There are countless, fantastic gay bars and queer dance parties in New York. But what if you fancy a bite to eat before descending on Stonewall or Henrietta’s?
After all, what gay bar is bumping before 10 PM (if that) anyway? If you want to do it all somewhere queer-friendly, if not all out LGBTQ oriented?
We’ve whittled down a list of the queerest eateries we could find, and what better month to spread the word than Pride month?
Big Gay Ice Cream Shop (61 Grove St)
There are fewer establishments in New York that could claim to have as eye-catching a name as Big Gay Ice Cream Shop.
There are three NYC-based locations, the most famous of which is probably the one located in close proximity to the most iconic gay bar in the city - Stonewall. Here you can enjoy such inventively named treats as the Salty Pimp - a vanilla soft serve that has been injected with dulce de leche and encased in a dark chocolate, salty caramel shell.
Meme’s Diner (657 Washington Ave)
The owners of Meme’s Diner, Bill Clark, and Libby Willis have described their restaurant as “very, very gay” and what more cause for visiting an eatery during the month of pride is there than a declaration of gayness?
Clark and Willis endeavored to make Meme’s a queer space and employ a large number of LGBTQ+ staff members.
Not to mention the fact that, during brunch, you’re served bowls of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Froot Loops, and Lucky Charms to snack on while you browse the menu.
Lips - East 56th Street
Lips’ drag brunch is the stuff of legends and the website boasts the claim that Lips offers the finest in “drag dining.”
The decor alludes to Baz Lurhman’s Moulin Rouge - lurid colors, and as many disco balls as there are chandeliers.
Time seems to stand still; it doesn’t matter what time of day you enter Lips; you’ll feel as though it’s 12 AM and the party’s just getting started as soon as you take your seat. Drag cannot be confined by the hetero laws of space and time here.
You may even catch an appearance from a RuPaul’s Drag Race alum. Sure, Lips serves food all through the night but the drag brunch is where it’s at; in addition to your entree, you can upgrade to the premium service for just $6 and get your fill of unlimited Mimosas and Bloody Marys.
Julius (159 West 10th St)
Julius can stake the claim of being one of New York’s oldest gay bars, having first opened its doors in 1864. At first glance, Julius doesn’t appear to be much different from the litany of sports bars populating the streets of NYC, with a closer look you’ll spot a fair few rainbow flags, pledging their allegiance to the queer cause.
Here you’ll be served your standard bar fare - we’re talking burgers, fries, grilled cheeses, and hot dogs.
It may not be the trendiest place on the list, but it’s a little piece of LGBTQ+ history and a testament to the longevity of gay bars and restaurants in the city.
La Pulperia (371 West 46th St)
While La Pulperia isn’t the most immediately obvious choice in terms of queerness, that doesn’t mean this Latin-eatery doesn’t host a banging drag brunch.
Offering performances by some of New York’s most fantastic queens, doing their thing right in the middle of the restaurant, in close proximity to your omelets and unlimited brunch cocktails, La Pulperia’s drag brunch is not to be missed, especially for the month of June.
Harlem Food Bar (2100 Frederick Douglass Blvd)
For whatever reason, Harlem Food Bar has managed to amass a huge queer clientele; its owner says that about 60 to 70 percent of the patrons identify as LGBTQ+, going on to say that “Harlem has become a big destination for young gay people.”
Owned and operated by the guys behind the late gay coffee house haven Big Cup, it’s fair to assume their next venture would be similarly gay-friendly.
Here you can get your fill off delicious brunch dishes, all manner of burgers, and some absolutely delicious cocktails, which are 2-1 during their happy hour.
Elmo’s (156 7th Ave)
Stepping into Elmo’s is like taking a step back in time to a late-90s/early-2000s, Sex and the City filming location in the best way possible. Uber trendy and populated almost entirely by ridiculously attractive gay dudes, it’s a place that seems to be a throwback to the heyday of Chelsea’s queer restaurant scene.
Here you’ll find standard American fare with a range of big salads, burgers, truffle fries, brunch dishes and a great cocktail list to boot.
How are you celebrating PRIDE?
End the week on spoiled NYC's Nauty Queens Drag Show and Day Cruise. Bottomless wine provided by Tom of Finland Wines and Tropical Moscato, tunes by Skype Williams, and a live drag show hosted by Cocktails & Contours host Bella Noche.
Grab your ticket before they sell out.