Election Day — Tuesday, November 8, although early voting has already started — is a stressful time for anyone, especially when it comes to many important races during this midterm election, ranging from governor to attorney general to Congress to mayor. Luckily, the city has plenty of options for different styles of comfort food, from warming ramen and chili to rich chocolate cakes.
Whether celebrating casting a ballot or choosing something to eat while watching the results roll in, here are some of Eater Austin’s picks on Election Day.
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A vote for Tex-Mex is a vote for melty cheese, savory seasoned meat, and creamy beans. Lovers of both flour and corn tortillas can put aside their differences for the day and agree that Tex-Mex is excellent comfort food.
Mi Madre’s: From burritos to fajitas to enchiladas, Mi Madre’s serves up classic, comforting Tex-Mex. Don’t forget a margarita or horchata to go. Takeout orders can be placed online. (2201 Manor Road, Cherrywood)
Torchy’s Tacos: Choose between the Democrat (barbacoa, cotija cheese, avocado) and Republican (grilled jalapeño sausage and cheddar jack cheese), or go for the golden queso, fried avocado taco, and many more. The local taco chain did axe the Republican and Independent tacos at one point, swearing this was based on sales and was not politically motivated. Takeout orders can be placed online. (Multiple locations)
Texas Chili Parlor: Feeling patriotic? Get a warming, meaty bowl of the state dish of Texas from the 46-year-old downtown institution. (1409 Lavaca Street, Downtown)
Cheese and bread are two critical components of comfort food for many. However, this is not a night for thin and crispy pizzas. Find substantial, indulgent, and deliciously greasy pies at these Austin restaurants.
Little Deli & Pizzeria: The New Jersey-style pizzeria offers comically large pies, often without a long wait. There are also calzones, hot sandwiches, and lots of desserts. Takeout orders can be placed over the phone. (7101 Woodrow Avenue, Crestview; 1804 Briarcliff Boulevard, Windsor Park)
Home Slice: Grab cheesy, garlicky New York-style pizza from the north or south location — although the north location has a larger menu that includes thick-crust Sicilian-style pizza and wings. Takeout orders can be placed online. (501 East 53rd Street, North Loop; 1415 South Congress Avenue, South Congress)
Burgers are a classic for good reason: meat, bread, and easy to eat, which comes in handy while watching the returns.
Salt & Time: The East Austin butcher shop understandably has excellent, well-seasoned burgers. The crispy beef fat fries are a treat, as well, and the bolognese is a hidden gem. Takeout orders can be placed online. (1912 East 7th Street, East Seventh)
Better Half: Cauliflower tots with beet ketchup make most things better, including Better Half’s burger with ground beef, Dijonnaise, and American cheese. Adding some of their award-winning queso isn’t a bad idea, either. Takeout orders can be placed online. (406 Walsh Street, Clarksville)
Southern cuisine is the epitome of comfort food.
Hoover’s Cooking: The longtime Manor Road has Southern comfort classics like chicken fried steak, pork chops, meatloaf, and more. Don’t miss the excellent selection of desserts. Takeout orders can be placed online. (2002 Manor Road, Manor)
Carb-loading before the marathon night of watching election results roll in is a good call.
ArtiPasta: Get all the carbs at this Italian-owned food truck in South Austin. From rich carbonara to meaty lasagne to pillows of gnocchi, there are lots of great options to try. Don’t skip dessert, either. Place takeout orders over the phone or through third-party apps for delivery. (7800 South First Street, Far South Austin)
The essential Japanese dish combines two necessary comfort food items: noodles and hot soup.
Ramen Tatsu-ya: Slurp worries away with delicate ramen and vegetables in a rich broth — which makes for great comfort on any cold autumn night. Place takeout orders online. (Multiple locations)
Sazan Ramen: Get noodles with creamy paitan broth from this Highland ramen spot. There’s a vegan option, too. Takeout orders can be placed online. (6929 Airport Boulevard, Highland)
Smoked meats are another one of those essential Texas foods. While most barbecue spots are only open during daytime hours, luckily Austin has a great evening option.
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew: Pile on the smoked meats (ribs, brisket, sausage, and more) and sides at this Brentwood barbecue spot. Plus, Tuesday is brisket enchilada night. Takeout orders can be placed online. (6610 North Lamar Boulevard, Brentwood)
Sugar, cream, butter, and chocolate are obvious choices to feel better about the world at large. From fruity pies to decadent cakes to creamy ice cream, Austin has many options to add some sweetness to Election Day.
Chez Zee: Home of towering layer cakes, fluffy meringue pies, and rich cheesecakes, Chez Zee has been serving some of the best desserts in Austin for over 30 years. Pro-tip: Order a sampler with three slices of their most popular desserts. Takeout orders can be placed online. (5406 Balcones Drive, Ridge Oak Park)
Tiny’s Milk and Cookies: The pastry-centric offshoot of Houston-based restaurant Tiny Boxwoods is known for its gooey chocolate chip cookies, but it also serves brookies (a brownie-cookie combination), ice cream, and more. Takeout orders can be placed online. (1515 West 35th Street, Old West Austin)
Gati: Those following a vegan or gluten-free diet can still indulge. The ice cream shop from Thai Fresh owner Jam Santichat has many flavors of coconut milk ice cream, as well as gluten-free pastries and treats. Takeout orders can be placed online. (1512 Holly Street, East Cesar Chavez)
No explanation is needed here. Drink responsibly and hydrate.
Nickel City: For a casual drink and maybe some cheesy fries, local watering hole Nickel City is a great move. (1133 East 11th Street, Central East Austin)
Eater Austin is part of Vox Media. Find more coverage of the 2022 election across its other networks: how to vote, in-depth analysis, and how policies will affect you, your state, and the country over the next four years and beyond.