Lester's Diner, Ft. Lauderdale,FL USA

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About two miles east of Interstate 95 along State Road 84 sits a 20 foot tall neon coffee cup. This ever glowing vigil is a beacon drawing the masses to Ft. Lauderdale's landmark diner, Lester's. Home of the famous "Bowl of Coffee", Lester’s also features traditional diner fare, the best omelettes in the known galaxy and the BBQ pork loin special (which is the only meal I have ordered there since 1993).

But forget the food, (which is pretty unforgettable) or the desert case that is stocked as to make a dentist's palm itch in anticipation of money, the best part of Lester’s is the VIBE. Lester's was built in the early 60's, and shortly after it was built, somebody hit pause. Walking into Lester's is stepping across the threshold of American Kitsch in all its glory. From the yellowing terrazzo floors to the jukeboxes on every table piping out Patsy Cline the place feels REAL. This is no Denny-oid chain diner trying to recapure a slice of America. It is the WHOLE pie.

But it gets better...

Lester's also happens to be less than 10 minutes from some of the best bars and clubs in Ft. Lauderdale, including a couple of trendy dance clubs, a goth club, the two biggest Gay bars in South Florida, the home clubhouses of a couple of Biker Gangs and the Ft. Lauderdale beach bars. Every Friday and Saturday night as the bars and clubs go home for the night these diverse groups descend on Lester's for late night snacks or sobering coffee. Any given night might feature a 5'10" biker sitting at the bar next to a 6'3" drag queen with nary a second glance given, and nary a word said save "Pass the Salt". Lester's is a haven of tolerance in an increasingly intolerant world.
If your thumb ever guides you to South Florida I would highly recommend a quick trip down SR 84 to the Neon Green Coffee Beacon that is Lester's.

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