Pride month may come and go, but the LGBTQ+ community deserves more than just a month of celebration. They deserve a safe and welcoming space where they can be themselves all year round, free from judgment and full of love. And guess what? They’ve found that space in some incredible cafes and restaurants right here in India!
You see, gone are the days when queer folks had to hide in some dingy corner, far from the glitter and glamour of the mainstream society. Today, they are front and center, basking in the rainbow of love and acceptance. So, let’s take a close look into these fantastic LGBTQ+ owned cafes and restaurants in India that not only welcome the queer community with open arms but celebrate them for being their fabulous selves.
1. DIVA, Delhi
For those who appreciate a direct journey to Italy, DIVA in Delhi is your dream destination. Run by the renowned chef Ritu Dalmia, who identifies as gay, this restaurant serves up world-class pizzas, bread, and pasta. Their in-house bakery crafts delightful sauces and dips to complement their delicious offerings. DIVA is not just about food; it’s about creating an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone.
2. Le Flamington, Pune
Calling all dessert lovers! Le Flamington in Pune is not your typical cafe; it’s a vibrant haven with beautiful Parsi-style interiors. Founded by the lovely gay couple Khuzaan Dalal and Taha Khan, this place feels like a warm and safe embrace. While you’re there, make sure to try their signature dessert, “The Grey.” And their menu features tempting treats like pesto cheddar melt, quiches, croissants, and much more. It’s a sweet escape you won’t want to leave.
3. People’s Choice Cafe, Hyderabad
Third stop, Hyderabad, where the heartwarming People’s Choice Cafe stands tall as a sanctuary for self-expression. Imagine a place filled with love, acceptance, and mouthwatering culinary delights. Hyderabad’s very first LGBTQ+ cafe is a shining beacon of inclusivity. With a menu that boasts everything from cutlets to garlic fingers and even a dedicated vegan menu, it’s a food lover’s dream. Don’t miss their Sunday Rainbow menu, which is as colorful as it sounds!
4. Edible Archives, Goa
Let’s head to Goa, where Edible Archives is rewriting the culinary script. Led by the queer couple Anumitra Ghosh Dastidar and Shalini Krishan, this place is all about fresh ingredients and top-notch quality. Their Appam, Iddiyapam, and Gaon Madi Cutlets are a must-try. A visit to Edible Archives is not just a meal; it’s a sensory journey. 🏝️
5. Kitty Su, Delhi and Mumbai
Now, let’s hop over to the capital, Delhi, and the vibrant city of Mumbai. Kitty Su, founded by the iconic Keshav Suri, is the epitome of joy and queer friendliness. It’s not just a bar; it’s an experience. With gender-neutral bathrooms, dazzling drag performances, and a welcoming vibe for all gender identities, Kitty Su is the place to be. And the food? Sushi rolls, chicken cheeky poppers, wings, pizzas, and an extensive bar menu make this spot a favorite for all kinds of fabulous patrons.
6. Depot-48, Delhi
Delhi’s Depot-48 is a master at blending the essentials – delicious food, live performances, fantastic music, and an overflow of love. In addition to serving delightful food and cocktails, this cafe hosts some of Delhi’s top LGBTQ+ events. Their Pink Thursday special with unbeatable cocktail prices and music is a crowd-pleaser. And did we mention the guacamole and quesadillas bar for extra culinary delights? It’s a party every day at Depot-48!
7. House of Celeste, Gurgaon
Last but not the least, the House of Celeste is a modern Indian restaurant that beautifully encapsulates the rich culinary diversity of India. Led by the talented Michelin-starred chef Suvir Saran, who is a member of the LGBTQ+ community, this place oozes excellence. The menu boasts a range of delectable offerings, from Diwani Handi to Shrimp Risotto. It’s a culinary journey you won’t want to miss.
The rise of these LGBTQ+ restaurants in India reflects the amazing progress we’ve made in promoting inclusivity. Remember, it’s not just about what you eat; it’s where you eat it and who you eat it with. These cafes and restaurants aren’t just serving food; they’re serving acceptance, and a whole lot of fabulousness. So, the next time you’re in Hyderabad, Delhi, Mumbai, Pune, Gurgaon, or Goa, plan a meal to these queer-friendly gems. You won’t just leave with a full belly; you’ll leave with a heart full of love and a smile.