I spent last weekend in the DC area visiting some of my favorite people and reminiscing in one of my favorite cities in the US. My boyfriend and I spent our first few years in the “real world” (post college) living in the DC area and LOVING our time there. We recently moved to North Carolina for his graduate school, but still look back so fondly on our time there.
During our time living in (and right outside of) DC, we spent a LOT of time walking, exploring, and, of course, eating 🙂 DC has some pretty spectacular restaurants and a surprisingly large number of vegan and vegetarian options. I thought I’d put together a list of our favorite veggie-friendly restaurants in Washington, just in case you’re in the area anytime soon!
Founding Farmers. This was the first restaurant I went to when I first moved to the DC area back in 2012 and man, was I impressed! The minute you walk in, you know you’re in a hip place (especially because of the ridiculously long wait time— make reservations!). They have an incredible brunch, but I actually like going to Founding Farmers for dinner better because they have lots more vegetarian options. Also, their cocktails are incredible so plan on splurging an extra $12… it’s totally worth it!
Try: For brunch— the Roasted Vegetable Pan Scramble with a Bloody Mary. For dinner— the Many Vegetable Mushroom Loaf. With an Organic Cucumber Delight cocktail, of course!
Zaytinya. This Jose Andres hot spot might be my favorite restaurant in Washington DC. It’s so hard to choose, but every time I go there I leave feeling so satisfied. Again, it’s super classy and you’ll NEED reservations at least a week or two in advance. Zaytinya is a mediterranean restaurant that serves almost all small plates, so you and your party can order a ton of dishes and go to town! Oh, and did I mention the endless amount of warm, puffy pita bread?!
Try: The CRISPY BRUSSELS SPROUTS! I also love their dolmades, red lentil patties, and salmon small plates.
Oyamel. Jose Andres, you’ve done it again! Two of my favorite restaurants right in the same area of town and owned by the same chef— he’s got a good thing going here in DC. Oyamel is a Mexican restaurant, again with mostly small plates, so you get to order lots of food. They have the best guac in town and their drinks are out of this world, so plan on spending a special occasion here (and a good amount of money). Like most restaurants in DC, make reservations in advance!
Try: The BRUSSELS SPROUTS! Totally different from Zaytinya’s, but I might even like these better. The guacamole goes without saying. The ahi tuna ceviche is incredible, as are the grilled cactus paddles. To drink— anything off their cocktail menu!
Sticky Fingers. Winner of Cupcake Wars, this joint has become super popular up in Columbia Heights, DC. Everything is vegan, full of sugar, and super delicious.
Try: I love their coconut cupcake as well as their cookie sammiches.
Teaism. This Asian-inspired tea house is one of the best vegetarian finds in the DC area. There are a few locations, one of which was a few blocks from my old apartment in Old Town Alexandria. They have tons of vegetarian and vegan options, very reasonable prices, and the a pretty bangin’ tea menu. It’s a great lunch or dinner spot, and one place you actually don’t need reservations!
Try: Both the salmon and the vegetarian bento boxes are amazing. And definitely end with a salty oat cookie 🙂
Rasika. This place is seriously special. It’s been ranked on countless “Best Restaurant in the US” lists and truly lives up to the hype. Can you guess you’ll need a reservations? At least a month in advance on this one… maybe even two. We celebrated my birthday here a few years ago and I still remember how bold the flavors were. If you’ve got a special occasion coming up in the next few months— book now!
Try: Their crispy spinach dish is absolutely addicting. As is basically anything on the vegetarian menu. Go wild!
Baked and Wired. Step aside Georgetown Cupcake, this place is the real deal in Georgetown. Their cupcakes are massive, smothered in decadent frosting, and packed with sweet, sweet flavor. Their vegan cookies and cream cupcake is still the best cupcake I’ve EVER had. For real.
Try: Duh… their vegan cookies and cream. Or the dirty chai 🙂
Busboy’s and Poets. This place brings back so many memories for me. One of its locations is right near Nate’s old apartment, so of course we frequented it far too often. The food is incredible and so reasonably priced, they have a great happy hour, and you can’t beat the atmosphere. It’s literally a coffee shop, book store, and urban-swanky restaurant all in one (is that even a thing?). Definitely add this to your list if you’re in DC.
Try: Their veggie burger, to this day, is my favorite veggie burger EVER.
Have you ever been to DC? What are your favorite restaurants in the area?