Where to Eat in Portland on Election Night – The Definitive List

I hate politics. You’ll be getting that non-stop for a couple of days here, there, and everywhere. Articles about the election will flood every media outlet in the country, and probably the world, including this one. You’ll have bloggers here giving their points of view and talking about what could be, what is, and what was. I’ll be my worst nightmare. Instead of worrying about all that, I’ll be debating what I’m going to eat for the next four days, whose gastronomic plan will work best for me, and having a liberal serving of election night dinner. But, since I’m part of the BDN team, and even though I write about food, I figure maybe I can join in the election day excitement by combining food and politics into a single article.

This post isn’t scientific and if you’re reading it to learn anything significant about the election, you’ll probably be really disappointed. What I’m going to do here is tell you where to eat based on your political affiliation. I’ll do my best to guide you to a place you might enjoy, but the truth is, I have no idea what you like to eat, and I could be totally wrong about you. But that sort of seems political in it’s own way, so maybe I’m on to something. Here we go!

Democrats – Sur Lie – 11 Free St.


Democrats pull votes from a lot of different demographic groups. That’s why Sur Lie is the perfect place for them. With lots of small plates under several categories, the food demographics here are practically endless. With a full investigation – or two – of the menu, customers can choose from cheeses, meats, fish, veggies, and sweets. The menu changes regularly based on what is convenient and available just like political opinions, so multiple visits rarely result in the same options and the food is consistently good. Order liberally and enjoy.

What to eat – Have a little bit of everything, but definitely have a cheese because cheese is awesome. The vegetable preparations are always unique and spectacular and I highly recommend whatever they’re serving for cauliflower at the moment. Also consider scallops or chicken for something a little more hearty. Finish off with one of their delicious desserts.

What to drink if your candidate is winning – Have a local beer and then send some emails to your friends to let them know what you’re up to.

What to drink if your candidate is losing – The Stubborn Mule – this vodka based cocktail will be appropriate for those staying up late at night to see the vote count and not backing down from the idea that their candidate is going to win.

Republicans – The Grill Room – 84 Exchange St.


Avoid Mexican at all costs because it might give you heartburn. Instead, go to The Grill Room. According to a study done earlier this year, if you eat hamburgers, you’re more likely to vote republican. With their tremendous wood-fired grill, they cook anything and everything, including those burgers and lots of other beefy menu items. But fear not, even if you’re not looking for cow, there’s plenty of other food available to make dinner great again.

What to eat – With a number of options ala carte and as entrees, there’s a lot from which to choose. Grab the smokey goodness of that hamburger, any of their steaks, or some seafood. They’ll let you because you’re hungry. Just don’t forget the Wood Oven-Baked Brie. It’s one of the best apps I’ve ever had. You’ll love it. They’ll love it. Everybody will love it. And believe me, I know more about baked brie than even the brie makers themselves.

What to drink if your candidate is winning – Celebrate with the Woodford Smash which includes Woodford Reserve, Cointreau, lemon juice, St. Germaine, and simple syrup. Be sure not to forget the tic tacs just in case someone wants a victory kiss.

What to drink if your candidate is losing – Stay away from wall…err…well drinks and anything orange. Order a terrific sipping shot like a Laphroaig 10 yr. You need something to make you smile and that should do it, so you don’t feel like a total loser.

Libertarian – Tomaso’s Canteen – 18 Hampshire St.


Socially liberal, fiscally conservative, and prioritizing freedom and liberty? Tomaso’s Canteen is the perfect place for you. They came to be when the city wouldn’t renew the prior occupants liquor license and they’ve got lots of crazy awesome party food and drink at very reasonable prices so you can have a good time for hardly any cash at all. Bar food, wings, burgers, and sandwiches give plenty of options and no single item is more than about $14. Tomaso’s is a fun place to wet your whistle too. Just don’t drink so much that you have an “Aleppo moment”.

What to eat – Go ahead and name your favorite food at Tomaso’s. I bet you can’t, so I’ll help. Have a sandwich of some sort with fries. The Fried Mozz Balls and Mac and Cheese are also worthy of your order.

What to drink if your candidate is winning – If your candidate is winning, drink water. You’ve already had way too much to drink.

What to drink if your candidate is losing – Drink whatever you want. You’re a sovereign person. You may want to smoke something too. Freedom has its benefits, after all.

Green – Green Elephant – 608 Congress St.


I’m fairly certain that Green Elephant is the perfect place for Green Party members. The vegetarian restaurant with Asian flair eschews meat in favor of organic tofu and soy meat making it a haven for the super liberal party. Lots of stir-fries, rice and noodle dishes, and meatless appetizers fill the menu. They tend to have some great specials too. Everything they make attempts to mimic food you’d normally see at typical Asian restaurants with actual meat and they’re usually successful.

What to eat – Everything I’ve had is good, but some favorites include Vegetable Dumplings, Steamed Assorted Vegetables in Peanut Sauce, and Pineapple Brown Rice.

What to drink if your candidate is winning – You’ve left Green Elephant and likely Earth too. I don’t know what they serve where you are, so I can’t help.

What to drink if your candidate is losing – You knew this was gonna happen. Green Elephant doesn’t serve hard liquor which is what you need right now. Go next door to Downtown Lounge at 606 Congress St. and do shots. That should make you hippy…I mean, happy.

Independent – Tempo Dulu – 163 Danforth St.


Independent? More like indecisive. Hit Tempo Dulu for a meal that’s already laid out for you completely by trying one of their tasting menus. You don’t have to make any decisions at all as the super knowledgeable wait staff serve you the four or more courses – depending on the menu you choose – with optional wine pairings also chosen for you. Don’t worry what you order, because with some of the very best food in all of Portland, you can’t go wrong here.

What to eat – The lobster or Chef’s Tasting Menu are your best options to be sure you don’t have to decide on anything.

What to drink if your candidate is winning – Your candidate could technically be anyone, but who cares? Have a Jakarta because it’s simply amazing.

What to drink if your candidate is losing – Stick with the Jakarta on this one too. It’s that good and strong enough to ease your pain.

All others – Bramhall – 769 Congress St.


If your political party is so obscure that you don’t fall into one of the above categories, you should probably stay home. If you must go out though, I’d suggest Bramhall. The modern version of a speakeasy will give you the opportunity to hide away while the rest of the country watches the election with the likelihood that their party will at least be mentioned at some point during the broadcast. You however, will just have to sit back and know that no such mention will occur for you.

What to eat – Just roll the dice and pick anything like you did when you chose your political party.

What to drink if your candidate is winning – Hahahaha…seriously, you’re kidding, right?

What to drink if your candidate is losing – I don’t think you need my assistance here, you’ve been planning this for years.

There you have it. The definitive list of where to eat by party on election night in Portland. You might think I don’t know what’s going to happen, but I do. My prediction is that you’re going to eat very, very well!

Stay hungry.

Hungry for more? Get notified whenever Peterpeterportlandeater at BDN releases a new blog post by entering your email address and clicking “subscribe” below. Keep up on all the BDN Maine blogs by liking BDN Maine Blogs on Facebook and follow @BDNMaineBlogs on Twitter. Seriously, do it. What are you waiting for?

Feel free to email me at peterpeterportlandeater@yahoo.com with any thoughts, suggestions, criticisms, or otherwise helpful info or post your thoughts below. Also, like the Peterpeterportlandeater page on Facebook and follow @portlandeater on Twitter to keep up with everything in my world of food.

Peter Blanchette

About Peter Blanchette

Peter Peter Portland Eater grew up in Lewiston, Maine and graduated from the University of Maine in Orono with a degree in English. After college, he left the state to work in Massachusetts, but the allure of a more comfortable life in his home state brought him back after eight years. Upon his return and after meeting his now wife – Mrs. Portlandeater, he slowly integrated himself into the Portland food scene by trying as many restaurants as he could afford. That and a desire to write for others again led him to start Peterpeterportlandeater.com where he reviews restaurants and blogs about whatever Portland/Maine food topics he finds interesting.