954-568-0008) - situated along the coast about 3 miles north of the Terramar Street gay resort area - among the top picks. The extensive menu features all the Hellenic classics, and then some: char-broiled lamb shops with oregano and lemon, whole Florida yellowtail snapper, taramosalata, keftedes, gyros, grilled octopus, avgolemono soup, and much more. There's a good wine list of Greek and other wines.
The logo featuring a beefy dude holding a slice of pizza should tell you the key things you need to know about Humpy's (2244 Wilton Dr., 954-566-2722), a casual, affordable pizza joint with a devoted gay following in central Wilton Manors. Stop in for wood-fired pizzas (New York-style, flatbread with a thin crust, or "healthy" with honey-wheat crust), plus panini, salads, calzones, pasta, and huge cupcakes available in a variety of flavors, from carrot cake to coconut.
In the same popular shopping center as Georgie's Alibi and Gay Mart, this friendly and comfy little coffeehouse serves a wide array of hot and iced coffee and other drinks - fairly standard desserts and sandwiches are also available, and there's free Wi-Fi. Java Boys (2230 Wilton Dr., 954-564-8828) open early in the morning till late at night, making it almost as much of a gay hot spot in the evenings as many nearby clubs and bars. This fixture in Wilton Manors is a big supporter of the community and local charitable organizations, and the staff is outgoing and fun.
More than 60 dancers work out of Johnny's (1116 W. Broward Blvd., 954-537-3777), which is something of a Fort Lauderdale fixture as gay strip clubs go. The guys here come in all shapes, sizes, and ethnicities, but tend toward the twink variety. The live shows start at 8 pm nightly.
Chef-owner Johnny Vinczencz has made a name for himself as one of South Florida's proponents of so-called "Floribbean" cuisine - contemporary, regionally focused fare that combines local ingredients (fresh produce and seafood, especially) with both Lain, Caribbean, and even a few Pan-Asia traditions. His smart, upscale Johnny V Restaurant & Lounge (625 E. Las Olas Blvd., 954-761-7920) is along Fort Lauderdale's pedestrian-friendly Las Olas retail and restaurant strip and serves terrific dishes like "bacon, eggs, and toast" (crisp pork belly with quail eggs, fig marmalade, and toast points); slightly seared tuna poke with soy-grilled pineapple and wasabi caviar; and ancho-cinnamon-crusted pork tenderloin with sweet potato hash and a chunky papaya-mango sauce. For a sophisticated, food-driven experience, Johnny V is hard to beat.
Lips (1421 E. Oakland Park Blvd., 954-567-0987), a dragalicious show bar and restaurant with performances every night but Monday, plus Sunday gospel brunch. The food, with drag-inspired names like April Chanel Caprese salad and Misty Eyez Atlantic salmon, tends toward creative American and Continental, and although attending a show is the big reason to eat here, the food is surprisingly well-prepared. Popular, of course, with the GLBT set, Lips also pulls in plenty of hetero tourists, bachelorette parties, and groups of friends celebrating birthdays and other events.