10 Great Queer-Owned Restaurants In NYC

Where to eat when you want to support a queer-owned business.
10 Great Queer-Owned Restaurants In NYC image

photo credit: Emily Schindler

Sure, Pride Month is a great time to support a queer-owned business. But you'll want to visit the restaurants on this guide no matter what time of the year it is. Whether you're looking for a fancy night out, or just a breakfast burrito, these are some of our favorite places to eat around the city—that also happen to be LGBTQ-owned. Head to any of them for a great meal (for drinks, check out our guide to Great LGBTQ Bars), and the added bonus of supporting NYC's queer community.


photo credit: Seth Caplan


East Village

$$$$Perfect For:Special OccasionsBirthdaysFine DiningDate Night
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Hags is a tiny East Village spot that's billed as an American fine dining restaurant “by queer people, for all people.” The food on the six-course tasting menu is satisfying, and you may find deliciously daring experimental dishes like uni with sour cream and onion, a foot-long hot dog, or a Pringle made of carrot. But the food is also almost besides the point. What is central here is a sense of community and belonging. Be sure to check out the funhouse mirror—an interactive metaphor for gender dysmorphia—in the bathroom.

photo credit: Kate Previte

$$$$Perfect For:Brunch

At Ursula, restaurateur Eric See makes it a point to employ an all-LGBTQ+ team of cooks, servers, and hosts. Beyond its commitment to the community, this vibrant pink and turquoise New Mexican cafe in Bed-Stuy has won a cult following for its hash brown-stuffed breakfast burritos. Ursula has a few tables in the front dining room, and a long bar in the back overlooking an open kitchen, where you should linger at night over cheffy small plates like snap peas with pecan salsa macha.

Itaewon Pocha is modeled after typical bars in Seoul, and while drinking cocktails that taste like they’re equal parts sugar and soju may sound reckless, this neon-lit gastropub serves exactly the kind of Korean comfort food you need to soak up a ton of booze. Get an order of cheesy rice cakes mixed with lots of seafood—and don’t skip the bulgogi fries. This is a late-night place, so come after 10pm for the full experience, and try not to fall off your little plastic stool.

The $185 omakase at Trust Bae is a house party and a dinner show rolled into one, fueled by shots of free sake. The banter around the eight-seat counter will gradually get livelier as you go through 16 courses, starting with six Filipino appetizers, followed by pieces of nigiri dressed up in everything from caviar and truffles to gold dust and foie. The experience is a bit gimmicky, but still fun, and the food is enjoyable. Chef Frances Tariga, a former Top Chef contestant and one of the owners, is a big advocate for The Center, which provides support for the LGBTQ+ community in NYC.

photo credit: Medusa The Greek



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Medusa Greek Taverna, whose owners are gay and Latino, is a neon-glow party where you can order from a menu with over 100 options. Despite having a huge menu, and a kitchen that’s open until 2am four nights a week, Medusa still maintains high standards for their gyros and platters of biftekia. This Park Slope spot is also open all day, and its impressive consistency should give you the confidence to try some less typical options, like the lobster roll gyro and Greek mac and cheese.

Edy’s is part Lebanese market, part community hub in Greenpoint, and you don't have to be low on hummus to love this place. Use the takeout window at this laid-back, pastel-colored spot to pick up things like tahini caesar salad, chicken shawarma, and coffee during the week. Or stop by for a weekend brunch of fresh, cheesy man’oushe with honey, or a breakfast burrito of bacon, egg, and halloumi. If they have salty frozen chocolate ganache cookies on hand, grab some.

Fonda is a great place to have on standby. That sounds like we’re comparing it to an empty seat on a flight that no one wanted. But what we’re actually saying is that the reliable Mexican food and versatile setting make Fonda an easy choice for pretty much any situation. Looking to celebrate something? The piñatas create a festive atmosphere. Want to blow off steam after your boss took credit for your work again? They have Happy Hour every day. Chef Roberto Santibañez sometimes puts special items on the menu, with proceeds benefiting LGBTQ+ organizations like SAGE, which supports elders in the queer community.

Chef/owner Kyo Pang opened Kopitiam as a gathering space where people could become more familiar with Nyonya cuisine, and like most good restaurants in this area, it’s always crowded. Fortunately, the crowd here is a little less try-hard than at some of the spots just around the corner. Snag a stool or one of the small tables, place your order at the counter, and wait patiently for your bowl of life-affirming pan mee to arrive. If you can’t decide what to order from the massive menu, try one of their “no idea” sets.

Partners Rita Sodi and Jody Williams are behind what might be the most popular Italian restaurant in the city. And their other spots (Buvette, I Sodi, and Bar Pisellino) aren’t exactly struggling to fill seats either. To merely call Via Carota busy would be an understatement. This restaurant—decorated like an Italian farmhouse—serves uniformly exceptional dishes like cacio e pepe, fried rabbit, and svizzerina. If you don’t snag one of the limited reservations available 30 days out, it might be several hours until you’re seated—quite possibly next to someone who won an Oscar last year.

Occasionally, we think to ourselves: “Maybe Lilia is easier to get into now.” And we’re always disappointed. But Missy Robbins’ perfectly cooked, modern Italian food is totally worth it when you finally score a table. Our favorite way to experience this whitewashed, warehouse-like space is by grabbing a few seats at the bar. Start with a negroni and an order of squishy focaccia, and be sure to get the agnolotti and cacio e pepe-style mafaldini.

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