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These Restaurants Are Serving Free Meals to Federal Workers During the Government Shutdown

These Restaurants Are Serving Free Meals To Federal Workers During The Government Shutdown

We're a little over two weeks into the current federal government shutdown and the end to it isn't in sight as of right now. It's worrisome to the tens of thousands of federal workers stuck without their paychecks.

Fortunately, restaurants around the country are helping the furloughed, granting free meals to those who show their federal government ID as a way to help offset some of the expenses they still have to pay for while waiting to return to work.

Here's a look at how these establishments across the United States are lending a kind helping hand.

Washington, D.C.

Chef Jose Andres has brought his feeding force to DC to help those in need during the government shutdown, as several restaurants in the area, including his own, are offering up free meals with a government ID. You have to show up between 2pm and 5 pm each day, according to WTOP.

The restaurants in the area participating are as follows:

  • America Eats Tavern
  • Zaytinya
  • Jaleo
  • Oyamel
  • China Chilcano
  • Beefsteak


The family behind Smokin' This and That BBQ in Florence, Kentucky is committed to serving federal employees in their area for as long as the shutdown lasts. So far, according to WLWT, they've been feeding over 100 local furloughed workers.


Local restaurateur Neal Brown has committed to helping federal workers in his area, and that means that any of his restaurants will offer those who show their government ID meals on the house. Brown owns three restaurants in Indianapolis, including Pizzology (craft pizza), Ukiyo (sushi), and The Libertine (a local gastropub).


The town of St. Ignace is home to a Coast Guard station, part of the workforce that's on the clock without pay during the shutdown. Nearby coffee shop Java Joe's Cafe is thus offering up free breakfast to any member of the Coast Guard while the government is closed, with the owner saying "It's the least I can do" on a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, in nearby Traverse Bay, Coast Guard members are also struggling with no guarantee of a paycheck in January. Bayside Market, however, is offering to pay for the groceries as long as servicemen show their IDs. The whole local community is on board, too, with donations from both residents and suppliers helping Bayside provide this act of kindness.


In Colorado Springs, downtown spot Poor Richard's is offering up free meals to government employees and their families, and is encouraging others to follow suit.

"We urge other businesses to follow suit!" a Facebook post reads. "We hope this undue hardship facing our loyal government employees ends soon!"


If you're in Mobile, Alabama and are affected by the shutdown, Sylvia's Biscuits and Po Boys has you covered. They're offering free meals for you and a guest until the shutdown ends.

New Jersey

Thanks to fellow Foodbeast Erica for the tip!

Atlantic City restaurant The Iron Room is providing free dinners for the Coast Guard, who's directly affected by the shutdown and working without pay. Active members and their spouses can get these meals between January 8-10.

Written by Constantine Spyrou. Published with permission from FOODBEAST.com

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