All the Presidents Ranked in Order of How Much They Loved Breakfast
All the presidents' breakfast menus
It's morning in America, and a president's gotta eat breakfast. Since 1789, 44 people have held the top office in the land, and each has displayed a distinctly different style of starting their day. Some presidents gathered around the table with family or friends and shared a hearty, home-cooked feast or used the opportunity to sort out the nation's most pressing issues. Others cherished the ritual in solitude or as part of a health regime, and more than one got an early start on the day's tippling. Not every president has been equally passionate about epicurean matters, but they've all had to fuel up for the day in order to lead the country.
In descending order, here's how much every single president loved breakfast.
1. William McKinley (1897-1901)
Goodness, did the twenty-fifth president love some breakfast. Big breakfasts, but not fancy breakfast. Meaty breakfasts. Starchy breakfasts. Just a tremendous quantity of breakfast. And he was not alone at the table.
First Lady Ida McKinley was a woman with a hearty appetite to match her husband's. The two regularly feasted on "army portions" of "plain food, in substantial quantities" per Poppy Cannon and Patricia Brooks' The Presidents' Cookbook. This usually consisted of hot breads, potatoes, steak or chops, fruit, coffee, and occasionally fish. Eggs inevitably made an appearance at the breakfast table, often fried or scrambled, but sometimes in the form of a fluffy, baked "McKinley omelet" that was rather akin to an egg casserole. Read more: William McKinley Liked a Great Big Breakfast
2. William Howard Taft (1909-1913)
On one notable trip to Savannah, Georgia, the twenty-seventh president was said to have enjoyed, "grapefruit, potted partridge, broiled venison, grilled partridge, waffles with maple syrup and butter, hominy, hot rolls, bacon, and more venison." At home he was known to indulge morning waffles, but harbored an intense dislike for eggs and refused to eat them. And the steak. We may not know the portion size Taft enjoyed for his lunch and dinner steaks as precisely as we do his breakfast beef (he was often a three-times-a-day steak eater), but there's concrete evidence about his preferred preparation. Read: William Howard Taft Ate Steak for Breakfast Every Day
3. Theodore Roosevelt (1901-1909)
Teddy Roosevelt was very likely America's most caffeinated president. Though other commanders-in-chief have been known to knock back a cup or two throughout their busy work day (the current White House resident abstains), the twenty-sixth POTUS famously enjoyed copious amounts of coffee from breakfast onward—a habit forged in childhood when he was given strong cups of coffee and puffs of cigars to help ease his asthma. This practice sparked Roosevelt's eldest son, Theodore Jr., to remark that his father's ideal drinking vessel might be "more in the nature of a bathtub," and presidential biographer Doris Kearns Goodwin to note that while she was unable to definitively confirm it, "One of [her] friends thought he drank 40 cups of coffee a day." Read: Teddy Roosevelt Drank an Unholy Amount of Coffee
4. Warren G. Harding (1921-1923)
The twenty-ninth president liked having the fellas over for late night poker sessions. Even though Prohibition was in full effect, that didn't seem to apply in Wilson's private quarters. When company inevitably stayed over, First Lady Florence Harding (who rose much earlier) served massive, country-style breakfasts of grapefruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, hot cereal, wheat cakes with maple syrup, toast, corn muffins, huge quantities of coffee, and her famous waffles made with stiffly-beaten egg whites.
5. John Tyler (1841-1845)
Vice President John Tyler was in the middle of breakfast at his home in Williamsburg, Virginia, when he heard a knock at the door. Two men had arrived on horseback to inform him that President William Henry Harrison had died—just 30 days after taking office—and that he was to return to Washington D.C. to be sworn into the highest office in the land. Harrison had fallen very ill with pneumonia and this wasn't a tremendous shock, so Tyler calmly but quickly finished his breakfast and prepared to make the one-day journey by horseback and boat back to the nation's capital. He was ready to serve. Read: John Tyler Was an Accidental President Who Loved Breakfast
6. William Henry Harrison (1841)
His term may have been brief, but the ninth president cemented himself in the top tier of great breakfast-loving POTUSes. Harrison loved to trot off to the market in the morning—overcoat-free even on the chilliest days—to pick out the steaks and chops he wanted the cook to prepare for his morning meal, seasoned with salt and pepper, as well as mint or parsley. He preferred the meat pinkish.
7. Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1933-1945)
The Roosevelts were a breakfast family and seemingly inherited their distant relative Teddy's boundless capacity for coffee drinking. First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt (a morning person) poured coffee for the table—or rather half coffee and half hot milk—into massive cups stacked up beside her on a table set up by the staff. The thirty-second president, however, took breakfast in his room on a tray containing dark French roast coffee that had been roasted from green coffee beans by the White House kitchen, as well as a coffee maker so he could control the brewing. Breakfast-for-dinner on Sunday nights became a tradition for family and friends, often with Mrs. Roosevelt standing at one end of the table cooking scrambled eggs in a silver chafing dish. When austerity measures were called for, she brought the staff together for a meeting and explained that both family and servant meals would be restricted to: "one egg instead of two, one slice of bacon, toast, and coffee for breakfast."
8. Bill Clinton (1993-2001)
Though the forty-second president has in recent times adopted much more moderate eating habits—even hewing to a vegan diet at times—Clinton was a much less discreet eater while he was in office. Egg McMuffins, massive cinnamon rolls smeared in margarine, plain or cinnamon bagels, and cake doughnuts were known to be particular favorites. The gourmand-in-chief, almost oddly, did not share one particular culinary pleasure that his wife and daughter share. First Lady Hillary Clinton told the New York Times, "One of the serious issues of our marriage is that Bill Clinton does not eat chocolate." (She is known to keep hot sauce stashed in her bag.)
9. Lyndon B. Johnson (1963-1969)
Per The White House Family Cookbook, First Lady Ladybird Johnson was a huge fan of eggs, omelets, pancakes, waffles, and grits and the president regularly indulged in chipped beef covered with cream—but most importantly, there darned well better be hot biscuits on the breakfast table. Hell, serve 'em at lunch and dinner, too. Read: Lyndon Johnson Couldn't Keep His Hands off the Hot Biscuits
10. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)
The Johnson family loved milk and butter so much, First Daughter Martha established a White House dairy with two Jersey cows that were allowed to roam the grounds. First Lady Eliza Johnson was a semi-invalid but loved to take part in household activities when she could, including making her famous beaten biscuits, which she whalloped with one thousand strokes of a wooden mallet. The seventeenth president by all accounts loved this plain, homey fare—especially with a cup of elderberry blossom tea, which he'd grown up loving in the mountains of Tennessee.
11. Thomas Jefferson (1801-1809)
The Presidents' Cookbook authors Poppy Cannon and Patricia Brooks noted in 1968 that "Other gourmet Presidents were to follow Jefferson… but none has yet replaced him as the greatest connoisseur of fine foods we have ever had in the Presidency." Possibly still true.
And it'd be easy to feel unreservedly enthusiastic about the third president's culinary passion, and stories like the one about his falling in love with waffles and bringing an iron back from Holland. But that pretty much stops once you read further on in the cookbook: "Jefferson had two of his slaves, Edy and Fanny, brought from Monticello to serve as apprentices to [his chef], so that when the President retired, they could continue the French tradition at Monticello. Annette, the Monticello cook, also came to Washington so the President could have the Southern breakfast he so much prized. She 'knew just how he like batter cakes, fried apples, and hot breads served with bacon and eggs at breakfast.'" Read: Thomas Jefferson's Apple Toddy Might Cure What Ails You
12. James Buchanan (1857-1861)
Bachelor president James Buchanan tossed traditional First Lady duties over to his niece Harriet Lane and together, they served lavish European-style feasts. Breakfast, on the other hand, was a simple, early affair. The fifteenth president ate, read the paper, and was at his desk working by 8 a.m. That doesn't mean he wasn't fussy about the quality of the ingredients in his morning meal, though. Like a good son of Pennsylvania, Buchanan tucked into homemade scrapple, had fresh butter shipped in crocks from Philadelphia, and took pride in the muscadine grape arbor he cultivated at the White House.
13. Calvin Coolidge (1923-1929)
Coolidge wasn't much of a lunch or dinner aficionado, and during the day, he snacked like a madman on nuts, fruit, crackers, and preserves. Breakfast was the thirtieth president's particular passion, and he once fussed at the White House staff over the size of his pancakes, showing up at the kitchen with a tiny pancake in hand asking, "Why can't I have big griddle cakes like they have downstairs?" in reference to the full-griddle-sized cakes that were made for the servants. Coolidge and the cooks eventually compromised on the "breakfast gem" size. When Coolidge left the White House at the end of his term, he rounded up all the partially-used jars of preserves and took them with him, unwilling to waste even a bit. Ever a multi-tasker, he often had the White House barber give him a trim while he was eating breakfast.
14. James Monroe (1817-1825)
Monroe was a noted Francophile, but that didn't stop the fifth president from tucking into his favorite Virginia comfort foods back at home. The New York-born First Lady Elizabeth Monroe passed on a rather appealing recipe for tomatoes and eggs to Martha Washington, and learned to make her husband's favorite egg bread, lard biscuits, and Williamsburg buns for breakfast shortly after their marriage.
15. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)
In the seventh year of his presidency, the seventh president was presented with a 1400-pound wheel of cheese by a New York dairyman who'd been the go-to cheese guy throughout his administration. Jackson ordered the cheese to be ripened in the White House cellar and invited the public to help him devour the "evil-smelling horror" at his last reception before leaving office. The building was thoroughly cheese-smeared by the munching hordes and it took weeks for the smell to subside. That's not a breakfast story, but it bears telling. Jackson's favorite breakfast consisted of chicken hash along with waffles or corn cakes served hot with blackberry jam and coffee.
16. Martin Van Buren (1837-1841)
Martin Van Buren was deeply upset by the cheese stench left over his predecessor's cheese bacchanalia, so he replaced all the carpets and drapes in the White House as soon as he was able, and banned all eating and drinking at the Executive Mansion, save for at the table. But back to breakfast: Van Buren was a fancy, fancy man with a British chef and a reputation for being a bon vivant, but few things made the New York State-born eighth president feel more at home than a Dutch doughnut called an olykoek. Later on, his South Carolinian daughter-in-law taught him to love rice waffles and hash for breakfast or supper.
17. Jimmy Carter (1977-1981)
Presidential food historian Adrian Miller writes, "Rosalynn Carter told the Washington Star that while in the Georgia governor's mansion, she loved grits, 'but only served them when they had company because they're so fattening.' Given all the hoopla, the Carters knew that grits would have to become a mainstay on the White House menu. One of the first duties that the First Lady performed was teaching the Swiss-born, White House executive chef Henri Haller how to make grits." Read: That Time Jimmy Carter Made America Obsessed with Grits
18. Barack Obama (2009-2017)
Barack Obama ordered grits along the 2012 campaign trail no matter where he was—even Rust Belt states where they're less culturally ingrained. Most notably, perhaps, at Ann's Place in Akron, Ohio, where he ordered two eggs over easy, bacon, wheat toast, orange juice, water, and a side of grits (he'd already eaten salmon and sea bass at the hotel restaurant that morning—let it never be said that the road to the White House is paved with moderate eating habits). The restaurant's 70-year-old owner Josephine "Ann" Harris happily fed the president, got a hug in the parking lot, and after complaining of fatigue and tingling sensations passed away at 11:18 that same morning. Obama phoned the family with his condolences later that day. Read: Breakfast on the Campaign Trail: How Not to Pander with Grits
19. Gerald Ford (1974-1977)
Though previous presidents were so fussy about their butter they went to the trouble of installing free-roaming White House cows and importing it fresh from Philadelphia, the thirty-eighth POTUS was just fine with slathering his weekday English muffins in margarine and jam. There was inevitably OJ on the table along with hot tea and fresh fruit—ideally melon. According to The White House Family Cookbook, much ado was made about Sunday breakfast in the Ford White House. The meal featured the president's particular favorite, a golden brown waffle with strawberries and sour cream, as well as hearty German apple pancakes.
20. John F. Kennedy (1961-1963)
A quick dive into the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum archive shows that both of the Kennedys were asked for recipes constantly, and one in particular surfaced in multiple publications, credited to either Mrs. John F. Kennedy (occasionally “autographed” as Jacqueline Kennedy across the bottom) or occasionally the senator-then-president, himself. Versions of this eggy waffle recipe—said to be J.F.K.’s “favorite”—appeared in Political Pot Luck: A Collection of Recipes from Men Only, Kings In The Kitchen: Favorite Recipes of Famous Men, The Celebrity Cookbook (compiled for charity by Dinah Shore), Many Happy Returns, The Democrats' Cook Book Or How to Cook a G.O.P. Goose, among others, as well as a collection of recipes solicited by a class of sixth graders at the Post Avenue School in Westbury, Long Island, and the food columns of The Catholic Standard and Claypool Features Syndicate. Though a request came in from Martha MacBride of Sacramento asking for a casserole recipe for a book she was compiling, the Kennedys demurred and instead sent along the family's waffle recipe. Read: Jackie Kennedy Had a Really Great Waffle Recipe
21. Grover Cleveland, (1885-1889 and 1893-1897)
Cleveland was a bachelor when he took office. Washington scenesters held their collective breath until it was established that yes, the twenty-second president—who'd been portrayed by opponents as a beer-swilling boor—could indeed manage to host an elegant soiree (with the help of his younger sister, Rose). In private, Cleveland was free to cater to his own tastes. According to Frank Carpenter, a well-known journalist at the time, "At eight, he is ready for his breakfast. This is not a large meal, and the woman he brought with him from Albany knows exactly what he likes. She cooks for him oatmeal, beefsteak, eggs or a chop, with coffee to wash it down." Cleveland wasn't just twiddling his thumbs until then; he woke early, read all the papers, and got to work right after his meal. He kept up these habits in his second term as well, and the White House staff knew just what to do.
22. Herbert Hoover (1929-1933)
Herbert Hoover was an early riser and woke up at 6 a.m. to work out with a medicine ball—often while discussing national affairs with cabinet members—before continuing the conversation over breakfast, which was served promptly at 8 a.m.. When time allowed and the weather was nice, the thirty-first president and First Lady Lou Henry Hoover enjoyed breakfast of fruit, toast, and coffee under a magnolia tree said to have been planted by Andrew Jackson. At other times, it was served in the White House's China Room. Hoover was a notoriously fast eater—perhaps eager to get a jump on his often 18-hour work days. While visiting the White House during previous administrations, he was served corned beef hash so frequently he wondered it it was part of some elaborate joke; he didn't think especially well of the dish at first, but grew to become a fan over the year.
23. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)
Truman downed a daily morning bourbon. It was Old Grand Dad or Wild Turkey, according to Truman author David McCullough (who won a Pulitzer Prize for the biography), and it was downed by the dram between the two-mile walk and the post-exercise rubdown. Whether or not this was doctor's orders or "a bit of old-fashioned home medicine the kind many of his generation thought beneficial to the circulation past age 60 ('to get the engine going')" was admittedly unclear to McCullogh, "But it seemed to agree with him." Read: Harry S. Truman Started Every Day with Bourbon
24. Dwight D. Eisenhower (1953-1961)
Though the thirty-fourth president developed a reputation as a fan of frozen TV dinners, the reality is that he counted cooking as one of his favorite pastimes. Nothing fancy—a lot of casseroles, hearty meat dishes, chili, mayonnaise-based salads, and fruit pies—but he and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower enjoyed gathering with intimate groups of friends to feast, rather than going to the pomp and fuss of elaborate State Dinners. In particular, Ike liked to make breakfast-friendly baked goods like soda bread, soda biscuits, simple yeast bread, and corn cakes and sticks. He and his staff clipped out favorites and saved them into a really charming cookbook.
25. Richard Nixon (1969-1974)
The official Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum’s website notes as a fun fact for kids that, “President Nixon's favorite breakfast usually consisted of cottage cheese (garnished with either ketchup and/or black pepper), fresh fruit, wheat germ, and coffee. President Nixon also enjoyed yogurt, which was flown in from California every day.” Seems pretty official, no? A story called "How Nixon Lives, What He Likes," written by Marie Smith in the Washington Post when Nixon was president-elect in 1969, corroborates the unorthodox combo ("[Nixon] likes ketchup on his cottage cheese but his favorite food is meat loaf"), but shifts the dining timeline a little. Smith writes, “His breakfast is served by Fina Sanchez, wife of Manolo, both Castilians who came to New York via Cuba and live in the servants' quarters of the Nixon apartment. Nixon's breakfast fare is always the same: Fresh orange juice, half a grapefruit, cold cereal and skim milk, and coffee. Sometimes Mrs. Nixon joins him for coffee.” The cottage cheese consumption came later in the day, and the dish was often topped with fruit—peaches, pears or oranges—depending on availability. Read: Richard Nixon Had a Horrifying Breakfast Habit
26. John Adams (1797-1801)
The second US president is frequently cited as a cider devotee, supposedly drinking a tankard a day before his (or in lieu of) his breakfast, but the actual quantity and frequency may have been exaggerated. According to cider scholar Mark Turdo, Adams made just two diary references to his morning Jill of Cyder—approximately a quarter pint, for medicinal purposes.
July 26, 1796: "In conformity to the fashion I drank this Morning and Yesterday Morning, about a Jill of Cyder . It seems to do me good, by diluting and dissolving the Phlegm or the Bile in the Stomach."
July 28, 1796: "I continue my practice of drinking a Jill of Cyder in the Morning and find no ill but some good Effect."
That's not a massive amount of morning hard cider, but it's not nothing, either.
27. Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893)
The White House was a cozy home under the twenty-third president's regime, due in large part to the housekeeping skills of First Lady Caroline Harrison. She compiled a cookbook of her favorite dishes during her time in Washington, including recipes for sausage rolls and a baked "puff omelet." Less important than what was on the table, though, was who was seated at it. The Harrisons and their children gathered together in prayer each morning before coming to breakfast.
28. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)
Old Rough and Ready pretty much ate whatever was put in front of him without complaint, and that may have led to his demise. Taylor loved Creole food (especially oysters) and appreciated quality cooking when he had a say in what he was eating. The twelfth president fell in love with delicious little cakes called calas-tous-chauds alongside his morning coffee when he was in New Orleans, and made them a regular ritual back in Washington. Would that he'd had a few on hand to fill up on one exceptionally hot day at the Washington Monument in 1850. Instead, he kept picking at a massive bowl of cherries and goblets of iced milk that ended up sitting out for a while. He fell ill and died of food poisoning within a few days.
29. George W. Bush (2001-2009)
The forty-third president could frequently be found showing off his pancake-flipping skills along the campaign trail, but he didn't fuss much with food at home. Bush was known to enjoy some post-church huevos rancheros and appreciated a good, hot biscuit, but staffers noted that his primary requirement for food was that it arrived at the table promptly, no waiting.
30. Chester A. Arthur (1881-1885)
By most accounts, Arthur was an epicure-in-chief second only to Thomas Jefferson, but also a believer in balance. Though the fashionable, fastidious twenty-first president's dinners were the stuff of legend—tasteful and pricey (and it should be noted, paid for from his own pocket)—his morning regime was simple and regimented. He awoke at 9:30, had a light breakfast of coffee and a roll while dressing, and got to work.
31. James K. Polk (1845-1849)
The eleventh president wasn't a fancy fella; rich dishes were something of a taboo in his White House, and upset his delicate digestive system to boot. During one particular tour of New Orleans near the end of his term, where every French dish imaginable was placed in from of Polk, he discreetly asked a server for a piece of cornbread and some boiled ham. His system never quite recovered from the excess of that trip and he died three months later. If steak did appear at his breakfast table, there was a good chance that it was harvested from a bear and served with a tomato omelet, popovers called laplands, or corn pone—a Polk favorite.
32. George Washington (1789-1797)
It's common knowledge that the first US president was a fiend for cherries, and per historical documentation, possessed a "special passion" for nuts. He didn't get fussy about breakfast, though, preferring simple foods that pleased him. Englishman Henry Wansey visited the Washington household in 1794 and noted: "Mrs. Washington made tea and coffee for us. On the table there were two small plates of sliced tongues and dry toast, bread and butter, but no broiled fish, as is generally the custom."
33. Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-1881)
The nineteenth president banned alcohol from the White House—as well as dances, card parties, and other frolics—after he and the First Lady "Lemonade Lucy" Hayes were scandalized by the amount of alcohol served at a reception thrown by the outgoing president, Ulysses S. Grant. Hayes allowed himself a single cup of coffee at breakfast, alongside a serving of light, sweet cornmeal batter cakes and the occasional ash-roasted egg made by the couple's youngest children, Fanny and Scott.
34. George H.W. Bush (1989-1993)
Obviously there were no broccoli omelets on the White House breakfast menu during the forty-first president's tenure, such was his famous dislike of the vegetable. Bush's tastes ran toward the snacky side of things—popcorn, pork rinds, beef jerky, and nachos—even when it came to breakfast. According to the New York Times, even when Bush made a stab at healthier morning fare like yogurt or oat bran, he'd attempt to balance it out with a Butterfinger. The same report notes that Denver Broncos quarterback John Elway had to miss a game after breakfasting with the president, who'd served him creamed chipped beef.
35. James Madison (1809-1817)
First Lady Dolley (sometimes spelled Dolly or Dollie) Madison was a much-lauded hostess, known in particular for her lavish French-Virginian feasts featuring her own home-baked goods. She also is said introduced the annual Easter Egg Roll to Washington D.C., but that bit of lore has yet to be conclusively proven. While the fourth First Couple's parties and dinners were much-documented, not much is recorded of their breakfasting life other than the fact that a Frenchman named Moreau de St. Mery wrote that 1784 that: "They breakfasted at nine o'clock on ham or salt fish, herring… coffee or tea, and slices of toast or untoasted bread spread with butter" at some point early in their marriage according to Ralph Ketcham's James Madison: A Biography.
36. Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1877)
Historical documents note that during Grant’s tenure as a Union general in the Civil War, not only did he made certain that his soldier had access to the best rations the Army could muster—when his old friend, Confederate brigadier general Simon Bolivar Buckner, humbly asked for food for his own starving troops, Grant issued an order for two days' rations from his commissary to be delivered to the enemy. Grant himself consumed sparingly, preferring a cup of coffee and a cucumber soaked in vinegar overnight as his morning sustenance. Read: Ulysses S. Grant Enjoyed a Morning Cucumber
37. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)
The thirteenth president installed the first iron cookstove in the White House, as well as the first real bathtub with centrally heated running water. Writers at the time—as well as kitchen staff—were appalled by the presence of the former, and it fell to Fillmore himself to travel to the Patent Office to learn how to use the thing. There's not much information available as to Fillmore's favorite breakfast dishes, but a performer billed as Breakfast recorded a live performance of Song for Millard Fillmore, so that may have to suffice.
38. Ronald Reagan (1981-1989)
Even a two-term president cannot live on jelly beans and mac 'n' cheese alone. The fortieth First Couple was notoriously routine-oriented, and Nancy Reagan extended this discipline to the breakfast menu. The Reagans ate breakfast at 7:45 each day, mindful of maintaining regular fiber intake, and minimizing fat and cholesterol. Bran cereal with skim milk, fresh fruit and decaf coffee were the norm and if that didn't satisfy the Commander-in-Chief, he'd supplement that with a homemade muffin or whole wheat toast. Just once a week, they'd each indulge in a single egg that was served scrambled, poached, or soft-boiled for four minutes. In 1983, when Reagan spoke with reporters about the operations that had taken place in Grenada, he said, ''It didn't upset my breakfast at all."
39. John Quincy Adams (1825-1829)
The sixth president was said to be suspicious of Thomas Jefferson's epicurean leanings, but he echoed his enthusiasm for agriculture, planting plenty of fruit trees in the White House gardens during his tenure there. He also loved to swim naked in the Potomac River on mornings when weather permitted, according to this 1818 diary entry: "I rise usually between four and five—walk two miles, bathe in Potowmack river, and walk home, which occupies two hours—read or write, or more frequently idly waste the time till eight or nine when we breakfast."
40. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)
The Great Emancipator had his plate full with plenty of other things, so breakfast often fell by the wayside. Lincoln liked a cup of hot coffee early in the morning, but tended to forget to eat anything until 9 or 10 a.m. When he did, it was simple—maybe a single egg or apple, possibly with a piece of toast. The sixteenth president grew up poor and was grateful for what he got. When Lincoln was a young man boarding at the Rutledge Tavern in New Salem, Illinois, friends said he loved honey, which was a great delicacy for the cash-strapped young man. A longtime friend, Noah Brooks, once recalled, "He was evidently eating without noting what he ate, and when I remarked that he was different from most western men in his preference for milk at breakfast, he said, as if he had not noticed what he was drinking, 'Well I do prefer coffee in the morning, but they don't seem to have sent me any.'"
41. James A. Garfield (1881)
Garfield was beset with stomach troubles for years, and eating was something of a chore. He settled his ails with an herbal tea made of catnip and pennyroyal, and was told that he could eat oatmeal. The twentieth president did not enjoy oatmeal, but he was fond of cow's milk. Though his doctor would rather he'd drunk koumiss (a beverage made from fermented horse milk) and received a "nutritive enema" containing beef extract and egg yolks, a company from Baltimore sent Garfield a cow so he could have fresh dairy as he desired. One story maintains that a very Catholic staff member would add a few drops of holy water to the glass before it was delivered to him.
42. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921)
White House physicians found themselves concerned with the twenty-eighth president's weight—or more precisely his lack of it. Food just wasn't a particular source of pleasure for Wilson, and it's said that his favorite breakfast consisted of grape juice and two raw eggs, though other accounts claim that a doctor prescribed him orange juice and raw eggs to cure his neuritis. Wilson's reaction after swallowing the first egg: "I feel as if I were swallowing a newborn babe." First Lady Edith Wilson was simply mad for cornmeal pancakes.
43. Franklin Pierce (1853-1857)
The term of the fourteenth president was marred by tremendous tragedy. Franklin and Jane Pierce's young son was killed in front of them in a car wreck that they survived. Their two other sons died while still infants. Pierce turned to whiskey to cope. He didn't much bother with breakfast.
44. Donald Trump (2017-present)
Donald Trump doesn’t care about breakfast. Doesn't eat it. Avoids it, actually. But if it’s thrust upon him, the options least likely to offend his sensibilities would be bacon (medium), eggs (over hard), and cereal. "Different kinds of cereals. Made in the USA, has to be made in the USA. You know the cornflake type stuff, Raisin Bran. Has to be right out of the fields of Iowa," he told FOX News. Read: Breakfast on the Campaign Trail: How Not to Pander with Grits