The 5 best gay bars in Fort Lauderdale

The 5 best gay bars in Fort Lauderdale

When it comes to gorgeous gay-friendly travel destinations across the United States, it’s hard to beat the indisputable gay capital of Florida: ever-so-fabulous Fort Lauderdale. Home to sun-dappled gay beaches, a large number of male-only gay resorts, and a booming number of gay-owned businesses, Fort Lauderdale boasts both big-time thrills and laid-back beach town appeal. Gay nightlife in Fort Lauderdale is vibrant and diverse, reflecting the city’s status as a perennial LGBTQ vacation mecca. For the heart of gay Fort Lauderdale make a beeline for Wilton Manors, where you’ll happen upon many of the city’s premier gay bars and clubs. From moody lounges to laid-back patios, here are our five favourite gay bars in Fort Lauderdale—all clear testaments to why the gay community just can’t get enough of sunny and seductive Fort Lauderdale.

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Photo: Lance Asper

Photo: Lance Asper

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While most of the top gay bars in Fort Lauderdale are found in Wilton Manors, you’ll find a smattering of hip, gay-popular venues all across the city

1. DrYnk

If you only visit one gay bar in Fort Lauderdale, make it DrYnk. This stylish lounge in Wilton Manors delivers on all fronts. Cute and insanely talented bar staff? Check. Chic decor with comfortable furniture, dark velvet walls, and intimate lighting? You got it. A spacious, palm-dotted patio with a fire pit for those chilly Florida evenings? Yes, sir. While the weekends tend to be bustling, DrYnk is always a class-act, ideal for carefree afternoon Happy Hours that effortlessly turn into late nights on the town. Craft cocktails take center stage at DrYnk. The speciality martinis are delightful; expect light and refreshing concoctions that feature kiwi, passionfruit, and cucumber. That said, the Ultimate French 75 is absolute perfection with gin, fresh lemon, and prosecco. While DrYnk effortlessly exudes class and style, this Wilton Manor mainstay never feels pretentious. Everyone is welcome here—lovers, friends, and even those who prefer an ice-cold beer to a speciality crafted cocktail. DrYnk is open daily from 2 pm until 2 am, and Happy Hour extends every day from 2 pm to 8 pm.

2. The Pub Wilton Manors

Founded in 2012 but fresh off a recent remodel and redesign, The Pub Wilton Manors continues to cement itself as Fort Lauderdale’s go-to gay-popular entertainment venue. With goings-on, most nights of the week, the event calendar at The Pub includes both local and internationally known performers, DJs, and VJs. Any of the drag or cabaret events promise a riotously fun time, with creative themes like “Ladies Who Brunch” and “Drink and Drag.” In addition to the social atmosphere, come for the on-point menu and daily food specials. As the name suggests, the offerings sway towards pub grub with dishes like speciality burgers, lick-lipping chicken wings, and shareable starters that don’t shy away from fried favourites. You’ll find The Pub open daily from 8 am until 2 am, meaning you can enjoy this gay Fort Lauderdale neighbourhood favourite at any time of the day.

Photo: Sam Mar

Photo: Sam Mar

Photo: Emil Widlund

Photo: Emil Widlund

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3. Mona's

While most of the top gay bars in Fort Lauderdale are found in Wilton Manors, you’ll find a smattering of hip, gay-popular venues all across the city. Such is the case with Mona’s, a friendly neighbourhood cocktail bar squirrelled away next to the railroad tracks on Sunrise Boulevard. With its dog-friendly outdoor terrace, eclectic decor, and notable dive bar ambience, Mona’s has drawn a devoted crowd of locals seeking to escape overpriced Fort Lauderdale tourist traps for over 20 years. The bar staff is as amicable as they come, and you’d be forgiven for mistaking this neighbourhood haunt for a gay Cheers come to life. Become a bonafide regular, and everyone really will know your name. Bingo, karaoke, and shows populate the events calendar, alongside regular fundraisers and charity events for a variety of important local causes. Note that this is one of the few Fort Lauderdale gay bars where smoking is still allowed inside. Stop by daily between noon and 2 am.

Photo: Matthew Menendez

Photo: Matthew Menendez

4. Hunters Nightclub

We love an intimate conversation over a stiff drink, but sometimes the night simply calls for DJs, dancing, and general debauchery that extends into the early morning hours. There are a handful of gay clubs in Fort Lauderdale, but Hunters Nightclub is hands-down the poshest. After a massive renovation and remodel, Hunters now features a spacious dance floor complete with a giant video screen, video bar, and upstairs lounge. An advanced light system, state of the art JBL sound system, sexy go-go dancers, and internationally acclaimed DJs further round out the already elevated clubbing experience. Most importantly, the atmosphere is always fun and friendly, and the staff consistently passionate and energetic. Regular karaoke, trivia, line dancing, and cabaret evenings draw a loyal crowd of locals all nights of the week. And while nightclubs aren’t typically where you expect to discover trailblazing mixology, the house liquors at Hunters are never less than mid-range spirits like Finlandia Vodka and Canadian Club. The operating hours vary slightly throughout the week; doors open Monday through Thursday 3pm – 2am; Friday 2pm – 3am; Saturdays from 3pm – 3am; Sundays from 2pm – 2am.

Photo: Luis Quintero

Photo: Luis Quintero

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With outposts in Los Angeles, Manhattan, and, now, Fort Lauderdale, GYM is America’s most popular gay sports bar

5. GYM Sports Bar

With outposts in Los Angeles, Manhattan, and, now, Fort Lauderdale, GYM is America’s most popular gay sports bar—and an ideal spot in Wilton Manor to cheer on your number one team. There’s always a game playing on the many large-screen, high definition TVs, but a pool table, darts, and basement lounge make this a welcoming gay Fort Lauderdale bar to amble away an afternoon no matter the affair. The menu is in-line with classic sports bars serving up mean burgers, fries, and wings. Once a month GYM also hosts Taco Bear, a monthly Taco and craft beer event where Bears and their friends will feel particularly welcome. The walls are covered in sports memorabilia brought in by customers, so bring some swag if you want to ensure your team is represented. 2-4-1 drinks until 9 pm are a steal. Stop in Monday-Friday from 4:00pm – 2:00am; Saturday from Noon – 3am; Sunday from Noon – 3am.

Photo: Alex Azabache

Photo: Alex Azabache

Photo: Jonas Jacobsson

Photo: Jonas Jacobsson

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