Whether you’re a vegetarian Washingtonian seeking a little nosh or a just a fan of a zero-cholesterol burger, these top five range from vegetarian to straight-up vegan in restaurants large, small and up all night.
2427 18th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20009
This popular Adams Morgan bar is well known for its draft selection and delicious food made meticulously with as many local ingredients and as in house as possible. Black Squirrel’s veggie burger is like no other in DC. It starts with a mixture of vegetables, toasted hemp seeds and quinoa that is loosely wrapped with thin strips of grilled eggplant and served on a bun with a side of classic boardwalk fries or a salad. There are toppings you can add to up the veggie level. By itself, it’s vegan, but if you’re a vegetarian, you can add a variety of cheese from classics like cheddar or Swiss, to gourmet like brie, goat or even Chimay.
3415 11th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
The Coupe is the newest of the restaurant group that brought you Tryst, The Diner and Open City. Situated on 11th Street in the popular Columbia Heights area of town, The Coupe serves up a veggie burger made in house that offers a mixture of vegetables, grains and lentils packed into a flavorful patty that is topped with pickled onion and arugula and made whole by the roasted garlic aioli. The burger is an excitement for the palate, but be prepared for it to fall apart under the weight of the dense bun. Served with a side of delicious fries, the veggie burger is vegetarian, but can be made vegan by having the aioli removed.
Everlasting Life Café
2928 Georgia Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20001
Everlasting Life Café is a vegan haven in the Parkview area of Georgia Avenue. This quick-service café does veggie burgers to order. There are two options to choose from. One is the Garvey burger, which is a spice and herb housemade burger that is served all of the typical fixings, including lettuce, tomatoes, onions and the house’s own savory sauce. For a more traditional taste, try the veggie burger topped with a soy-based American cheese slice and the same toppings as the other. The sandwiches don’t come with any sides, so be sure to try the vegan mac and cheese or one of the many delicious raw sides.
1136 19th St. N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
What sounds like a gathering of geeks is really a hipster-like lounge in south Dupont that serves up an all vegetarian menu and what some may argue is the best veggie burger in DC. The veggie burger, consisting of veggies and lentils formed into a perfect vegan patty that is grilled to perfection, is topped with lettuce, tomato, onion and a vegan aioli sauce next to a side of arugula salad. You can opt for the vegetarian or vegan cheese on top, but be sure to get the maison frites on the side as well for an unforgettable meal in an eclectic environment.
Sticky Fingers Sweets and Eats
1370 Park Road N.W.
Washington, DC 20010
Doron Petersan, most well known for being the two-time champion of “Cupcake Wars,” serves up delicious vegan food in her Columbia Heights storefront. An array of veggies burgers awaits the tempting taste buds. All of the burgers start with the Gardein’s hearty burger patty on the exclusive multigrain bun by the local Lyon Bakery made just for Sticky Fingers. For those that like to keep it simple, there’s the solo burger topped with lettuce, tomato and Veganaise. The down home Texas burger is topped with tempeh bacon and served up with ranch, or try the BBQ burger made with an organic barbecue sauce and topped with cilantro coleslaw. A nod at the West Coast is evident in the California burger topped with Daiya cheese, avocado and homemade salsa. For a unique flavor, try the Asian burger topped with a cilantro slaw and ginger sesame aioli sauce. Don’t forget a delicious dessert with one of Sticky Fingers’ mouth-watering treats.
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Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isnt enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.