January 21, 2021

Can Andrew Yang eat his way into the hearts of New Yorkers?


As a presidential candidate with an outside chance at the 2020 Democratic nomination, becoming a media darling seemed to be Andrew Yang’s primary electoral strategy. He gleefully gnawed on a turkey leg at the Iowa State Fair, pounded milkshakes, and anointed members of the “Yang Gang” with whipped cream. While he didn’t pick up the nomination — or a Cabinet seat, like fellow candidate and conspicuous consumer Pete Buttigieg — it worked in a sense: Undecided voters wanted to have a beer with Yang more than any other candidate, and his main policy proposal, a $1,000-a-month universal basic income, has vastly outshone his candidacy.

Yang has apparently brought the same food-centric playbook to his campaign for New York City mayor; in his launch video, he is seen eating a slice of pizza from L&B Spumoni Gardens and a Nathan’s hot dog, ordering at Amy’s Bread, sitting at a Korean barbecue restaurant in Flushing, Queens, and declaring Gray’s Papaya superior to Papaya King. His Twitter account has also featured food photo ops since he officially announced his candidacy on January 13: lunch at Szechuan Mountain House with the Queens borough president. Dinner at Shabu-Tatsu with his wife. Doughnut Plant. The Pickle Guys. At the current rate, a yearlong Yang ca