It’s Michelle Obama’s Birthday. Here Are All the DC Restaurants Where She’s Celebrated.

The former First Lady has marked the occasion at the Source, BLT Steak, and Cafe Milano
It’s Michelle Obama’s Birthday. Here Are All the DC Restaurants Where She’s Celebrated.
Barack and Michelle Obama leave Restaurant Nora after a surprise birthday dinner in 2010. AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta.

Michelle Obama turns 54 today, and given her track record as foodie-in-chief, she’ll likely hit the town to celebrate. Here’s a brief history of her birthday dinner destinations.

2009: Equinox. Michelle was feted in fine-dining style days before the inauguration. Chef/owner Todd Gray told the Post that she ordered pan-fried Rappahannock oysters to start, grilled all-natural strip loin steak as an entree, and crispy bananas for dessert. The first couple was joined by Michelle’s mother Marian Robinson and friend/senior adviser Valerie Jarrett in a private dining room.

2010: Restaurant Nora. The then-President and First Lady spent four hours at the since-closed organic eatery celebrating her 46th birthday, according to the Post. She had the lamb; he had lobster and saffron risotto. They toasted with Spottswoode Sauvignon Blanc alongside guests including Attorney General Eric Holder and Jarrett, among others.

2011: The Source. The Obamas opted for the tasting menu at Wolfgang Puck‘s modern Asian restaurant. The Post reported that the two-hour dinner included tuna cones, arctic char, dim sum, lobster, and Kobe steak in a secluded section of the upstairs dining room.

2012: BLT Steak. Michelle headed to one of her regular spots for her 48th birthday. According to Eater, she had steak, and the table of twelve shared French fries, mashed potatoes, caramelized Brussel sprouts with bacon, creamed spinach, and hen of the woods mushrooms. For dessert: red velvet cake.

2013: Cafe Milano. Page Six may have dubbed the Georgetown Italian restaurant the “second White House cafeteria” under Trump, but Cafe Milano has been drawing high-profile diners from both parties for a long time. Michelle was joined by 20 to 25 guests in the upstairs dining room for her 49th. No word on what she ate, but the restaurant is known more for its clientele than its food.

2014: Poste Moderne Brasserie. To ring in the big 5-0, Michelle stayed in at the White House for a late-night dance party with VIP friends like Beyonce and Stevie Wonder. She reportedly continued the festivities the next week with a small dinner in one of the private dining rooms at this Penn Quarter brasserie (which has since closed).

2015: Unknown. But hopefully it involved a big wedge of cake.

2016: Oyamel. An early celebration? The former First Lady dined at José Andrés‘s modern Mexican restaurant the day before her birthday.

2017: Unknown. It’s unclear where Michelle spent her last birthday in the White House, but with Trump’s inauguration impending, she appears to have kept it low-key.

2018: TBD. Assuming Michelle is even in town, we could see her heading to one of the hot new restaurants at the Wharf. (She’s already been to Del Mar, but perhaps she’ll give the Afro-Caribbean cuisine at Kith and Kin a shot?) Or maybe she’ll stick to an old favorite, like Rasika (where the former President has celebrated past birthdays) or Masseria (where she’s been spotted several times)? After all, this could be one of her last birthdays in Washington. The family has said they’ll stay in the nation’s capital until Sasha graduates from high school in 2019.

CORRECTION: This story initially misstated that Marian Robinson is Barack Obama’s mother. She is Michelle Obama’s mother.

Don’t miss a new restaurant again: Subscribe to our weekly newsletters.


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.