Veganism is becoming more and more popular as people are gaining a better understanding of the horrors of factory farming, the impact of the meat industry on the environment and the dire effects of a meat-heavy diet on human health. As a result, an increasing number of restaurants in D.C. are offering vegan options. Here is a list of five venues that have multiple vegan options that go well beyond the typical “salad” which is what many people think vegans subside on. These spots offer delicious, flavorful vegan options that many meat eaters may find they not only like, but prefer.
781 7th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Zengo, one of DC’s best fusion restaurants, has a complete vegetarian menu with nearly a dozen items that can be made vegan. Enjoy crispy tofu served on a bed of bok choy or delicious vegetable fried rice. There are also crispy arepas, which are ground corn cakes topped with mushrooms and guacamole, as well as salads and edamame. Head over with friends and order all of the vegan items to share. You won’t regre
1800 14th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
For a trendy Asian restaurant with a separate vegan menu, Doi Moi is your spot. Vegan options include spicy tofu and mushroom curry, stir-fried rice noodles, crispy radish cakes and much, much more. Just be sure to pay attention to the notations on the menu regarding spice. Some of these dishes are seriously hot. Doi Moi offers limited reservations, so you may have to wait for a table, but the wait is worth it.
Smoke and Barrel
2471 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
It is hard to imagine that this BBQ joint has loads of vegan choices, but it does. Try its vegan fish sandwich, vegan wings and vegan chili, all of which are flavorful and satisfying. There is also a vegan burger and even vegan sweet potato donuts. Enjoy your meal with a cold beer or a sampling from the extensive whisky and bourbon menu. Prices are reasonable, which makes this place even more attractive.
818 Connecticut Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
Chef Todd Gray’s wife is vegan, which means at his restaurants, vegans are always taken care of. This upscale venue offers a decadent vegan tasting menu that changes with the seasons. Some recent dishes were slow-cooked wild rice, tomato and red pepper gazpacho, and warm chocolate cake. An optional wine pairing is available for an additional price. You can also enjoy his vegan offerings at the Todd Gray vegan market brunch at Muse Café.
Everlasting Life Café
9185 Central Ave.
Capitol Heights, MD 20743
Everlasting Life falls into the category of vegan friendly because everything on its menu happens to be vegan. It is a classic Southern restaurant with fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and decadent desserts; the only difference is that everything is vegan. The food is insanely delicious and truly a haven for anyone who is vegan, or really anyone who likes good food.
Priya Konings is a freelance writer and restaurant critic in Washington D.C. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.