Does politics stand in the way of your dining choices?

I know going in this will be a controversial thread. Will try to remain objective…
There is certainly a lot of politics out there these days. Just turn on the news in the morning. Do some of these ongoing confrontations in the U.S. and around the world cause you to boycott your dining options? Examples: Did you slow down eating at Chinese restos because of our problems with China? Slow down eating Russian due to problems with Russia? Eating at Persian spots due to our problems with Iran? Stop going to restaurants advocating one candidate or another, or showing one news channel or another? Have you experienced this?

Not eating Chinese food because you don’t like China’s politics is ridiculous. Ditto Russia, Israel, Iran, etc. The FOOD hasn’t done anything wrong. It’s just food. The people here in the US running / working in the restaurants aren’t national leaders for their respective countries of origin. That part is just stupid on its face.

On the other hand, places of business usually keep their owner’s personal politics to themselves, precisely because they don’t want to alienate potential customers. Now, some decide that nope, they’ll be open about them. Maybe that means putting BLM signs in the window and contributing to those sorts of organizations. Maybe that means contributing to homophobic campaigns and printing Bible verses on your cups.

A business can control its public image. If they choose to advertise their politics, it’s pretty clear they WANT customers to take those into consideration as to whether to patronize their business. I am happy to oblige them.

Others are, of course, free to decide for themselves where their entertainment dollars go. I try and keep mine on (mostly) the better side of my conscience.


Do you do this? Since you started the thread in the first place, I assume you have a personal stake in the topic.

I actually made a point of eating at Afghani restaurants after the 9/11 attacks.

People who emigrate to the US from Russia, China, or Iran generally don’t approve of the politics back home. Often that’s precisely why they moved here.

I’ve yet to see a poster for any candidate in any restaurant, or a restaurant TV tuned to a news channel, so that’s a non-issue.

I did stop eating at one restaurant when it came out that the owner was a slaver and rapist.


Head east into gold country and you’ll find plenty of specific signs in lots of businesses including restaurants. A stroll down the street of any of the little towns in Amador county will reveal a bunch of ‘State of Jefferson’ signs. Not most, or necessarily a lot, but they absolutely are there.

1 Like

Really? I’ve been in plenty of diners with the tv tuned to Fox News, and local politicians put signs in the window of many of the restaurants in my neighborhood.

Different neighborhoods, I presume.

If there are any Republicans around here they keep quiet about it. A Trump bumper sticker would probably lead to a lot of vandalism.


Here, too. They just present as being “concerned about crime.” And the political signs I mentioned are nearly always for Democratic candidates.

There were Bernie and Warren signs around town but I don’t think I saw any in restaurants. Or actually any controversial sign ever in any restaurant around here except maybe at Top Dog, which is owned by libertarians.

Here in suburban New York City, there are two spots that insist on airing one controversial news station all day long sometimes with the sound on. One time I asked if they could turn one of the TVs to another network for some parity. One did, while another turned down the sound but refused. Although I have enjoyed meals at these two restaurants, I now tend to shy away from them.
By the way, is it ok to ask a restaurant to change a channel?

1 Like

It’s perfectly fine to ask. It’s ok for them to say no. It’s ok for you to leave/stay/return or not based on their stance.


I wouldn’t eat at any restaurant that had a TV on without the sound muted.

Earlier this year I was sitting at a tavern bar and the discussion was on politics. The owner got so upset he decided to empty all his bottles of Stoli. There were calls for a boycott of Russian Vodka at the time…

Yes, I remember hearing about incidents like that as well. The thing is (and this is leaving aside the fact that Stoli isn’t even a purely Russian product) that once you buy a bottle, the company has already profited. Pouring it out hurts only you.


I believe the distillery’s revenues come from the importer, so the revenues are taken long before the bottle is sold.

Sure, but buying a product at the retail level is still ‘supporting’ the maker. Even if there’s several middlemen between manufacturer and consumer, if no one buys the product at the retail level, the supply chain will dry up. No importer will buy booze they can’t sell.

Good point. Though in this case, I believe it’s now illegal to import.

No, that’s absurd. Food doesn’t vote, restaurant owners don’t necessarily have the same nationality of their food, and if they do, then I’d be boycotting them on the basis of their national origin, which would be bigoted. I live in America, so any restaurants I eat at have owners who also live in America, so they have zero say over the politics of wherever they originally came from.

I try not to eat in restaurants that show any news channel at all. It’s obnoxious.

1 Like