The Best LGBTQ-Owned Restaurants Across the US
Celebrate Pride every day of the year with these LGBTQ-owned restaurants across America!
Any day is a good day to support queer-owned restaurants, but it’s especially important during Pride month. Restaurant kitchens have changed a lot over the years and one of the greatest things to come of that is seeing so many more diverse and supportive kitchens popping up. Queer chefs are showcasing their talents, their heritage and their hard work in restaurants all across the US, and we wanted to showcase some of our favorites.
Lil’ Deb’s Oasis
Lil’ Deb’s Oasis truly is the tropical comfort food oasis that it claims to be! This quirky and loveable restaurant highlights the seasonal produce of the Hudson Valley in unique dishes like the crispy potatoes with lime pickle aioli, curry leaf and chiles, or the octopus tostada with pickled pineapple. The drinks are equally as vibrant, including a selection of homemade digestifs. What’s more, Lil’ Deb’s is a hub for the queer community, providing not just a joyful atmosphere but the true queer spirit of support, including donating a portion of sales from all dishes to mutual aid.
New York, NY
The visual delight that is Tagmo is apparent everywhere from the colorful interior to the thoughtfully plated savory dishes, to the shimmering little bites of their famous Indian desserts. Chef Surbhi Sahni created her own dream kitchen, employing queer folks and women of color, paying living wages, and ensuring a safe and inclusive work environment. And we haven’t even gotten to the food! The dinner menu features a variety of well known Indian dishes like saag paneer and kitchri, alongside lesser known specialties like Kashmiri meatballs, or savory rice pancakes with coconut chutney from the brunch menu (which are also gluten free). And if you’re not in NY you can still enjoy some of Chef Sahni’s beautiful pastries by ordering them online.
In a historic Victorian house in uptown Charlotte’s Fourth Ward, you’ll find the best tapas in town. Poplar is a Peruvian-inspired restaurant serving delicious small bites, like marinated steak skewers with chimichurri, and manchego stuffed figs with prosciutto and basil aioli. You can make a meal out of the tapas or go for a larger plate like the camarones al ajillo, but either way you’ll want some tres leches for dessert to tie it all together.
Red Sauce Pizza
Red Sauce Pizza is the unapologetically queer pizza shop of your dreams, nestled in a neighborhood in North East Portland. From their 420 breadsticks (cheesy breadsticks with pepperoni, garlic and dipping sauces) to their signature pizzas like the Hot Nancy (a white pie with red onion, ricotta and hot honey), there are no bad choices you can make here. In addition, owner Shardell Dues is community-minded and cares as much about serving delicious food as she does supporting her neighborhood, so it’s a great spot to patronize.
Yucca Valley, CA
As if the Yucca Valley weren’t magical enough, La Copine is the perfect spot to enjoy lunch. Owners and wives Claire Wadsworth and Nikki Hill will make you want to order one of everything on their California-inspired menu. Otherwise you’ll have to decide between the artichoke toast with smashed fava beans, goat cheese and mint, or the buckwheat crepe with hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, spinach, gruyere and a fried egg—a nearly impossible decision! But if you can’t pass up a fancy burger, then you gotta try this one. It’s made of lamb and wagyu beef, and served with kefir cheese, date relish, griddled red onion and harissa sauce.
Los Angeles, CA
WeHo Bistro is a charming French bistro in the heart of West Hollywood, serving up breakfast all day, tartine open faced sandwiches, classic bistro dishes like chicken dijonnaise, and much more from their large menu. Whether you’re there for a salad or salmon, you’ll be treated to wonderful service and the bustling energy of a beloved restaurant. You won’t want to miss their Magic Hour from 4-6 p.m., with treats like the chicken and waffles with serrano maple syrup, and a handful of $10 cocktails.
For many years, Bay Area residents longed for a bagel that could compete with the highly revered and particular New York bagel. That longing was fulfilled with the arrival of Boichik Bagels, a pop-up turned brick and mortar in Berkeley, CA. People went wild for their bagels and shmears and smoked fish. Follow along on the menu for how to order a bagel like a proper New Yorker, including how far you want it toasted. Choose between classic shmears and other unique flavors like their horseradish cheddar scallion cream cheese! There’s also a lox bagel sandwich which is a must on any bagel shop menu, and dairy free options for those dairy-free folks who like their bagels without a side of tummyache.
Chef Gregory Leon started Amilinda as a pop-up in 2013, inspired by the flavors of Spain and Portugal as well as beautiful locally sourced ingredients and produce. Two years later it opened as a brick and mortar, and it’s been going strong ever since. The Spanish and Portuguese inspiration extends to the interior which features Gaudi style murals and beautiful exposed brick. And the dishes shine on their own, like the little gems with hearts of palm and rhubarb vinaigrette, or the halibut in saffron tomato sauce. You’ll be transported to the Iberian Peninsula with one bite from this gem of a restaurant.
Detroit Vegan Soul
Co-owners and couple Erika Boyd and Kirsten Ussery started Detroit Vegan Soul after adopting a vegan lifestyle themselves for health reasons. Their 100% plant-based soul food menus are a way to offer fresh, healthy meals to their community. In addition to their hearty sandwiches and salads, they offer catering, meal subscriptions and whole vegan cakes by pre-order.
Jennivee’s Bakery is a queer owned and operated bakery featuring American and Filipino cakes and pastries. Owner Jenni Vee pays homage to the flavors of her native home in the Philippines, with dreamy pastries like purple velvet ube cupcakes and mango chiffon cake. Come early and stay late, as this bakery is open as late as 2am to provide a welcoming spot for after-hours hangs for the queer community.
Wise Acres Eatery
Wise Acres began over 10 years ago with the mission to bring farm fresh food to your table. They now have a regenerative farm that sources to Wise Acres Eatery which includes a grill as well as a market/deli. Enjoy a more traditional farmy breakfast like a 3-egg veggie scramble, or go for something a little different like the cheddar buttermilk biscuit sandwich with kimchi and herb aioli. With such fresh ingredients, you can’t go wrong.
Barrio Cafe celebrates the Mexican heritage of chef-owner Silvana Salcido Esparza. There’s so many mouth watering dishes on the menu that it’s hard to choose—the quesadilla borracha with blanco tequila margarita sauce, the fall-apart cochinita pibil, the Oaxacan tlayudas! Esparza employs several family members, some of whom have been cooking alongside her for over a decade. The formula seems to be working because Barrio Cafe has been incredibly popular since it first opened, and Esparza remains a beloved fixture in the Phoenix food scene.
In the heart of BBQ country is a one-of-a-kind restaurant serving up the innovative culinary fare of Asian-inspired cuisine with Southern comfort. Poor Calvins is the brainchild of Chef Calvin Phan, who was born in Vietnam then raised and later trained as a chef in Germany. You’ll be wowed by dishes like the lobster crawfish wontons with truffle balsamic, or the Hong Kong ribs with pineapple, cashews and BBQ sauce. And when it comes to their brunch menu, I’ll take one of everything—especially the chicken and pandan waffles!
Fukumoto is a Japanese Izakaya restaurant by chef/owner Kazu Fukumoto. Fukumoto began his career as a dishwasher in his native Japan, and worked his way up to becoming a sushi chef. Specializing in skewers, sushi/sashimi and Japanese comfort food, the menu features unique dishes like cornflake battered shrimp with Japanese tartar sauce, as well as an extensive sushi and sake list.