Seafood is the local specialty -- fish, crabs, lobster, and oysters galore. For a great lobster burger lunch, the Loggerhead Caf? sits right on the water in John U. Lloyd Beach State Park. The dessert is the eye candy tanning on the beach below. An equally rustic and top quality seafood joint is Billy's Stone Crab Restaurant, which serves some of the freshest crab claws in the state. Downtown fine dining can be found at Lola's on Harrison, where chef Michael Wagner serves seasonal haute cuisine comfort food that would fit any major cosmopolitan metropolis.
For those who can't do without brunch, the Sugar Reef Tropical Grill is a French-owned boardwalk restaurant with all the right items, such as omelets, eggs benedict (weekends only), mimosas, and very friendly waiters. Every Sunday Josh's Organic Market opens onto the boardwalk (at Harrison Street) with an abundance of picnic-ready produce. The accompanying juice bar, also open Monday through Thursday evenings, customizes smoothies so fresh they taste like the fruit fell from the tree into the cup.
Hollywood's nightlife scene is not terribly interesting for the gays. But before skipping into Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood Vine, across the street from Lola's, is worth a stop for a glass of wine or two. This lovely wine store-cum-bar attracts classier local oenophiles and is beyond gay-friendly.
But those looking for the gayborhood should head north to Wilton Manors -- home to a uniquely American gay "strip mall," complete with the gay dance club Boom, a store called Gay Mart, and the coffee shop Java Boys. Also in the plaza: video bar Georgie's Alibi, an extensive joint with a big patio and rocking banquettes for late-night schmoozing.
Part One | Part Two