Washington DC is a hotbed of social justice activists and home to many animal rights organizations, so naturally, the city is also a hotbed of top-notch vegan eateries and vegan lifetsyle. From raw food to soul food and everything in between, DC has it all. Whether you’re here for the politics or the sightseeing, stop by these awesome spots for vegan noshing and the best Washington has to offer. Whichever of the below vegan food in Washington DC you choose, you’re sure to find a favorite whether you’re a local or a visitor. With so many delicious options available for vegan eating, these DC eateries might just change the minds of a few non-vegans, too!
The Hebrew word for market, Shouk is a 100 percent vegan restaurant with a little Middle-Eastern market too. Shouk has two locations and is highly awarded and recommended. The menu features handmade veggie burgers and falafels, along with fresh salads and other Mediterranean favorites. Its most popular choice, the Shouk burger, is made in-house from chickpeas, lentils and black beans, along with mushrooms, beets and cauliflower, and is spiced to perfection.
Shouk is at 655 K Street NW and 395 Morse Street NE
Busboys and Poets
Named in honor of Langston Hughes, who worked as a busboy before becoming a poet, this community gathering space is more than just a restaurant. Busboys and Poets has seven locations in the D.C. area, and each features an in-house bookstore, poetry readings and other events, along with its extensive food menu. While the restaurant is not totally vegan, options abound and are clearly marked. Brunch comes highly recommended here – try the vegan egg scramble, cauliflower sandwich or gigantic plate of vegan nachos. This is a great location if you love conversations about social justice alongside your vegan food.
If you love classic, comforting soul food, NuVegan Café is the place for you. Southern standbys like creamy mac and cheese, chicken drumsticks and crabcakes top the list. A wide array of choices like collard greens, kale salad and barbecue ribs are also served cafeteria-style in this top-rated vegan restaurant. Save room for cheesecake, giant cinnamon rolls and other baked goods, as well as the smoothie and juice bar. NuVegan has several locations throughout the area, so wherever you are headed, there’s sure to be one nearby. Additionally, although most vegan food is naturally kosher, NuVegan has the distinction of recently being officially certified!
This sophisticated spot with a charming garden-like atmosphere features James Beard-nominated chefs Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby and an inventive menu of elegant dishes perfect for a date night. Visit Fancy Radish, and try the rutabaga fondue, one of the farm boards or the aptly named fancy radishes. This upscale spot also has a carefully curated list of beers, wines and craft cocktails, along with a tempting dessert menu.
This unique spot offers more than 50 teas, tinctures and tonics and will customize a blend for your body’s individual needs. The founders combine a knowledge of healing Syrian, Jamaican and Cuban herbalists to bring you delicious, curative beverages — all with “love is compassion” inscribed on each cup. Calabash Tea & Tonic also features kombucha on tap, fair trade coffees and an array of tempting locally made vegan baked goods. Yummy sandwiches, soups, salads and hand pies are also available at this hip little vegan café.
Fruitive has two locations in DC and is entirely plant-based. Founded in 2011 by Gregg Rozeboom, Fruitive is the first Certified Organic Fast Casual Restaurant Group in North America. Committed to offering a menu comprised of quality organic, plant-based, and wholesome ingredients, Fruitive takes a fresh approach with their philosophy of great food that’s good for the mind, body and the planet. Fruitive planted their first restaurant location in Virginia Beach, VA. In their six years of operation, the company has grown to include four locations including storefronts in downtown Washington, D.C, Virginia Beach oceanfront, and Norfolk. Fruitive’s newest expansion, located in Washington D.C.’s Dupont Circle neighborhood, is now open.
This D.C. hotspot serves up one of the area’s most popular brunches, with breakfast served all day on weekends. With everything from breakfast tacos to cookie dough pancakes, this is comfort food at its finest. Other menu favorites include a Benedict florentine, seitan and waffles, and a dreamy stack of carrot cake pancakes with walnuts and cream cheese drizzle. Try the cocktails, boozy shakes and yummy desserts, too. Fare Well comes from the founders of Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats which is another amazing vegan spot for bakery desserts and treats. Try the signature Cowvin cookies at Fare Well too, or pick up whole cakes and other baked goods to go.
Many thanks to Kate Harveston for submitting this vegan travel guest blog post, Kate is a Vegan & Sustainable Lifestyle Journalist from Pennsylvania and is the founder of the website So Well, So Woman.