A Guide To The First Family's Favorite DC Restaurants

© The White House/WikiCommons
© The White House/WikiCommons
Photo of Kate McMahon
9 February 2017

Imagine Barack and Michelle Obama nonchalantly strolling into your restaurant, waiting to sit down for a meal. The pressure to perform must be astounding, but, at the end of the day, they’re a normal family with a hearty appetite; they typically focus on healthy eats, but there’s always the occasional ice cream or pizza night. These are some of their favorite dishes within District limits.


Restaurant, American, Beer, Tapas, $$$
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President Obama’s affinity for burgers isn’t exactly top secret. It comes as no surprise that he often dines on the cheddar burger at the Lincoln restaurant. On his last visit, he paired it with a mountainous kale salad, a choice likely to appease his health-conscious spouse. The restaurant’s interior is elegant, featuring trendy New American digs and a floor made of pennies, but nothing too luxurious.

Blue Duck Tavern

The First Couple celebrated their 17th wedding anniversary at the upscale Blue Duck Tavern. As First Lady, Michelle’s platform focuses on healthy eating and sustainable ingredients, and Blue Duck Tavern caters to lovers of the farm-to-table style. The menu cites the source of each ingredient. The presidential pair reportedly opted for oysters and crabs, likely fished directly from the Chesapeake Bay.

Blue Duck Tavern, 1201 24th St NW, Washington, DC, USA

Happy National #Oyster Day!

A photo posted by Blue Duck Tavern (@blueducktavern) on


Restaurant, American, Vegan, Gluten-free, $$$
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On their first night in the White House, light years ago in January 2009, Barack and Michelle headed to Equinox for their first introduction to DC eats. Offering an all-vegan brunch and beef harvested from cattle hand-raised by the chef, the restaurant leads in sustainability. They both ordered the sirloin steak for their main courses, and Michelle also dined on the truffle mac and cheese. The Obamas were obviously quite pleased with the experience, because they’ve returned many times since.

Five Guys

Being president, one of the most influential figures in the world, doesn’t mean you have to quit fast food entirely. Customers of the burger franchise have spotted Barack at various Five Guys across the District; he always orders, you guessed it, a cheeseburger. Sometimes you just need a greasy break from the five-star meals of your personal chef.

Five Guys, International Square, 1825 I St NW, Washington, DC, USA

Nothing quite like it! (📷: MarinateMeBaby/Twitter) #FiveGuys #Burger #Cheese #Tomatoes #Pickles

A photo posted by Five Guys (@fiveguys) on

Cafe Milano

Cafe, Restaurant, Italian, $$$
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The whole Obama family, and an entourage of friends, gathered at Cafe Milano to celebrate Malia’s high school graduation in June 2016. Michelle also celebrated her birthday there in 2013. The restaurant keeps their orders private, but the buffet looks spectacular.