A few months ago, we published an article about LGBTQ+-owned coffee houses and it’s still one of our most popular posts. We understand how important it is to support queer and trans-owned businesses, so we have a tasty treat for you. Here are 20 restaurants around the country, from vegan dishes in Orlando to classic pizza in Portland, all owned by members of the LGBTQ+ community.
Red Sauce Pizza (Portland, Oregon)
Step up to the window of Portland’s Red Sauce Pizza and you’ll be greeted by a smiling staff member wearing a “Gay Pizza” shirt. Owned by Shardell Dues, Red Sauce is quickly becoming one of the top spots for pizza in PDX thanks to their pies like the Hot Nancy, topped with ricotta, red onion and spicy honey. Like many local pizza spots in the area, Red Sauce also has soft serve ice cream, which you can enjoy on their back patio. Check Red Sauce’s Instagram for queer-centric and charitable events they hold throughout the year.
Sammich (Portland, OR/Ashland, OR/Lebanon, OR/Seattle, WA)
Owner Melissa McMillan is creating a mini-empire in the Pacific Northwest. Stop into any location and you can order meat-centric sandwiches inspired by McMillan’s childhood and travels. Grab a juicy Chicago Italian Beef or a Pastrami Zombie inspired by Montreal smoked meat.
Marination (Seattle, Washington)
Hawaiian-Korean fusion restaurant Marination began as a food truck and has expanded into two brick-and-mortar locations, serving their famous tacos and much more. Owners Kamala Saxton and Roz Edison bring what they call “Everyday Aloha” to Seattle with menu items including Kalua Pork Tacos, Spam Fried Rice and Korean Cheesesteak. The Marination team is committed to philanthropy as well and has donated to many local nonprofits over the last 14 years in business.
Barrel and Board (San Diego, California)
This upscale bar and restaurant is brought to you by the same team behind the long-standing and beloved queer bar Gossip Grill. Like Gossip Grill, Barrel and Board is what the team calls “women-forward” and features cocktails inspired by women musicians like Lady Gaga and Lizzo. The menu contains boards, naturally, and dishes that celebrate the bounty of California like Adobo Cauliflower Steak and Mojo Fish Tacos.
Boichik Bagels (Berkeley, CA)
Boichik owner Emily Winston is a New Jersey-native who sorely missed authentic New York-style bagels when she moved to the Bay. When her favorite spot, NYC’s H&H Bagels closed, she launched the plan to create Boichick Bagels and bring the taste she loved to Berkeley. Boichik comes from a Yiddish nickname her grandmother gave her. Winston and the Boichik team make over a dozen flavors of bagels, plus cream cheese and lox.
Brenda’s Meat and Three (San Francisco, CA)
Southern style meet the Bay Area. Chef and owner Brenda Buenviajé grew up just outside of New Orleans, Louisiana and wanted to bring the meat and three concept (a meat main dish and three sides) to her home in San Francisco. Dine on classics like Brenda’s Fried Chicken and Blackened Catfish with sides including Collard Greens, Friend Okra and Mac and Cheese. Make sure to save room for some of Brenda’s beignets.
Takami Sushi & Robata Restaurant (Los Angeles, CA)
For high-end sushi and incredible views of LA, check out Takami Sushi and Robata. Located on the 21st floor with 360 degree views of the city, Chef Takashi “Stan” Ota serves a variety of sushi and sashimi options, plus specialities like Tomatillo Salmon and Tuna Soy Vin Blanc. There are plenty of specialty cocktails, beer, wine and sake to pair with your meal.
Split Rail (Chicago, Illinois)
Chef Zoe Schor is a James Beard semi-finalist for the Great Lakes region and brings her vintage Americana-style food, with a focus on fried chicken, to Chicago’s West Town neighborhood. They even offer a gluten-free version of the crispy bird. After dining at Split Rail, head downstairs to sister space Dorothy, “a neighborhood lesbian cocktail lounge for every friend of Dorothy.”
Barcelona – (Columbus, Ohio)
This Columbus eatery owned by Scott Heimlich is celebrating 25 years in business, bringing a taste of Spain to Ohio. You’ll find traditional tapas (small plates) like Patatas Bravas and larger entrees including several paella options. Diners can also opt for a six-course prix fix menu to pair with Spanish wines and craft cocktails.
Coast 236 Restaurant & Bar (Saugatuck, Michigan)
On Lake Michigan, there is a queer bastion called Saugatuck, a town filled with art, theater and many queer-owned businesses. Among them is Coast 236, a seafood-forward restaurant with a lively patio owned by Chef Rick Bower. Dine on sustainably sourced seafood dishes like Hawaiian Wahoo or Tuna Crudo, paired with wine from an internationally varied list.
Downtown Ollies (Indianapolis, Indiana)
Dine on casual fare like pizza, burgers and wings while enjoying live music, drag performances or karaoke on the patio at Downtown Ollies. This gay-owned restaurant and bar picked up the 2022 LGBTQ Venue of the Year by Bar and Restaurant Expo and is dedicated to creating a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community and friends to enjoy year round.
Arlo Grey (Austin, Texas)
Queer celebrity chef Kristen Kish owns this spot, housed at the Line Hotel in downtown Austin. The menu at Arlo Grey combines French and Italian cuisine, with a touch of Midwest and ingredients sourced from Texas. Quite a combination! Dine on Fried Steamed buns, with eggplant and zaatar, or Housemade Rigatoni with duck confit.
Twisted Soul Cookhouse & Pours (Atlanta, Georgia)
Chef Deborah VanTrece is no stranger to appearing on television shows and being featured in magazines for her cuisine. She’s even a winner of Food Network’s “Guy’s Grocery Games.” VanTrece and executive chef Robert Butts are bringing globally inspired soul food to Atlanta with dishes like Berbere Grilled Galbis and Hoisin Glazed Oxtails, plus Southern deserts including Peach Cobbler and Strawberry Basil Moonshine Cake.
Hungry Pants (Orlando, Florida)
This “plant-curious” eatery has something for everyone. Owned by Joey Conicella and Alex Marin, Hungry Pants offers a menu full of plant-based dishes, like Coconut Curry Bowls and Kale Caesar Salad, plus meatier dishes like the Fried Chicken Sammie. Joey and Alex started running The Yum Yum Cupcake Truck, a popular local food truck with cupcakes and other sweets.
Salum (Dallas, Texas)
Winner of Best Chef in the Dallas Voice Readers Voice Awards, Chef Abraham Salum serves upscale food and wine at Salum, mixing styles he learned cooking in France, Belgium, Mexico and the U.S. Start your meal off with an appetizer like Home Made Country Pâté before moving on to Grilled Swordfish au Poivre or Grilled Texas Redfish.
Hank’s Oyster Bar (Washington, DC)
Since 2005, Hank’s has been serving “urban beach food” in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. Chef Jamie Leeds is the force behind Hank’s, which also has locations in The Wharf and Old Town, Alexandria, Virginia. Seafood lovers will find much on the menu to delight in, from raw Salty Wolfe Oysters on the Half Shell to Pan Seared Flounder. Stop in for happy hour at the bar and get oysters, apps, house beer and wine for a steal.
Mudita Café (Oceanview, Virginia)
Located steps from the beach, Mudita Café offers coffee, breakfast, brunch and tapas, all in a welcoming space. Owners Madison Hahn and Kate Bianchi are brewing coffee from around the world to go along with thick Belgian waffles and breakfast burritos. In addition to coffees of all kinds, Mudita has a house cocktail list, beer and wine for whatever you’re in the mood for.
Bud and Marilyn’s (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Chef Marcie Blaine Turney and Valerie Safran run this Gayborhood restaurant, serving comfort food and cocktails to Philly’s LGBTQ+ community and beyond. Named in honor of Chef Turney’s grandparents, who were also restaurant owners, Bud and Marilyn’s offers dishes like Famous Stuffed Meatloaf and Shortrib Stroganoff. Guests can fill up on classic dishes and imbibe before heading out for a night of dancing and community at one of the city’s many queer bars.
Cafe Euphoria (Troy, NY)
This vegan, vegetarian and pescatarian spot close to the Hudson River offers much more than food and drink. Run by a collective of transgender and nonbinary individuals, Café Euphoria is also a trans and LGBTQ+ welcoming space, thrift shop and coworking space. Stop in for tea and read a book, or grab a vegan pulled pork sandwich and Lavender Matcha Shortbread.
Hags (New York, New York)
Hags describes itself as “a tiny restaurant in the East Village neighborhood of NYC, by Queer people for all people.” Owned by Telly Justice and Camille Lindsley, partners in business and life, the restaurant is partly an homage to the queer potlucks they used to attend when they were younger. The menu is based on seasonal ingredients and Southern cooking, where Justice and Lindsley cut their teeth. The tiny spot only seats about 20, and reservations are released on the first of the month for the next month at noon ET.
Are you an LGBTQ+ restaurant owner? Do you want to let us know about your favorite LGBTQ+-owned restaurant? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.