Where to Eat Like the Obamas in DC

It’s true that the Obamas, America’s first family, enjoy the culinary scene in Washington, D.C. The First Lady often tries out the fresh and hip while the President often opts for comfort and familiarity. It will take pages if I were to list down all the restaurants and eateries the first family has been through all these years (they are on their eight year in the District after all) but here are a couple of handful places where to eat like the Obamas in DC.

Where to Eat Like the Obamas in DC

Chez Billy Sud

Michelle Obama often frequents this French restaurant in Georgetown for its quiet and cool ambiance but also for the amazing menu created by Executive Chef Brendan L’Etoile. Whether you opt for the duck or its signature pan-seared trout, you’ll leave happy and extremely satisfied. Chez Billy Sud recently opened a wine bar, Bar à Vin, next to the restaurant that’s also worth checking out.

Address: 1039 31st St NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Pan Seared Trout at Chez Billy Sud
Pan Seared Trout at Chez Billy Sud


Everyone in Washington, D.C., was excited to hear about chef Nick Stefanelli’s new venture so when Masseria finally opened to the public in the fall of last year, it didn’t take long before the First Lady paid a visit. The southern Italian-focused eatery offers a pre-fixed menu that includes pasta with venison ragu and black bass with fennel and squid. In addition to garnering a spot on this list of where to eat like the Obamas in DC, Masseria was also recently named one of the best new restaurants in D.C. by The Washington Post.

Address: 1340 4th St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Masseria DC Goat Capretto with Spring Greens
Goat Capretto with Spring Greens at Masseria

Rose’s Luxury

Despite several years of adulation from hungry Washingtonians, Aaron Silverman’s Rose’s Luxury didn’t quite make it to the list of where to eat like the Obamas in DC until the summer of 2015 when the president celebrated his birthday on its famed rooftop. The acclaimed chef who won this year’s James Beard award for Best Chef in the Mid-Atlantic, served the first couple and a dozen of their close friends almost everything on the menu including their famous bread and brisket, the latter served family style.

Address: 717 8th St SE, Washington, D.C. 20003

Challah Bread, Rose's Luxury
Challah Bread, Rose’s Luxury: Photo T.Tseng / CC BY 2.0

Shake Shack

You don’t need an American Express black card to eat like the Obamas in DC. In fact, one of their favorite spots is the Shake Shack in Dupont, where both the President and First Lady were spotted on different occasions with their daughters. This proves that Michelle Obama, just like the rest of us, is bound to give into the temptation of a juicy burger from time to time.

Address: 1216 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Shake Shack Burgers: Cheeseburger, Cheese Fries and Signature Shake
Cheeseburger, Cheese Fries and Signature Shake

Rasika/Rasika West End

It’s not surprising to hear that Rasika, the beloved Indian restaurant in Washington, D.C., made it to the list of places to eat like the Obamas in DC. The first couple was spotted celebrating the president’s 52nd birthday at its West End location while the first lady often frequents the original spot in downtown D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. You can almost guarantee that the restaurant’s signature dish, palak chaat, is present every time. 

Penn Quarter: 633 D St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

West End: 1190 New Hampshire Ave, NW, Washington, D.C. 20037

Where to Eat LIke the Obamas: Palak Chaat, Rasika
Rasika’s Palak Chaat

Bourbon Steak

There’s no shortage of fine steakhouses in Washington, but Bourbon Steak appear to be the favorite of the first couple. The President and the First Lady opted to celebrate their wedding anniversary by having dinner here in 2012 and more recently in 2014. Located inside the swanky Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, the menu offers guests with a variety of appetizers starting with ahi tuna tartare to a selection of caviar. It also has a fine selection of beef ranging from locally raised grass fed beef to a chef’s choice of Japanese Wagyu. 

Address: 2800 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C. 20007

Bourbon Steak, DC
Bourbon Steak, DC

Oyamel Cocina Mexicana

This authentic Mexican restaurant offering a tapas-style menu and excellent margaritas is one of the preferred casual eating spots by the president and his wife. They were spotted having a pre-Valentine dinner at one of its private rooms just last year and were again seen enjoying its freshly made house chips and chipotle salsa one night this past spring. Oyamel is one of the many Jose Andres restaurants in the District and also offers one of the best happy hour deals, with $2 tacos and $5 drinks, in Washington. 

Address: 401 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20004

Where to Eat Like the Obamas: Grilled shrimp marinaded in chipotle pepper, garlic and piloncillo sugar
Grilled shrimp marinaded in chipotle pepper, garlic and piloncillo sugar: Photo libsciterp / CC BY-NC 2.0

Have you tried any of these restaurants during your stay in Washington, D.C.? If so, let us know about your experiences and whether you spotted the president or the first lady.

About Iris A

Website: http://www.travelingwithiris.com

Born in the Philippines, but grew up in Texas, Iris has been traveling and writing about her experiences for well over a decade. Her work has been published on well-known travel sites like Hipmunk (#hipmunkcitylove) and D Magazine Online Travel Club. She has been all over Europe, the US, and has recently started exploring Latin America. She loves trying local cuisine and visiting UNESCO deemed World Heritage sites. Her favourite city is New York, with London, following a close 2nd. You can follow her on Twitter @sundeeiris or through her travel blog, Traveling With Iris.

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