Donald Trump Only Visited One DC Restaurant During His Presidency

With Donald Trump's presidency at an end, the world will no doubt spend a lot of time unpacking his tenure and his habits during it. From a pure dining standpoint, Trump's culinary habits have been... fascinating, to say the least. His keen interest in fast food and well-done steaks with ketchup have caused some to feel he commits crimes against food – although to be fair, the Trump family as a whole eats at least somewhat more healthy than its patriarch.

Still, considering Trump's affinity for food that's, uh, not exactly home cooking, and the fact that he did spend a whole bunch of time in Washington, D.C. over the last four years, you'd expect that he'd been a regular-ish presence in the area's restaurant scene (or at least its drive-thru lanes). That assumption couldn't be more wrong. In fact, it turns out Donald Trump only visited one D.C. restaurant during his entire presidency.

BLT Prime was Donald Trump's favorite (and only) D.C. haunt

Per The Washingtonian, Trump somehow managed to spend his entire presidency without visiting a single restaurant in the D.C. area... except one. The ex-president was known to occasionally head to BLT Prime, a steakhouse at the local Trump hotel. The steak, of course, was always well done and came with fries. He invariably ordered a shrimp cocktail before it.

It could be that Trump simply didn't much care for the D.C. restaurant scene. In 2016, he went as far as stating that "there aren't that many" quality eateries in the city, though only a year later, his interview with the Larry O'Connor Show painted his culinary interests in a dramatically different light. "In Washington, you do have some great restaurants, and I'm going to start going to them," he stated. "I was accused [about not going to said restaurants] 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."

This turned out to be a bit of an exaggeration, seeing as he very much didn't. Still, Trump's documented dietary habits and his fondness of using fast-food fare for official White House occasions strongly hint that, at the very least, some of his staff had to spend a lot of time getting takeout.

Donald Trump didn't need to go to restaurants, thanks to takeout and White House chefs

Donald Trump may not have been a huge restaurant aficionado during his presidency, but he didn't necessarily need to be. The man was the president, after all, so he had access to all sorts of cuisine — as well as staff to whip him a meal at all hours, should he so desire. There are many rules the White House staff has to follow, and the resident chefs can have it particularly hard. Before the new president even steps inside the building for the first time, the staff has already compiled a vast dossier on their and the first family's preferences and requirements, dietary and otherwise. The kitchen staff is also prepared to cook all the president's favorites, and to adjust and change the menu on a moment's notice. As such, it's probably fair to assume that the White House chefs were perfectly able to whip up a copycat McRib or six if Trump felt peckish during a late-night tweeting session. 

Of course, when push comes to shove, takeout is also an option. In 2019, Trump invited the Clemson Tigers football team to visit the White House, per Vox. Because a partial government shutdown had temporarily rendered the White House kitchen out of commission, he treated the football champions ... with a massive spread of fast food from Burger King, McDonald's, and the like.  

Donald Trump's predecessors enjoyed going to D.C. restaurants

The way Trump avoided the D.C. restaurant scene could potentially be chalked up to the fact that he was the sitting president of the United States of America, and as such, hitting The Cheesecake Factory after a hard day at work might have posited a huge security risk. However, many presidents have been known to visit local restaurants on a more or less regular basis, and (as Eat This, Not That! tells us) it may very well be that Trump was the only president so far not to do so.

Washington's restaurant scene and presidential patrons go together much like overdone steak and ketchup don't. Barack and Michelle Obama were known to enjoy a quiet restaurant night out every once in a while. There's also the Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House, which is famous for feeding presidents throughout the years — going all the way back to folks like Ulysses S. Grant.