The 10 Best Hand-Held Dishes to Eat While in Line for Early Voting in NYC

Ballot in one hand, food in the other.

More than 64 million Americans across the country have already cast their ballots through early voting. If you plan to do the same and vote before November 3, chances are, you’re going to have some waiting to do after arriving at your designated polling site (find yours here). In NYC especially, since early voting started this past weekend, some lines have stretched multiple blocks and resulted in voters waiting for hours.

But c’mon. We’re New Yorkers. We’re seasoned pros at waiting for trendy desserts and just-for-the-Instagram art exhibits all around the city, so it’s definitely worth the wait to get in line for something that actually matters. But you might be there for a while, so you’ll need some fuel. That’s why we pulled together a list of the best easy-to-eat dishes near NYC’s early voting places that you should pick up before heading over to cast your ballot. And check out our voting primer for more resources and tips to stay safe while voting.

Photo by Evan Sung



The dish: Egg tart soft serve
Nearest polling place:Hunter College Brookdale Dorm, 440 East 26th Street
Entrees steal the show at this new casual Chinese restaurant opened last week by Eleven Madison Park alums, but it’s hard to devour a spread of fall-apart Mandarin duck, duck fat rice, and wontons while standing in line to vote. Luckily, the spot has an equally luxurious egg tart soft serve topped with caramelized puff pastry that’s an easy standing snack.
How to order: Visit the shop for ice cream, order other dishes on website

Lazy Sundaes
Photo by Minu Han

Lazy Sundaes

Greenwich Village

The dish: Matcha bingsoo
Nearest polling place: NYU Skirball Center for Performing Arts, 566 Laguardia Place
With three new locations in downtown Manhattan offering Korean and Taiwanese-inspired treats, Lazy Sundaes is now serving the perfect voting indulgence on Waverly Place: bingsoo sundaes. The matcha flavor of this Korean shaved ice dessert has hand-whisked matcha for some extra caffeine and is topped with red bean paste, roasted soy bean powder, and mochi. A variety of bubble teas and matcha lattes are also available.
How to order: Pick up online

Breads Bakery
Photo by Paul Wagtouicz

Breads Bakery

Lincoln Center

The dish: Pain au chocolat
Nearest polling place: David Rubenstein Atrium at Lincoln Center, 1887 Broadway
While you may be used to taking this pain au chocolat for a weekend stroll through Central Park, this weekend, you should take it to the polls instead. Breads Bakery, a beloved NYC bakery and cafe with three Manhattan locations, is known for babka, challah, and rustic loaves for sharing, but an individual-sized flakey pain au chocolat makes a perfect pre-voting treat.
How to order: Pick up online

J.G. Melon

Upper East Side

The dish: Bacon cheeseburger
Nearest polling place:Robert Wagner Middle School, 225 East 75th Street
This landmark restaurant has been serving no-frills pub burgers on green checkered tablecloths since the 37th president was in office, and they’re still around to curb your burger cravings as you vote for the 46th. You’ll have to leave behind the cottage fries and classic martinis, but their juicy burger topped with crispy bacon and a slice of melted American cheese will fuel you up for even the longest of lines.
How to order: Stop by for takeout, cash only

Juicy Lucy BBQ

Ocean Breeze

The dish: Chopped brisket sandwich
Nearest polling place: Ocean Breeze Athletic Complex, 625 Father Capodanno Boulevard
Normally, barbecue is best served spread across a picnic table and shared with others. But these are not normal times, so a hearty smoked meat sandwich will do just as well in long Staten Island voting lines. At Juicy Lucy, a popular barbecue spot that also opened an outdoor drive-in movie theater this summer, go for the chopped brisket sandwich, which is handcarved for each order, and comes slathered in espresso barbecue sauce to jolt you out of your food coma when you finally reach the front of the line.
How to order: Pick up online

King David Tacos

Prospect Heights

The dish: BPEC (bacon, potato, egg, and cheese) breakfast taco
Nearest polling place: Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Parkway
If you’re up bright and early in hopes of cutting down your wait time, don’t forget to hit up King David Tacos first. This Austin-born breakfast taco cart has two locations in NYC, with one conveniently parked steps away from the Brooklyn Museum in Grand Army Plaza. Go for the BPEC which takes a New York classic bacon egg, and cheese, adds potato for long-lasting breakfast fuel, and gives it a Tex-Mex spin.
How to order: Visit the cart

La Esquina Del Camaron Mexicano
Photo courtesy of cleomera1

The dish: Coctel de camarones y de pulpo
Nearest polling place: Queens Public Library at Jackson Heights, 35-51 81st Street
Don’t overlook the back of this bodega when you run in for a last-minute drink or snack on your way to the polls. Past aisles of candy, soda, and household staples, this tiny counter spot is serving up some of the best ceviche in the city. Pick your size, drizzle some hot sauce over the avocado sitting on top, and get ready to dig into restaurant-quality octopus and shrimp ceviche you’d never expect to get in a bodega.
How to order: Visit the shop

Mama's Too
Mama's Too

Mama's Too

Upper West Side

The dish: Pizza
Nearest polling place: West Side High School, 140 W 102nd Street
New Yorkers eat pizza while walking down the street and even sitting on the subway, so why not take it with you to the polls? At Mama’s Too, a popular uptown joint that opened in 2017, a simple slice of cheese or pepperoni would do well because you can fold it (as all good New Yorkers should) for easy eating while you’re in line. But the shop is also known for dense square slices of pepperoni and sandwich specials that are sure to fill you up before your vote.
How to order: Pick up online

Morgan's Barbecue

Downtown Brooklyn

The dish: Fried chicken sandwich
Nearest polling place:Barclays Center, 620 Atlantic Avenue
One of Brooklyn’s largest early voting venues is sure to have a long line. Luckily, Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue offering Texas-style menu items is just down the street. Before finding your spot in line, stop by Morgan’s for a fried chicken sandwich topped with candied bacon, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and the restaurant’s special sauce.
How to order: Pick up online

The dish: The Godfather
Nearest polling place:JHS 45 Thomas C. Giordano, 2502 Lorillard Place
If you find yourself voting near Arthur Avenue, you’re in luck—the Bronx’s Little Italy is home to some of the best voting fare around. With over 50 years of being a community stalwart, Tino’s Delicatessen serves more than a dozen heroes piled high with Italian meats and cheeses that will keep you full for hours. For early voting day, go for The Godfather, which pulls together a hot slice of fried eggplant with soppressata, capicola (aka cappy), provolone, and hot peppers for a truly massive sandwich.
How to order: Call 718-733-9879