Whether you’re visiting our nation’s great capital to march and protest or to check out the beautiful cherry blossoms, Washington, D.C.’s, got you covered when it comes to vegan eats.
From soul food to vegan milkshakes to all the Ethiopian food you could ever dream of, you won’t go hungry between visits to museums and monuments. Here are a few great places:
Say farewell to all your usual brunch spots, because Fare Well is taking brunch to a whole new level. Start your feast with Polenta Fries and we’ve only just begun. The Benedict Florentine gets a 10 out of 10 rating, but if you want something sweeter, the Carrot Cake Pancakes are all your dreams come true. Hopefully, you have four stomachs—like cows do—so you can top it all off with a Cookie Dough shake.
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Look no further for the perfect bagel. This D.C. staple has got you covered for all your bagel desires, no matter what flavor you want: Everything, Sesame, or Plain. It even has tofu cream cheese (Plain or Vegetable) and to spread on top plus all the veggies you can imagine.
Busboys and Poets
Busboys is the go-to spot for all your brunch needs. You really can’t go wrong with its Vegan Egg Scramble, Organic Granola with Fruit and Soy Yogurt, or Harira Soup. After 3 p.m., be sure to try my all-time favorite—the Cauliflower Sandwich. Named in honor of Langston Hughes, this place has a knack for great food and great conversation. A bookstore is located inside the restaurant and is loaded with books about social justice and politics.
Smoke & Barrel
Think you can’t eat BBQ as a vegan? Think again! This cozy BBQ joint is in the heart of the Adams Morgan neighborhood and has everything from Smoked Vegan “Wings” to Sweet Potato Donuts to Chili Cheese Tofu Scramble to Vegan French Toast. On weekdays, you can stuff yourself with fried pickles, a Juicy Vegan Burger, and vegan spare ribs.
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If you find yourself in Takoma, Senbeb Cafe is the place to be. It serves traditional American breakfasts—pancakes, scrambled tofu, and vegan sausage—and others that aren’t so traditional, including “Crab Cakes” with Grits. Top that off with freshly squeezed orange juice, and you’ll have eaten enough for the whole day.
NuVegan Café, formerly known as Woodlands Vegan Bistro, is hands-down my favorite vegan restaurant in the country. When I think of it, words like “magic,” “heavenly,” and “divine” all come to mind. Soul food is its passion, and my soul is fed when I eat there! You can’t go wrong with anything on its menu, but the Vegan Chick’n Drummies with sides of Vegan Mac & Cheese and Garlic Kale are my go-to. The Vegan Fried Chick’n and Crab Cake sandwiches are also up there on my list. And don’t forget vegan cheesecake to top it all off. Can you say, “One of everything, please?”
Check out this seafood combo! Crab cake & fish sandwich! We can make it how you’d like it! Alongside kale and our infamous mac & cheese! Coming up! Stay tuned! ? . . . #vegan #veganism #vegandiet #govegan #veganfoods #veganlifestyle #plantbased #nuvegan #rva #richmond #804 #VA #757 #vcu #vuu #NuVeganRichmond #vegansofig #vegancuisine #soulfood #whatveganseat #veganlunch #vegandinner #veganbrunch #crabcakesandwich #fishsandwich #vegansofinstagram #repost #tag #share
Calabash Tea & Tonic
Does your body need some TLC? Calabash has got you covered with the knowledge of its Syrian/Jamaican and Cuban 5th-generation herbalists. The store will customize your drinks based on what your body needs and offers vegan muffins, salads, soups, sandwiches, and hand pies. “Love is Compassion” is written on every cup, and if that doesn’t warm you up, I don’t know what will.
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Amsterdam Falafelshop has really changed the falafel game in the capital. The falafel is amazing, but the toppings make it even better. Choose from hummus, baba ghanoush, every pickled veggie you can imagine, and everyone’s all-time favorite: creamy tahini sauce.
Whether you get a Pita or a Bowl, Shouk’s 100 percent vegan concoctions will leave you feeling shook. Its famous veggie burger is made of 15 different vegetables, including lentils, chickpeas, and mushrooms, and is bound together by flaxseed. “Shouk” is Hebrew for “market,” so naturally, you can find a little market inside the restaurant for all your Middle Eastern ingredient needs.
Originating in Philadelphia, HipCityVeg has now graced D.C. with its presence. And we’re talking a delicious presence, indeed—you’ll find Philly Steak and grilled portabella sandwiches, a Curry Tofu Wrap, a Buffalo Bella burger, and to-die-for milkshakes.
Feeling a little under the weather? Head over to Soupergirl for a plethora of soups. All of them are vegan, so don’t worry about bringing your magnifying glass to read the ingredients. Options range from Tahini Mushroom and Greens to Creamy Gingered Apple Beet, so get your booty over there.
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Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar
If you’re in need of some major detoxing, Khepra’s is the place for you. It has delicious juices and raw foods galore. Its veggie burger has won many awards and was featured on WETA’s Burgers In Washington. It also offers juice cleanse programs that may break the bank but will leave you feeling like a million bucks.
Y’ALL. Pianta is the newest addition to D.C.’s vegan repertoire, and I can’t hide my excitement. This little counter inside Tastemakers is a vegan Italian deli. Its sandwiches have ingredients like fried artichoke hearts, cured tofu mozzarella, smoked jackfruit, and hearts of palm fritters, just to name a few. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
If you haven’t tried Ethiopian food yet, you’re really missing out! Start the meal with Veggie Sambusa (fried pastry filled with lentils, ground black pepper, onions, and garlic), and then feast on a veggie platter that includes yellow split peas, red lentils, collard greens, cabbage, tomato salad, and shiro (chickpea stew). Many Ethiopian dishes are vegan, so this place is a safe bet if you’re hungry.
This unassuming pho shop is definitely worth trying on a cold winter day. Its Vegetarian Pho is made with Fuji apples and is phoking delicious! If you’re looking for something on the spicier side, the Northern Hue-Style Vegetarian Noodle Soup is the way to go.
Although Chaia isn’t entirely vegan, we still have to taco ’bout it, because its tacos are the bomb dot com. This little farm-to-taco shop is nestled in a cute little brick house in Georgetown that will make you forget about the bustlin’ city outside.
I’ve taken it as a personal challenge to find the best vegan ramen in D.C., and I’ve discovered it, folks! Haikan offers only one vegan option, but, wow, does it satisfy. The mix of hominy, wood ear mushrooms, and other veggies in the miso-based broth is worth writing home about. Plus, the restaurant is right next to the Landmark Theatre, so you can enjoy dinner and a show.
Satellite Room is the post-show late-night spot. It’s located right behind 930 club and is a perfect place to grab munchies after dancing to your favorite bands. Its build-your-own pizza is to die for. And that’s not to mention that it has Vegan Wings and Tater Tots.
Sticky Fingers was the first all-vegan bakery I ever visited, and although I’ve been to many others now, it’ll always have a special place in my heart. You can’t go wrong with any of its treats, but if you know what’s good for you, you’ll probably just get one of each. If you have to choose just one, go for the Little Devil pastry or a Rich Red Velvet cupcake. Level-10 D.C. vegans also know that doughnut days are Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. And for those of you who celebrate Shabbat, Sticky Fingers has amazing vegan challah.
Sugar Shack Donuts & Coffee
Although not all-vegan, Sugar Shack always carries five or more vegan doughnut flavors, including Glazed, Chocolate Iced, and more. Doughnut hesitate—you need to try every variety ASAP!
Nothing like eating an @oreo sundae donut for lunch from @sugarshackdmv. Happy Friday! #vegan #dcveganlife #dcvegan #tgif #fridayvibes #acreativedc #dcfoodporn #veganfoodporn #whatveganslooklike #vegansofig #veganlunch #vegandonuts #veganlifestyle #veganism #donuts #vegetarian #oreo #veganchocolate #chocolatelover #vegantreats
So now that you’ve stuffed your face with vegan food galore in D.C., it’s time to start eating vegan in other cities. Check out these vegan-travel Instagram accounts for inspiration regarding the next city in your food Olympics!