Highlighting Queer-Owned Cafes Across the U.S.: Part Two

Join us as we explore even more queer-owned cafés across the 50 states.

BY EMILY JOY MENESES
BARISTA MAGAZINE ONLINE

Welcome to part two of our series “Highlighting Queer-Owned Cafes Across the U.S.,” in which we spotlight one of our favorite queer-owned coffeehouses in each of the 50 states. Click here for part one, and read on for more noteworthy cafés across the country!

Hawaii: Raintree Bakery & Coffeehouse

Located in the heart of Honolulu, Hawaii, Raintree is a bakery and coffeehouse that emphasizes sustainability and working with local, organic ingredients. Menu highlights include the macadamia nut latte (made with coffee beans roasted by Seattle-based Grounds for Change) and lilikoi (passion fruit) cheesecake.

Coffee at Raintree, located in the heart of Honolulu. Photo courtesy of Raintree Bakery & Coffeehouse.

Idaho: Flying M

Operating since 2011, Flying M is a Boise favorite known for its colorful, eclectic interior and quality coffee, which they roast themselves in downtown Nampa. From 1994 to 2019, the coffeehouse also held an annual Flying M Valentine for AIDS Art Show, through which they featured hundreds of artists every February in a silent auction to raise money for a local nonprofit assisting people with HIV and AIDS. Through over two decades of art shows, the coffeehouse raised over half a million dollars for the nonprofit.

Illinois: Two Hearted Queen

With two locations in Chicago—one in Lakeview and one in Boystown—Two Hearted Queen has been an Illinois favorite since it first began operating in 2015. Menu highlights include the “Ice Queen,” the café’s signature shaken iced latte, made with espresso, your choice of milk, a dash of coconut milk, and dark or white chocolate, all shaken, strained, and chilled.

Indiana: Helm Coffee

Spacious and airy, Indianapolis’ Helm Coffee is fairly new to Garfield Park—and yet, it has already attracted a strong following with its quality bevs and stunning interior. Priding themselves on being a community-centered space, the shop has raised money for multiple organizations, including Indiana Youth Group, a nonprofit supporting LGBTQ+ youth.

Proceeds for holographic stickers at Florence, Ky.’s Jet Coffee have gone to the Trevor Project and the NKY Pride Center. Photo courtesy of Jet Coffee.

Iowa: Crane and Pelican Café

While it’s mainly a restaurant, we found Crane and Pelican Café to be a noteworthy mention. Following new laws banning gender-affirming care for children in Iowa, the work that the LeClaire restaurant, bar, and café does has become all the more important. The shop hosts regular drag shows, providing a safe space for the city’s queer community to gather and express themselves. Stop by for brunch or dinner and a cocktail, like the LeClaire Snow Day—a blend of RumChata, Irish cream, vodka, and nutmeg.

Kansas: Two Bears Bakery / Grounded Coffee

There are not many openly queer-owned cafés in Kansas, so it was a treat to discover Two Bears Bakery. Laz (nicknamed “Dough Daddi”) and Steven (anointed “Batter Bitch”) are the brilliant duo behind Two Bears. Their sweet and savory sensibility led them to sell their baked goods at the Lawrence, Kansas, café Grounded Coffee (which also hosts a drag brunch on weekends!).

Kentucky: Jet Coffee

When Courtney Howard launched drive-thru café Jet Coffee, she was only 21 years old—but her age hasn’t stopped her from creating a name for herself in the industry. The café’s menu boasts exciting beverages like the Raspberry Truffle, featuring raspberry and dark chocolate. Seasonal drinks include their recent Halloween special, the Goth Latte, made with lavender, almond milk, and activated charcoal.

Undergrowth Coffee’s peppered chai. Photo courtesy of Undergrowth Coffee.

Louisiana: Undergrowth Coffee

Named by Eater as one of NOLA’s favorite coffee shops, Undergrowth has been operating on Magazine Street since 2021, offering single-origin coffee from Ethiopia, Indonesia, Nicaragua, and more. They also serve impressive food items like sweet potato hummus and honey goat cheese caprese sandwiches.

Stay tuned for future installments of this series, where we’ll spotlight even more queer-owned cafés worth a visit!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Emily Joy Meneses (she/they) is a writer and musician based in Los Angeles. Her hobbies include foraging, cortados, vintage synths, and connecting with her Filipino roots through music, art, food, and beverage.

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