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June 17, 2016

Top Ways to Celebrate Pride in Union Square SF

**Guest Post by Chloe Mulliner provided tips for the best neighborhood places to celebrate community during the Pride festivities.

Raise your rainbow flag; San Francisco Pride is coming in stronger than ever. In light of the recent Orlando tragedy, the community is banding together in full force to honor the victims and celebrate unity and love. The LGBTQ event will continue as scheduled on the weekend of June 25 and 26, and has highlighted some things to do in the heart of San Francisco during the celebration.  

Cheers to the Community
Slip into Union Square’s E&O Kitchen and Bar for a taste of the lounge’s three exclusive Pride-themed cocktails. Cuffs or Corsets is a flirty lime and cucumber concoction with your choice of vodka or tequila, while 50 Shades of Gay is a tempting mix of pea flower-infused gin and chocolate bitters. The Bottle and Bound rounds out the selection with a touch of Rittenhouse rye, orange, and blackberry.

Get a sweet view of the parade from the Bluestem Brasserie’s terrace. On Sunday, the urban restaurant is offering $25 wristbands that give you access to the patio, a Purple Rain cocktail, and a well-drink of your choosing. The Purple Rain Prince tribute drink is a fabulous mixture of vodka, blueberries, and Parfait Amour. Toast to love as the procession rolls by.

Fuel up for the Fun
Between cheering on the talent at the Pride Festival, get a taste of Thai over at nearby Kin Khao. With a name that means “let’s eat,” this restaurant offers a lunch menu filled with authentic Thai dishes, such as chicken fat rice and stir-fried drunken noodles. Top off the meal with a scoop of traditional black rice pudding for dessert.

Add a little French fare to your weekend itinerary. Gaspar Brasserie is a fine choice for post-parade cuisine as its menu includes something for everyone’s tastes, from duck confit and steak frites to roasted beet salad and lobster bisque. What’s more, the restaurant’s serving up a Pride-inspired drink:  the Flaming Café Brulot. A hot coffee cocktail set aflame? Oui, s'il vous plait!

What better way to focus on universal love than with reservations at First Crush Restaurant and Wine Bar? Browse the California wine list and make the perfect pairing at this “causal-upscale fine dining” eatery in Union Square. With menu options like pan roasted scallops, pork sliders, and seafood cioppino, any choice is a superb one.

Get Some Shut Eye
You’re bound to be on your feet all weekend, so a comfortable place to sleep is a must. Get some Z’s at Hotel Union Square, San Francisco’s first boutique hotel. Dating back to 1913, this historical brick accommodation sits in the San Francisco Shopping District, just a short walk away from the parade and festival.

Hotel Diva is another nearby option, which is easily one of the trendiest hotels in town. Come here to see and be seen, and don’t miss the “Sidewalk of Fame,” scribbled with signatures of the hotel’s celebrity guests. The sleek hotel features an on-site restaurant and 24-hour fitness center.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to stay just north of Union Square, Mystic Hotel is a prime choice. Kickoff your adventures with the hotel’s complimentary breakfast selection before the Pride celebrations, and then get your nightcap at the on-site Berlinetta Lounge at the end of the day.

San Francisco Pride will be especially powerful this year as the community gathers to commemorate the Orlando victims, while encouraging a message of love and strength. Between showing your support and celebrating with the community, spread the love at these Union Square establishments.