Courtesy Frelard Tamales

Seattle with Pride

Explore one of the country’s most vibrant and inclusive LGBTQ+ scenes.

By Jas Keimig

The Space Needle flying the Progress Pride flag during Pride Month Courtesy Space Needle

Seattle officially celebrates Pride (; during the very last week of June, but in the diverse and inclusive Capitol Hill neighborhood, Pride is an eternal state of mind. From watching movies at the Seattle Queer Film Festival in the fall to reveling at the many fun bars year-round, there are plenty of ways to support LGBTQ+-owned businesses on the Hill. Definitely stop by Pony (1221 E Madison St), a beloved dive bar and ode to the gay bars of the 1970s in NYC’s West Village and San Francisco’s Castro—it’s housed in a former 1930s gas station with an outdoor patio and photobooth to boot. Just down the street is one of the country’s few lesbian bars, the Wildrose (1021 E Pike St), which is always bumping until the early morning. You can catch a drag show at Queer/Bar (1518 11th Ave), vibe on the dance floors of Neighbours (1509 Broadway) and leather bar The Cuff Complex (1533 13th Ave), or sing karaoke any night of the week at the Crescent Lounge (1413 E Olive Way). For a swanky night out, feast on sustainably sourced farm-to-table meals at lesbian-run Terra Plata (1501 Melrose Ave) before swilling old-world-style wines at Aluel Cellars (801A E Thomas St). Other cool queer-owned businesses include Indian Summer (534 Summit Ave E), with its well-curated vintage fashion, and Big Little News (1102 E Pike St), which carries all the independent magazines—and bubble gum!—you could ever want.

A person in a black t-shirt stands behind a counter draped in a colorful blanket. Two drinks and a plate of tamales are placed on top.

Courtesy Frelard Tamales

Seattle’s queer community goes well beyond Capitol Hill, however—there are thriving pockets of LGBTQ+ culture and queer-run businesses throughout the city. In the Central District, you can order a latte and a mullet at Squirrel Chops (2201 E Union St), a woman-owned coffee shop/salon. And just south in Mount Baker, you can slurp down a bowl of bucatini carbonara at gay-run That’s Amore (1425 31st Ave S) before watching the sunset from Mount Baker Ridge Viewpoint next door for peak Seattle romance. Dance the night away to world-class techno at Kremwerk (1809 Minor Ave) in Denny Triangle before snagging a biscuit at queer-owned Honest Biscuits (1901 Western Ave) in Pike Place Market in the morning. Over in Fremont, check out The Backdoor (462 N 36th St), a speakeasy-themed cocktail bar and restaurant with vintage decor, cool lighting, and frequent drag shows. Gay-owned Frelard Tamales (6412 Latona Ave NE) in Green Lake offers a fantastic lunch special of rice, beans, and one tamale for $9. You can take in Seattle’s stunning skyline while chowing down on Aloha sliders at Marination Ma Kai (H1660 Harbor Ave SW) right on the West Seattle water taxi dock. And in a stylish storefront in Pioneer Square, Cone & Steiner (H135 S King St) offers a modern, stylish take on classic general stores, offering gourmet foods, fresh flowers and produce, and craft beer and Washington wine.


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