LGBTQIA+ businesses to support in Austin: shops, restaurants and services

There’s a reason we celebrate Pride longer than most cities – because no one loves gay weather more than we do here in Austin. At least not in Texas, anyway. Our upstate neighbors may claim to agree, but “weird” (and therefore “queer”) is in Austin’s DNA. This city is where it’s not only okay to be different, it’s encouraged. Yes, the tech world has moved in and kicked out artists, and gay bars on Fourth Street are in danger of being demolished to make way for high-rise apartments, but that doesn’t mean the LGBTQIA+ community (and their fabulous allies) go everywhere. It just means they’ll start charging top dollar (we hope). But first, we have to help them get there. To celebrate Austin Pride in August, we’ve rounded up all of the awesome LGBTQIA+-led small businesses that deserve your support to see them through Austin’s tech boom. So come on, sweep this plastic, and remember, baby, you’re fireworks.

The little gay shop
The little gay shop

airport boulevard
The Little Gay Shop is basically a year-round Pride store. All your rainbow essentials are here, from candles and soap, t-shirts and greeting cards, to stationery and collectible magazines. There’s a brilliant selection of artwork for sale exclusively designed by LGBTQIA+ artists, and an all-inclusive queer-centric monthly book club.
How to support: Stop for shopping in store, buy on lineor join the Reading Club.

East Austin
Austin’s number one barbecue spot, run by LeAnn Mueller and Alison Clem, is so popular you’ll rarely find a spot when you arrive. The recipes of La Barbecue are their own. The brisket (made with grass-fed beef from a local ranch) is slow-cooked over Texas oak wood for 14-16 hours. The result is a smoky, tender difference you can taste. Be sure to add their (sugar-free) coleslaw and pickles to the equation.
How to support: Line up for first come, first served.

Multiple locations
Pop-and-pop dog stop Barkin Creek has four locations in Austin, specializing in small-batch handmade gourmet dog meals and high-end treats. The store also offers on-site daycare, spa facilities, toys, accessories, pet housewares, and dog party cakes.
How to support: Stop to shop or buy in store on line.

wine for the people
wine for the people

Multiple locations
Wine for the People founder and sommelier Rae Wilson is the woman behind two of Austin’s most delicious wine brands. Dandy Rosé is the flagship dry rosé made from traditional varieties from the south of France with a sparkling option, and La Valentía is a set of limited wines using low-intervention winemaking techniques, a priority for Wine for the club members. People. Rae also has a tasting room where guests can sample a variety of Texas wines on Pauls Valley Road.
How to support: Shop on line or visit the tasting room.

Downtown
A local institution, Oilcan Harry’s is Austin’s oldest gay bar. There’s pretty much a decent party every night of the week here, with themes ranging from karaoke, drag king or queen shows, bingo, or something totally offbeat. The venue is a huge hit with students and a fun-loving mixed crowd. Don’t miss the regular touring shows of the RuPaul’s Drag Race old students.
How to support: Come party.

Multiple locations
Had a great time at Drag Bingo at the Fairmont Austin and fancy bringing some of those magical glitter to your loved ones? Do it. Extragrams offers two services: drag queen telegrams and drag entertainment organized for special events. Simply select a package, order a theme (Lady Gaga, anyone?), make a payment, and at a time and place of your choosing, a queen will deliver a jaw-dropping performance and a message for your to be expensive. What a treat.
How to support: Request a drag queen telegram or special event on line.

Nina Berenato Jewelry
Nina Berenato Jewelry

Northside Estate
Once a hidden gem, Nina Berenato Jewelry has garnered a huge following after being spotted on Texas legends Beyonce and Megan Thee Stallion. Austin’s only all-female goldsmith studio, storefront and art gallery showcases Nina’s wild and beautiful bespoke creations. But that’s not all – discover their Vote for a woman from Texas gifts to make a fashionable statement and donate to Jolt Action during this crucial time.
How to support: Stop to shop or buy in store on line.

Multiple locations
The mission of aGLIFF (All Genders, Lifestyles, and Identities Film Festival) is to create positive and visible film programs relevant to the lives of the LGBTQIA+ community, and they do this through a variety of events throughout of the year which are, in a word, damn good fun. Membership starts at $300 per year and includes access to screenings, PRISM 35 Film Festival content, Pride specials, merchandising and more.
How to support: Join aGLIFF for the year, or donate on line.

Licking honest ice cream
Licking honest ice cream

Multiple locations
Although licking is suggested, you’ll more likely find yourself gulping down their pints of ice cream with giant dollops. Since 2011, The Lick has been producing creamy products with pure, fresh ingredients responsibly sourced from local farmers and partners. The flavors are a little out there, but they still work. Take, for example, the refreshing goat cheese, thyme and honey, and the Pride special, Orange You Glad it’s Pride, with orange zest and rainbow sprinkles. Vegan alternatives, ice cream sandwiches and toppings are also available.
How to support: Stop in for counter service or order delivery via belly of gold.

Multiple locations
Louisianna is one of the hardest working queens around – no wonder she was voted “Best Drag Performer” by the austin chronicle Many times. He is one of the stars of Dragula by the Boulet brothers Season Three, member of the drag troupe, Poo Poo Platter, and co-creator of drag horror magazine, Die Felicia and sad girls only. Phew! Ahead, she will bring her unique artistic talents to Swan Dive, Elysium, St. Elmo and The Iron Bear. When you see Mrs. Buy on the bill, you know it’s going to be a good night.
How to support: Follow Louisiana on instagram to follow his latest appearances.

Farm delivery
Farm delivery

On line
You can get this Texas dining experience right to your doorstep, simply by logging on to FarmhouseDelivery.com. The service partners with more than 200 farmers, ranchers and
brands across Texas and beyond, to bring fresh produce, high-quality groceries and select chef’s meal kits to home kitchens in Austin, Dallas, San Antonio and Houston. CEO Stephanie Scherzer and his wife also own Rain Lily Farm in addition to managing Farmhouse.
How to support: Order products, groceries and meal kits on line.

Downtown
Just around the corner from Oilcan Harry’s and the colorful gay bars of Fourth Street, The Iron Bear sits (semi) discreetly behind darkened windows. The Bear-owned and operated venue isn’t as dark as it looks – inside it welcomes all body types and genders in a relaxing atmosphere. The food isn’t too bad either. So, pop in for dinner before the main events, which range from underwear parties to drag shows.
How to support: Come party.

James Wong is a Libra who spends his time pretending to be vegan, watching wildlife clips and booking plane tickets. Born in London, lived in Tokyo and now resides in Austin, his biggest accomplishment was hugging Posh Spice in 2016.

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