The Obamas know where to dine out, especially when it comes to New York City.
In the past few months alone, they’ve been hitting some of the trendiest spots around town, fully living up to their reputation of having great taste in restaurants.
From trying out farm-to-table grub in Greenwich Village, to hitting old school Italian joints in Nolita, here’s a look at some of the best restaurants they’ve visited in New York.
This upscale Mexican restaurant is one of the trendiest places to eat in New York right now. Business Insider editor Emily Cohn witnessed Barack and Michelle Obama’s visit firsthand last year, after almost being turned away by police and told to “find somewhere else to eat.” Grub Street reported that the Obamas ate tuna tostadas, blue shrimp, burrata, and the famous duck carnitas, which cost $89 to share.
Carbone (Greenwich Village)
This high-end Italian restaurant has become a favorite of the Obamas, according to Eater. It’s no surprise, given that Carbone has a Michelin star and a reputation for being one of the best places to eat Italian food in the city. The spicy rigatoni vodka is the dish you can’t miss.
Upland (Gramercy Park)
Upland has a laid-back modern Italian menu crafted by its Californian chef, Justin Smillie. The Obamas lunched in the private dining room downstairs with U2 singer Bono on March 10. They walked out to a standing ovation, Eater reported.
Emilio’s Ballato (Nolita)
In February 2017, Obama followed in the footsteps of Rihanna and Justin Bieber and paid a visit to this old-school Italian in Nolita. Serving up classic Italian dishes, this restaurant has become a celebrity favorite.
Obama’s visit to this Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in September 2014 caused quite a stir. One Eater reader described how they had to get through police barricades and have their bags searched and scanned by Secret Service agents. Meanwhile, the Obamas reportedly ordered the famous burrata with salsa verde and charred bread.
Gramercy Tavern (Gramercy Park)
Obama only recently visited Gramercy Tavern, at the end of February. Regarded as one of New York’s greatest places to eat, the Michelin-starred restaurant is known for excellent service, an atmospheric bar, and an exciting food menu. The pastas come highly recommended.
Il Mulino (Greenwich Village)
86 West 3rd Street
Back in 2009, Obama joined Bill Clinton for a power lunch at this upmarket Italian chain. Clinton told the press, “We had fish, pasta, and salad. Even I was healthy,” reported The New York Times. One of its signature dishes, the capellini Il Mulino pasta comes with wild mushrooms, pancetta, vodka cream sauce, and black truffle. “This is one of those ridiculous things in this world that probably shouldn’t exist. Like fried Oreos,” wrote Chris Stang of The Infatuation.
Blue Hill (Greenwich Village)
Four months into his presidency in 2009, Obama took Michelle on a date to Michelin-starred Blue Hill in Greenwich Village. Co-owner and chef Dan Barber was one of the pioneers of the farm-to-table movement. He sources ingredients from local farms, including his own in Pocantico Hills, New York, where the sister restaurant is based. Barber was appointed by Obama to serve on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, Sports, and Nutrition.