Everything You'll Find In Joe Biden's Daily Diet

President Joe Biden is not a fussy guy. His roots are in industrial Scranton, Pennsylvania, and he's the son of a working class Irish Catholic family whose father sold used cars and cleaned furnaces (via Biography). For decades as a senator, he commuted by train every day from his home in Delaware to Washington, D.C., just like thousands of other wage earners.

Like the other things in his life, when it comes to the food he eats, Joe Biden keeps it real. "He's pretty much a basic eater," said First Lady Jill Biden about her husband's eating habits to Parade. Rather than lobster tails on gold-plated dishes, Biden likes to keep things simple. A Washington caterer who's worked for Biden put it this way: He is "a man of the people, and his taste in food reflects that proletarian approach" (via The Washington Post). So let's pull back the curtain a little more and really get to know what fuels our 46th president. Some of it may surprise you!

Pasta with red sauce

Joe really loves pasta. You could even call him a bit obsessed. Give the president a plate of pasta al pomodoro or spaghetti and meatballs, and he'll be like a kid in a candy shop. As former President Barack Obama once said, "He can go deep on that" (via Twitter). "It's pasta all the way [for Joe]. He likes angel hair pasta with red sauce," Jill Biden told Parade.

Just what is it about pasta that sends Biden swooning? Well, the culinary skills of his Italian-American wife likely have something to do with it. The first lady's recipes and skill in the kitchen likely began with her Sicilian paternal grandmother, who would whip up hearty meals for the extended family. "Her cooking was the best — the red sauce and the meatballs and the pasta," Biden recounted during the magazine interview. 

Just before launching his bid for the presidency, Biden embarked on a string of speaking engagements for which he had a contract rider that even required angel hair pasta pomodoro be provided to him at every location, reported The Washington Post. So, yeah, you can definitely say the 46th president is firmly committed to pasta.

Orange Gatorade

It's not often that someone names orange Gatorade as their go-to drink, but the president is especially fond of the electrolyte-loaded beverage. In fact, he's flat-out stated to Us Weekly that it's his favorite drink! 

What is it about Gatorade that Joe finds so appealing? It's likely simply a part of "well-worn routines" for "a creature of habit," according to The Washington Post, whose reporters interviewed seven insiders familiar with the president's activities to get the inside scoop on his daily patterns. Per their reporting, President Biden's typical day starts out with a workout or a visit from his personal trainer and is followed by lots of meetings. Along with that are regular sips from his favorite orange sports drink. He'll often carry a bagged lunch into meetings, too, which of course include — wait for it — a bottle of orange Gatorade. 

Does Joe only drink orange Gatorade? Well, no. Documents from past speaking engagements, uncovered by The Washington Post in 2019, reveal he's also partial to "Coke Zero, regular Coca-Cola... and black coffee."

Scoops and more scoops of ice cream

President Joe Biden has a well-documented history of loving ice cream throughout his office-holding career. We've seen him indulging in the frozen treat while campaigning on the road and during a recorded phone call to a California ice cream company. "I am a genuine lover of ice cream. I don't drink. I don't smoke. But I eat a lot of ice cream," he said.

As vice president, Biden indulged in many scoops of ice cream, like the two scoops of "Chocolate Woodblock and Double-Fold Vanilla" he devoured in Portland's Salt & Straw in 2014 (via ABC News). He also made sure his staff kept the fridge stocked at his official D.C. residence with Häagen-Dazs vanilla chocolate chip ice cream (via The New York Times). "He's always eating ice cream," reinforced Biden's granddaughters Naomi, Finnegan, Maisy, and Natalie in a video interview with PBS NewsHour, adding that it's usually vanilla or Breyers' half vanilla and half chocolate that he's enjoying from the family's freezer.

Though Biden clearly loves many brands of ice cream, he really swoons for the Ohio-based Jeni's brand. In fact, during his presidential bid he joked in a tweet before a televised appearance that he was fueled by Jeni's "salted peanut butter with chocolate flecks" in response to his opponent's accusations of using performance enhancers for the primary debates. 

Sweet treats

Mixed in among Joe Biden's simple diet is also an affinity for all kinds of sweets. The Obama White House had a basket of apples in the Oval Office, but the current president has different tastes. As reported by The Washington Post, "Biden has stocked the outer Oval Office with salt water taffy — from Dolle's, a staple of the boardwalk in Rehoboth Beach, Del. — and his favorite [individually wrapped] chocolate chip cookies."

In 2021, the Washington Examiner detailed a long list of desserts that Biden consumed on the campaign trail as vice president, which included pastries, rice pudding, peach pie, custard pie, cheesecake, and coconut cream pie, as well as a whole load of ice cream cones, and a milkshake.

A little spice is nice too, according to the Food Network. The Bidens shared a family recipe for sweet and spicy pecans that includes a naughty kick of cayenne pepper to the cinnamon and sugar blend.

A classic cheeseburger

Ahhh, the cheeseburger. A juicy all-beef patty, lettuce, vine-ripened tomato slice, and some melty cheese all piled high on a bun. It's like a perfect combination of flavors and textures for a carnivore, and Joe Biden would count himself among them.

He's chowed down on plenty of burgers — from nationwide chains like Shake Shack in 2014 with then-President Obama to the fancy French hot spot Le Diplomate, in Washington, D.C., where he ordered the popular "burger Americain" (complete with pickle, American cheese, and pommes frites), per the Washingtonian. Or look back to 2009, when the newly elected vice president and then-President Obama stopped in at the since-closed Ray's Hell Burger in Arlington, Virginia (via Politico). To an ecstatic crowd, the pair in white shirt sleeves dove into cheeseburgers at a "spare table with condiments and a paper towel roll just under the period horror movie posters that line the wall." 

Biden has a penchant for classic home state joints, and cheeseburgers at the Charcoal Pit in Wilmington, Delaware, rate pretty high on his list, and most certainly to his heart. According to Food & Wine, he's been a fixture there since his high school football days and is especially fond of the restaurant's signature cheeseburgers and milkshakes.

Salad with chicken, and sometimes a bowl of soup

With all that heavy pasta, cheeseburgers, and ice cream, you might be surprised that President Biden also enjoys plenty of lighter fare, particularly for lunch. Soups and salads with grilled chicken, paired with — yup, you guessed it — orange Gatorade or Coke Zero, are typical of his daily menu, according to The Washington Post. With seemingly endless meetings and appearances, typical of a U.S. president, he keeps his White House lunchtimes at a brief 30-minute length (via The New York Times). 

The president likes to stay in shape, so consuming some lighter meals and getting in some daily exercise are important to him (via The Washington Post). On the campaign trail in 2020, Biden said in an interview, "I have a treadmill and a Peloton bike and some weights. And I try to work out every morning for me. That sort of gets me going." Did the Peloton make it to the White House? Maybe, or maybe not. For security reasons, the White House won't confirm if the interconnected equipment, which has a built-in camera and microphone, made it to Washington. The New York Times revealed that the exercise machine might be a no-go in the White House for its potential cybersecurity risk.

Capriotti's subs

As vice president, Joe Biden visited one of his favorite sandwich shops, Capriotti's, and picked up several Italian subs and a large Bobbie, one of the Delaware chain's signature sandwiches. To the waiting reporters, Biden declared, "This is going to settle, once and for all, the best sandwich in America is out of Wilmington, Delaware" (via The Washington Post). 

As a fan of the chain for many decades, according to Delaware Online, Biden obviously has some serious love for Capriotti's. The Bobbie, known as "Thanksgiving on a roll," is his top pick. It's a long roll, slathered in mayonnaise, and stuffed with shredded turkey, a thick layer of cranberry, and bread stuffing. As far as Biden is concerned, it's perfection. "We don't call them hoagies in Delaware, we call them subs," Biden told The Washington Post, adding that a Philly steak sandwich is a close contender to the Bobbie sub. 

A cheesesteak

Cheesesteaks and Joe go way back. In his law school days, he'd make a neat profit selling them to his Syracuse classmates for three times his cost. "He used to come home [to Delaware] on vacations and buy a whole bunch of cheesesteaks, wrap them in foil, and then drive them back up to school to sell," reported The Hill.

Biden didn't say where he got those profitable cheesesteaks from, but Delaware's Claymont Steak Shop was founded in 1966 in the suburb of Wilmington where Biden grew up and it's one of Joe's favorite haunts. During a visit in 2020, Food & Wine described the restaurant as having "house-sliced ribeye" searing on a grill in the open kitchen and signed photos of Biden with the line cooks decorating the walls.

Biden told reporters about his sandwich sales while at Pat's King of Steaks, a Philadelphia landmark. During that 2010 visit as vice president, he didn't go hungry. He ordered Pat's "Whiz, wit-out," which in plain terms means "a sub with steak, without onions, and topped with Cheese Whiz" (via Pat's King of Steaks).

Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (and sometimes fig newtons)

"He has the tastes of a 5-year-old," a longtime Biden adviser joked to The Washington Post. And the president's own wife, Jill Biden, dubbed him a "basic eater" in a 2021 interview with Parade, admitting that peanut butter and jelly are part of their kitchen staples.

In the White House, President Biden often carries his own lunch in "not quite a lunch pail, but it's his little bag of stuff," Senator Christopher A. Coons told The Washington Post. It usually contains a protein bar, orange Gatorade (of course), and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

In his "Here's the Deal" podcast in 2020, Biden acknowledged that he gets a ribbing for his fondness of the classic childhood staple, saying, "The thing that everybody makes fun of me is when in doubt I have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich." But he revealed he's also a fan of Fig Newtons too, but for a particular reason: "They're small and I can sneak them. You know that you can buy little packs of them and I get them on the planes when I fly back and forth." Well, okay, he makes a good point there. 


Of course Joe Biden loves milkshakes. It's basically ice cream, right? Joe is known for his love of vanilla and chocolate in any shape or form, so those two ice cream flavors are always top of his list. Whether it's a black-and-white shake from Shake Shack in D.C. (via Washingtonian), a quick stop for a chocolate shake — with a $20 tip — at a diner in Rock Hill, South Carolina (via The Herald), or a simple vanilla shake in Floyd, Virginia (via Washington Examiner), the president does not shy away from a creamy frozen dessert! He also reportedly prefers his milkshakes "thick and lumpy," declared the manager of the Charcoal Pit, a spot he favors in his home state of Wilmington, Delaware (per Food & Wine).

You have to give this man points on consistency. In Durham, North Carolina, as a presidential nominee, he picked up two shakes — one chocolate, one vanilla — from the walk-up window at a local Cookout restaurant on his way to the airport. He said he "planned to mix them together" according to The News & Observer. From a choice of 40 other flavor options, that was maybe not the most imaginative selection. But, hey, Joe knows what he likes and he sticks with it.

No alcohol

The president is a teetotaler — he never drinks alcohol. And this is nothing recent; he's never touched the stuff. "I'm the only Irishman you've ever met who's never had a drink," he told Pope Francis during a fall 2021 visit to the Vatican, reported Business Insider.  The president doesn't shy away from explaining his decision to abstain from alcohol. "There are enough alcoholics in my family," he told The New York Times in 2008. Biden has said "he believes there is a genetic component to [alcoholism] and that it runs in the family. It's not a leap to also connect this to the struggles his son Hunter has had with addiction," explained The New York Times

At times, Biden takes up a non-alcoholic beer, such as he did at former President Obama's "Beer Summit" in 2009, when the then-vice president nursed "a Buckler nonalcoholic beer" with a slice of lime, according to The New York Times.

A big no to leafy greens at events

It's not really as bad as it sounds. Joe Biden likes his greens, he just doesn't want them stuck in his teeth at public events. I think we can all agree that kind of thing is indeed embarrassing. But as leader of the free world, you know, the president of the United States, it's just something he doesn't need to complicate his day. Caterer Christopher Freeman told The New York Times that staff was instructed to avoid serving leafy greens to avoid the common faux pas.

However, when cameras aren't around to scrutinize his every move, Biden is quite happy to dig into a crunchy green salad. He is, after all, fairly health-conscious. In fact, the president enjoys indulging in salads frequently, usually in the form of a chopped green salad with some added protein in the form of grilled chicken (via The Washington Post).


"I'm a pizza guy!" Biden once blurted out (via Politico). And, yes, he sure is! Really, is it any surprise when we know he is a die-hard Italian food fan? Biden's been photographed many times with a slice or two in his hands. He even kicked off his 2020 presidential bid in his home state of Delaware at Gianni's Pizza (via The Washington Post) to a waiting crowd.

In D.C., he's stopped in Pete's Apizza in Friendship Heights many times, where he's been known to order a slice as well as his other well-known favorite, spaghetti pomodoro, per the Washingtonian. He's also a fan of Pizzeria Paradiso in Dupont Circle, known for their wood-fired, scratch-made pizza pies (via The Washington Post). 

Did you know that President Biden can grill a mean pizza himself? At a cookout for the troops at the Bidens' D.C. residence, an event that honored wounded veterans, the Food Network reported the then-vice president and his wife "served some of their favorite recipes" and "guests got to try the vice president's grilled pizza." 

Jill Biden's chicken parm

When he's not indulging in his favorite angel hair al pomodoro, the president is especially fond of his wife Jill's chicken parmesan with rigatoni recipe. The first lady has Sicilian roots. Her paternal grandfather changed the family name from Giacoppa to Jacobs when he emigrated to America through Ellis Island, CNN detailed. In an interview with Parade, the first lady recalled that her grandmother cooked "traditional Italian dishes for her family's Sunday dinners." Jill Biden further revealed, "I always just throw it together. I've been making these recipes for so long that I just do it from scratch and from memory."

In her partnership with Tasty, she detailed every step of her chicken parm recipe and described her love of cooking. "Every Sunday, smells of tomatoes and basil and garlic filled the house and I have so many memories. So I adopted that tradition with my own family," she said. She joked that "Joe is not allowed in [her] kitchen. "That's my turf," she added.