More than 51 million Americans have voted early, either in person or by mail, in the 2020 election. That number surpasses all 2016’s early votes, so it’s safe to say that plenty of people in Chicago and across the country will be stationed at home to watch the results roll in on the evening of November 3. The stakes are high, both in presidential and down-ticket races, but those glued to the TV or repeatedly refreshing their browser for latest numbers still need to eat (and, in all likelihood, drink).
Below, readers will find an assortment of Election Day specials from Chicago bars and restaurants. It’s worth noting that some spots require or recommend placing an order 24-hours in advance.
AVONDALE: Santa Masa Tamaleria will offer free tamales (rojos, verdes, rajas, and vegan) on Tuesday to those with proof of voting, so hungry fans should hang onto their “I Voted” sticker.
FULTON MARKET: Carnivale has an “Election Eats” special ($250) featuring flavors from Mexico, South America, and Central America that’s well-suited to a pandemic pod — it can serve up to 12 people. It includes guacamole and chips, elote empanadas, Baja and ropa vieja tacos, charred corn and maduros with corn and flour tortillas, pico de gallo, queso fresco, crema, and house-made hot sauce. Orders must be placed by phone before Monday at 5 p.m. Call (312) 850-5005 to order.
HYDE PARK: Cedars Mediterranean Restaurant has put together a “Comfort Tuesday 2020” pack for Election Day for groups of two ($32) or four ($64). It includes 12 harissa wings, crispy potatoes, falafel, sauces, and a pint of Halo top ice cream. Order online.
LINCOLN PARK: World-famous restaurant Alinea features an America-themed election night meal pack ($85 per person) with items including giant soft pretzels, “fancy” pigs in a blanket, fried chicken, pork ribs, and loaded tater tots. The whole thing is supplemented with apple pie for dessert and a baseball-shaped stress squeeze ball. Order via Tock.
LINCOLN PARK: In anticipation of the anxiety accompanying Tuesday’s election, Off Color Brewing is offering 20.20 percent off all orders on Monday and Tuesday at its Mousetrap taproom. Use coupon code VOTE2020 at checkout.
LOGAN SQUARE: Bang Bang Pie Shop on Tuesday will feature discounted specials like $5 pie and coffee (usually $8) and whole “frankenpies” (full pies built from a variety of slices) for $20.20 (usually $32).
LOGAN SQUARE: On Election Day, Damn Fine Coffee Bar will give voters a free 8-ounce coffee or $2 off any purchase all day long.
NEAR WEST SIDE/PULLMAN: Lexington Betty Smoke House will give a free bourbon-pecan bread pudding to customers with an “I Voted” sticker. The special is available at locations inside Dr. Murphy’s Food Hall and One Eleven food hall.
RIVER NORTH: Frontera Grill, the flagship restaurant from decorated chef Rick Bayless, invites patrons to “celebrate or stare into the abyss” with an Election Night snack package ($55). It comes with queso fundido, two orders of guacamole, fresh chips, salsa, ceviche, and chocolate pecan pie bars. Order via Tock.
RIVER NORTH: Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap is featuring “the All American” ($44.95) on Election Day: it comes with four cheeseburger sliders, a dozen of its excellent wings (some of Chicago’s best), barbecue chips, two slices of apple pie, and a six-pack of High Life. Order online.
RIVER NORTH: Election Day at Miki’s Park means a choice of meal package — a Bang Bang Basket ($50, choice of five sliders or Korean Red Hots, K-Pop chicken, fries, and banchan) or vegetarian Buddha Basket ($40, 10 vegetable dumplings, Rad Salad, Veggie Bap, fries, banchan) Each basket feeds up to five people. There’s also a thematic red, white, and blue cocktail kit ($30), with three drinks (one in each color, each bottle serves two). The restaurant requests (but does not require) that customers order 24 hours in advance, either in person or by calling (312) 526-3511.
RIVER NORTH: Nonnina will take 10 percent off the bill of customers who can show proof of voting all day on Tuesday. Both carryout and patio patrons can access the special.
RIVER NORTH: Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises’ riverside restaurant RPM Seafood has something special planned for Election Night. Its family meal for four ($115) includes a chopped salad, four crab cakes, tuan au poivre, Hen of the Woods mushrooms, Boursin whipped potatoes, and pecan pie. Orders must be placed by 4:30 p.m. on Monday, and meals are available for pickup and delivery to the Northern suburbs. Order via Tock or call (312) 900-9035.
ROSCOE VILLAGE: Le Sud’s “Election Night Eats” package for four provides an entree option of roasted chicken “poulet Basque” ($49, whole roasted chicken, tomatoes, sweet peppers, Manzanilla olives, garlic) or wood-grilled steak ($69, 18-20-ounce Denver cut, matchstick frites, roasted red pepper). Both meals come with white quinoa pilaf, mixed vegetables in epeliette and herbs, and a baguette with house butter. Order online or call (773) 857-1985.
THE LOOP: The Dearborn is leaning into comfort food on Election Day with a special dinner package ($75). The meal includes two tavern-style pizzas, an order of mac and cheese, 12 dry-rubbed chicken wings with celery and blue cheese dressing, and six USA-themed frosted cookies. Customers can add two “election-themed” cocktails for $25. Order via Tock.
WEST LOOP: In a nod to this trying election season, River Roast will mark Election Day with a “Red, White, & Booze” special. Patrons can expect half-off beverage specials. Those who order a whole roast chicken or braised short rib dinner can also get a $10 bottle of wine or half-price Moscow Mule or Old Fashioned cocktail kit. Order via Tock.
WEST LOOP: Customers at BomboBar’s walk-up window on Tuesday will get a free bombolini — the brand’s signature hole-less Italian doughnut — with proof of voting and purchase of a menu item.
WEST LOOP: Vietnamese restaurant Saigon Sisters aims to “lessen the anxiety of a historic political outcome and all the chaos of 2020” with a BOGO sandwich special on Election Day. Order via Toast with promo code FREEBANHMI at checkout.
WEST TOWN: The team at Funkenhausen says “funk fascism” with a sizable Election Week Survival Kit ($150) designed for those who are stress eating (and drinking) their way through the coming days. Each package feeds four, and features a choice of appetizer, entree, desserts, and drinks. Options include crispy potatoes (gruyere cheese, pickled onion, ham vinaigrette), smoked spare ribs (white barbecue sauce), pork shank (pretzel bread pudding, smoked carrots, crispy mushrooms), apple cobbler, and more. The package also comes with a choice of bottled wine or 64-ounce beer growler, and will be available Friday, October 30 through Saturday, November 7. Order online.
WICKER PARK: Ina Mae Tavern will offer a 15-percent discount for family meals on Election Day. Meal include fried chicken dinner (eight pieces, collard greens, mac & cheese, biscuits), fried catfish plate (fries, hushpuppies), and boiled shrimp plate (corn, potatoes, french bread). Order online.
WICKER PARK: The Violet Hour has whipped up an Election Day cocktail — Fingers Crossed (Bounty Spiced Rum, crem de banane, falernum, grilled pineapple) — available for one night only on November 3. It comes in a 12-ounce serving for two ($22), or 1-liter serving six to eight ($88), and is available for pick up only. Order via Tock.
EVANSTON: Suburban spot Prairie Moon channels Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land” with an Election Day meal for two ($39) with dishes from every U.S. time zone: Patrons can expect a mini crab cake salad (Eastern), buttermilk fried chicken (Central), honey barbecue spareribs (Mountain), mashed potatoes and walla walla sweet onion gravy (Pacific), and Hawaiian double vanilla cupcakes (Hawaii). Order online.
HIGHWOOD: Suburban restaurant Greenwood American Kitchen & Bar has a family meal ($55 for two, $110 for four, $165 for six) planned for Election Night. It includes a vegetable antipasto salad (red peppers, olives, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, fresh mozzarella, pepperoncinis, creamy red wine vinaigrette), a baked ziti bolognese (beef or vegetarian mushroom), and garlic bread. Orders must be placed by Sunday for pickup on Tuesday. Call (847) 926-7319 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to order.