Breakfast entrees, sandwiches and dinner are among the offerings from restaurants eager to help out.

Several Columbus restaurants are extending a helping hand to furloughed federal workers by offering them free meals as the U.S. government’s partial shutdown nears the four-week mark. Nationwide, about 800,000 federal workers are currently on forced furlough or working without pay.

“Even if it decreases our profit, it makes us happy,” says Perrie Wilkof, owner of Clintonville’s Dough Mama, which is offering breakfast or lunch entrées to federal workers. While fewer than 20 people have taken her up on the offer so far, Wilkof says the response from customers not affected by the shutdown has been positive.

The offers are generally restricted to the federal employee him- or herself; all participating restaurants ask diners to present their federal ID.

The taqueria Condado is offering one customizable taco per person to federal workers at all of its locations nationwide until Jan. 23. The chain has Columbus locations in the Short North, Downtown, in Clintonville and at Easton and Polaris. All locations are open daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and the full menu is available online at

The Crest announced in a Facebook post that it will offer free lunch at the gastropub’s Clintonville location (2855 Indianola Ave.) and free dinner at its South Side location (621 Parsons Ave.) “from now until things are rectified.” Some menu exclusions apply, and alcohol is not included. The Crest features locally-sourced ingredients and offers a wide range of sandwiches at both locations. Check the website at or call 614-261-7128 (Indianola Avenue) or 614-682-7090 (Parsons Avenue) for hours and reservations.

Dough Mama (3335 N. High St.)is offering affected workers one breakfast or lunch entrée through Sunday. Breakfast entrées range from the Avocado Biscuit to the Challah French toast, and lunches include the Vegan Grammie's Sammie and the Salmon Lox and Avocado Toast. View the café’s menu at

At Ray Ray’s Hog Pit, any sandwich is complimentary to federal workers through Sunday at all locations. A side is included in the offer. The Westerville walk-up and drive-thru is open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. The Old North and Franklinton food trucks are open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. All three barbecue spots offer four beef, chicken or pork-based sandwiches with about 10 different sides. Locations, hours and menu are available at

If you know other restaurants offering free food to federal workers affected by the government shutdown, send an email to The list will be updated as we receive more information.


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