Taste the Rainbow

As the glittery Gay Pride Parade gets underway this weekend, it's a fine time to feast on all things rainbow-hued in Chicago. And in honor of Gay Pride Month, restaurants and bars have rolled out a miscellany of colorful eats and treats. 

Pride cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery
(Pride cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery)

Things get sweet at Magnolia Bakery, where Pride-friendly cupcakes are made with chocolate or vanilla cake, rainbow decorations, and confetti sprinkles. 

In honor of Pride Weekend, the JW Marriott Chicago is getting in on the festive action with complimentary "Pastries of Pride." Available at the front desk on June 19 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m., the pastries are rainbow macarons courtesy of chef Michael Reich, available in flavors like raspberry, orange, lemon, pistachio, blueberry, and white chocolate. 

Getting drunk is a normal thing to be doing this weekend. It's especially appropriate when you're getting buzzed off rainbow-colored cocktail buckets at Howl at the Moon. The jazzy River North bar specializes in group-friendly booze buckets, each one a different lustrous hue filled with tropical ingredients. Try the Pink Paradise made with X-Rated Fusion Liqueur, Cruzan vanilla rum, peach, pineapple, and cranberry; or perhaps the Purple Haze featuring UV Blue Raspberry vodka, Monin Desert Pear, lemon-lime soda. 

Boystown provides a bevy of drinking options, and on Pride Weekend you can't really err when deciding where to go for boozy nourishment. But one fun, colorful option is Sidetrack, a bar with a penchant for videography and lip-sync contests. Their signature slushie cocktails are perfectly fitting for the setting, available in flavors like Stoli Blueberri Pink Lemonade, Effen Black Cherry Buzz, and Bacardi Pineapple Mai Tai. 

One of the most apropos destinations for Pride snacking this weekend is Original Rainbow Cone. If the name doesn't sell you, hone in on their incomparable rainbow sherbet, which is delicious as is or stacked along with various ice cream flavors for a killer cone. 

The Goddess and Grocer regularly stocks various cakes available by the slice or by the whole with pre-order. One of their best, most beautiful flavors is their rainbow cake. Featuring a dizzying myriad of vivid layers, the white-frosted cake makes for an ideal confection come Pride weekend. 

The quintessential dinner dish this weekend is undoubtedly rainbow rolls from any number of sushi restaurants in town. The classic maki is pretty easily attainable, but I like the version at Coast made with a California maki enrobed with salmon, yellowtail, tuna, avocado, and masago, with more layers of flavor and texture than there are colors in a rainbow. Get it? 

In non-edible rainbow news, Geek Bar Beta is tugging on nostalgic heartstrings with its pre-Pride rainbow party on June 19, 5:00 p.m. until midnight. At 6:00 p.m., the bar is hosting a Mario Kart tournament, with the twist that all races are Rainbow Road only. If you've ever played a version of Mario Kart, you'll know that Rainbow Road is no joke, so bring your game face. 

Matt Kirouac