Bimini Bay Bar

Located just off of a particularly industrial stretch of Andrews Avenue, the Bimini Bay Bar has no windows, no lights, and no hope. There's a gun shop one block south, a tractor-trailer dealership one block north, and a "grocery store" attached to one side of the building that offers little other than potato chips, Slim Jims, and the pungent smell of old seafood. The bar itself is a musty, disorienting cave, chiefly illuminated by two televisions playing hard-core porn that occasionally features the bartenders. Women's underwear and a sombrero hang from the ceiling, and the bartenders wear bikinis even in the afternoon, which is also the only time enough light sneaks in to reveal, whenever someone opens the door, that one of the walls is made of brown plywood. Phil Collins is on the speakers, a giant NASCAR schedule hangs on one wall next to the dartboard, and a giant mirror behind the bar is almost entirely obscured by a red-eyed Jolly Roger. A can of Bud will cost you less than $3, but be warned — if you're not addicted to cigarettes on the way in, you sure as hell will be on the way out.

Mickey's Bar

Mickey's Bar may look different from other "family" establishments , but it is just as worthy of the title. Like a model family, Mickey's patrons gather to celebrate birthdays and holidays and, occasionally, to pay tribute to a family member who has passed on or who is going through tough times. Truly, the regulars here share something deeper than being fans of motorcycles. But one glance at the place or the folks who fill it daily and it's easy to see that Mickey's is worthy of the "biker bar" title as well.

Organic Brewery

Can't decide between getting drunk while doing some grade-A people-watching or taking the more contemplative route of imbibing to the point of inebriation over a dramatic view of the ocean's vastness? If that's the case, pull up a seat on the porch of Organic Brewery along Hollywood's Broadwalk and do both. The natural ebb and flow of Broadwalk strollers is a veritable conga line of flabby old-timers, trashy-T-shirt aficionados, and disappointed tourists. Tilt your head at the right angle and the railing of the porch blocks out this meandering gaggle of entertainment, leaving only the big blue sea in your line of sight. Some great beers are brewed on-site, and they don't carry the pretentious price tags often associated with microbrews. A hefty 35-ounce chalice of stout will set you back about $10, or you can go for a standard ten-ounce glass and save a few bucks and not look like a total lush. If your boozy sweet tooth takes over, just flip to the dessert menu and order the beer cake, a blend of hazelnut, raisins, dark beer, and two types of cheese. Have fun digesting that one.

Treasure Trove

The Treasure Trove is an institution on Fort Lauderdale beach. Neither hurricanes nor avaricious landlords can shake it from its moorings. But in rough seas or calm, it's Jenny who keeps things shipshape. She'll scold you for making a mess of the hot-sauce bottle on Taco Tuesday. She'll outright yell at you for using cocktail napkins to clean up a spill. But she'll also bring you a much-needed shot on a bad day, hide a friendly note in a to-go taco order for a coworker left back at the office, and generally make you feel like you've come home the minute you walk in the door. She's like your big sister forced to baby-sit you on a Saturday night. Yeah, she's having some friends over for a party, but if you shut up and play nice, she'll let you drink with the big kids.

Hott Leggz

Sometimes, all you need is a good meal, a cold beer, and a clear view of the game. In times like these, a visit to Hott Leggz will be nothing short of therapeutic, especially if you're a fan of Chicago sports. The laid-back, Chi-town bar just a mile or so from the beach is a favorite among locals for ending a day or beginning a night. Vintage Vienna Beef signs litter the walls, but the menu is not limited to hot dogs. Bayou favorites like gumbo and poor boys, an array of burger selections — including a delicious roasted veggie burger — and crab legs are among the most celebrated items. Wash down your meal with two-for-one drinks while seated at a high top equipped with a personal, high-def, flat-screen TV.

Maguire's Hill 16

Guinness is a beverage all about time. It should be imbibed the same way it's poured — with steady efficiency and a sense of purpose. Just the way it comes at Maguires Hill 16 in Fort Lauderdale. The first sign that you're getting a proper Guinness is that it takes at least twice as long to arrive as it does the rest of the drinks at the table — as well it should, since it takes 119.5 seconds to properly pour one. If you want a show with your drink, order your Guinness at the bar and watch how it's built. If it's still foaming when it arrives, wait for the head to fully settle. You want to palm the glass firmly and finish the pint in about ten manly swallows. Don't rush through it, but no sipping either. Just tell the bartender you're there to learn to appreciate Guinness. She'll teach you. It just takes time.

Matty's on the Drive

Situated in the heart of Wilton Manors and exemplifying that happily beating heart, Matty's is known and loved for its friendly atmosphere, which only gets friendlier as the cheap drinks go down. A favorite happy-hour spot, the bar serves two-for-one drinks daily until 9 p.m. and lots of party beyond that early hour. Although each night offers different specials on booze and tasty menu items, Wild Wednesdays is Matty's claim to fame. To ensure that everyone makes it completely over the hump, 75-cent drinks are offered until the wee hours of Thursday morning. More important, what is offered every day is an environment where you can relax. Pop in to enjoy a martini, shoot a game of pool, dance your ass off, or watch Glee. If you've not become acquainted already, you will quickly makes friends with this inviting Wilton Drive locale.

Tom Jenkins' Bar-B-Q
Anthony Cave

We know, we're not surprising anyone with this one. Yeah, the line stretches out the door around lunchtime on Saturday, and they retail their sauce in bottles. Yeah, at certain times of the day, it's not as good (though it's your fault if you expect great barbecue at odd hours). But goldangit, Tom Jenkins' and all of its carbonized, log-cabiny kitsch is just the most fun and satisfying place to get your rib-stickin' meat in this fair county. The building was repurposed and renovated years ago by the owners (neither of whom is named Tom Jenkins, despite the congratulatory letters addressed to him that are framed on the wall). Step inside and you're basically in the barbecue pit already, soaking up the smells as you stand in a line past rustic wooden tables and vintage kitsch. Once you get your meal, the magic is revealed: the burnt ends on the chopped pork border soft, pink morsels with just enough fat; ribs don't fall off the bone so much as gracefully pirouette into your mouth. The sauce, a tangy, just-sweet-enough concoction, isn't really necessary but a welcome compliment. Sides, like collard greens and baked beans, are dependable, and you get a hunk of corn bread for dippin'. Just as it should be.

New Moon

If smiles are at all contagious, there is one clear, sparkling reason that New Moon is a favorite "gayborhood" hangout for ladies who love to show off their pearly whites. Owner Carol Moran, whom one loyal patron describes as a "peach," sports a perma-smile bright enough to light the pages of a Jeanette Winterson novel, and regulars at the bar always add to the light. To infect those outside of their Wilton Drive headquarters, the folks at New Moon consistently show support for others in the area who are working to improve life for the LGBTQ community and beyond.

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Knowing the origin story of a food doesn't inherently make it taste any better. That's usually just a pleasant side effect. The lightly beer-battered squash blossoms from Max's Harvest are born at Green Cay Produce in nearby Boynton Beach, but it's not the proximity to the source that makes these so delicious; it's the preparation. Executive chef Chris Miracolo's blossoms are stuffed with an airy mix of goat and feta cheese and set upon upland cress. The kicker is a tomato-olive vinaigrette that you'll be damned-near tempted to lick off the plate.

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