Best gay bars and clubs in Fort Lauderdale – 2019

Stefan Arestis

Fort Lauderdale is out, loud and fabulously proud! Over the past few decades it has become one of the gayest places in the States and was even featured as the ultimate gay holiday for the boys in the trashy movie – “Another Gay Sequel: Gays Gone Wild!”

In terms of gay scene, Wilton Manors is the vibrant gayborhood of Fort Lauderdale, which comes alive every night of the week. 

We've been to Fort Lauderdale several times, mainly due to the abundance of inexpensive flights from Europe. We used JustFly to search and book our flights, which we recommend because they offer a comprehensive range of options allowing you to search for the lowest prices. We also recommend searching for options to Miami Airport, which is only a 45 minute drive away, to maximise your flight options. 

However and whenever you visit Fort Lauderdale, you're guaranteed to have a great time with warm weather: temperatures rarely dip below 25 degrees (77 Fahrenheit).

STAY WITH A GAY LOCAL

Misterb&b is the Airbnb equivalent for the LGBTQ community. Unlike on Airbnb, you know your host is gay, avoiding any nasty surprises when you check in. It is also a great way to meet gay locals and discover the underground gay scene. Click below to get 10 € (or $10) off your first booking.

The gay area of Fort Lauderdale

The main gay area of Fort Lauderdale is Wilton Manors, located around 15 minutes drive inland from the beach. Wilton Manors comprises several blocks with many gay bars, clubs, boutique gay shops, cafes and restaurants. The biggest parties take place on weekends, but there is always a large crowd on every night of the week.

Nearby to Wilton Manors is a small Bohemian road called “Eucalyptus Gardens”. It has a handful of open minded and very colourful cafes like Voo La Voo, as well really cool street art murals. If you're looking for a gay shop to stock up on your fetish gear, buy new swimwear and other accessories, check out Pride Factory.

Finally, be sure to check out the Stonewall National Museum for an excellent history lesson about LGBTQ culture, as well as the World AIDS Museum for a fascinating insight about the history of HIV and the steps taken to alleviate it.

Walking through Eucalyptus Gardens
Taking a stroll together through the Bohemian streets of Eucalyptus Gardens

Gay bars of Fort Lauderdale

There are many gay bars in Fort Lauderdale, mainly based in Wilton Manors, some of which also double up as a restaurant. Our advice is to head to Alibi and see where the night takes you. Here are some of the main gay bars of Fort Lauderdale worth checking out. Unless otherwise stated, all bars listed are found in Wilton Manors and are open daily until around 2/3am.

  • Georgie's Alibi/Monkey Bar: one of the largest gay bars in Wilton Manors, where you're bound to end up at at some stage. It has a large outdoor terrace for smokers with a small bar. Inside it has a large bar area where shows take, a separate dance area and an additional room for latino music and drag shows. Next door it also has a restaurant which serves up some pretty decent burgers.
  • thePUB: we love the drag shows at thePUB. It's a smaller venue than Alibi but the female impersonators are hilarious. They usually have a drag or cabaret show on most nights of the week. They also serve food and have a daily 2-4-1 happy hour from 11am-9pm.
  • DrYnk: fun cozy bar in Wilton Manors famous for their draft beers and cocktails. We like the more chilled atmosphere here, but still gets quite busy and rowdy on weekends.
  • Le Boy: this is where the twinks (and their fans) hang out. Look out for their Thursday strip contests and happy hour from Tuesday to Sunday from 2-8pm. Le Boy is closed on Mondays but open every other day until around 2/3am.
  • Gym Bar: one for sports fans (and their fans!) Gym bar plays the latest football/baseball/hockey match on the TV screens and has pool tables. But to be honest, we came here more to ogle at the hot gay jocks rather than follow the latest baseball game!
  • Johnsons: a speakeasy lounge bar in Wilton Manors with live shows and really friendly, welcoming staff. They have themed nights like karaoke, drag night and more. Note that Johnsons is only open on Wednesdays to Sundays from 6pm until around 2/3am.
  • Infinity Lounge: one of the more sophisticated bars in Wilton Manors with very stylish and chic interiors. It's more intimate than the other bars and better for a romantic date than a wild night out with friends.
Seb and waiter at one of the best gay bars in Fort Lauderdale
Tip your barman well in Wilton Manors and he'll take good care of you!

Gay restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

There are many gay restaurants in and around Wilton Manors, which also double up as bars and are great places to come for dinner/drinks before going out to party. These are some of the best ones which we highly recommend from our personal experience:

  • Bubbles and Pearls: this is one of the best restaurants we ate at in Fort Lauderdale. It's owned and managed by lesbian couple Marcy and Josie (who is also head chef). Their oysters are absolutely delicious and their Key Lime Pie is one of the best we've tried in Florida. B&P is open daily from 5pm to 10pm (11pm on weekends).
  • Rosie’s Bar and Grill: we love coming here for a burger dinner before heading out to party in the Wilton Manors gay bars. Each week they produce a new Bow-Wow (Burger of the Week) and have a weekday happy hour from 11am to 7pm. Rosie's is open everyday from 11am to 11pm (midnight on weekends).
  • Lips Drag Show & Dinner: The Ultimate in Drag Dining! This is one of the best places to come for drag shows in Fort Lauderdale, with some really funny and entertaining shows to complement your meal. Lips is located in Oakland Park and is only open Tuesday-Sunday till 10pm (after midnight on weekends).
  • Rumors Bar & Grill: half sports bar, half restaurant with themed nights like $6 burgers on Mondays. They also have trivia nights and fundraiser events to look out for. Rumors is open daily from 11am to 2am (3am on weekends).
Trying the famous Key Lime Pie of Bubbles and Pearls gay restaurant in Fort Lauderdale
Bubbles and Pearls one of our favourite gay restaurants in Fort Lauderdale

Gay clubs of Fort Lauderdale

These are some of the best gay clubs in Fort Lauderdale. Unless otherwise stated they are in Wilton Manors and open daily until around 2/3am:

  • Hunters: the main gay club in town, which we ended up at almost every time we partied in Wilton Manors. There's always something happening here, whether it's karaoke night or “Fur Friday” Bear night. When we came here on a Saturday evening it was packed, but a lot of fun.
  • The Manor Complex: a weekend only gay club in Wilton Manors, open from 11pm to 4am on Fridays and Saturdays. It's huge with 3 rooms of music spread over 2 levels, as well as a lavish VIP room. If the Andrew Christian models are doing a show in town, it's bound to take place here.
  • Ramrod: Fort Lauderdale's famous leather, levi and uniform fetish bar with themed nights every day of the week. For example, Monday is “3 Dollar Night” and Friday is leather night. Check their website for the most up to date information about each event happening.
  • Boardwalk: gay club which is famous for their margaritas, male dancers and $5 meals after midnight from their “Beefcake Grill”. They have a themed night every evening. Our favourite was Thursday's “Latin Night”. Check their Facebook page for the most up to date information.
Hunters one of the best gay clubs in Fort Lauderdale
Hunters was one of our favourite gay clubs in Wilton Manors

To read more, including the best gay beaches, events and gay hotels, check out our comprehensive gay guide to Fort Lauderdale.

Happy travels are safe travels

We recommend you always take out travel insurance before your next vacation. What happens if you suffer from illness, injury, theft or a cancellation? With travel insurance, you can have peace of mind and not worry. We love World Nomads travel insurance and have been using it for years. Their comprehensive coverage is second to none and their online claims process is very user friendly.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation, an activity or your insurance, we’ll earn a small commission. There is never an extra cost to you for using these links and it helps us keep the site going.

For more Floridian inspiration, check out the following:

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Stefan Arestis

Stefan is the co-founder, editor and author the gay travel blog nomadicboys.com. As a travel nerd, he has explored more than 80 countries across 5 continents. What he loves the most about travelling is discovering the local gay scene, making new friends and learning new cultures. His advice about LGBTQ travel has been featured in Gay Times, Gaycities, Pink News, Gay Star News, Attitude and Towleroad. He has also written about gay travel for other non-gay specific publications including Lonely Planet, The New York Times, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. Stefan is also a qualified lawyer, having practised as a commercial property litigator in London for over 10 years. He left his lawyer days behind to work full time on Nomadic Boys with his husband Sebastien. Find out more about Nomadic Boys.

4 thoughts on “Best gay bars and clubs in Fort Lauderdale – 2019”

  1. Lauderdale is my hometown & there’s tons to do here — the World Aids Museum is small but a great place run by great people. I also recommend checking out the Pride Center at Equality Park which is just down the road and always has lots of events going on – they’re actually the folks who organize Wicked Manors on Halloween (always amazing!). Once a month on the 1st Saturday they host a BIG community flea market with lots of vendors selling antiques, jewelry, clothing plants, and more. It’s a lot of fun and pulls in big crowds.

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