Not only was this Alexandria restaurant a favorite of George Washington, the tavern played host to the first five presidents, according to Visit Alexandria. The circa-1785 tavern was a center of political life in Alexandria, holding dances, meetings and theatrical performances.
According to the Gadsby Tavern Museum, George Washington attended two annual Birthnight Balls held in his honor. John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe and the Marquis de Lafayette all visited the tavern. Today, you can visit the museum or have a meal at Gadsby’s Tavern, which serves classic American fare like burgers, peanut soup and a dish called “George Washington’s favorite” with grilled duck breast, scalloped potatoes and corn pudding.
Gadsby’s Tavern Museum consists of two buildings, a ca. 1785 tavern and the 1792 City Hotel. The buildings are named for Englishman John Gadsby who operated them from 1796 to 1808. Mr. Gadsby’s establishment was a center of political, business, and social life in early Alexandria. The tavern was the setting for dancing assemblies, theatrical and musical performances, and meetings of local organizations. George Washington enjoyed the hospitality provided by tavernkeepers and twice attended the annual Birthnight Ball held in his honor. Other prominent patrons included John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, James Monroe, and the Marquis de Lafayette.