Hi, Hoyas! Welcome back to Wellness Personalis — wellness for the whole Hoya!
Today, I’m putting Georgetown’s plant-based lunch and dinner options up to the test: I’ll cover the university and the neighborhood, both of which offer options to grab your weekday meals.
I’m here to promote wellness in the form of moderation! I’ve found that leading a healthy life includes eating all my favorite foods, from spaghetti to sweets.
As I mentioned when reviewing breakfast options, the Plant Power station from The Table at Leo O’Donovan Dining Hall (Leo’s) offers a plethora of options for lunch and dinner. Pasta is a rarity, but when The Table has pasta, the whole school stands in line for it. Since the delight is so rare, I like using my Leo’s takeaway container to grab extra pasta when available for my lunch the next day.
Another Leo’s life hack is to take flavor into your own hands. Specifically, I mean investing in some Sriracha, vegan dressing and other spices that you can use to customize your Leo’s dining experience. Whether you’re a spicy food lover or a barbeque sauce enthusiast, buying your own favorite spices, sauces and dressings can transform your dishes. You can also collect a cornucopia of various sauce packets from Epicurean and Company for free.
Besides Plant Power, Leo’s has a salad bar — but they don’t carry vegan dressing, besides olive oil and balsamic. Thus, for salad devotees, I would recommend Crop Chop as an alternative. Crop Chop’s vegan “Green Goddess” dressing drizzled over my personal protein picks of falafel and chickpeas makes for a delicious and colorful addition to my meals.
At upstairs Leo’s, my favorite place is 5Spice — not an unpopular opinion, and for a reason! I like to go during quieter hours to beat the rush. I also like to journey over to Sazon to try their tofu and construct my own tacos or bowl. Olive Branch almost always has a vegan protein option available over some form of grains if you crave Mediterranean cuisine.
Another personal lunchtime favorite is the Noodle Bar at Epicurean and Company: you can build your own rice bowl, ramen bowl or cold noodle salad for a meal exchange! The trick is to go when the Noodle Bar is actually open, unlike me, who has managed to discern their hours through heartbreaking trial and error.
Lastly, for on-campus options, I have to include The Corp. With Flex dollars, avocado toast with any toppings is easily within reach at Hilltoss. If you want to DIY your avocado toast, Georgetown’s “Groceries To Go” will deliver fresh avocados to you for $1.29 each, with a $10 delivery minimum.
Now, for off-campus options…as a disclaimer, I have much more exploring to do, and I haven’t yet discovered where to find the vegan versions of some of my favorite cuisines, but I’m going to share a selection of my finds as of my first semester at Georgetown!
To start this working list, my first favorite is Pressed. You can sign up for their rewards and get freebies and discounts on açai bowls and smoothies. I’m convinced their cayenne, lemon and turmeric wellness shot protected me from cough season!
South Block is another excellent option: they have countless bowls, smoothies and even avocado toast if you’re looking to treat yourself. Across the street from South Block, you can find Chaia, a completely vegetarian taco place where every option can be made vegan.
On your way back to campus, Foxtrot is a great stop for studying. They have plenty of vegan sweets, smoothies, toasts and even grab-and-go pasta (my pasta-minded brain lit up when I discovered this). For vegan pizza aficionados, I would strongly recommend &pizza. With vegan cheese, vegan sausage and a much-appreciated rewards system, &pizza will surely enhance your Friday nights.
Finally, as you traverse the broken bricks of O Street, take the chance to admire Saxby’s vegan breakfast options. Just ensure that you have the time on your Sunday morning to wait for your order, as the wait can be quite long.
These options form the foundation of my food finds, so feel free to pick and choose to add to your own foundation. I can’t wait to explore more options, and I know that another future favorite restaurant waits for me. For now, happy eating!
Sophia Williams is a first-year in the College. Wellness Personalis will appear online and in print every other week during the fall semester.