José Andrés Is Giving Out Free Tacos at Oyamel Again (Updated)

Get free tacos at Oyamel on election night. Photograph via Facebook

Update (Wednesday): Chef José Andrés is going high after Election Day. The politically-active restaurateur is offering free tacos for all, for a second night in a row, in Oyamel’s bar after 10 pm. Further evidence that it’s better (and more delicious) to build bridges than walls. 

On the Hillary Clinton campaign trail in Ohio this week, President Barack Obama urged voters to cast their ballots, and then take advantage of Taco Bell’s free food promotion that ran in honor of the World Series. His message: if you can find the time to locate and visit a Taco Bell, you can find the time to locate and visit a voting booth.

“You can vote, and then go get your taco!” Obama said. “It’s like a combo meal. You get something good for your soul, and then you get something good for your appetite.”

José Andrés, who recently campaigned for Clinton in Florida, took Obama’s message to heart. While it’s not technically legal to offer free food in return for proof of voting, Andrés is joining the many Washington business owners providing complimentary dishes or drinks when patrons  flash their “I Voted” sticker. Guests at Oyamel, his upscale Mexican spot in Penn Quarter, can get a free taco at the bar if they’ve cast a ballot.

Federal election lawyers may disagree, but this is the most fitting election day deal of any. Andrés has been front and center in the 2016 race ever since he vocally pulled out of Trump’s DC hotel. (Read all about the drama.) The Obamas are frequent visitors at Oyamel. And if there’s any food that’s played a prominent role in the election, it’s the taco (and its bowl-like cousin).

Andrés told Washingtonian that he turned down an invitation to be in New York on election night to stay in hometown DC. You’ll likely catch him behind Oyamel’s bar.

Oyamel. 401 Seventh St., NW (between D and E streets)

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.