Has Donald Trump Changed His Mind About the DC Restaurant Scene?

The President says he wants to visit more DC restaurants.

Photograph via iStock.

When Donald Trump was a mere presidential candidate opening a luxury hotel in the nation’s capital, he didn’t think so highly of DC’s dining scene.

As part of a lawsuit with celebrity chef Geoffrey Zakarian, who backed out of opening a restaurant in the hotel, attorneys asked Trump in a deposition if liberal patrons would make a point of not visiting his properties. He said he thought they would still come, if there was a great restaurant. Then he made this snub:

“They want to go to a great restaurant… There aren’t that many in Washington, believe me. There aren’t that many in Washington, as you know,” Trump said in June of 2016.

Perhaps that’s why Trump hasn’t visited a single DC restaurant in his presidency except for BLT Prime, the steakhouse in his own hotel. But maybe he’s had a change of heart?

“In Washington, you do have some great restaurants,” Trump said in an interview with the Larry O’Connor Show yesterday. “And I’m going to start going to them.”

Why hasn’t he yet? “I was accused the other day. Well, when I leave the White House, which is seldom, I always go to my hotel on Pennsylvania Avenue, and they say, ‘He should go to other places.’ And I never thought of it. And I’m going to start doing that. I’m going to go around.”

Steakhouses seem like predictable destinations, although Trump has already declared that BLT Prime has the “best steak in town” (despite having never actually tried other steaks). Surprisingly, though, the President doesn’t name BLT Prime his favorite restaurant in DC.

“I love the food in the White House,” he told Larry O’Connor. “The White House is the greatest restaurant. It’s the most beautiful.”

Jessica Sidman
Food Editor

Jessica Sidman covers the people and trends behind D.C.’s food and drink scene. Before joining Washingtonian in July 2016, she was Food Editor and Young & Hungry columnist at Washington City Paper. She is a Colorado native and University of Pennsylvania grad.