Best Vegetarian-Friendly Restaurants in Washington DC

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Usually, the vegetarians have a narrow set of dishes to choose from in major restaurants. Fortunately, there are a number of vegan  eateries in Washington DC. The next time you visit the city, you will not have to worry about not finding restaurants with vegan food. Below is a discussion on the best vegan restaurants that you can visit while on your DC tours.

Esencias Panameñas

The owner of this restaurant was a vegetarian himself which is reflected on the menu of this restaurant. Some of the popular choices include Ground yuca balls, also known as carimañolas. These are stuffed with soy meat. You can also find the bistec vegetarian which has the vegan “beefless” soy strips which are cooked with onion and pepper and then served with coconut pigeon peas as well as rice. If you want to taste their impressive brunch, visit on Saturdays to find the hojaldres (fried dough), twice-fried green plantain), and vegetarian empanadas.

Dorjee Momo

This is a comparatively new addition to the city. Its menu has several Buddhist-influenced meals, as the chef himself is from Tibet. You can find delicious items like king mushrooms grilled with king mushrooms and offered with colorful chutney of carrots and beets. You can also try the fluffy steamed buns stuffed with veggies and tofu and are covered in delicious glaze. Make sure you make prior bookings for the table. It provides you the opportunity to try an assortment of vegetables, noodles, and tofu which come dipped in broth and are enhanced with spices.


This is a Balkan style restaurant which has allotted separate sections for every type of diet. This includes pescatarian to gluten-free. The different items include small plates of silky baked beans along with smoked paprika, braised cabbage, coupled with spices. Make sure you try Ambar fries and replace the ajvar with kajmak cheese. They have two different locations and they have unique menus.


If you are looking to try Afghan cuisine, you can head to Lapis. Here, you will find different meat or dairy dishes changed into plant-based varieties. Bolani is a crusty flatbread filled with herbs and vegetables. Further, you can try the aushak which has dumplings full of leeks and covered in yellow split peas. Do not miss out in the risotto-style shola stew made out of 16 different types of beans. The buranee kadoo is a staple of sauteed pumpkin alongside mint and is worth trying.

Cafe Mozart

This is an old restaurant which serves some of the best vegetable dishes. It has a number of vegetable entrees like the Potato goulash which is covered with a paprika sauce. You can also look for the mushrooms sautéed and offered with a coat of toasted bread crumbs providing additional crunch. There are several traditional vegan dishes for you such as the Austrian potato salad with red cabbage, sauerkraut, and vinegary three-bean salad

Chinatown Garden

Chinatown Garden takes you back to a time when Washington’s Chinatown had several Chinese restaurants. The place offers several features like an endless supply of oolong tea and a number of mock meats. Try the General Tso’s chicken, Moo Shu Pork, and Kung Pao beef. There are also excellent bean curd dishes and a popular tender eggplant with garlic sauce that you have to try.

Meats & Foods

Meats & Foods has reserved 25% of the menu for the plant-based folk. The seitan-based veggie sausage served here is said to be even better than the ones containing flesh. Consider trying this with onions, grilled peppers, and sauerkraut. They also serve Frito pie with vegan Fritos. They are dipped in vegetarian chili and have a topping of green onions.

Mark’s Kitchen

There will be no shortage of vegetarian meals for Breakfast, lunch, or dinner at Mark’s Kitchen. It has an American and Asian cuisine. Begin with mung bean pancakes, include plant-happy sandwiches, and finish with cream cheese, soy ice cream sundae, and vegan mayo. The place may come up with special items on some days like a side dish of shredded burdock root along with barbecue glaze. Make sure you cross check that the dishes contain vegan kimchi.

Busboys and Poets

This is a chain of homegrown dish-serving restaurants. The place has been including an increasing number of vegan items on its menu. Its owner even announced that the place is looking forward to having a completely plant-based menu in the coming years. The popular dishes include vegan and traditional mac and cheese, an impressive “tuna” salad sandwich made of chickpeas and crunchy parts of celery and carrots, and Cobb salad coupled with crispy tofu and tempeh coated in a hemp vinaigrette. Do not forget to try the tofu scramble during brunch along with a vegan sausage or taste the home-made “beef” sliders.

Washington DC has a fair share of vegetarian-friendly restaurants which you can try during your DC tours.

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