25 Queer-Owned Vegan Spots In The US You Need To Try

Pride Month may be designated for June, but for a growing number of queer-owned vegan enterprises across the U.S., it's a 365-day affair. Far from the hollow "rainbow capitalism" of larger corporations, these small local ventures are authentically rooted in creating inclusive spaces, serving delectable plant-based fare, and supporting local LGBTQ+ charities throughout the year. These businesses, ranging from pop-up eateries to bars, cafes, and bakeries, are gradually reshaping America's culinary landscape.

Being both vegan and queer inherently places one outside of the conventional norms of an omnivorous, heteronormative society, which is why these identities often intertwine. They exist at the intersection of queer culture and veganism, championing animal and human rights with equal fervor. Despite the challenges the owners face as women, people of color, and queer/trans individuals, the resilience of their businesses is a testament to the power of their communities. The communal support keeps them afloat and fuels their growth and success, and you're always welcome to be a part of this transformative journey.

Dough Joy (Seattle)

Dough Joy, a Seattle-based vegan donut paradise, is the brainchild of Sean and Christopher Ballard, life partners and vegan entrepreneurs. Launched in May 2021, Dough Joy started as a food truck before evolving into a small donut empire. Their successful Kickstarter campaign raised over $40,000 for their first brick-and-mortar shop in Capitol Hill, and their latest location in West Seattle even features a plant shop called Botanic! at the Disco. 

Famous for their yeast-raised doughnuts and sweet catering, Dough Joy has a mouthwatering lineup of donuts, including the year-round rainbow-glitter Pride donut, the sea salt caramel glazed twist, and the "Everything But the Bagel" cream cheese-filled glazed donut. Keep an eye on their socials for weekly flavor drops and indulge in some cruelty-free, pastel-hued deliciousness at this queer-owned vegan gem.

Lagusta's Luscious Café (New Paltz, New York)

Founded by Lagusta Yearwood, a long-term anarchist and vegan, Lagusta's Luscious has blossomed since its establishment as a gourmet chocolate brand in 2003. Today, this queer-owned artisanal chocolate shop and café in upstate New York embodies a strong sense of community, evident in the warm exchanges between staff and patrons on Instagram. 

With an array of mouthwatering pastries, sandwiches, chocolates, and drinks, Lagusta's Cafe is more than just a plant-based brand. Yearwood and her team do everything in their power to keep business transparent, sustainable, and ethical while actively supporting its local New Paltz community and LGBTQ+ organizations like Gender Justice LA and Transgender Law Center. A haven for queer, trans, and gender-nonconforming individuals, Lagusta's Luscious is a true embodiment of social justice and inclusivity.

The Fiction Kitchen (Raleigh, North Carolina)

The Fiction Kitchen, owned by Chef Caroline Morrison and her long-term partner Siobhan Southern, is a trailblazing eatery that made history as the first fully vegetarian restaurant in the city of Raleigh back in 2013. In 2020, it switched to a 100% plant-based menu and today it's considered the best vegan restaurant in the state of North Carolina.

The restaurant offers locally sourced comfort food with a spotlight firmly placed on vegetables, presenting them in a decadent, flavorful, and visually stunning way. However, indulgent alternative meat and lion's mane dishes will impress even the most skeptical foodies. Try the Farmer's Plate to rediscover vegetables or the Southern-style barbecue plate if you miss classic comfort food. And keep an eye out for its new location in Gateway Plaza.

LesbiVeggies (Audubon, NJ)

Discovering plant-based eating as a teenager, Brennah Lambert overcame health issues and turned her newly-found passion for vegan food into a thriving catering business. In 2021, she opened LesbiVeggies — a fitting name for a black queer woman-led establishment. With this space, Lambert aims to help her community identify with the vegan lifestyle by fostering a welcoming environment centered around sharing healthy yet comforting plant-based meals and leading by example.

Savor the Vegan Hungry Man, a brunch lover's dream with pancakes, tofu scramble, and potatoes, or indulge in dinner favorites like Eggplant Parm, Smoked Maple Dijon Brussels, and a mouthwatering Brown Butter Cobbler for dessert. With a rotating weekly menu and catering options, LesbiVeggies guarantees a fresh, irresistible experience every time.

Seeking Kombucha (Seattle)

Seeking Ferments, founded by Lyz Bartolome and Jeanette Macias, is a low-impact brewery that started in February 2021, when the couple was inspired by the gut health benefits of kombucha, affectionately known as "booch." Soon it became a farmer's market sensation.

Today their sustainable drink brand is now available at over 30 locations in Seattle, including their taproom, Seeking Kombucha, offering a dozen drink options including water kefir, jun, turmeric soda, tepache, and switchel, all made from locally sourced ingredients and inspired by that the couple's Mexican and Filipino heritage. Don't miss their Peach Bellini kombucha and artisanal simple syrups. Plus, bringing your stylish bottle back to the taproom will earn you a bottle swap discount.

Mis Tacones (Portland, OR)

Portland's fiercest Chicanx-owned vegan taqueria has been the place where six-inch heels and mouth-watering tacos collide since its inception in 2016 (hence the name). Born from the visionary minds of Carlos Reynoso and Polo Abram Bañuelos, this joint turned heads as a pop-up at weekend markets and queer parties. Fast forward to 2022, and these culinary rebels have opened a permanent spot, with the passionate support of their community united on a mission of making the vegan scene more accessible for brown queer folks.

This ain't your average taqueria. Mis Tacones serves up inclusivity with a side of nostalgia-induced street food. They invite you to come for the seitan tacos and chimichangas and stay for the love and community. And, as a nod to their roots, they serve trans people of color for free.

HeartBeet Organic Superfoods Cafe (Seattle)

Founded by Monica Colgan in 2008, HeartBeet is a health-centric vegan eatery with locations in Queen Anne Hill and West Seattle. Established in response to her mother's cancer diagnosis, Colgan's venture aims to promote healthy plant-based eating through her gluten-free, superfood-filled menu. It caters to both health-conscious vegans and vegetable skeptics, offering delights such as the iconic Coconutty smoothie, Superbowl Salad, and Buddha bowl. 

The West Seattle location neighbors Youngstown Coffee, an LGBTQ+ coffee shop run by Monica's wife, Autumn Lovewell, making it a key stop on a queer tour of Seattle. As a self-proclaimed safe space for people of color and LGBTQ+ individuals, HeartBeet actively supports social justice, environmental sustainability, and plant-based living for people from all walks of life.

Jade Rabbit (Portland, OR)

Chef Cyrus Ichiza, ex-drag queen and body-piercer turned zen culinary mastermind, first brought a refreshing twist to Portland's food scene in 2017 with Ichiza Kitchen. Over the course of the coronavirus pandemic, it underwent several changes, and today, Jade Rabbit is a testament to Ichiza's commitment to fighting toxic restaurant standards and embracing traditional Asian cooking techniques while keeping it vegan and environmentally friendly. 

Nestled in Aimsir Distilling's Emerald Room, this Pan-Asian vegan haven serves up an unmatched dim sum selection. Must-tries include the signature bawan bunny dumplings, vegan cream cheese rangoons, tapioca roe-topped siu mai, and mouthwatering BBQ pork buns.

Seitan's Helper (Brooklyn)

In the heart of Bushwick, you'll find Seitan's Helper, a queer woman-owned sandwich shop flipping the script on deli meats. Started almost by accident, Amanda Fox and her wife Cheyanne have turned their seitan-making hobby into an artisanal deli meat brand first and a full-blown crowdfunded cafe with some seriously impressive sammies second.

This 100% worker-owned joint prioritizes a healthy, flexible work environment, and they're all about that DIY life — everything's made in-house, from scratch, in small batches. Sink your teeth into cheekily named offerings like Baddie BLT or Sexy Devil, packed with homemade seitan meats, cheeses, sauces, "nomelettes," and veggies. Stop by for an unforgettable on-the-go meal that'll make you swear allegiance to Seitan's Helper.

The Wild Chive (Long Beach,)

At The Wild Chive, chef Soozee Nguyen is revolutionizing the vegan brunch scene. With her vision rooted in her parents' home cooking and her skills honed in NYC's restaurant kitchens, Nguyen launched her pop-up in 2017, taking Long Beach by storm. Now a full-scale restaurant, The Wild Chive has become one of California's highest-rated brunch spots, outshining most non-vegan competitors. 

As a proud member of the Safe Spaces Alliance, this joint celebrates its queer community and cultural heritage while serving soulful plant-based brunch staples. Chow down on the Stuffed French Toast, Grilled Burrizo, or pillowy soft French Quarter Beignets — and wash them down with a vegan Vietnamese iced coffee or Rose Prosecco Mimosa for the ultimate brunch experience.

Dulce Vegan (Atlanta)

Atlanta's own Dulce Vegan is a sweet and homey woman of color-owned bakery, changing the pastry game since 2007. Founded by Idalys Sansores and her late wife, Howell Belser, this organic vegan hotspot honors Belser's legacy by creating a space that welcomes all and dishes out world-changing grub.

What started as a small wholesale bakery quickly morphed into a full-scale cafe thanks to the insatiable cravings of the locals. With radical inclusion and sustainability baked right in, Dulce Vegan is more than just a bakery — it's a community cornerstone. Feast on daily-made cupcakes, pop tarts, and scones, or grab a vegan sandwich and chill on their patio, sipping locally roasted coffee. If you need a vegan cake for a special occasion, Dulce Vegan also has you covered.

The Easy Vegan (Denver)

Founded by Alexi Mandolini and Taylor Herbert, The Easy Vegan is a beloved pop-up plant-based startup that rose from the ashes of the coronavirus pandemic. When these two hospitality industry pros found themselves jobless, they turned to making vegan takeout, becoming the saviors of Denverites desperate for some non-quarantine grub. Now, they're rocking farmer's markets and hosting monthly dine-ins at the local gastropub, Asbury Provisions.

The Easy Vegan is not about the toxic "healthfulness" often associated with vegan eats; they're here to celebrate veggies and make good food, evident in their artfully plated carrot osso bucco, savory cannoli, and panko-crusted arancini. We recommend you stalk their socials for event updates, order personal catering via their website, and catch them on The Great Food Truck Race on Food Network.

V Marks The Shop (Philadelphia)

Carmella Lanni and Carlo Giardina are the dynamic duo behind V Marks The Shop, Philly's first black and queer-owned all-vegan grocer. The pair was unofficially dubbed Philly's vegan royalty, as they've been hosting events to connect ethical businesses with new audiences and build a strong vegan community since 2016.

What started as an online shop in 2017 quickly turned into a modern twist on the classic corner store. Amidst the pandemic, they hustled to support their loyal customers, packing orders by hand and flaunting their irresistible charm on Instagram. Today, you can swing by for a chat, indulge in scrumptious local vegan deli items, and show some love to their crowdfunding campaign to keep this gem afloat despite health and family struggles.

Yeah Dawg (Brooklyn)

After serving as a chef and counselor at a homeless youth center, Marino Benedetto discovered the transformative power of plant-based comfort food, and in 2013, Yeah Dawg was born. It soon blossomed into a nationwide hot dog brand with the crowdfunding efforts of its loyal community. Fast forward a decade, and despite halting its wholesale operations, this rebel pop-up is still slinging gluten-free, soy-free dawgs with mouthwatering toppings like homemade kraut and coconut bacon.

As a nonbinary vegan chef, Benedetto's mission has always been to topple the patriarchy in the kitchen, heal souls through vegan delicacies, and create inclusive opportunities for queer and gender nonconforming chefs. Follow Yeah Dawg's Instagram for the hottest pop-up intel, and never miss a chance to chow down on these elusive dawgs.

Yellow & Lavender (Nashville)

Yellow & Lavender, Nashville's one and only queer- and BIPOC-owned vegan bakery is the brainchild of Ryliegh Vieria and Lucy Pazos. This ain't your grandma's cake shop — think tattoo parlor vibes mixed with the "gayest pastries in town". The love they pour into their fully vegan creations is as palpable as the sense of belonging they've built in this queer community space.

Since their wholesale beginnings in 2020, the couple's been shaking up the Nashville vegan scene, opening their own spot in 2022 — just in time for their first wedding anniversary. Hit up Yellow & Lavender for groundbreaking sweet and savory croissants, macaron danishes, and delectable cakes, or catch them waving the pride flag at local markets and festivals.

Dear Mama (Los Angeles)

Meet Desiree Flores, the badass ethical vegan transforming traditional Mexican cuisine with Dear Mama, her plant-based pop-up and catering powerhouse. Flores ditched meat and dairy as a teen, only to find her native cuisine lacking in vegan options. Undeterred, she first dazzled an underground supper club with her vegan jackfruit tamales and set out on a mission to bring healthy, nostalgia-inducing vegan eats to her Boyle Heights community.

With a backstory steeped in her grandmother's immigrant hustle and culinary prowess, Dear Mama's drool-worthy offerings, like birria tacos and overstuffed torta de chilaquiles, pack a flavorful punch while supporting single parents and immigrant families. So next time you're in LA, get ready to chow down on some vegan Mexican delights with a side of social impact.

Pie, Pie My Darling (Chicago)

Pie, Pie My Darling's Heather Bodine-Lederman has been blessing Chicago's food scene with her punk vegan treats since 2014. This one-woman bakery, birthed from home baking enthusiasm and local markets, has become a haven for misfit souls craving decadent delights. Fueled by crowdfunding and community love, Heather's black-walled cake sanctuary has been satisfying the city's queer and vegan communities for the past four years.

Step into the darkness and indulge in vibrant, layered "cup-cakes", or grab a slice of pride cake (with proceeds supporting queer and trans-led organizations). These sinfully delicious sweets defy expectations — you won't even realize they're vegan. So, whether you're craving an all-black vegan cake or a pink-frosted cookie, Pie, Pie My Darling has got you covered.

Cheer Up Charlies (Austin)

Maggie Lea and Tamara Hoover's long-term partnership spawned one of Austin's most enduring all-welcoming hotspots. Cheer Up Charlies, a lesbian-owned oasis, boasts an outdoor music venue, an on-site vegan food truck, and a welcoming atmosphere for Texans and visitors alike. With nightly happenings ranging from pride karaoke to drag pageants and queer two-step nights, their Instagram feed is a must-follow.

Born in 2009 as a humble food truck, Cheer Up Charlies morphed into a Moby-approved vegan BBQ spot before settling into its current spacious location in 2014. Once inside, sip on-tap kombucha, fresh juice cocktails, local beers, and organic wines before hitting up Arlo's, the comfort food truck serving mouth-watering burgers, tacos, and Frito pies. Relax beneath the enormous pink parachute draped over the back patio and soak in the vibrant, authentically Austin queer vegan scene.

Lion Dance Cafe (Oakland)

Owners of Lion Dance Cafe, chefs C-Y Chia and Shane Stanbridge, have made their mark on Oakland's queer food scene with their radically inclusive, critically acclaimed spot. This gem, born from the success of their vegan pop-up, S+M, opened its doors in 2020, serving an unconventional-yet-authentic Italo-Chinese-Singaporean cuisine inspired by Chia's multicultural background and cherished family memories.

The menu, a weekly surprise hinted at in their Friday farmers market Instagram reports, is a culinary trip worth taking. If you're fortunate enough to sample their routinely available laksa and iconic Shaobing Service on freshly baked sesame-crusted bread — once hailed as the Bay Area's best sandwich — you'll find yourself helplessly drawn back for more.

WongWayVeg (Denver)

Any Denver-based vegan already knows Lisa Wong and Natalie Gilbert, the queer best friends behind WongWayVeg, and now founders of VegFest Colorado. Born out of Lisa's culinary dreams and fueled by their shared love for vegan street food, the food truck was launched in 2015.

Lisa, of Chinese heritage, draws inspiration from her grandparents' recipes, while Natalie finds joy in veganizing her Jewish childhood favorites. This fusion of cultures results in a rotating feast of croissant waffle pops, cone-shaped wraps, brisket sammies, and a risotto burger. Stay updated with their weekly offerings through their website and Instagram pop-up announcements, and get ready to chase this gastronomic adventure around Denver.

Detroit Vegan Soul (Detroit)

When Kirsten Ussery and Erika Boyd opened Detroit Vegan Soul in 2012, they didn't just transform the city's food scene — they kickstarted an irresistible plant-based revolution. The lesbian duo, a powerhouse of business acumen and culinary wizardry, turned their health-conscious vegan lifestyle into Detroit's first all-vegan soul food joint.

The business, which started as a humble meal delivery service, now has two bustling locations, enlivening both the West Village and Northwest Detroit and attracting celebrity vegans like Stevie Wonder and Wu-Tang Clan members. Their protein-rich, comforting Soul Platter is a must-try. More than a restaurant, Detroit Vegan Soul is a beacon of opportunity for the black and queer communities, breaking diet-related disease cycles and industry barriers.

Speed-o Cappuccino (Portland, OR)

For the past two years, Speed-o Cappuccino, a sex worker-owned vegan coffee cart, has been energizing the streets of Portland. Dahlia Hanson and Joseph Miller, Portland natives who've been in the local sex and hospitality industries for a decade, are driving this caffeine-fueled queer take on the "bikini barista."

Their offbeat venture serves a mouthwatering selection of vegan drinks and employs sex workers and LGBTQ+ community members, creating a safe haven for all. Despite a house fire setback, the duo stayed afloat with their community's help, instilling gratitude into their business ethos: Each daily special purchase kickbacks a dollar to local non-profits. Drop by for their tantalizingly good eats and pink-clad barista squad of "thembos and flirts".

Gay4U (various locations)

Cellphone Espice is transforming the Bay Area's culinary and social scene with Gay4U, a pop-up dishing out vegan delights and serving trans people of color free of charge. From their iconic Hella Vegan Eats food truck, which transformed into Gay4U's brick-and-mortar eatery in Oakland, Espice has always been about more than just food. Their mission? To create a safe and accepting space for trans and queer people.

Gay4U, despite closing its doors in 2022, continues to roam North America, spreading Espice's message and fostering community everywhere they go. Their food is equal parts munchies and health grub: Track their next pop-up via Instagram for a chance to try gems like kimchi chilaquiles and snow mushroom chicharrón birria.

Vegan Supper Club by Forage & Flame (San Diego)

Forage & Flame has ignited the Californian fine dining scene with their revolutionary Vegan Supper Club, a monthly pop-up dining experience taking plant-based eating to the next level. Helmed by trans vegan chef Kujo Kumro, the club caters to a discerning palate, serving up creatively crafted and artfully plated vegan dishes. From seared vegan scallops to handcrafted charcuterie boards, the menu is as diverse as it is delectable.

Its first dinner, held in Spring 2022, set the stage for a gastronomic revolution, and by May 2023, Forage & Flame started offering membership options for three or six events, making indulgence more affordable. Check their Insta bio to order a private dining experience, snag tickets for upcoming events, or subscribe to their Vegan Supper Club Membership.

Good Cakes and Bakes (Detroit)

Good Cakes and Bakes, Detroit's favorite black and lesbian-owned sweet spot, has been soulfully slaying the baking game since 2013, thanks to the dynamic duo Michelle and April Anderson. April, a 2023 James Beard Award semifinalist, is the head pastry chef, whipping up mouthwatering, organic pastries, and offering vegan versions of most menu items.

They've weathered the coronavirus pandemic and homophobic haters with the support of their community and recently upgraded to a bigger, pastel-hued bakery equipped with a coworking space. Come for a coffee and a slice of six-layer vegan Pride cake, with proceeds going to local organizations supporting the LGBTQ+ causes. Can't come in person? No worries — they ship nationwide, bringing Southern-inspired vegan goodies straight to your doorstep.

Static Media owns and operates Tasting Table and Mashed.