We all saw your post on social media that you’re planning on voting in the 2020 presidential election. That’s good. We love that about you. But have you considered voting earlier than November 3rd? New York City’s early in-person voting period goes from Saturday October 24th to Sunday November 1st, and it’s possible that in-person early voting may help shorten lines on general election day. To get you even more amped up to participate in democracy, we’ve identified 27 early voting sites around all five boroughs, and paired each one with a fantastic restaurant within 15 a minute walk. So you can vote, support local businesses, and eat something incredible - all in one day.
Heads up: New Yorkers must vote at their assigned early voting site - you can’t just choose where you want to vote based on its proximity to an excellent looking dosa pictured below. To locate your assigned site, plug your address into this page. Don’t worry, we’re here to help you find some equally great food nearby.
Between long lines on election day and an extraordinary percentage of Americans already facing food insecurity, we don’t want anyone to let hunger get in the way of exercising their right to vote on November 3rd. The Infatuation has teamed up with The Migrant Kitchen to offer free and healthy meals in cities like Philadelphia, Miami, Brooklyn, and more. Learn more and donate today at www.feedthepolls.org.
JHS Eleanor Roosevelt Middle School (511 West 182nd Street 10033)
There are roughly 30 variations of mofongo you can eat at this Dominican restaurant in Washington Heights, including octopus, pernil, and lobster. No matter which type you get excited about, we’d recommend sticking with some type of mofongo here. La Casa Del Mofongo have takeout available as well as outdoor dining.
NYC SKIRBALL CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS (566 LaGuardia Place 10012)
Even during non-election years, we most often go to Domodomo for handrolls and solitude. If that combination sounds good to you (it should), stop by this sushi spot on Houston Street for some excellent raw fish wrapped up in seaweed like a personal present. Make sure to get the unagi handroll, it has a little drop of savory-sweet chocolate sauce that we think about on a bi-annual basis.
Robert Wagner Middle School (225 East 75th Street 10021)
A lot of things are up in the air right now, but at least there’s pastrami on rye with a swipe of mustard. Pick up a sandwich from this classic Jewish deli on the UES and go sit in Central Park for half an hour. Will there be a random saxophonist playing "Amazing Grace" on a bench? Will you cry? We hope, for your sake, the answer is yes.
JHS 56 (220 Henry Street 10002)
Taiwan Pork Chop House on Doyers Street is one of our favorite places to recommend for outdoor dining right now, since it’s located on a street that’s blocked off to traffic, and you can sit right in the middle of the road. Get a pork chop on top of some rice, or a massive plate of fried rice cakes with shredded pork, as well as some wontons in spicy oil. Taiwan Pork Chop House opens at 10:30am every day.
THE FORUM (601 West 125th Street 10027)
If you’re near Columbia University and voting at The Forum, take a 15 minute walk to Clay in Harlem. Even if you’re just stopping by for a glass of wine and a plate of smoked coppa, eating here will feel appropriately celebratory. Clay opens at 5pm every day, and if you’re looking to have a full dinner, we’d recommend the bucatini or the mushroom garganelli.
St. John’s Recreation Center (1251 Prospect Place 11213)
Ali's Roti Shop
Your post voting move in Crown Heights should be the doubles at Ali’s Roti Shop. They’re a Trinidadian specialty filled with curry chickpeas, and we’d suggest ordering them spicy with ample amounts of tamarind sauce.
Our Lady Of Perpetual Help (552 59th Street 11220)
There’s an argument to be made that Than Da’s bánh mì is our real lady of perpetual help. This Vietnamese spot makes one of the best versions in the city. Get the #1, which comes with a thick patty-like pork roll, crumbled barbecue pork on top, and more chả lụa than on most other bánh mì we’ve had.
Williamsburg Community Center (195 Graham Avenue 11206)
Bahia is a Salvadoran restaurant on Grand Street where Senior Staff Writer, Bryan Kim usually orders takeout once a week. Get the chuletas campesinas, which involves some grilled pork chops, rice, beans, and Salvadoran cheese. Or, if you need some comfort after thinking about our country’s future for a few hours, try the sopa de pollo. No matter what, it’s essential that you get at least one pupusa. If you want to eat outside of your apartment, know that Bahia has a few tables set up on their sidewalk.
New York City College Of Technology (285 Jay Street 11201)
Aside from a few gimlets or a martini, what you really want at Long Island Bar is the burger. It has two dry-aged patties, a squishy bun, pickles, and an excessive amount of cheese. They have outdoor dining and takeout available starting at 5pm every day. Early voting goes until 8pm on Tuesday and Wednesday, so check the hours ahead of time and make a night out of it.
Masonic Temple (317 Clermont Avenue 11205)
We cannot think of a better followup to voting in Clinton Hill than sitting in Dosa Royale’s outdoor patio, admiring the brownstones in the distance, and eating masala dosa filled with curry potatoes. If you’re looking for something spicier, get the rava masala dosa. Dosa Royale is open for lunch and dinner every day.
Fort Hamilton High School (8301 Shore Road 11209)
We wish we could vote at Tanoreen. That way, if there were long lines, we could pass the time by eating things like lamb kafta and baskets full of thin pita covered in za'atar. But since that doesn’t seem to be an option this election year, go to this incredible Middle Eastern spot for lunch or dinner after you vote in the area (except Monday when they’re closed).
Bushwick Campus (400 Irving Avenue 11237)
Technically speaking, Ops is the best pizza place near an early voting spot in Bushwick. But we think it’s more appropriate to call it a sourdough emporium. The pies here have pillowy bubbles and a char on the bottom that tastes like a well-worn oven (in a good way). It ultimately doesn’t matter what toppings you choose because the crust is the star.
Queens Public Library At Jackson Heights (35-51 81st Street 11372)
The signature dish at this Uruguayan restaurant is the parrillada, which comes in the form of a huge takeout container of steak, sweetbreads, and a few different sausages. The version “for one” will feed between three and four people, so expect leftovers or bring a democracy buddy. One more suggestion: order the spinach as a side to balance everything out.
Museum Of The Moving Image (36-01 35th Avenue 11106)
This Greek seafood spot gets fairly busy during dinnertime, but a few of the early voting days end at 3pm or 4pm, so you can stop by afterwards for lunch any day except Sunday and Monday when the restaurant is closed. They have a bunch of tables set up outside where you can enjoy things like octopus, branzino, shrimp, and clams cooked however you like.
Boy’s & Girls Club Of NY, Abbe Clubhouse (133-01 41st Road 11355)
Shanghai You Garden in Flushing makes some of our favorite xiao long bao in the city, including a giant version where you slurp the soup out of a straw. Make sure to try the ones with crab and pork, which are distinctly crab tasting - as well as an order of pan-fried pork buns. Shanghai You Garden is open for indoor dining, covered outdoor dining, and takeout, so you can eat some excellent post-voting dumplings wherever you’re most comfortable.
Queensborough Elks Lodge No. 878 (82-20 Queens Boulevard 11373)
Elmhurst has a ton of amazing Thai restaurants, but Dek Sen is one of the most celebratory-feeling, mostly because of the dessert. Their milo sizzling roti, for example, comes with ice cream in the center, and topped with corn flakes, whipped cream, marshmallows, and chocolate sauce in an extremely hot cast iron pan.
Queens Borough Hall (120-55 Queens Boulevard 11424)
Queens Bully is one of our favorite spots in Forest Hills for both BBQ and day drinking, and probably the best place to spend a few hours after voting in the area. This BBQ spot on Queens Boulevard serves some very good smoked chicken and baby back ribs, as well as six types of wings. Get a side of potato salad, and an extra side of BBQ sauce for dipping.
Laguardia Community College (31-10 Thomson Avenue 11101)
If you’re not already someone who dreams about eating goat a few times per week, all of that will change after you eat at this very good Indian restaurant in the eastern part of LIC. Adda makes our favorite Indian goat dishes in the city, like a steaming biryani covered in a layer of baked dough, and an excellent junglee maas goat curry.
1380 Parkchester Road (1380 Parkchester Road 10462)
Taqueria Tlaxcalli's burrito is the size of a kitten, and comes with tons of cheesy rice inside, plus colorful stripes of sauce on top. It's possibly the best in the city. Get the steak burrito or an order of grilled fish tacos to celebrate the filling out the most important bureaucratic form you’ll encounter in the next decade.
InTech Academy (2975 Tibbett Avenue 10463)
While Kingsbridge Social Club makes solid hot cherry pepper wings, your first priority should be the 12-inch pizzas. Their crust is harder than a fluffy Neapolitan pizza crust, but softer than a classic New York slice. Get the “Bronx Deli.” It comes with spicy soppressata, strips of pepperoni, spicy cherry peppers, and provolone, and it tastes like an excellent deli sandwich.
Bronx County Supreme Court House (851 Grand Concourse 10451)
Zona De Cuba
It’s possible your first thought after voting in 2020 is, “Holy sh*t I need to drink something spicy and riddled with tequila,” Zona De Cuba is the answer you’ve been searching for. This Caribbean restaurant has a massive rooftop with a light-up dance floor, a booth made from the back of an old-school Chevy, and individual igloos you can reserve for private groups.
JHS 45 Thomas C. Giordano MS 45 (2502 Lorillard Place 10458)
If you’re in the Arthur Avenue area, celebrate with whatever special sounds best to you at Zero Otto Nove (a famous, old-school Italian restaurant with outdoor dining). Our advice is to generally opt for whatever the “pasta in foil” is that day, the meatball appetizer, and insalata di mare.
Tremont United Methodist Church (1951 Washington Avenue 10457)
Looking for a nice place that isn’t too fancy where you can meet up with a few friends after voting? Head to Antonio’s Trattoria. Right near the busiest part of Arthur Avenue, this old-school Italian spot has a huge, turf-covered patio with a few tents and free wifi. While we like the pasta more than the pizza, we think every meal here should start with their caesar salad - it has the perfect dressing.
ANDREW FREEDMAN HOME (1125 Grand Concourse 10452)
Ideally, you’d be able to watch the Yankees in-person right now (and, ideally for you, they'd be in the World Series). But at least Bronx Drafthouse is screening every baseball game on their curbside patio, which happens to be right around the corner from Yankees Stadium. This laid-back neighborhood bar has a huge selection of draft beer and a bunch of bar food like buffalo wings and skillet mac & cheese that you can eat while surrounded by a like-minded fan base.
Calvary Presbyterian Church (909 Castleton Avenue 10310)
Mar Mar in West Brighton serves Middle Eastern food like fatoush, pumpkin kibbeh, and grape leaves stuffed with beef. They have a big patio in the back of the restaurant where you can eat outside, as well as takeout and indoor options available in case the weather isn’t behaving like you told it to.
Central Family Life Center (59 Wright Street 10304)
This Sri Lankan restaurant is just a five minute walk away from the early voting spot in Stapleton. They’re open for lunch and dinner, and have outdoor seating right on their sidewalk. If you’re feeling like you need some enthusiasm and support after you vote, get the godamba roti. Unlike the ballot you filled out, it comes in the shape of a heart.
P.S. 8 Shirlee Solomon (112 Lindenwood Road 10308)
If you’re voting in Great Kills, head over to Marina Cafe afterwards for lunch or dinner on the water. The views here are the best part of the experience, but you probably won’t mind a dozen oysters and a glass of wine to celebrate not having to worry about the logistics of voting on general election day.