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A Guide to Where President Obama Eats in Washington

The First Couple’s dinner at Mintwood Place yesterday was just one of many culinary outings.

Obama took the Russian president (left) to Ray’s Hell-Burger. Photograph of Medvedev and Obama by Mikhail Klimentyev/AP Photo.

Barack and Michelle Obama have developed a reputation for dining out in Washington more than any other recent First Couple. Whereas George W. Bush rarely ventured outside the White House for food, the current President and First Lady seem to love their covert trips off the reservation. Here’s a guide to where they’ve eaten out—and with whom.

Politicos, Prime Ministers, and Presidents

Ray’s Hell-Burger: Once with Joe Biden, another time with then-Russian president Dmitry Medvedev

1789: With German chancellor Angela Merkel

Woo Lae Oak: With South Korean foreign minister Kim Sung-huan, and South Korean president Lee Myung-bak

Ben’s Chili Bowl: With former DC mayor Adrian Fenty

Regular Folks and Contest Winners

Scion; Liberty Tavern; Boundary Road; Ted’s Bulletin; Lincoln (more cheeseburgers); Kenny’s BBQ Smoke House

Date Night

Citronelle (surprising Michel Richard); Komi; Tosca; Vermilion

Took the Kids

Thomas Sweet; The Dairy Godmother

Birthdays and Anniversaries

The Source; Restaurant NoraBLT Steak; Blue Duck Tavern; Restaurant Eve; Equinox


Taylor Gourmet; Five Guys; Del Ray Pizzeria; Texas Ribs & BBQ

Michelle’s Spots

Georgia Brown’s; Proof; Eatonville (who kept it under wraps); Good Stuff Eatery; Oyamel; Acadiana; We, the Pizza; B. Smith’s

Namesake Treats

Obama-inspired dishes proliferated in 2008, but some have had staying power. Here’s how restaurants are celebrating the eater-in-chief:

Prez Obama Burger
A $6.98 pileup of bacon, onion marmalade, Roquefort, and horseradish mayo at Good Stuff Eatery.

Obama’s Home Sweet Home
A riff on a rickey made with Bulleit bourbon, lime, club soda, and pineapple juice at DC’s Topaz Bar.

The Obama Burger
A $28 Wagyu burger with bacon, cheddar, scallion mustard, and house-made ketchup at BLT Steak.

This article appears in the September 2012 issue of The Washingtonian.

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