Eat Like Obama: 6 Spots Favored By Our Re-Elected Prez

He may be headed back to Washington, but Obama's footprint remains here, with us — especially in the restaurants where he likes to chow down. While we don't need an excuse to go out to eat in this foodie town, there's something fun about checking out a spot favored by our POTUS. Some of these eateries weren't even on the map until Obama went into office in 2008. Now, they are visited by hoards of tourists and locals year-round — how's that for keeping the economy going?
While inquiring minds (us) really wanted to know what Obama was eating with his family at their Hyde Park casa last night (before heading off to McCormick Place for his victory par-tay!), these local hot spots serve up meals we can all dig into. From soul food to scallops, click through to see Barack's top picks.
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Italian Fiesta Pizzeria

What was once a simple pizzeria where Michelle Obama went with her fam after getting good grades, is now a spot where everyone wants to go for some saucy Chicago 'za. Just how serious are the Obama's about this pie? The Ritz-Carlton in D.C. paid to fly the owners of Italian Fiesta to the nation's capitol to cook their now famous crusty creations at the Presidential Inauguration Expo back in 2008. Even if this wasn't a presidential favorite, this family-owned (60 years and going strong) pizza palace gets our vote for having a buttery thin crust (sorry deep-dish fans), tangy sauce, and a zesty dash or oregano on top.

Italian Fiesta Pizzeria,1400 East 47th Street (at Lake Park Avenue); 773-684-2222.


Photo: Courtesy of Menusniper
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Valois Cafeteria

You might recall this Hyde Park diner being in the news after Obama won back in 2008 — not just for being one of his favorite spots since his days at the University of Chicago — because it gave away free (you read that right) victory breakfasts. Well, they did it again this morning. Hungry patrons and supporters enjoyed a complimentary meal of coffee, eggs, potatoes, sausage or bacon, and toast. Already a tourist attraction, we have a feeling this spot is going to become even more popular. Haven't checked it out yet? Try one of the combos off the Obama menu, such as two pancakes and eggs with sausage or bacon.

Valois Cafeteria, 1518 East 53rd Street (between Harper and Lake Park Avenue); 773-667-0647.


Photo: Courtesy of Valois Cafeteria
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Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli

This traditional Jewish deli is known for cranking out some seriously large sammies — Obama's included. His regular order — known as the Presidential Special — consists of a corned beef sandwich, potato pancake, and a slice of cherry pie.

Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli, 1141 South Jefferson Street (at Grenshaw Street); 312-939-2855.


Photo: Courtesy of Manny's Coffee Shop & Deli
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Table fifty-two

The president and First Lady have dined here on Valentine's Day, as well as other non-celebratory occasions. We're told that they love almost any kind of seafood preparation — especially Chef Art's salmon — and lighter dishes such as the pistachio crusted chicken (pictured), arugula salad, and roasted vegetables. This is not to say they don't enjoy the buttermilk fried chicken, pecan pie, and humming bird cake now and then. Another fun factoid? They take home their leftovers.

Table fifty-two, 52 West Elm Street (between Dearborn and Clark Streets); 312-573-4000.


Photo: Courtesy of Table fifty-two
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MacArthur's

The president cited this soul food restaurant as one of his favorites in his book "Audacity of Hope," back when he was known as Senator Barack Obama. The menu changes daily (try the smothered pork chop on a Sunday or Tuesday), but you can always expect favorites like fried chicken to have a presence.

MacArthur's, 5412 West Madison Street (between Long and Lotus Avenues); 773-261-2316.


Photo: Courtesy of Food Spotting
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Spiaggia

It's no surprise that one of Chicago's most romantic and celebrated restaurants is a favorite. We're told that the Obamas love an authentic Italian meal and have ordered everything from antipasti to hand-made pastas and items from the wood-burning oven, such as the wood roasted diver scallop that the prez has called his favorite dish.

Spiaggia, 980 North Michigan Avenue (between Walton and Oak Streets); 312-280-2750.


Photo: Courtesy of Spiaggia
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