Vegetarian Food in Washington, DC

Just before leaving for Korea, I spent 4 months as a vegetarian. At the time, I was living in Washington DC. Luckily for me, DC is a fantastic place to be a vegetarian, with options at almost every restaurant, and many restaurants that specialize in vegetarian food. Here are my favorites.

Busboys and Poets


One of my very favorite DC restaurants is Busboys and Poets. The food is amazing, the menu is varied, the decor is hip, and the bookstore and events there are just cool. Best yet, they have extensive vegetarian and vegan options. One of my favorites is the Portobello sandwich with pesto and red pepper with a side of sweet potato fries, pictured above. I also crave their vegetarian nachos.
  • Details: There are two locations in the city: 14th and V Street NW, and 5th and K Street NW. There are also locations in Hyattsville, MD and Shirlington, VA. The 14th & V location is open daily 9 AM to midnight, and open until 2 AM on Friday and Saturday. A meal is about $10-15.



Rasika is my absolute favorite restaurant in DC. This is top-of-the-line Indian food. It’s a classy place, and the prices reflect that. But luckily for you vegetarians out there, vegetarian dishes are the most affordable thing on the menu, at about $14 per entree. I have found that if you ask nicely, they will prepare things that aren’t on the menu – I asked for a paneer tikka masala because it used to be on the menu, and they were happy to make it for me.
  • Details: Rasika now has two locations, at 633 D St. NW and at 1190 New Hampshire Ave NW. The Penn Quarter (D St) location is open for lunch Monday through Friday 11:30-2:30, and open for dinner 5:30 to 10:30 Monday through Thursday, and until 11pm on Friday and Saturday. It’s closed Sunday. Dinner will be around $15-25.

Amsterdam Falafelshop

I’m a big fan of falafel sandwiches, and Amsterdam Falafelshop delivers. Choose your size (small is 3 balls and large is 5) and your pita type – white or wheat. Then load that baby up with tons of awesome toppings! The fries are also very good here.

  • Details: Amsterdam Falafelshop is right in Adams Morgan, at 2425 18th St NW. It’s open daily from 11 AM to at least midnight (later on the weekends – closes at 4 AM Friday and Saturday). A falafel sandwich will run you $5-7.

Sticky Fingers


When I was living at 11th and Irving Street, Sticky Fingers was right around the corner. Which made it pretty tempting, except that it is kind of expensive for baked goods. It’s an all-vegan restaurant with lots of baked goods and plenty of lunch and dinner options too. I’ve enjoyed the grilled cheeze sandwich, and the chili cheeze dog (pictured above). Their cupcakes and brownies are fantastic too.
  • Details: Sticky Fingers is just north of the Columbia Heights Metro station at 1370 Park Rd NW. It’s open daily from about 9am to 8pm (10pm on Friday and Saturday). Lunch or dinner will be about $7-10.

Founding Farmers

Founding Farmers is a delightful restaurant with a decent selection of vegetarian options. It doesn’t come cheap, but it’s worth it. I recommend the grilled cheese and the butternut squash ravioli.
  • Details: Founding Farmers is at 1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW. It’s open for breakfast Monday through Friday 7-11am, lunch and dinner Monday through Friday 11am to 10pm and Saturday and Sunday 2-10pm. A meal is $12-20. But you should definitey be adding an appetizer of corn bread for $5.

Thai X-ing

Thai X-ing is a small restaurant in some guy’s basement. You need reservations at least a week in advance. It’s a chef’s choice menu, and Sunday is vegetarian only, so try to go on a Sunday. You can request vegetarian dishes on other days as well. The pumpkin curry will haunt your dreams.
  • Details: Thai X-ing is hidden near the Shaw metro station at 515 Florida Ave NW. It’s open 5:30-10pm Tuesday through Sunday. The vegetarian tasting menu is $30 a person.

Everlasting Life Cafe

Another option in my neighborhood was always Everlasting Life Cafe. This is a vegan soul food restaurant. It might sound strange, but it is actually not the only one in the same area. You pick your dishes out of a display case. The vegan mac and cheese, and the kale were my favorites.
  • Details: Everlasting Life is at 2928 Georgia Ave NW right near the north part of Howard University. It’s open Monday through Saturday 11am-9pm and Sunday noon to 7. You can get a meal for under $10.
There are a lot of other vegetarian and vegetarian-friendly options in DC, but these are my favorites. Have you been to DC? Do you know of a good vegetarian restaurant?

2 thoughts on “Vegetarian Food in Washington, DC

  1. Greg

    This is practically a run down of my favorite DC restaurants lol. The Tempeh Sandwich at Busboys & Poets may well be my favorite sandwich of all time – of all time! Thai X-ing practically made me mad it was so delicious, and Amsterdam Falafel is the sort of place that should exist in hundreds if not millions of locations worldwide. I just go nuts for Falafel wraps, come on!

    1. Rachel Post author

      I’m surprised Amsterdam Falafel isn’t everywhere by now, since I know they push for franchising. I think there are a couple now but not as many as I would think!

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