9 LGBTQ-Owned Restaurants to Visit During Pride Month

Although, we think these iconic spots are worth stopping by no matter the time of year.

Photo by: Photo c/o The Abbey

Photo c/o The Abbey

A gayborhood is so much more than a collection of lively bars that operate as safe havens for the LGBTQ+ community. And while institutions like New York’s The Stonewall Inn are now even classified as historical landmarks, any stroll down a rainbow-clad street will also reveal clothing stores, art galleries, design shops, and other establishments owned by queer locals who have invested time, money, and passion into their craft to cater to residents and visitors alike.

But at the heart of many of these towns are restaurants that have essentially become full-fledged cultural icons. They not only serve as gathering points, both before and after a fun night out, but also as hotbeds of culinary innovation, comfort, and, for many that have been around for decades, nostalgia.

We’ve rounded up nine of the most celebrated LGBTQ-owned restaurants across the country to tack onto any vacation, road trip, or rendezvous.

Los Angeles, California

Perhaps the most recognized institution on this list, The Abbey (pictured above) has been serving epic burgers, inspired cocktails, and fabulosity to its West Hollywood clientele since 1991. What was intended to be a small coffee shop for the LGTBQ+ community has evolved into the epicenter of gay nightlife, attracting the most beloved drag performers and queer entertainers from around the world. It’s a must-stop for anyone in the Los Angeles area and is also within close proximity to the neighborhood’s robust array of other food and drink offerings.

Photo by: Photo c/o Elmo

Photo c/o Elmo

New York, New York

If sipping watermelon martinis and noshing on truffle fries sounds like a great time, Chelsea’s Elmo will quickly become a weekend evening tradition. “We are considered to be the primary social hub and gathering place for the neighborhood,” says owner Bob Pontarelli, who opened the joint in 2001 to rave reviews. Aside from good sips and eats, the lounge offers good eye candy with a famously charismatic wait staff who not only serve, but interact with hungry patrons.

Photo by: Photo c/o Rosie's Bar and Grill

Photo c/o Rosie's Bar and Grill

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Wilton Manor’s Rosie’s is the place “to see and be seen.” Famously known for its Sunday Funday brunch with cleverly-named cocktails and an extensive list of comfort food classics, it’s also the ideal spot to dine al fresco and take in the Florida summer heat humidity. Don’t sleep on the chicken fingers and french fries. They’re as basic as basic gets, but fried to golden brown perfection and a necessary accompaniment to excess amounts of booze.

Photo by: Photo c/o Laziz Kitchen

Photo c/o Laziz Kitchen

Salt Lake City, Utah

“Laziz Kitchen was created on a foundation of community and love,” says co-owner Jennifer Hannon. “We are committed to creating a place where your culture, your history, and your identity are all affirmed and celebrated.” Aside from being champions of the people, Laziz dishes out some pretty incredible modern Mediterranean cuisine with roasted eggplant, hand-strained yogurt, and soaked garbanzo beans as part of dips that take literal days to prepare. Be sure to end with croissant beignets or baklava, both of which are mentioned frequently as highlights in online reviews.

Seattle, Washington

At first glance, eclectic The Velvet Elk may appear to be a cocktail lounge that strictly serves cocktails and tunes, but its bites menu will keep you satiated through the evening as you knock back more than just a couple creatively-crafted drinks. From pork belly and spicy ranch-topped Boom Boom fries to bison meatballs, there is no shortage of food options to nosh on before a night on the town. Or simply make The Velvet Elk your night on the town by migrating to the living room to enjoy board games, a zodiac vending machine, and acoustic guitar.

Photo by: Photo c/o Under the Umbrella Cafe and Bakery

Photo c/o Under the Umbrella Cafe and Bakery

Denver, Colorado

Despite being called Under the Umbrella, it’s the employees’ sunny dispositions that attracts Denver locals to nosh on filled croissants, lemon bars, breakfast sandwiches, and even take-home dinners. In fact, owners Jyll Tuggle and Kathleen Rooney, partners in life and business, frequently work barista shifts so they can enjoy face-to-face interaction with their most devout customers. “The name implies that no matter who you are, the umbrella will protect you,” Tuggle says, which is precisely why the Congress Park hot spot has stuck around for almost 16 years.

Photo by: Photo c/o La Sicilia Italian Bakery & Cafe

Photo c/o La Sicilia Italian Bakery & Cafe

Houston, Texas

Nestled in the heart of Montrose, Chef Diego Chiarello brings his baking talents and Sicilian family recipes to the Lone Star State. Though it’s not just cannoli, cornetto, and bomboloni that Chiarello is whipping up in the kitchen — Houstonians can order breakfast or lunch to kick off their day with fresh and familiar favorites like cheesy calzones and focaccia-based sandwiches. Consider the menu to be LGBTQ-tested, Nonna-approved. Mangia!

Chicago, Illinois

Sunday scaries? Don’t know them, at least after dining at Drew’s on Halsted. Lakeview East has no shortage of long, lazy brunch offerings, but this cozy haunt more than delivers on hearty entrees, unlimited mimosas, and live entertainment for an all-day extravaganza. Come back in the evenings for nightly musical acts that travel in from all over the globe to perform.

San Francisco, California

Sometimes the best part of a long night out is the late-night eats. And while traditional, 24-hour diners are now few and far between, you can find respite at Orphan Andy’s, which satisfies cravings of any kind and at any time of day. Burgers, omelets, malts, pie…whatever classic American fare your stomach desires can be found at this no-frills Castro gem that is always brimming with activity, even in the wee hours of morning. The business is also so old-school that it doesn’t have a website or social media…only fan pages!

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