In 2020, Pride in San Francisco was canceled entirely and this year Pride is still a little subdued. Thanks to the pandemic, there still will not be the usual rainbow-spangled parade and party, but fortunately, it also won’t be entirely virtual (Zoom fatigue is real). Pride looks a little different this year, in this limbo moment of reopening: Instead of just a weekend, it’s extending across the entire month of June, with a couple of outdoor movie nights on June 11 and 12, and a Black liberation event for Juneteenth on June 18, as well as smaller events popping up across the city.
But even if a little more spread out, San Francisco Pride 2021 is the 51st anniversary of this milestone event, and as always, it’s worth celebrating and supporting our LGBTQ+ community in the Bay. However you’re observing this year, restaurants and bars will be rolling out colorful specials, and maybe some rainbow cake and cocktails, too.
Park-Friendly Sangria and Snacks from Canela
Canela tapas bar in the Castro has “a super cute rainbow French market bag” loaded up with a big bottle of sangria, rainbow gummy candies, and Spanish potato chips, perfect for toting to Gay Beach at Dolores Park. You get to pick your own flavor of chips, but to be clear, the correct choice is Iberian ham ($44.95).
A Burger and Fries at Orphan Andy’s
It’s always a rainbow wonderland at Orphan Andy’s diner in the Castro, which gained even more attention during the pandemic for throwing up some fabulous clear plastic shower curtains to separate booths for indoor dining. It has the usual menu of burgers and fries and French toast, but it’s worth sliding in this time of year to revel in the Pride decor.
Rainbow Bao and Frosé Slushies from E&O Kitchen
E&O Kitchen in Union Square loves a good happy hour. This year, they’re offering an array of rainbow bao in different natural colors, from braised pork tinted purple with daikon to beef curry gone golden with turmeric (six bao for $30), as well as a “Big Gay Frosé” slushie cocktail (only available June 24 to 26).
Rainbow Chocolate Cake from Noe Valley Bakery
If you enjoy the aesthetic of a rainbow or unicorn cake, but secretly wish it could be chocolate, Noe Valley Bakery understands: Behold the dramatic rainbow cake with dark chocolate buttercream ($62). Five percent of all Pride cake sales are going to Lyric Center for LGBTQ+ Youth, and Mr. Espresso is also partnering, so that applies to coffee, too.
Rainbow Truffles and Chocolate Frogs from Kokak Chocolates
The proudly queer-owned Kokak Chocolates shop in the Castro is celebrating its one-year anniversary and Pride with a couple of different gift sets. Both include their signature rainbow truffles (nine pieces or 16 pieces) and striking chocolate frog on a lily pad ($36 or $53).
Rainbow Cocktails at Charmaine’s
The parade and party might be canceled for 2021, but City Hall did reopen to the public on June 7 with its Pride flag waving. So if you find yourself near Civic Center, ride up to the rooftop at Charmaine’s, and throw back some rainbow cocktails around a fire pit. (There’s a red mezcal negroni, orange aperol spritz, and more.) One dollar per cocktail will be donated to the Richmond/Ermet Aid Foundation, which provides HIV services and supports unhoused youth.
Rainbow Beer at New Belgium Brewing
If you happen to be near the ballpark for those outdoor movie nights, stop by the massive new location of New Belgium Brewing. In addition to wagyu burgers and bacon-wrapped hot dogs, the Colorado-based brewery also has a new Love Conquers Ale, a German-style sour wheat beer brewed with lime, blackberries, and basil ($16 for a four-pack). A hundred percent of the proceeds will be donated to GLAAD, the media institute that advocates for LGBTQ+ representation.