Vegan Dining in Borderstan, No Compromise

by November 12, 2012 at 8:00 am 1,877 2 Comments


Plenty of options in the neighborhood. (Luis Gomez Photos)

From Aparna Krishnamoorthy. Email her at aparna[AT] Follow her on Twitter @aparnakris.

You have probably gathered by now that I have pretty much no food restrictions. Pig blood ice cream? Heck yeah! So when a vegan friend announced that she would be in town, I was stumped.  Where would we eat? Well, Borderstanis, no need to panic. Plenty of great restaurants in the area have vegan options, so even if you and your dining buddies have divergent food preferences, you can still eat out together and have a delicious meal.

  1. Eatonville– One of my favorite restaurants in the area, they offer a number of vegan entrees and sides that really fit into their menu, including a vegan gumbo, vegan fried chicken, pan-seared tofu and various sides.  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they have a great cocktail list as well.
  2. Commissary – This casual Logan Circle lounge offers clearly marked vegan items on their menu. The house-made quinoa and veggie burger is popular, and my friend loved the side of Brussels Sprouts.
  3. Ghana Café – This 14th Street restaurant offers a separate vegan section on their menu, with items such as Ghanain stew and fried plantains.
  4. Mandu– This Dupont circle Korean restaurant features flavorful vegan items on the menu.  I have been told they have several staff members who are vegan, and get their feedback with adding vegan menu items. Steamed or fried vegetable dumplings followed by a tofu bibimbap are sure to satisfy.
  5. Science Club (1136 19th Street NW) – This all vegetarian restaurant and lounge near Dupont Circle has delicious options and a great weekday happy hour to go with it. Their homemade vegan burger is a crowd favorite and the mushroom stuffed with quinoa is a delicious and hearty dish.
  6. Smoke and Barrel (2741 18th Street NW) – Vegan BBQ? May seem like an oxymoron, but Smoke & Barrel offers vegan BBQ tofu, vegan wings and a number of vegan sides. Vegan BBQ is popular enough for them to have a vegan brunch on weekends! Their smoked BBQ tofu sandwich and sweet potato and oat burger are definitively favorites.
  7. Rogue 24 (922 N Street NW) – An upscale culinary experience featuring a progression of either 16 or 24 small courses at each meal can be had vegan style with a week’s notice. And you can watch the amazing artistry of the chefs in the open kitchen, as a bonus!
  8.  Pizzeria Paradiso – At this upscale pizza parlor, you can substitute vegan cheese on any pizza offered and add veggies, making vegan life simple and delicious.  Or you can get one with pancetta, prosciutto and salami. Whatever you get, wash it down with one the many beers on tap.
  9. Casa Oaxaca– This modern Mexican restaurant in the heart of Adams Morgan offers a separate vegan menu with over 10 vegan items such as vegan Chile Rellenos and tricolor quesadillas. They even have a vegan version of Tres Leches , made with coconut milk! Vegan or not, you will not be disappointed with Casa Oaxaca.
  10. Duccini’s pizza Pizzeria with vegan cheese options for their pizzas. For those nights of debauchery, Duccini’s also serves DC’s only vegan Jumbo slice available Saturday nights starting at 10 pm. Need more to soak up all that indulgence – go for the vegan cheese fries!

Other neighborhood places include Dukem (Ethiopian – lentils and veggie dishes along with injera, which is a fermented Ethiopian pancake), the ever popular Busboys and Poets (legendary coconut tofu bites) and Twins Jazz which also has an Ethiopian platter and all vegan sides. Oh, and last but definitely not the least – Estadio has a separate vegan menu as well!

Whether you want a fancy meal or just a casual dinner, it is sure that dining out as or with a vegan is easy! Do you have any favorites? Tell us in the comments!

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