For omnivores, deciding where to eat out with a vegan friend can be a long process of negotiation. Deciding where to eat is a great enough challenge for people with similar enough preferences. Add conflicting dietary restrictions into the mix, and conflict seems inevitable.
Luckily, there are myriad options in Georgetown and the greater Washington, D.C. area that can accommodate the plant-based and non-plant-based alike for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Exceptional vegan-friendly restaurants in the District will satisfy foodies of all trades and types, especially given the increasing shift toward plant-based diets as a way to fight climate change, as more than half of greenhouse gas emissions from food come from animal products. The vibrant vegan food scene in the District sees restaurants splitting their menus into plenty of plant and meat options, so the next time a mixed vegan and nonvegan friend group looks for a dinner place, they will be sure to find an appropriate spot.
The popularity and prevalence of avocado toast makes many breakfast spots in the area vegan-friendly. Blue Bottle’s Georgetown location has some of the best avocado toast in the District, with its thick layer of ripe avocado spread on a crispy toast, contrasting smoothness and crispiness. They also offer a toast with almond butter and jam for a heartier, sweeter alternative that happens to be half the price of the avocado toast. Primarily a coffee shop, Blue Bottle has a long list of dairy milk alternatives, including oat, almond and soy.
Avocado toast cravings are sure to be satisfied just a block over at Bluestone Lane on Wisconsin Avenue, and at a slightly cheaper price point. For a zestier and potentially spicier toast than Blue Bottle, the Avocado Smash without feta, is flavored by lemon juice, salt and pepper, chili flakes and olive oil.
For interesting and adventurous vegan-friendly brunches, spots outside of the Georgetown bubble impress with their diversity of flavors. Offered only on Sundays, Equinox in Farragut has an all-you-can-eat vegan brunch buffet, speaking to the increasing popularity of vegan food for both health and climate reasons. With dishes like crispy cauliflower tempura and black bean and walnut chili on the menu, Equinox showcases their imaginative creations. The stuffed walnut french toast is delightfully nutty, sweet and satisfying, especially as a pick-me-up after a long night out. With endless decadent and savory options, Equinox is sure to please all parties in attendance.
Fare Well, a few blocks away from Union Station on H Street, also has an incredible vegan brunch on the weekends. Styled like a diner in both interior design and menu options, Fare Well takes classic breakfast favorites and makes them vegan, presenting its dishes in an environment that harkens back to the past. Offering a variety of pancakes, including a carrot cake flavor, dairy-free malted milkshakes, french toast sticks and savory polenta fries, the innovative recipes are sure to be a hit with even the most plant-averse attendees.
Vegan and vegetarian options are not limited to light, vegetable-filled breakfasts. Plant-based lunch and dinner options in Georgetown are plentiful, including several falafel spots that are almost entirely plant-based. Falafel Inc., a long-time hit with Georgetown students, offers cheap and delicious eats with their falafel sandwiches, bowls and spiced french fries.
With slightly pricier falafel but far more options for toppings, Taïm on Wisconsin Avenue impresses. The restaurant is completely vegetarian and most of its offerings are vegan. Taïm offers two types of falafel, harissa and traditional green, as well as a faux meat kebab and crispy cauliflower shawarma, which are served in a warm, fresh pita sandwich on a platter or in a salad. Some of its exceptional toppings include mango fenugreek chutney to accommodate sweet cravings and Yemenite cilantro hot sauce for those looking to spice up their sandwich. The food at Taïm is incredibly fresh and savory and a great option for those craving a new fast-casual spot near campus.
Vegan cuisine is not limited to breakfast and falafel lunch, however. JINYA Ramen Bar on 14th Street has a commendable dinner menu, offering something for everyone with vegan and nonvegan options on the appetizer and ramen sections of the menu. The Flying Vegan Harvest Ramen is sweet, nutty from the plant-based substitute meat, super flavorful and fresh. With two floors and an indoor-outdoor patio, this place is both cozy and bustling with energy, making it a great spot for a nice dinner out with friends or a date — vegans and nonvegans included.
To satisfy a sweet tooth and round out of a day of eating, Georgetown students may look no further for vegan-friendly desserts than some of Georgetown’s famous cupcake locations. Georgetown Cupcake, Sprinkles and Baked and Wired all carry at least one vegan flavor at any given time. Sticky Fingers,an entirely vegan bakery and cafe, has a far wider array of options with a wide variety of plant-based treats to eat, including peanut butter fudge, mint and mocha cupcakes, cookie sandwiches and sticky buns.
Finding places to eat that can be enjoyable for everyone is always a daunting task, but the District’s rich vegan options for every time of day and every type of palate continue to impress with their creative menus. With abundant options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert, vegans and nonvegans alike are sure to find something to rave about.