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THE BEST VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN EATS IN DC

15 PLACES

UPDATED JUL 14, 2020

We hope you’re prepared for the best plant-based food you’ve ever eaten. These are all the DC restaurants doing crazy and delicious things with veggies.

author

MEGHAN BARTLETT

FITT WASHINGTON-DC CONTRIBUTOR

Sweetgreen is a DIY foodie's heaven. Here, you’ll choose your green or grain base and top off your bowl with fruits, veggies, seeds…you name it! All of their DC-area spots offer lots of vegan dressings to drizzle over your veggie concoction. And if you're just not feeling a salad, try one of their warm bowls with roasted veggies and grains.

Okay, their name doesn’t sound too promising, but their motto is “Vegetables, Unleashed.” Sound better? This José Andrés restaurant in Dupont Circle and on GWU’s campus selects our country’s best bounty and produce and serves it in a bowl. With veggie offerings such as squash, snow peas, edamame, sprouts, and more, your meal is bound to be exciting.

This Chinatown and Georgetown gem 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 come fall, don’t be surprised to find sweet potatoes and pumpkins on the menu!

ELife (formerly Evolve) is vegan food for the soul. This cafeteria-style, 100% plant-based Kosher eatery serves up all your favorite comfort foods with a vegan twist. They offer tons of gluten-, soy-, and nut-free options as well, so you don't have to worry if you have any allergies. From vegan mac 'n' cheese to fried chicken, you're sure to find the comfort classic you're craving.

Choolaah has some of the most flavorful and healthy eats in the city. This restaurant in Sterling and Fairfax combines Indian favorites with BBQ, and their menu is full of vegan- and vegetarian-friendly options. Be adventurous and try their veggie masala bowl with rice or their legendary Choolaah Salad with veggie croquettes.

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 with shelves of books and local art in each location. There are plenty 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!

With an all-vegan, six-course tasting menu, you'll want to put this spot at the top of your bucket list. Luckily, the portions are small, so you’ll have room to try all six dishes (hopefully). Each plate is a masterful arrangement of color and flavor and features many raw food flavorings. Try a wine pairing to perfect a night of fantastic food in this classy townhouse in Logan Circle. Fitt Tip: They're only open Friday and Saturday, so we recommend making a reservation!

Great Sage in Clarksville is known for making organic, plant-based dishes that support a compassionate, vegan lifestyle. But that’s not all that makes Great Sage a one-of-a-kind dining experience — it’s their creative gourmet dishes (offered at a reasonable price) that truly set them apart. Between the vegan “crab cakes" and the pulled BBQ jackfruit sandwich, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something you won’t want to try!

Stop by HipCityVeg to try one of their mouthwatering and incredibly satisfying vegan “meat” recipes. Their Battered Chick’n and Lil’ Golden Nugs taste just like the real deal, and their plant-based chocolate milkshake is to die for. HipCityVeg is perfect for any curious carnivores looking to try out awesome vegan food, and of course, it’s a staple for any plant-based foodie in The District.

Fruitive made history as the first-ever certified organic fast casual restaurant in North America, and since then, they've only been stepping up their veggie game. From yogis and runners to cyclists and hikers, Fruitive is the refueling spot for many plant-based athletes in downtown DC. Fitt Tip: their menu changes with the season, so be on the lookout for fresh finds year-round!

NuVegan Cafe proves that fast food can be healthy. With 100% vegan ingredients and lots of organic and raw choices, this cafe puts a new twist on old favorites. And if you can't make it to their locations on Georgia Ave. or in College Park, we've got good news! NuVegan is now on wheels, so you can hunt down their food truck all over town.

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

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 visit 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 (and other libations), so drink up!

Pow Pow wasn’t always plant-based, but we’re so glad they are. This restaurant went vegetarian as an experiment to see if they could still please their customers with a meatless menu. Needless to say, it was a success. You’ll find all your favorite Chinese, Japanese, and Korean flavors on their Bowl Bar, where you can choose from a main, like pulled pork jackfruit or fried orange plant-based chicken, then add your sides, like pineapple kimchi or miso roasted cauliflower. With all of the customizable options and meat-like taste, this menu is sure to satisfy any carnivore’s palate.

Serving as a boutique coffee shop in the morning and veggie-forward diner for lunch and dinner, you pretty much never need to say farewell to Fare Well. Their small plates are great for sharing (or eating all yourself), and their mains take veggie food to the next level. Try the polenta fries, house-made cashew and almond burrata, or the Hot Pastrami with mushrooms, caramelized onions, sauerkraut, russian dressing and spicy mustard on marble rye. You’ll be shocked that vegetables can taste this good.

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