We asked our Instagram followers for recommendations about Queer-owned businesses that they love supporting in the Bay Area. Y’all didn’t disappoint, and below you’ll find a variety of businesses (in no particular order) that proudly represent the Bay Area’s LGBTQ+ community, all while providing stellar service and products. Be sure to scroll to the bottom for a map of the businesses with local storefronts.
Food & drink
1. Local Brewing Co.
This brewery is a favorite among craft beer aficionados, and for good reason. They create approachable small batch beers with high-quality, local ingredients. Co-founder and head brewer Regan Long has brought excellent creations to the Bay Area for years, and you’d be remiss not to try one of her hazy IPAs. Don’t forget the full house menu featuring rotating snacks, sandwiches and comfort food!
Location: 69 Bluxome St, San Francisco
2. Fluid Coop SF
This pop-up cooperative cafe is owned by Shannon Amitin, Santana Tapia and JoJo Ty, 3 trans San Franciscans who want to foster an inclusive place for transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming customers and staff. They serve both brewed and iced coffee options, such as a Japanese sweet cream cold brew, to be enjoyed with a variety of milks and sweeteners. Fluid Coop SF is working to open a new storefront soon, so consider donating to help them achieve their dream!
Location: La Cocina Municipal Marketplace, 332 Golden Gate Ave, San Francisco
3. Twin Peaks Tavern
This historic gay bar in the Castro is an absolute icon, even gaining SF Landmark status in 2013. It was the first known gay bar to have floor-to-ceiling glass windows, openly revealing its patrons’ identities and sparking major progress in the gay movement of the 1970s. This spot is so beloved that locals raised over $110,000 dollars to keep it around through the pandemic. Stop by to enjoy great cocktails and food in their outdoor dining space.
Location: 401 Castro St, San Francisco
4. Casements Bar
This unconventional Irish bar just opened in 2020, but you might already know Casements for their awesome Irish coffees! Not only does this great Mission spot serve up a variety of fun and creative cocktails, but you can sip away on their patio out back. And with over 80 fine Irish whiskeys, you really can’t go wrong by joining their whiskey club.
Location: 2351 Mission St, San Francisco
5. Noe Cafe
This bright, casual coffee shop is a great spot with outdoor seating in Noe Valley. In addition to the delicious coffee drinks, you’ll want to check out their food menu which includes gluten free donuts from Dynamo and fresh croissants and scones from Kahnfections.
Location: 1299 Sanchez St, San Francisco
6. Yield Wine Bar
This transgender-owned wine bar in the Dogpatch has been a neighborhood favorite for 16 years. Enjoy small-batch organic wines from around the world while keeping company with the resident bar dogs, a lab and heeler who take their customer service roles very seriously! Don’t forget to stop by for memorable Thursday trivia nights emceed by the owners’ 11-year-old daughter.
Location: 2490 3rd St, San Francisco
7. Hot Cookie
Whether you prefer your cookies naughty or nice, Hot Cookie is a Castro staple for delicious sweet treats all year round. The lively cookie shop works hard to create a fun and engaging experience for customers, with energetic music blasting and wall-to-wall photos of customers posing in Hot Cookie apparel. Their display case is stocked with plenty of chewy, freshly-baked cookies, including their famous Penis and Vagina Cookies, all of which vary with the seasons and holidays.
Location: 407 Castro St, San Francisco
8. Alfajores Narciso
Alfajores are delicious shortbread-like sandwich cookies traditionally filled with dulce de leche. Originally hailing from the Middle East and Spain, they are today closely associated with Argentine cooking, although they are also popular in Peru and other Latin American countries. Alfajores Narciso creates all types of creative variations on the delicious alfajor, such as the ones above filled with ube jam. Other flavors include Nutella with dark chocolate and toasted almonds, and of course the classic dulce de leche. They also make dozens of fun designs with different colors, shapes, and themes.
9. Humphry Slocombe
Named after 2 characters from the 1970s sitcom “Are You Being Served?”, Humphrey Slocombe creates delicious and unusual ice cream flavors including hibiscus beet sorbet, McEvoy Olive Oil, and peanut butter curry. Co-Founders Jake Godby and Sean Vahey are always pushing the boundaries with exciting flavors and textures.
Location: Ferry Building One and 2790a Harrison St, San Francisco
Other SF businesses
10. Alexander Nurseries
Alexander Nurseries is a planting design business specializing in vertical garden design and landscaping. John Alexander and his partner Jai Alltizer grow everything from antique roses to succulents at a local, private propagation nursery, but you can find them popping up at farmers’ markets or Kapwa Gardens. Check out @alexander_nurseries on Instagram for a sample of their beautiful designs and projects for local clients, and keep an eye out for a new website launching soon, complete with an online shop.
Alisha Ardiana provides excellent dog-training services for the wonderful pups of San Francisco. After working as a CA registered veterinary technician for 2 decades, she decided to follow her real passion for strengthening the bond between humans and animals. Ardiana’s philosophy is based on positive reinforcement through communication and collaboration. You can schedule a Zoom consultation with her, to be followed by Covid-compliant in-person training. Or throw her a follow at @ajardiana on Instagram.
If that weren’t enough, Ardiana’s wife is also a small business owner – you can find her 3 Italian restaurants, Gialina, Ragazza and Ardiana, in San Francisco.
12. SF Plants
SF Plants is a recent addition to the 15-year-old Bella Fiora Floral Design Studio, helmed by SF native Dino Bocala and his partner, Irishman Mark Leahy. Stop by or check out their website to order a stunning floral arrangement, or pick out a beautiful houseplant for yourself in person. Their storefront is certainly worth a visit, because they have countless exciting and unique plants that are super fun to explore.
Location: 1475 Polk St, Suite 7, San Francisco
Whether or not you have a green thumb, you’ll be blown away by this breathtaking plant store on Mission Street. Arcana is an urban greenhouse featuring dozens of thriving plants, beautifully crafted pottery and gardening tools, and cozy couches for lounging. Iranian asylum seeker, Queer activist, artist, and SF standout Naz Khorram founded Arcana as a “mystical shared living room experience.” They have developed Arcana into a restaurant, tea house, and gallery, as well as an event space for political and social gatherings, live music and performances, and much more.
Location: 2512 Mission St, San Francisco
14. Super Simple
Super Simple is a sleek and comfortable home decor store with a fantastic selection of handmade minimalist products with character. Items include beautifully crafted pottery and ceramics, pared down furniture and bedding, sleek lighting, and lovely home fragrance options such as candles and reed diffusers.
Location: 855 Valencia St, San Francisco
15. Maxwell’s Pet Bar
Cats and dogs come first at this store with high-quality pet food, treats and supplements meant to promote a holistic diet. Pet owners can peruse their selection of toys, carriers, and CBD supplements for pets, or take in their canine companions for a dog wash. Owners/partners Jen and Kristi Maxwell welcome their human and animal neighbors with open arms.
Location: 1734 Church St, San Francisco
Take a breath and take care at this wonderful yoga collective that offers classes, workshops, meditation, retreats, and more. Owner Danni Pomplun created HAUM during the pandemic, and it has since grown to foster a vibrant community through intentional yoga practice. Class types include Vinyasa, Hatha, restorative yoga, Yin, meditation, Slow Flow, and more.
Locations: 2973 16th St Suite 500 and 780 Stanyan Street, San Francisco
17. Lion Dance Café
This Chinese-Singaporean restaurant has a simple but exciting menu that is constantly changing. Owners/chefs CY Chia and Shane Stanbridge describe their unique cuisine as “authentic non-traditional,” and you’ll want to keep going back as they roll out countless creative dishes week after week. Be sure to follow their Instagram at @liondancecafe to keep up with the menu!
Location: 380 17th St, Oakland
This Oakland gem is a result of hard work from 8th Street Collective and Oakland Bloom, who wanted to create a cafe based on consensus-based leadership. The worker-led restaurant, bar and commissary kitchen has an impressive rotating menu featuring a variety of cuisines and local chefs. During any given week you’ll find delicious Mexican, Filipino or Moroccan food made on-site with fresh ingredients and plenty of vegan and gluten free options.
Location: 528 8th St, Oakland, CA