Fast Food Pride Month Menu Items You Need To Try

The beginning of June signals the start of Pride Month. While Pride Month has become associated with parades and rainbows, it is essential to remember that there is a specific reason for this. Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots, which took place in June of 1969. The Stonewall Inn was a popular hangout for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, but just getting there was difficult. Those who went to the Stonewall Inn were harassed and put in danger simply for existing. The hostility towards the community came to a head, and a violent altercation broke out. The following year Pride marches began to commemorate Stonewall and continue the fight for LGBTQIA+ civil rights.

Pride has not always been easy, and many have faced discrimination over the years. For example, prominent trans leaders Marsha P Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, who were both instrumental in the Stonewall Riot, were not permitted to march in the 1973 New York Pride march due to a ban on "drag queens," a move that seems to share uncanny relation to current events in the South.

Pride is a month of celebration of the LGBTQIA+ community, but also a time to remind us that there is a continued need to fight for the right to exist. To show their support for this cause, some restaurants, a coffeehouse chain, and even a confectioner and food company have added special items that reflect themes associated with Pride.

Previous fast food promotions

2023 is not the first year that restaurants have offered special food deals, typically incorporating a rainbow element reflecting the theme of diversity represented by the Pride flag. In 2018, Starbucks launched a Glitter Frappuccino to celebrate London Pride. In 2021, Dunkin offered Pride-themed gift cards, the purchase of which each donated a dollar to Joy in Childhood Foundation, which provides hunger relief for LGBTQIA+ youth. They also offered Pride tumblers and straws, as well as the Sprinkled With Pride donut, a cake donut with rainbow sprinkles.

In 2021, Burger King introduced the Ch'King sandwich. $0.40 of each sandwich sold went to support the Human Rights Campaign. A Tweet from the company stated this deal was good "even on Sundays," which appears to be a jab at Chick-fil-A, who have supported anti-LGBTQIA+ organizations in the past.

Also, in 2021, Chipotle got a little creative and served up dishes from three Drag Queens, which each went to support a different organization. Not only this, the dish with the most orders would receive a $10,000 bonus to the designated organization.

The Habit Rainbow Shake

To kick off this year's Pride month, The Habit Burger Grill features a Rainbow Shake. This shake will help keep you cool and sweet during the first month of summer. The Habit has been slinging up chargrilled burgers and their perfect partner, milkshakes, since 1969, the same year as the Stonewall Uprising.

The Rainbow Shake was designed by The Habit Facilities Manager Jorge Guevara, himself a member of the LGBTQ+ community. The Rainbow Shake is a combination of vanilla ice cream mixed with rainbow cereal. The whole thing is then topped with strawberry puree, raspberry syrup, passion fruit puree, whipped cream, and then topped with even more rainbow cereal. This creates a colorful contrast to the somewhat monotone nature of the company's standard milkshakes.

This milkshake was released in partnership with the It Gets Better Project, a non-profit that works to support young LGBTQ+ individuals around the world. For each Rainbow Shake sold, $1 will be donated to the It Gets Better Project, up to a total of $50,000.

This milkshake will be available from May 31st through the end of June, but only while supplies last — so head to The Habit and grab yourself a shake.

Next Level Burger Peachy Passion Pride Shake

Pride Milkshakes aren't just for dairy consumers. So, if you prefer or need a plant-based shake, you are in luck. Entirely plant-based burger chain Next Level Burgers are spinning a Peachy Passion Pride Shake. This is a return for this shake, which also appeared in 2021.

The Peachy Passion Pride Shake starts with organic peach and passion fruit puree, which is blended with the customer's choice of soy soft serve, coconut soft serve, or a combination, and topped with plant-based whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and a Pride gummy.

In addition to this, Next Level Burgers is changing its packaging for the month of June to include a Pride-themed rainbow design featuring the phrase "Love Wins." Finally, each individual store will get to donate to an LGBTQIA+ non-profit of their choice, allowing funds to go to smaller local organizations instead of large national ones. The Peachy Passion Pride Shake will be available for the month of June at all locations.

Shake Shack Sprinkled With Pride

Ice cream is certainly on the menu, and we get why — it is hard to be sad when ice cream is involved, after all. This year, Shake Shack has teamed up with PFLAG National, an organization that supports and connects the LGBTQIA+ community.

Shake Shack's concept was simple: Take the standard menu item and make it better by adding sprinkles. Any Shake Shack shake or frozen custard can be customized with a dollop of rainbow sprinkles for an additional $0.50. Sprinkles undoubtedly make all confections more festive, but these sprinkles do something more. All of the proceeds from the sprinkles go directly to PFLAG.

But wait — it gets better! For those hoping for a new taste for Pride, Shake Shack is also releasing two new chocolaty shake flavors: An Oreo Cookie Funnel Cake and a Triple Chocolate Brownie. And yes, you can add rainbow sprinkles to them, too. Be sure to grab these sweet treats before the sprinkles leave at the end of June.

Noodles & Company Pride Crispy

The sweet Pride treats are not reserved for just milkshakes. For the month of June, Noodles & Company is releasing a rainbow rice crispy treat which they are calling the Pride Crispy. This crispy treat will be made onsite at Noodles & Company locations and is crafted with melted butter, marshmallows, crispy rice cereal, and rainbow cereal. Rainbow cereal, in general, seems to be a popular item for these festive treats.

It is not just what is in the treat that matters, though. It is also what is on them. Each Pride Crispy package includes a QR code called "Message in a Crispy." When scanned, the QR code leads to the Pride page of the company's website where consumers can learn more about the LGBTQIA+ community and history, as well as hear from members of the community who work for Noodles & Company. Customers are also encouraged to add pictures of themselves to the Pride Crispy Cam by posting photos of themselves with the Pride Crispy to Noodles & Company's Instagram story.

Celebrating Pride has become somewhat of a tradition for Noodles & Company. This is the third year that the company will donate to the organization Out & Equal, which supports workplace equality for the LGBTQIA+ community. Sales of the Pride Crispy go towards up to $30,000 in donations that will be made to Out & Equal.

Fuku Sashay Filet Biscuit

You better sashay on down to Chef David Chang's restaurant Fuku and grab a Sashay Filet Biscuit, the new menu for Pride month. The Sashay Filet Biscuit is made with a cheddar biscuit, a habanero-brined crispy chicken thigh, topped with Georgia peach sauce and pickles. It will be available as an individual item or as part of a meal that will come with waffle fries and sauce.

Fuku is really putting its money where its mouth is. In addition to donating the money from the sales to the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI), which supports LGBTQIA+ youth, Fuku has also specifically chosen to source the biscuit from Mason Dixie Foods, a woman-, LGBTQIA+, and BIPOC-owned company.

This marks the third year Fuku has supported HMI during pride month, and we are happy to see the restaurant continue this tradition. The Sashay Filet biscuit will be available the entire month of June and will be at both the Hudson Yards location and Rockefeller Center in New York City.

Starbucks Pride Tumblers

While the drinks may not sparkle this year, Starbucks is ensuring that you can still have your drink shine this Pride Month. The coffee chain has announced a new line of tumblers designed by Tim Singleton as part of their new Artist Collaboration Program. The Artist Collaboration Program works to promote artists from around the world. For this first installment of the series, Singleton, himself a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, took inspiration from queer culture to provide colorful drinks that celebrate everyone.

The first is a 24-ounce Glitter Cold Cup decorated with bright colors, holographic foils, a peace sign with a heart, and of course, glitter. The second 24-ounce cold cup is the Gradient Grid which blends a geometric textured design that fades from blue to pink to gold. Singleton describes it as a metaphor for the beauty in the LGBTQIA+ community.

Finally, warm weather does not mean you can't have a warm drink. Singleton designed a 16-ounce stainless steel tumbler with a hand with blue nails that holds a rainbow fan surrounded by colorful designs and stars, which elicits a Pride-filled drag show.

The cups are giving off a Lisa Frank vibe in the best way possible. They are officially on sale starting May 30th and are sure to add joy and Pride to any drink.

Skittles and M&M's

Not to be left out, two of the most colorful candy companies, Skittles and M&M's, have released pride-themed candy. M&M's have taken their typical colorful design and replaced the standard "M" on some of the candy with hearts and the phrase "love is love."

Skittles, though, has gone all-out and debuted a series of special edition Pride Skittles packages, each designed by a member of the LGBTQIA+ community. Artists Symone Salib, Shanée Benjamin, Mady G, Zipeng Zhu, and Bianca Xunise all designed packages in unique designs that showcase different aspects of their respective communities. In addition to the beautiful designs, each pack contains a QR code that takes guests to the Skittles Pride site where they can learn more about the artists.

In addition, for each pack sold, $1 — with a maximum of $100,000 – will be donated to GLAAD to help boost the visibility of the LGBTQIA+ community in media. We definitely want to get our hands on each of the five designs, so it is a good thing the packs will be available now through the middle of July.