Although Florida's capital city - also the home to Florida State University and Florida A&M University - has a population of about 200,000, Tallahassee has had some trouble of late supporting a full-time gay nightlife scene. A handful of bars have closed in recent years, and as of this writing, there weren't even any one-night LGBT parties. The city does hold a well-attended Pride celebration, Tallahassee PrideFest, each April.
In the artsy and hip All Saints neighborhood, the All Saints Cafe (903 Railroad Ave., 850-224-0805) is a gay-friendly, quirky little spot that's open 24 hours, occasionally has live entertainment, and is an all-around nice venue for hanging out with friends or meeting new ones. Italian sodas, espresso drinks, and light food (with an emphasis on vegan fare) is served. Lots of college students spend time here, and also at the nearby Fermentation Lounge (113 All Saints St., 850-727-4033), which has a fantastic menu of distinctive, well-crafted microbrews on tap, plus wine, cheese plates and light snacks. It's a hipster favorite in this engaging neighborhood.
Overlooking lovely Lake Ella, Black Dog Cafe (229 Lake Ella Dr., 850-224-2518) is a cozy and attractive little coffeehouse and vegetarian restaurant with a deck overlooking the lake, which is a fine spot for a stroll. Also near Lake Ella and serving fresh and creative "build your own" quesadillas, stir-fry bowls, wraps, soups, and salads, 1 Fresh Stir Fry Grill (1820 N.
Monroe St., 850-422-2111) is a popular, reasonably priced option that welcomes all. The shrimp curry stir fry, grouper salad, and Oreo pie dessert are among the favorite dishes.
Closer to downtown, for some of the most creative and artfully prepared food in town, consider dining at Cypress Restaurant (320 E.
Tennessee St., 850-513-1100), which specializes in Southern-inflected regional American fare - notable options include a salad of bacon, blue cheese, and roasted Brussels sprouts; a pulled-pork double stack with corn cakes, peppered slaw, and pickled-peach barbecue sauce; and Florida shrimp and grits with country ham, shiitake mushrooms, and an orange-thyme-bourbon jus. Cypress is a fine choice for a celebratory meal, and it's popular with Tallahassee's many movers and shakers.