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THE BEST VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN EATS IN WASHINGTON, DC

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Meghan Bartlett

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Plant-based dining just got easier (and much more enjoyable).

Broadening your weekly plant-based prep, DC boasts tons of restaurants and eateries with delectable vegetarian and vegan options. With tons of ethnic cuisines, 100% vegan eateries, and mainstream restaurants that are vegan-friendly (in case you haven’t convinced your friends yet that eating vegan can be delicious!), we’ve whipped up a list of awesome restaurants to hit up in DC.

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Sweetgreen

Restaurant

Call Sweetgreen DIY heaven. Here, you’ll choose your green or grain base and top off your bowl with fruits, veggies, seeds… you name it! Any of their DC-area spots offer lots of vegan dressings to drizzle over your veggie concoction. And if a salad doesn’t quite appeal on a chilly day, check out their warm bowls with roasted veggies and grains.

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Soupergirl

Restaurant

Tired of salads or grain bowls? Want something that will heat your insides? Grab a steaming dish of soup at Soupergirl! Everything is vegan, homemade, and crafted with ingredients you can actually pronounce (as long as you can pronounce squash and beans). Hit up their locations on M St. or Takoma Park and let this warm goodness sink in.

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Beefsteak

Restaurant

Okay, their name doesn’t sound too promising, but their motto is “Vegetables, Unleashed.” Sound better? This José Andrés restaurant in Tenleytown, Dupont Circle, and on GW’s campus selects our country’s best bounty and produce and puts it in a bowl for you. With veggie bowls that boast squash, mushrooms, cabbage, snow peas, edamame, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, sprouts, scallions—and loads more options—your meal is bound to be exciting.

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Chaia Tacos

Restaurant

This Georgetown gem (and soon-to-be Penn Quarter addition) will meet all your taco needs. Their “farm to taco” motto forks over fresh and local produce to city dwellers in the form of mouthwatering tacos. These aren’t your average tacos, either. Imbued with the flavors of the season, each tortilla-filled goodness reflects what farmers are harvesting. So, don’t be surprised to find sweet potatoes and pumpkins on the menu!

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Naked Lunch

Restaurant

Naked Lunch makes its home within MOM’s Organic Market in Ivy City and Arlington, offering a zesty array of veggies, herbs, dressings, and beans to toss into your salad bowl. This place is perfect for grabbing a quick healthy meal (and maybe snagging some groceries at the market while you’re at it!). They also offer organic soups, organic kombucha, and organic raw juices. If you’re not feeling their juice flavors, make your own combo by choosing a base and adding in veggie and herb blend-ins.

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Choolaah has some of the most flavorful eats in the city — and the whole menu is healthy, too. This eatery in Sterling and Fairfax combines Indian favorites with BBQ and their menu features vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options. Be adventurous and try their Veggie Masala Bowl with rice or their legendary Choolaah Salad with Veggie Croquette. It’s good to be plant-based here, but you may need some time to choose with all the options. Fitt Tip: ask them to make recommendations — they always have solid advice in ordering.

This cozy hub combines good food with good music, art, and literature. Now in several locations around DC, Busboys and Poets still keeps its warm and local vibe — don’t be surprised to find shelves of books and walls of artwork. The restaurant offers lots of vegetarian and vegan choices for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — and there’s really no bad pick. Fitt Tip: the vegan nachos are to die for!

Of course their specialty is fresh juice and coconut water, but Khepra’s Raw Food Juice Bar also provides assorted vegetarian meals including pizza, lasagna, wraps, and veggie burgers, as well as cheesecake, cookies, pudding, and other goodies. Grab a combo of juice and a meal and enjoy the influx of tasty, organic nutrients. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find at this juice bar on H St.

Put this one at the top of your bucket list. This taste-testing menu boasts an all-vegan, six-course meal. Luckily, the portions are small, so you’ll have room to try all six (hopefully). Chances are that there’s a whole slew of raw food flavorings you have yet to experience — each plate is a masterful arrangement of color and flavor. Add wine pairing, and it is well worth the investment. Just make sure to build up an appetite, then get ready for a night of fantastic food in this classy townhouse near Logan Circle.

While The Little Beet on 18th St. and in Arlington isn’t explicitly a vegetarian or vegan restaurant, they do offer an abundant amount of veggie meals on their menu, including adding tofu as your protein source. Though many plant-based foodies focus on the variety of options on restaurants’ menus, what The Little Beet nails to perfection is their commitment to locally sourced produce. Decorate your grain, rice, and salads bowls with in-season vegetables grown right in your backyard — is there really anything more satisfying than that?

We’ve done really well with the healthy eating so far. Now it’s time to enjoy some sweet treats! All the goodies at Sticky Fingers are vegan, so go ahead and treat yourself to a gourmet German Chocolate cupcake, sticky bun, or pumpkin muffin. If it sounds too good to be true, fear not! This Columbia Heights bakery is award-winning, including the Food Network’s Cupcake Wars All-Stars competition in 2012. Trust us — you’re sure to be licking your fingers after finishing off one of these delectables.

Great Sage in Clarksville is head over heels in love with making organic, plant-based dishes that support a compassionate, vegan lifestyle. But that’s not what makes Great Sage a one-of-a-kind dining experience — it’s their creative gourmet dishes (offered at a reasonable price) that truly sets them apart. Between the Vegan “Crab Cakes,” to Pulled BBQ Jackfruit Stack Sandwich, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you won’t want to try!

Stop by HipCityVeg in NW DC and try one of their mouthwatering and incredibly satisfying vegan “meat” recipes. You will swear their Battered Chick’n and Lil’ Golden Nugs are the real deal and will most likely be tempted by their plant-based Chocolate Milkshake. HipCityVeg is perfect for any curious carnivores looking to try out awesome vegan food, and, of course, it’s a staple eatery for any plant-based foodie in The District.

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Fruitive

Restaurant

Fruitive made history as the first-ever certified organic fast casual restaurant in North America, and they have incredible street cred. From yogis, runners, gym-goers, cyclists and hikers, Fruitive is the refueling spot for many plant-based athletes in downtown DC. Fitt Tip: their menus change with the seasons, so be on the lookout for fresh finds year-round!

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Founding Farmers

Restaurant

Founding Farmers is a household favorite for DC brunch-goers, but don’t discount their entirely meatless menu for lunch and dinner! At one of their six DC-area locations, delectable eats like Cauliflower Steak & Risotto and Many Vegetable Mushroom Loaf leave you feeling satisfied and satiated — two things that can sometimes be hard to accomplish if you’re not an entirely vegan restaurant. And be sure to let your server know if you want any dish on the rest of their menu made vegan, and FF will hook it up.

While pork, beer, and brisket is their specialty, this Adams Morgan restaurant offers a surprising variety of delicious vegan fare like vegan wings and vegan ribs. Enjoy vegan BBQ while you sip one of their exciting beer flavors in the dim and cavernous ambiance.

Their mission is “putting the farmer’s face on the food”. No, it’s not a nightmare — it means they put the freshest and most local produce right in front of you. Equinox, on Connecticut Ave. NW, offers tasteful arrangements of excellent ingredients, with an array of vegan and vegetarian dishes that reflect the season. And heir alternating “plant-based features” will keep you coming back all year long!

Fast food can be healthy. At least at NuVegan Cafe. With 100% vegan ingredients and lots of organic and raw choices, this cafe blends exotic flavors with classic dishes to create delicious new tastes for your palate. And if their locations on Georgia Ave. and College Park, Maryland don’t work for you, good news! NuVegan is now on wheels so you can hunt down their food truck all over town.

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Shouk

Restaurant

If you’re looking for Israeli food in Chinatown, Shouk is the place for you. This plant-based eatery offers “modern Israeli street food” that earned them Best Fast Casual from The Washington Post,  a spot in Top 10 Food & Restaurant Trends from Forbes, and Hands-Down Best Hummus from Fitt.

Is there anything better than veggie-centric food? Yes. Veggie-centric comfort food. Fare Well, on H St., has branded themself a bakery, diner, and a bar focused on house-made, strictly plant-based dishes. Oh, and you may want to save room for dessert because two of Fare Well’s bakers have won Food Network’s Cupcake Wars… twice.

A self-proclaimed “Vegetable Restaurant,” Fancy Radish will hit the spot for any veggie craving. The H St. kitchen switches up their menu seasonally, so no matter when you get to Fancy Radish, you’ll be able to go again next season and experience a whole new menu! In addition to main courses, Fancy Radish also has a bar that offers natural wines (amongst other libations), so drink up.

As you probably could have guessed, the name says it all. Each entree at Protein Bar has 15+ grams of protein (plus, they also serve vegan and gluten-free options!). Don’t even get us started on the infinite number of benefits protein has on the body… or the infinite reasons we love their oatmeal bowls. From breakfast scrambles to salads, this nutrition-focused restaurant in Farragut Square and Penn Quarter is sure to satisfy.

 

**Updated by Blythe Collins, September 2018

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Fitt

Get Fitt delivered to your inbox.

Stay up to date on what’s happening in Washington DC’s health and fitness scene.

Get Fitt delivered to your inbox.
Fitt

Get Fitt delivered to your inbox.

Stay up to date on what’s happening in Washington DC’s health and fitness scene.