You probably know of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. However, what you might not know is that before he became senator and president, he lived in Chicago and was a law professor at the University of Chicago from 1992 until his election to the U.S. Senate in 2004.
And the nondescript restaurant, Valois Cafeteria, along 53rd Street near the University of Chicago is a favorite of Obama, which he often frequented. After he was elected president, Valois became synonymous with Obama’s favorite diner and became a newly minted attraction with locals and tourists flocking there to have a taste of Obama’s favorite food.
Curious about this diner that has attracted the likes of a US President? Read on!
Cafeteria-style diner serving comfort food
Valois Cafeteria is a lively cafeteria-style diner set along a trendy strip of 53rd Street and Hyde Park. Close to the University of Chicago, this neighborhood diner attracts residents and college students on the hunt for budget-friendly, hot comfort food.
Check out the newspaper clippings and photograph of Obama on the wall
This is certainly not a fancy restaurant, but a no-frills diner with a lively atmosphere. Sky-blue murals depicting Chicago and Hyde Park’s landmarks adorn the walls, livening up the otherwise slightly drab decor. On a wall near the food counter is a collection of framed newspaper clippings and pictures, many of which feature the face of Barack Obama, the unofficial ambassador of Valois Cafeteria. There is even a glass cabinet that showcases Valois coffee mugs printed with Obama’s face.
Have one of Obama's favorites in Valois Cafeteria
In Valois, hungry diners queue up at the counter to order food, ranging from all day breakfasts to steaks and salads. Service is brisk and efficient; you grab a tray, order your food, proceed to the cashier and pay in cash, before retrieving your food and grabbing a seat.
What’s special about this diner is that there is even a separate menu board that features “President Obama’s favorites.” The top 6 selections by Obama are: 1) New York steak and eggs, 2) two eggs with bacon and sausage, 3) two pancakes, 4) steak omelette, 5) Mediterranean omelette, and 6) an all-veggie egg white omelette. And prices start as low as 5.95 USD!
Obama's No.1 favorite is a must-try
At just 9.95 USD, Obama’s No.1 choice of NY Steak, eggs and a hash brown is a must-try, especially for someone with a big appetite. The portion is huge and you can choose a slice of bread or biscuit for a side. The biscuit wasn’t as crumbly as expected, but the steak was really good! Slightly greasy but oh-so-good, the steak is flavorful, juicy and simply mouth-watering.
Inextricably linked to Obama
Valois Cafeteria hosted a victory breakfast for Obama both times he was elected; all patrons were given a free steak and egg breakfast.
An affordable presidential dining experience
Valois is a perfect stop for food after touring the beautiful University of Chicago campus. Even without its link to President Obama, Valois is still a good place for a tasty and filling meal whereby one serving can actually feed two if you are a light eater. With affordable prices, a meal at Valois is certainly a presidential dining experience on a budget.
And with President Obama’s term coming to an end, perhaps it is time to check out Valois more often in case we catch a glimpse of Obama!
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