Washington DC’s food scene is known to be more on the traditional side, and there’s a belief that vegans won’t find many options in the country’s capital. I used to go to DC quite a bit for work, and although I wasn’t really dining at vegan restaurants at the time, I still found myself thinking that the culinary scene was a bit conservative. I honestly missed the flavors and edginess that you can find in NYC for example. While the quality of the food in DC was always impeccable, I often thought that the offerings lacked flair.
Fear not, however, DC’s vegan food is actually delicious! Although DC doesn’t have as many vegan restaurants per capita (like Philadelphia or NYC), the options are solid. On a recent, day-long visit to DC, I gave the city’s dining scene another chance, and I’m so glad I did. I was impressed by how many juice and smoothie places are in DC, and I also found a lot of places that have vegan options on their menus, even if they aren’t 100% vegan restaurants.
If you’re planning to travel to DC in the near future, keep these spots on your radar for some delicious vegan grub in the capital city.
Vegan Breakfast in Washington, DC
For breakfast, we stopped at Busboys and Poets. With multiple locations across DC, this fun, inviting restaurant has an extensive vegan menu with phenomenal tofu scramble, delicious tempeh sandwiches, and plenty of oatmeal and granola options. (The menu also offers gluten-free fare as well!) The atmosphere is fun and laid back and the bookstores inside the restaurants make for some nice browsing.
Vegan Brunch in Washington, DC
Fare Well is an all-vegan, full-service diner, bakery and bar that offers a casual atmosphere couples with veggie-centric comfort food. It’s owned by the same owner as Sticky Fingers Bakery and is a recent addition to the DC vegan scene. All day, you can enjoy a variety of pancakes as well as sandwiches, burgers, frittatas and other breakfast options. The desserts are rich and won’t disappoint!
Vegan Dinner in Washington, DC
Vegan foodies don’t want to miss Kapnos Taverna. While not strictly vegan, this fancy Middle Eastern place offers a variety of mezze that are easy to veganize. The yellow lentil dip is divine. We also loved the falafel shawarma made with fresh flatbread.
Also, be sure to stop by Hip City Veg. I’m obsessed with this place! Originally from Philadelphia, Hip City Veg expanded to DC’s Chinatown. The banana whip is my favorite treat, and the burgers are on point!
Vegan Snacks in Washington, DC
For an afternoon craving, check out Fruitive. This juice and acai bowl place offers fresh green juices, smoothies and a delicious Pb and J toast. I also love the collard wraps that make for a light lunch or a great snack.
Have you stopped in DC recently? What are your favorite places for vegan grub?
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