Restaurants That Presidents Love Across America

While presidents may not have as much free time to dine out as regular Americans, presidents still take time to chow down with family and friends. When a craving strikes, these are the restaurants that presidents love. One Harlem establishment has a fan following among commander in chiefs (page 10) while another establishment was actually home to the first-ever Fourth of July celebration in America (page 16).

1. Versailles

Paul Ryan Holds Rally at Versailles Restaurant In Miami

Food critics praise Versailles’ ropa vieja, a shredded beef dish. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Location: Miami, Florida
  • Diners: Bill Clinton, John McCain, Michele Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Paul Ryan, and others

The World’s Most Famous Cuban Restaurant” carries its weight in politics. An unofficial gathering place for Cuban exiles, Versailles deems itself “the first place politicians visit locally to garner support from the Cuban exile community.” Many big-time politicians have dined there.

The Cuban restaurant is so popular with legislators that a political analyst relocated his office across from Versailles. Diners often see national media parked outside the establishment, waiting to get footage and soundbites.

Next: This restaurant gets so many political stars, it keeps a list.

2. Mader’s Restaurant

Mader's restaurant

Past presidents were big fans. | Mader’s Restaurant via Facebook

  • Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Diners: John F. Kennedy, Gerald R. Ford, Ronald Reagan

Founded in 1902, Mader’s is an authentic German restaurant with a famous Sunday Viennese Brunch. The first president to visit Mader’s was JFK. Later, presidents Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan ate there, too. The beloved restaurant keeps a running list of the politicians and celebrities who visit for the wiener schnitzel, sauerbraten, and cold brews.

Next: President Clinton’s diet now restricts him from visiting one of his favorite restaurants.

3. Pat’s King of Steaks

US Democratic presidential candidate Illinois Senator Barack Obama pays a visit to Pat's King of Steaks

Obama also visited for a steak. | Emmanuel Dunanad/AFP/Getty Images

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Diners: Bill Clinton, Barack Obama, George W. Bush, John Kerry

Pat’s King of Steaks calls itself the “originator and inventor of the steak and cheesesteak sandwich,” and Clinton appreciated it. During his last presidential campaign, “he ordered $585 worth of steaks for lunch for his campaign staff.” Before leaving the city, Clinton ordered a dozen to go. John Kerry’s 2003 visit to the legendary establishment made him famous for ordering Swiss cheese on his sandwich, according to USA Today.

Next: An aide lied to get a private room for the president at this restaurant.

4. Corner Kitchen

Corner Kitchen

They got them a private room. | The Corner Kitchen via Facebook

  • Location: Asheville, North Carolina
  • Diners: Barack Obama

An Obama aide made a reservation for six, lying about proposing to his girlfriend to secure a private room. Unbeknownst to restaurant staff, the party of six included Barack and Michelle Obama along with four friends. They ordered corn and crab chowder, mahi mahi, baby arugula salad, a fried oyster appetizer, lobster tail, pork chops, and a souffle, according to USA Today.

Next: Politicians are just like us — they love ice cream.

5. Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor

Mitt Romney and his wife Ann

Mitt Romney has an affinity for chocolate shakes (pictured with wife Ann). | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

  • Location: Le Mars, Iowa
  • Diners: Mitt Romney, John McCain, Mike Huckabee, John Edwards, and Barack Obama

Politicians campaigning in the battleground state make a point to stop at the Blue Bunny Ice Cream Parlor in Le Mars, aka the “Ice Cream Capital of the World.” Among many politicians with a sweet tooth, Mitt Romney enjoyed a chocolate shake (hold the cherry and whipped cream), and Mike Huckabee ordered sugar-free strawberry ice cream.

Next: Iowa hosts many hungry politicians at this joint.

6. Hamburg Inn No. 2

Hamburg Inn No. 2

It’s a campaign staple. | Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

  • Location: Iowa City, Iowa
  • Diners: Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama

Known for being a stop for politicians on the campaign trail, Hamburg Inn No. 2 holds a Coffee Bean Caucus during primary elections where locals cast their vote by putting a coffee bean in jar. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama have all visited the restaurant while campaigning, according to the restaurant’s website.

Next: One president celebrated his birthday at this restaurant.

7. Rose’s Luxury

Rose's Luxury

The restaurant is popular with the Obamas. | Rose’s Luxury via Instagram

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Diners: Barack and Michelle Obama

A popular restaurant in the nation’s capital is Rose’s Luxury. The restaurant is popular with the Obama family. Michelle Obama first dined there in 2015, according to Vogue. She visited again for Barack Obama’s birthday in 2015.

Next: A president believed food from this place would improve international affairs.

8. Espresso Love

Bill Clinton samples coffee as his daughter Chelsea Clinton looks on.

The Clinton family runs on coffee. | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images For The Clinton Foundation

  • Location: Edgartown, Massachusetts
  • Diners: Bill Clinton

Known for vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, the Clinton family made frequent visits to Espresso Love. Funnily enough, part of the family’s order included the Presidential Muffin. In a patriotic move, Bill Clinton took the red, white, and blue treat to peace talks with Ireland because he loved it so much, according to USA Today.

 Next: Presidential date nights happen at this restaurant.

9. Equinox

Equinox Restaurant

Presidents Bush and Obama both dined here. | Equinox Restaurant via Facebook

  • Location: Washington, D.C.
  • Diners: George H.W. Bush, Barack Obama

With a five-time James Beard Foundation nominee chef, Equinox Restaurant serves New American cuisine to many famous faces. Former president George H.W. Bush and late first lady Barbara Bush dined here, as well as former president Barack Obama and former first lady, Michelle Obama.

Next: Celebrities and presidents are attracted to this soul food restaurant.

10. Sylvia’s Restaurant

Bernie Sanders Meets With Al Sharpton In New York at Sylvia's restaurant

Though not president, Bernie Sanders met up with Al Sharpton there. | Andrew Renneisen/Getty Images

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Diners: Barack Obama, Al Sharpton

This Harlem soul food restaurant gets its fair share of famous customers. Al Sharpton is known to be a regular, according to Thrillist. Obama also made a stop at Sylvia’s during his first election.

Next: Donald Trump eats a $36 burger at this swanky restaurant.

11. The 21 Club

Donald Trump enters the 21 Club restaurant.

A couple weeks before his inauguration, Donald Trump dined at the 21 Club. | Channel 14 via Youtube

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Diner: Donald Trump

The 21 Club is a favorite restaurant of President Donald Trump. So much so, he called the restaurant himself to make a reservation a few weeks before his inauguration. Trump usually orders a $36 burger that has 84 grams of fat and is 1,203 calories. He always gets his preferred table at the Manhattan restaurant, according to the Daily News.

Next: You can eat like a president at this burger chain.

12. Five Guys

President Obama Visits Local Five Guys Burger Restaurant

Obama enjoys a good cheeseburger. | Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Diners: Barack Obama

During his time as president, Barack Obama made stops at a Five Guys located in Washington, D.C., according to USA Today. He would order a “cheeseburger with lettuce, tomato, jalapeño peppers, and mustard.” Let’s hope he ordered fries for his Secret Service detail.

Next: Politicians use free pizza to grab attention.

13. Pizza Ranch

Rick Santorum campaigning at Pizza Ranch

Rick Santorum paid a visit. | Scott Olson/Getty Images

  • Location: Multiple locations
  • Diners: Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum

Candidates enjoy pizzas at the Pizza Ranch, namely the Iowa locations, and hope to mingle with potential voters, according to The Wall Street Journal. Mike Huckabee started the trend in 2008 among GOP candidates, according to Thrillist.

Next: Eating pizza with utensils caused a lot of attention at this eatery.

14. Famous Famiglia Pizzeria

Famous Famiglia pizza

Despite the forks and knives, the pizza is a hit. | Famous Famiglia via Facebook

  • Location: New York, New York
  • Diners: Donald Trump, Sarah Palin

Famous Famiglia Pizzeria is where President Donald Trump eats pizza with Sarah Palin and the world — OK, maybe only Americans — is peeved because they use forks and knives. Traditionally, pizza is eaten with your hands but when you’re a politician, maybe the rules change?

Next: A local ice cream shop is a favorite of this president and his family.

15. Mad Martha’s

Mad Martha's ice cream

Chelsea and Bill would often pop by. | Mad Martha’s Ice Cream via Facebook

  • Location: Martha’s Vineyard
  • Diners: Bill and Hillary Clinton

An ice cream shop on Martha’s Vineyard frequented by the Clinton family during vacations, serves up ice cream seven days a week. Fond of Mad Martha’s mocha-chip yogurt and orange-pineapple ice cream, Chelsea and Bill Clinton would often repeat their orders.

Next: An east coast eatery that still serves a First Lady’s famous recipe.

16. City Tavern

City Tavern Philadelphia

A drawing of the historic City Tavern | Library of Congress

  • Location: Philadelphia
  • Diners: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and more

Not many restaurants have the historic claims to fame that the City Tavern boasts. The original building was frequented by numerous founding fathers both before and after meetings of the first Continental Congress. Not only that, but the tavern was also selected as the location for America’s first Fourth of July celebration in 1777. They even use Martha Washington’s recipe to craft their best-selling dish, turkey pot pie!

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Read more: These Presidents Wanted White House Bedrooms Separate From Their Wives, Just Like Donald Trump