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 &

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

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.

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Petworth.