gender fluid

Grab your cold brew and support these queer-owned coffee shops in the South

A coffee customer in  black lycra cycling gear pays for his coffee as the hip  barista in plaid smiles.
Credit: Modal Coffee and Hostel

The southern part of the United States isn’t known for its sweeping support of LGBTQ+ rights or progressive politics, but that doesn’t mean that queer people aren’t living there or that you shouldn’t visit. It makes it even more important to support each other.

Queer people have historically connected at night in bars and nightclubs, but a new generation of business owners is creating space to meet and build community during the day. Coffee shops have been gathering spots worldwide for centuries, but as much as queer folks love their iced lattes, opening one is a natural fit.

We’ve rounded up ten of our favorite spots for you to get your fix. Go get a flat white—or tea if that’s your thing.

A handsome middle-aged gentleman in tortoise shell glasses with salt and pepper hair puts a coffee on the bar.
Credit: Southside Coffee Brew Bar

Southside Coffee Brew Bar- (St. Petersburg, FL)

Southside Coffee Brew Bar

Upscale and stylish café 3922 6th St S · St. Petersburg, FL 33705
(727) 201-9811
Website

Owner Shelia Smith’s unassuming cafe, Southside Brew Bar, serves a plethora of wonderful beverages. In a charming, renovated former post office, you can enjoy locally brewed kombucha, herbal concoctions, coffee, and nitro cold brew.

Patrons at Lussi Brown sit outside the cafe in the sun, drink coffee, and unwind while reading a book.
Credit: Lussi Brown Coffee

Lussi Brown Coffee- (Lexington, KY)

Lussi Brown Coffee Bar

Pick your poison 114 Church St · Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 469-8440
Website

Part hip coffeehouse and part trendy mixology bar, Lussi Brown lets you pick your poison; no one will be upset if you choose both. This watering hole is known for its creative beverages. Whether it’s a golden turmeric chai or a fancy old-fashioned, this queer, women-owned cafe is a breath of fresh air in a state that’s not necessarily known for being LGBTQ+-affirming.

A pink-haired alternative person sings into the mic and plays a green guitar during an open mic night at Modal Coffee and Hostel in Grenville, SC.
Credit: Modal Coffee and Hostel

Modal Coffee and Hostel- (Greenville, SC)

Modal – Hostel and Coffee

Greenville’s queer mecca 813 Augusta St · Greenville, SC 29605
(864) 884-2834
Website

Modal Coffee and Hostel is a curated concept space that combines a charming art gallery, a bespoke modern hostel, and an artisanal coffee shop. Hosting community events such as open mic nights, local artist showcases, and weekly LGBTQ+ gatherings throughout the year, this is a pivotal establishment for the LGBTQ+ community.

The Java boys sign has a large rainbow flag under its name with patrons drinking coffee in the Florida sunshine.
Credit: Java Boys

Java Boys- (Ft Lauderdale, FL)

Java Boys

Coffee shop with light bites 2230 Wilton Dr · Wilton Manors, FL 33305
(954) 564-8828
Website

Java Boys is a kitschy gay-owned cafe in the heart of Ft Lauderdale’s LGBTQ+ strip mall where local queers meet throughout the day to fuel up, gab on the ample sidewalk seating, and slurp tasty fruit smoothies and cold brews.

Two baristas, one in a blue shirt and glasses with short curly hair and another in plaid with dreadlocks laugh while making drinks at Finca to Filter cafe in Atlanta.
Credit: Finca to Filter

Finca to Filter- (Atlanta, GA)

FiNCA TO FiLTER WEST END @ Wild Heaven

Drag queen bingo 1010 White St SW · Atlanta, GA 30310
(470) 588-7009
Website

Owned by two queer women, with two locations throughout Atlanta, Finca to Filter serves up third-wave coffee in inclusive eco-conscious, playful cafes. Each space curates different events, such as drag bingo or queer cinema nights. Can’t get enough? You’ll also find the quirky coffee shops as mobile cafes in renovated vintage trailers throughout Atlanta’s parks.

Outdoor patio at night. A few people are chatting and enjoying coffee under bright twinkle lights
Credit: Patika

Patika- (Austin, TX)

Patika

Queer brunch and coffee spot with shady patio 2159 S Lamar Blvd · Austin, TX 78704
(512) 535-3955
Website

Paitka’s signature brown butter cinnamon latte may be how this small gay-owned cafe attracted its first loyal customers, but now the busy courtyard is filled during weekend brunch service and local rock and roll showcases, too.

A patron dressed in red with a black beanie holds up their bagel while the worker also wearing red and a black beanie gives a thumbs up.
Credit: Small Mart and Pond Cafe

Small Mart and Pond Coffee- (New Orleans, LA)

Small Mart

Quirky gay owned coffee and vegan cafe 2700 Chartres St · New Orleans, LA 70117
(504) 766-8740
Website

It’s no secret that New Orleans cuisine is known for its dairy, seafood, and meat-rich dishes, which is why the vegan and vegetarian bagel bar Small Mart and the adjacent Pond Cafe are welcome changes to lactose-free and plant-based customers in NOLA’s eclectic Bywater neighborhood. Housed in a historic, colorful building, choose from vegetarian South Asian dishes, vegan bagels & shmear, and an array of refreshing iced coffee drinks to get you through the swampy weather.

A group shot of the collective that owns Firestorm Books.
Credit: Firestorm Books

Firestorm Books & Coffee- (Asheville, NC)

Firestorm Books

Third wave coffee and feminism 1022 Haywood Rd · Asheville, NC 28806
(828) 255-8115
Website

This self-proclaimed indie feminist bookstore & coffee shop serves up more than a cup of caffeine with anarchist morals. Firestorm Books and Coffee is worker-owned, anti-capitalist, and includes a roster of events that will make you burn your bra.

A woman holds an iced coffee drink above a colorful book and croissant.
Credit: Everlou Coffee Co.

Everlou Coffee CO. (Durham, NC)

EverLou Coffee Co.

Pop-up store and coffee shop 506 N Mangum St #102 · Durham, NC 27701
(919) 908-8171
Website

Everlou Coffee is more than just a queer-owned and operated cafe in the heart of North Carolina’s Triangle. It’s also an incubator for small businesses in Durham, ranging from a flower shop to a local art market.

Two smiling black people embrace in front of the Detour Coffeebar truck in Charlotte North Carolina.

Detour Coffee Bar- (Charlotte, NC)

Detour Coffeebar

Roving coffee bar United States
(+19) 808-8858
Website

Detour Coffee Bar roams around outside office buildings, apartment complexes, city parks, and private events throughout the Queen City. To find its tasty beverages, make sure to follow its social media page.

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