Where to eat in DC…

Image…besides my house, obviously. When I cook for someone I like, I actually consider the appearance of the food, instead of just throwing it all in a bowl. At left: fresh spinach, quinoa, spaghetti squash and homemade pasta sauce. After this was taken, I added nutritional yeast. And yes, my date was impressed.

So, if you happen to be in DC and I think you’re cute, this is what you have to look forward to. But just in case I’m not available to cook for you, here are some local highlights for your gluten-free vegan dining pleasure.

ImageBrunch: Mad Momo’s. This is a new spot in Columbia Heights, with bottomless mimosas and bloody marys until 3 pm on weekends. And this is the Sun Salutation Taco Platter. Corn tortillas topped with scrambled tofu, black beans, lettuce, corn avocado, tomato and shredded carrot. And sweet potato fries, obviously. The mimosas were delicious and my friends had good things to say about the bloody marys as well. They are making an effort to be eco-friendly and when the weather gets warm, they have a lovely patio waiting for us. Since the food trends in DC have been things like bone marrow and pork belly, it’s nice to see a new place with a commitment to the planet and not just trends.

ImageFor lunch, check out Le Pain Quotidien. These also exist in California, New York, Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut. If you can eat gluten you will love this place. Their bread is a-mazing. If you can’t, try the vegan, gluten-free quiche. It’s got a very thin crust at the top and bottom and then layers of things like sweet potatoes, spinach and artichoke. Maybe some tomato? It wasn’t what I pictured when I ordered vegan quiche, but it was totally delicious. They usually have one or two vegan soups on the menu. And their mint lemonade is worth the trip on its own.

ImageI also love Rice Bar. Have I written about Rice Bar before? Just in case I haven’t: go get yourself some Bibimbap You start with a rice base (white or brown) and then choose your veggies and protein. This is zucchini, eggplant, carrots and spinach, with regular and spicy tofu. They also have an abundance of sauce options – I usually ask for a recommendation. (They also have pre-designed menu options, in case you’re not feeling creative on a given day.)

Honorable mention: did you know that Au Bon Pain has vegan and gluten-free soup? Because it does. And they’re pretty damn good.

ImageAnd finally, dinner. Busboys and Poets is a DC institution. I love everything on their menu. I most especially love their Pan-Seared Basil Tofu. With vegan tomato cream sauce. This makes me so happy. They also have gluten-free beer, organic wine and some really fun cocktails on the menu. All of their restaurants have a performance space where you can watch spoken word, storytelling competition and shows while eating delicious food. You will love their vegan, gf nachos. If you can eat gluten, the tempeh panini is the best sandwich in America.

ImageAlso worth a visit: District of Pi Pizzeria. They have a gluten-free crust available and can replace regular cheese with daiya. The bad news: you will pay extra for both, and I don’t think the gf crust is entirely vegan. Please enjoy this Instagrammed photo of the Lincoln Park: daiya, garlic olive oil, zucchini, fresh tomatoes and basil.

So there you have it. My go-to places for vegan, gluten-free eating in DC. And if you’re going to be in town, visit Churchkey on 14th St. NW for a gluten-free beer. I’ll meet you there.


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