6 must try vegan restaurants in the DC Area
How you can eat vegan while still impressing your friends
When I became vegan a few years ago, the hardest part was going out to dinner with my friends. No one wants to repeat themselves everywhere they go “This dish doesn’t have any animal products, right?” or “Are you SURE this is vegan?” Well, if you're trying to be vegan (or want to help out a vegan friend) you're in luck! The Scene has put together a guide of the best vegan places to go in D.C. And the best part? All of these restaurants label their vegan options!
If you love breakfast and brunch then this is the place for you! The closest location is located just under one mile from AU in the Spring Valley neighborhood, however, there are eight different locations throughout D.C. Hours of operation vary for each location so make sure to look up each restaurant's hours online before you head out. The menu contains a variety of vegan breakfast and brunch options, including - but not limited to - a soup of the day, organic steel-cut oatmeal and a hummus open faced sandwich. My personal favorite option is the avocado toast. The location in Georgetown that I eat at most frequently has a super friendly staff and vibe. The service is a little on the slower side but it’s the perfect weekend breakfast spot to try out with friends. Be prepared to spend at least $10 to $15 on your meal.
When someone asks me for a restaurant recommendation I immediately say “Busboys and Poets.” There are currently 4 locations in the D.C. area. The closest location is four and a half miles away from AU on Carroll St. in the Takoma neighborhood. This location has a unique seating style which includes regular tables and also couches and coffee tables. The menu has a wide range of vegan options including burgers, pizza, quesadillas, paninis and much more. My most ordered dish on the menu is the vegan “tuna” salad sandwich.
But make sure you save room for dessert because they have pretty delicious vegan options. If you’re in the mood for chocolate, try the mouth-watering vegan brownie that comes with chocolate sauce and a scoop of vanilla soy ice cream. I’m happy to say that the service is pretty fast, even on its busier nights. The restaurant doesn’t take reservations so you could end up waiting 20 minutes to be seated, but don’t fret! Busboys and Poets has a bookstore inside where you can browse while you wait. Most of the items on the menu, give or take a few, are over $10, so make sure you have $15 minimum on you, or $20 to be safe!
Who needs good vegan pizza in their life? Well I have the perfect place for you! District of Pi Pizzeria has two locations. The nearest one, located in Penn Quarter, is approximately five miles away from AU. The restaurant offers vegan deep dish pizza but you must call in to order this option three hours ahead for delivery or if you are dining in. You can also customize your own vegan thin crust pizza. The menu includes a lot of vegan friendly toppings including Daiya cheese and vegan sausage. Unfortunately, the toppings can get a bit pricey, so make sure you have at least $40 on you. This is the most expensive out of all the restaurants I’ve listed, however it’s worth the price. The staff is also extremely helpful, constantly checks on your table and makes sure you are enjoying your food.
If you have a sweet tooth and need to get your fix head over to Sticky Fingers. The best part is that everything in this bakery/cafe is 100 percent vegan. The bakery has only one location in Columbia Heights, but there is a huge variety of yummy desserts, including cupcakes, cookies and pastries. Make sure you order one of the delicious milkshakes. Yes, I said milkshakes. On top of that, they have a brunch menu and lots of meal options including the cheesy mac, the California burger and chorizo tacos. Additionally, the bakery labels its items as nut-free, wheat-free and soy-free if you have allergies to these ingredients. It has a pretty casual atmosphere where customers pay at the counter and seat themselves. The desserts are around $3, and the smaller plates are under $10 while the bigger plates are around $10 to $12.
This restaurant is by far the best place to go when you feel like a vegan Thai or Japanese dish. It is located just under three miles away from AU, on M Street in Georgetown. The menu is great since you can adjust almost any dish on the menu to be vegan. Definitely try asking for the vegan pad thai, because it is to die for. They have many options for sushi such as cucumber, avocado or mushroom. The prices here vary, with appetizers falling between $6 and $8, while bigger dishes are between $10 and $20.
If you love Indian food and getting your money's worth, then you should check out Indique. It is approximately two miles away from AU in Cleveland Park. The restaurant itself has beautiful, classy decor and a super friendly staff. The menu has a large variety of vegan dishes; I was over the moon when I found out they had vegan roti! Definitely try the Masala Okra dish which is one of my favorites. The appetizers, or “street snacks,” range in price from $6 - $9. The main dishes are on the slightly pricier side ranging from $13 to $18. One tip though, remember to trust the waiter if they tell you something is spicy!