One of South Florida's top dining and retail areas for gay-chic factor is the uber-gay community of Wilton Manors, on the north side of Fort Lauderdale. With obscenely rich and delicious baked goods, aromatic fair-trade coffee drinks, and fresh sandwiches and salads, gay-friendly Stork's Cafe & Bakery is right in the heart of Wilton Manors, at 2505 N.E. 15th Ave. (954-567-3220).
Stork's was begun by openly gay political figure and business owner Jim Stork, who served as Mayor of Wilton Manors in the early 2000s and who continues to be a prominent leader in Fort Lauderdale's gay community. The cafe has a hugely gay following, although anybody who loves tasty baked treats and good food loves this place. There used to be a branch on Las Olas Boulevard - that one is gone, but a second Stork's now operates in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Davie, not far from the airport, at 3325 South University Dr (954-473-4460).
The Wilton Manors branch is right in the heart of that community's business district, close to several gay bars, shops, and restaurants. It has a patio as well as a cozy indoor seating area, but the setting is rather ordinary, looking out at busy Northeast 15th Avenue. The big draw is the food - and coffee. Stork's serves several varieties of coffee each day, with the usual array of espresso drinks. Desserts are reliably decadent - big, chewy chocolate-chip cookies; chambord mousse torte; carrot cake packed with toasted pecans; and a particularly memorable orange-caramel mousse cake. Come here looking to satisfy your sugar fix, and you won't leave disappointed.
For savory fare, Stork's scores high marks for its creative salads and sandwiches (all using fresh-baked bread, such as San Francisco sourdough and olive bread). Favorites include the Hello Kitty (tuna salad with fresh dill, sweet peas, and sliced red onion and tomatoes), and the Mykonos (over-roasted chicken breast, fresh spinach, crunchy cucumber, and Greek feta dressing in a wheat wrap). There's also a very tasty Caprese salad with mixed baby field greens, vine-ripened beefsteak tomatoes, fresh Mozzarella, basil, Calamata olives, and cracked pepper with extra-virgin olive oil.
Both locations of Stork's are open early and close late, at midnight.