Courtesy of Kokak Chocolates

The extra-fabulous places where we’re shopping, dining, and snacking this month (and every month).

Sunset Staff  – June 8, 2021

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It’s June, and that means two things: School’s out, and so is the LGBTQ+ community. Pride can feel like a month-long party, but it’s one to which everyone’s invited. One way you can show your pride and/or ally status is by patronizing queer-owned businesses and organizations. Here are a few of our favorites.

Wildfang, You Make Our Hearts Sing

Pride is about being yourself, and we’re all for a clothing company that helps you do that. Portland based Wildfang (the name means “tomboy” in German) offers a line of sustainably made clothing that’s subtly gender-bending. Think dress shirts with no weird gaps between buttons and trousers for people with curves that have (and why is this so revolutionary?) actual usable pockets. Stop by their locations in either Portland or L.A.’s Silver Lake neighborhood, or shop online. —Nicole Clausing, digital producer

The Boy Who Cried Flowers

I’ve always thought a bouquet of flowers was an easy way to brighten up space, but Anthony and Follin’s floral arrangements instantly become the centerpiece of a room. The duo provides full floral and botanical service for events, weddings, openings, and everything in between to Southern California spaces. They extend the life of flowers beyond a vase, turning the arrangements into an art form. You can get your hands on one of their arrangements on their website or join their subscription service to get a fresh bouquet delivered right to your doorstep every week. —Teaghan Skulszki, editorial intern

Hillcrest Brewing Company

If you’ve ever spent time in San Diego, you know how vibrant and fun of a community Hillcrest is. So, with this week’s theme, what better time to highlight a delectable brewery in the heart of the neighborhood? 

Hillcrest Brewing Company was founded in 2012 and proudly touts a tagline of “The first gay brewery in the world.” 

While that claim isn’t exactly something I can verify without venturing to every brewery on our planet, what can be confirmed is their friendly atmosphere, exuberant staff, and savory food and drink options. 

Menu items include a long list of apps, salads, and specialty-themed pizzas, as well as a stacked brunch menu that features items boasting names like “Morning Meat” and “Cock A Doodle Do.” (You get the gist.) 

As for beer, Hillcrest Brewing carries two dozen crafts on tap, which are supplemented by a list of rotating guest beers, ciders, specialty cocktails, and wines. 

I was fortunate enough to once live within walking—or realistically, stumbling— distance from Hillcrest Brewing. If you find yourself in Hillcrest, Bankers Hill, North Park, or any of the adjacent neighborhoods, I highly recommend you pay them a visit. —J.D. Simkins, WildLands editor

A Passion(fruit) for Chocolate

Kokak Chocolates Love Is Love Pride Truffle

Courtesy of Kokak Chocolates

Earlier this year, I tried Kokak Chocolates for the first time and have been savoring the truffles I have left carefully. While I am a baker at heart, I lost my sweet tooth by the age of fifteen after one too many slices of cake and pie, though a bite into a Kokak chocolate made me a snacker of sweets again. In my chocolate drawer (yes I have a chocolate drawer in my fridge), there are a few bites of their passion fruit truffles left for when I really need a pick-me-up, and a dark chocolate piece from their Artist Palette collection that I just look at sometimes but will probably never eat because it is too beautiful. In honor of pride month, they’ve added the passionfruit truffles along with their house-made hazelnut gianduja praliné in a special box of chocolates dressed in pride colors

The LGBTQ-artisan owned chocolate company is also celebrating the one-year anniversary of their location in The Castro district of San Francisco. Founder Carol Gancia tells us of their first year in business, “Our Castro neighbors were the first to embrace us, stopping each week to try different truffle flavors, buy up the day’s remaining selections, and support however they could,” she tells us. “I am beyond proud to be a part of and commemorate Kokak Chocolates’ first anniversary with Pride month and expand our collections to honor my Asian roots.”  If you’re in the S.F. area, Kokak will deliver you chocolates via bike if you can’t stop into the shop, or you can order from the pride collection here. —Magdalena O’Neal, assistant editor

The Next Best Thing to Ruby Slippers

Whether you’re attending a Pride event or simply kicking back with your pup, here are a few Pride collection sole-covering standouts that are #soSunset. In its third year partnering with Pacific Pride FoundationSeaVees will donate $5 from every purchase of their reimagined but still understated classic canvas Pride Collection sneaker to PPF for its ongoing efforts to support the LBGTQ+ community in Santa Barbara County. Another reason we’re saying yay to SeaVees? They just received their 5 years of giving certificate from 1% for the Planet.

To help empower and support the LGBTQ+ community, Teva is donating $35,000 to the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. Our Pride pick? Their all-gender Original Universal sandal in white with bright hardware. Guaranteed to put a pop in your summer step. Other reasons to love Teva? The sandal’s quick-dry webbing is made from recycled plastic. And their TevaForever recycling program means your retired Tevas never need to see a landfill.

If you’re looking for a custom shoe, be it a subdued take or a no-stop-sign approach, check out Custom Pride Chuck Taylor All Star By You high-tops. For its sixth annual Pride Collection, Converse commissioned designs from Converse All Stars worldwide to create a collection by and for the LBTGQIA+ community. Choose from a variety of laces, eyelets, rubber sidewalls, and exclusive upper and midsole All Star prints to land on your creation. From Rocio’s space-themed, futuristic print to Xandro’s graphic pink and blue butterflies, the collaborations benefit Converse’s longtime partners globally and locally, including the It Gets Better ProjectAli Forney CenterBAGLY and OUT MetroWest—Christine Bobbish, photo editor

Frameline Film Festival

When I first moved to the Bay Area in my 20s, Pride meant days spent parading under the hot sun, and nights spent dancing woozily in the streets with my chosen family. Now that I’m older and more…let’s go with “mature,” not “exhausted,” I appreciate the Frameline Film Festival more and more. It’s just as exuberantly queer as the traditional Sunday parade down Market Street, but seated, and with more snacks. The festival kicks off this week with a mix of streaming videos, drive-in movies, and a few showings in theaters. I’m beside myself with excitement at the prospect of going to an in-person screening for the first time in well over a year. With no parade or Civic Center afterparty this year, Frameline IS Pride 2021, and I intend to make the most of it. —NC


Read the 2021 Camping Issue

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