Best Vegetarian Restaurants in Washington DC

Published by: Bounce15 September, 2022

In recent years vegetarian and vegan cuisine has exploded onto the restaurant scene across the globe. Washington DC is no exception and has seen several bountiful vegetarian restaurants popping up throughout the city. Those with dietary restrictions or simply wanting to live a simpler plant-based lifestyle can now easily find vegan and vegetarian eateries in DC.

The best vegetarian restaurants in Washington DC are actually scattered throughout the city making it super easy to find something yummy to eat no matter where in the city you happen to be exploring. From the traditional falafel to reimagined soul food, there is definitely plenty to choose from.

Drop your bags at a Bounce luggage location for safekeeping since most Washington DC restaurants do not have room for large bags and most attractions throughout the city have prohibited large bags. Let your appetite lead you as you work your way through the vegetarian food scene of Washington DC!

Amsterdam Falafelshop

What's it like:

Offering yummy pita sandwiches that have been stuffed with falafel and bowls overflowing with your choice of over 22 different sauces and toppings, late-night binge eating has never felt so good. Visit the Amsterdam Falafelshop.

Our recommendation:

Sandwiches and bowls are moderately priced depending on the number of toppings you choose. You can pick up your food or have it delivered. Seating inside the sandwich shop is very limited so don’t always bank on being able to get a seat indoors.

Location:

2425 18th St NW, Washington, DC

HipCityVeg

What's it like:

With multiple locations throughout DC, you will have no problem finding HipCityVeg. This is cheap eats meets vegetarian cuisine at its finest. The ingredients used are always 100% organic and non-GMO. Expect flavors to burst forth when you sink your teeth into one of their amazing vegetarian dishes.

Our recommendation:

Creating plant-based alternatives to fast food favorites is their specialty and their veggie burgers, chicken nuggets, and chicken sandwiches are even better than the originals. Be sure to save plenty of room for dessert, their soy milkshakes are refreshing and the flavors rotate each month. The packaging your food comes in is completely compostable.

Location:

712 7th St NW, Washington DC

Fruitive

What's it like:

Fast casual restaurant meets vegetarian in two locations in Washington DC. Fruitive actually has its roots in Virginia Beach and has expanded in the past five years into the city center. Certified organic, you can find cold-pressed juices, berry bowls brimming with superfoods, and fortified toasts that have been topped with fruit, avocado, or nut butter.

Our recommendation:

The smoothie bowls are similar to fruit-laden yogurt but with a smoother, tangier taste. The overnight oats are delicious and bursting with nutrients and of course, the cashew cheese quesadillas are rather unique but also extremely tasty. You do not want to miss the chance to try Fruitive.

Location:

1094 Palmer Aly NW, H and 11th, Washington DC

Beefsteak

What's it like:

Head to the Foggy Bottom area and check out Beefsteak, a veggie-based casual dining restaurant producing healthy and delightful dishes that will make even the staunchest meat eater beg for more. The ironic name sometimes throws people off, but don’t let the name deter you, this vegetarian restaurant should not be missed.

Our recommendation:

The concept behind this vegetable focused restaurant is that you get to build your own bowl filled with ancient grains, seasonal steamed vegetables, fresh toppings and nuts, and interesting sauces. There are also burgers made with beets, salads, gazpacho, vegan soup, and of course, beefsteak tomatoes.

Location:

1528 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington DC

Donut Run

What's it like:

While not necessarily what you had in mind when thinking of vegetarian restaurants, this vegan donut shop is perfect for those with a sweet tooth but still sticking with a plant-based diet. Located in Takoma Park, Donut Run always has a line out the door so expect to have a bit of a wait before you get served.

Our recommendation:

With classic flavors such as lemon crème, Boston crème, and apple fritter you really can’t go wrong when you order. But, step outside your comfort zone and try some of their more unique donuts with inventive flavor combinations. Their specialty donuts do rotate daily so there is always something new to try when you visit.

Location:

6904 4th St NW, Washington DC

Oyster Oyster

What's it like:

Head to the Shaw neighborhood to check out the plant-based restaurant with one of the most impressive tasting menus in DC. Chefs Rob Rubba and Max Kuller create menus that change with the seasons to ensure the freshest ingredients are being utilized. Locally foraged mushrooms are expertly used in many of their dishes.

Our recommendation:

It can be pricey to dine at Oyster Oyster, especially if you request a wine pairing from a responsibly sourced vineyard. But if you are looking to splurge a bit on a fabulous meal that can be fully vegetarian or for those seafood eaters out there ask for a pescatarian menu. You will want to make reservations here or you could be waiting for quite a while for a table.

Location:

1440 8th Street NW, Washington DC

NuVegan Café

What's it like:

With three locations throughout Washington DC and one located in Richmond, VA, NuVegan Café is the place to go when looking for hearty vegan fare. Formerly known as Woodland’s Vegan Bistro, NuVegan is always hopping and offering new and inventive menu choices, all plant-based. The cafeteria-style eatery gives you more than generous portions that you can easily share with friends while having a great meal.

Our recommendation:

With comfort food such as mac ‘n cheese on the menu, you know it will be a great place to kick back and relax. Their lasagna is wonderful and the burgers made with black beans taste delicious. There is also an array of vegan sandwiches, salads, and fresh juices to round out the menu. Soul food with a twist, this café is perfect for vegetarians, vegans, and meat eaters alike.

Location:

2928 Georgia Ave NW, Washington DC

Fare Well

What's it like:

Almost everything at Fare Well is made on-site including nut-based cheeses, pastas, and breads. This veggie-friendly eatery is also a bar and bakery. You can get breakfast all day or enjoy incredible sandwiches and fresh salads. There is always a wonderful assortment of pastries available for dessert or to take with you for a snack.

Our recommendation:

The same team that runs Fare Well also runs Stick Fingers Sweets & Eats located in Columbia Heights. Fare Well offers dining, take out, and delivery so next time you have a craving for a fresh sandwich or sweet treat, we suggest you order in the app or head to the café.

Location:

406 H St NE, Washington DC

CherCher

What's it like:

A list of the best vegetarian restaurants in Washington DC would not be complete without CherCher, these fabulous Ethiopian restaurants offer diving vegetarian and vegan options for those seeking clean foods that are plant-based. CherCher has been a part of the DC food scene for over 50 years and is still going strong.

Our recommendation:

Located in the Bethesda and Shaw neighborhood, you may want to make a reservation to ensure there is a table waiting for you at this rather popular restaurant. Their vegetarian options include lentils and split peas turned into exceptional dishes. There is also a deluxe vegetarian option that includes ten different vegetarian dishes that you can enjoy munching on with injera, a pancake-like flatbread.

Location:

1334 9th St NW, Washington DC

PLNT Burger

What's it like:

The name says it all, this unique fast-casual restaurant specializes in plant-based cuisine that tastes great. PLNT Burger can be found inside Whole Foods in Washington DC, Virginia, and Maryland, seven locations in all. Take out and delivery is also available. So next time you have a craving for something wonderful, head to Whole Foods and visit PLNT Burger.

Our recommendation:

Their Chik’n sandwiches and Beyond burgers are every bit as good as their meat alternatives. You will absolutely want to save plenty of room for one of their milkshakes made with oat milk soft serve, they are decadent as any milkshake made with cow’s milk. The best part about this vegan menu is that it is healthy food that tastes amazing.

Location:

101 H St SE, Washington, DC

Vegz

What's it like:

When spending time in the Adams Morgan area and searching for a wonderful vegan restaurant, Vegz should be your go-to place. Indian food has never tasted so fresh as it does when you dine at Vegz. The sharable menu has so many interesting and amazing options, all plant-based healthy food that will hit the spot.

Our recommendation:

Even your foodie friends will love the dining experience at Vegz. There are ten different types of dosas, vegetable rice, samosas, gobi Manchurian, and of course, cheesecake made using vegan cheese. The halwa is another delicious dessert made with rasmalai and beets. Ask about their gluten-free options, there are plenty to choose from.

Location:

2120 18th St NW, Washington DC

Chaia

What's it like:

Chaia’s humble roots began at local farmers' markets and eventually moved into an actual restaurant located in a Georgetown carriage house. There are now three locations throughout DC and is best known for its Chaia tacos made with seasonal veggies such as braised mushrooms, creamy kale, feta, or a sweet potato hash.

Our recommendation:

They even offer vegetarian quesadillas and enchiladas. In fact, the entire menu is vegetarian and many choices are vegan and gluten-free. It is one of the best places to gather with friends and stuff yourself with fantastic foods made with veggies and spices.

Location:

3207 Grace St NW, Washington DC and 615 1st St NW, Washington DC

Thai X-ing

What's it like:

You will find one of the best vegetarian restaurants in the Shaw neighborhood in an old rowhouse that may look a bit rundown but when you step inside you will find an inviting restaurant that could become your new favorite restaurant. Owner and chef Taw Vigsittaboot created a menu filled with plant-based Thai dishes with fantastic flavor.

Our recommendation:

Vegan pumpkin curry is a must-try when at Thai X-ing. The Pad Thai and veggie fried rice are also yummy when you are looking for traditional Thai food with a plant-based twist. When here you have to try the Taiwanese fried cashew mozzarella, this intriguing dish makes a great appetizer.

Location:

2020 9th St NW, Washington DC

Elizabeth’s Gone Raw

What's it like:

If you are in the vicinity of Mount Vernon Square on Friday or Saturday, this plant-based restaurant is the place to dine. The tasting menu is a bit pricey, but when you are looking for a quality vegetarian or vegan meal you will want to splurge a bit. The 19th century townhouse that houses Elizabeth’s Gone Raw is beautiful and the interior matches the exquisite exterior.

Our recommendation:

The tasting menu consists of six courses that have been carefully cultivated with vegan dishes that are also mostly gluten-free. These out-of-the-box creations are 100% plant-based and mostly raw, although you will find one or two dishes that are not completely raw on each tasting menu. You just might find vegan caviar on the menu when you visit. Reservations are required at Elizabeth’s Gone Raw.

Location:

1341 L St NW, Washington DC

Fancy Radish

What's it like:

One of the newer vegetarian and vegan eateries in DC, the Fancy Radish was created by the chefs that cultivated Vedge in Philadelphia. Even with the COVID-19 pandemic shuttering restaurants in 2020, the Fancy Radish has become one of the more popular plant-based restaurants in Washington DC.

Our recommendation:

Pastrami-spiced carrots are one of their more inventive recipes but the rutabaga fondue keeps people coming back again and again. You can order takeout or dine at the restaurant. Reservations are encouraged if you are eating in the dining room of the Fancy Radish.

Location:

600 H St NE, Washington, DC

Vegan and vegetarian food

Gathering with great friends while enjoying good food makes for a wonderful evening. Finding somewhere that serves great food that is plant-based may seem challenging but in Washington DC, there are a plethora of restaurants offering vegetarian fare.

Whether you are craving sweet potato fries or braised mushroom tacos, you will find amazing food in almost every neighborhood. There are even Middle Eastern inspired vegan restaurants that offer different dishes that will delight your senses.

Did you enjoy this article? Check out these other guides about Washington DC:

3 Days in Washington DC: Everything You Should Know
The Best Time to Visit Washington DC 2022: the Ultimate Guide
Unmissable Things To Do In Washington DC At Night

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