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Ahi watermelon tuna nigiri at Planta Bethesda
Planta’s plant-based sushi includes “tuna” made with compressed and marinated watermelon.
Planta

15 Top-Tier Vegan Restaurants Around D.C.

No meat? No problem

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Planta’s plant-based sushi includes “tuna” made with compressed and marinated watermelon.
| Planta

Gone are the days when going to a vegan restaurant meant choking back tasteless food served with a whiff of patchouli. These days, the D.C. area is a rich wonderland of plant-based restaurants, and each is as varied in personality as the people who eat at them. There are chic, upscale tasting menus; homey vegan comfort food spots with hefty, filling plates; and massive, consistent fast-casual chains.

Joining this list this time around: Bethesda’s ultra-chic Planta, vegan comfort food favorite Sticky Fingers Diner (recently reopened after rebranding), and Dupont’s DC Vegan.

Though this list is limited to restaurants with no meat on the menu, it’s worth noting that quality vegan meals can be found all over town.

At newly crowned James Beard Award finalist Oyster Oyster in Shaw, chef Rob Rubba’s ever-changing menu ($85 per person) celebrates in-season produce from small farms with a vegan menu (and the possibility of adding oysters for non-vegans). Meanwhile, downtown’s long-running vegan mainstay Elizabeth’s Gone Raw opens its elegant townhouse doors just three nights a week for $85-per-person spreads. At nearby Equinox, Todd Gray puts high-end veggie dishes front and center at this showy, sun-filled restaurant. Though a stellar vegan tasting menu sits mightily on the dinner menu, it’s the all-vegan, eight-course brunch that really steals the show with dishes like homemade spinach rigatoni for $40.

Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. PLNT Burger (Multiple locations)

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Inside the Whole Foods, 833 Wayne Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(240) 685-6286
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Celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn is now focusing on Beyond Meat burgers at his expansion-minded stall planted inside Whole Foods all over the DMV (plus two in Pennsylvania and one in New York). PLNT Burger forms plant patties to order and griddles them on a flattop. The burgers get paired with crispy sides like Spanish onion “bloomies” and oat milk soft serve. Order online for pickup or delivery. For March, a green “Lucky Clover” shake whirls matcha, mint, and vanilla Oatly Ice Cream.

A mushroom bacon burger from PLNT Burger with a side of “bloomies”
A mushroom bacon burger from PLNT Burger with a side of “bloomies”
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

2. PLANTA | Bethesda

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4910 Elm St
Bethesda, MD 20814
(301) 407-2447
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This ultra-chic, plant-based restaurant in Bethesda serves up a colorful menu that manages to feel both healthful and indulgent. The Bethesda outpost hums with warm Miami vibes while serving a menu of hits like vegan sushi, fresh juice cocktails, pasta blanketed with a rich and spicy rosé vodka sauce, plus a vegan version of Maryland’s iconic crab dip made with fresh hearts of palm flown in from Hawaii three times a week.

3. Donut Run

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6904 4th St NW
Washington, DC 20012
(202) 506-3264
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This vegan donut shop from self-trained bakers Shawn Petersen and Nicole Dao has brought serious buzz to Takoma since opening a year ago. Customers wait in line rain or shine, and sometimes before sun-up, for the plump, lighter-than-air rings in fun flavors like tiramisu, French toast, and pineapple upside-down cake.

4. NuVegan Cafe (Multiple locations)

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2928 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 232-1700
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Soy substitutes for fried chicken, crab, and chicken fried steak fill platters and sandwiches at this vegan soul food spot near Howard University. Meanwhile, a vegan brunch menu hits the classics with burritos, “cheezy” grits, and scrambled tofu. Order online at any of the four locations.

5. sPACYcLOUd Lounge

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2309 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009
(703) 403-4134
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This vegan hangout/skate shop in Adams Morgan serves a believable “fish and chips” built with vegan fillets and peasant potatoes. After much demand, Russian native Maria Brezinsky has also added more Russian food to the menu, like pelmini (Russian dumplings) and stuffed cabbage.

6. DC Vegan

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1633 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 297-0886
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Dupont’s upstairs deli and catering company comes from vegan-obsessed couple Leah Curran Moon — an animal activist with a PhD — and Michael Jantz Moon, a musician who’s toured with the likes of Paul Simon. Tasty vegan takes on bar fare include include trumpet mushroom “calamari” rings, barbecue cauliflower “wings,” a beet burger, fried artichoke sandwich, and “Philly cheesesteak” sub (or bowl) constructed with braised jackfruit and a cashew cheese drizzle. Sit and stay in the sleek space or order online for pickup or delivery. The owners will open a botanical cocktail den below in May.

7. Bubbie's Plant Burgers at Plant Food Lab

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1829 M St NW Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 758-2894
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The magicians behind the plant-based, classic American food that comes out of Bubbie’s kitchen have hit a home run with the D.C. community. The one-time pop-up that became a Dupont Circle brick-and-mortar is getting ready to move again, this time to a larger, full service restaurant in Adams Morgan. For a few more precious months, the Dupont Circle location will churn out pulled jackfruit barbecue, plant-based burgers, and more with all proteins, sauces, cheese, and ice cream made in the restaurant’s kitchen. After moving, th Bubbie’s owners will open a new plant-based restaurant in the space.

8. Chaia Tacos (Multiple locations)

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3207 Grace St NW
Washington, DC 20007
(202) 333-5222
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Almost everything at this vegetarian taco shop can be made vegan, from the braised mushroom tacos to black bean enchiladas to the smoky collard green tacos and cinnamon-coconut cookies. There are also locations in Chinatown and Bethesda. Order online for pickup or delivery.

9. Elizabeth's Gone Raw

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1341 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
(202) 347-8349
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Elizabeth’s Gone Raw offers an upscale vegan dinner inside a historic townhome on Friday and Saturday nights. The six-course vegan tasting menu ($85 per person) features dishes like Peruvian white asparagus cream with tangerine pesto and black coral seaweed. Organic wine pairings are available for an additional $60.

10. Shouk (Multiple locations)

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655 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 652-1464
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Shouk’s aim is no big deal: It’s just a world-saving mission. This super-casual, super-mission-oriented, homegrown shop for modern, 100% plant-based Israeli street food has four locations in the D.C. area serving knock-out dishes like oyster mushroom shawarma, filling bowls of hummus, and veggie burgers that aren’t grown in a lab.

11. Sticky Fingers Diner

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406 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 367-9600
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Fare Well recently rebranded and reopened as Sticky Fingers Diner, putting all the pieces of Doron Petersan’s vegan mini-empire under one umbrella. With more seating, a cleaner look, and a full menu of Fare Well comfort food favorites, plus all the treats from the bakery, the diner is D.C.’s most approachable plant-based restaurant. Meanwhile, an e-commerce site ships Sticky Fingers products nationally and the and the Columbia Heights-based Sticky Fingers Bakery is still the baking hub.

12. Fancy Radish

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600 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002
(202) 675-8341
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The debut D.C. restaurant from perennial James Beard award finalists Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby serves up pastrami-spiced carrots, rutabaga fondue, and spicy dan dan noodles in a dreamy garden-like setting. The menu is all vegan, but no one is preachy about it.

Stuffed avocado with pickled cauliflower and romesco at Fancy Radish
Fancy Radish/official photo

13. Fruitive (Multiple locations)

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1094 Palmer Aly NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 836-7749
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This organic fast-casual restaurant from Virginia Beach serves everything from cashew cheese-topped pizzas to kale salads to liquid meals (the dragon berry smoothie is electric pink). The best-selling dish is avocado herb toast with pesto on whole grain bread.

14. Pow Pow

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1253 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 399-1364
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This kosher, vegan-friendly shop channels Asian flavors and techniques in a variety of starters and bowls, like Taiwanese fried cashew mozzarella and the yoga dragon bowl with grilled chicken substitute tossed in peanut sauce. 

15. Hipcityveg (Multiple Locations)

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712 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
(202) 621-8057
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The Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant now has two D.C. outposts — in Chinatown and Dupont Circle — delivering burgers and sandwiches like a smokehouse burger with Beyond Meat and a crispy chick’n ranch. Pair them with green smoothies, soy milkshakes, and banana whips.

1. PLNT Burger (Multiple locations)

Inside the Whole Foods, 833 Wayne Ave, Silver Spring, MD 20910
A mushroom bacon burger from PLNT Burger with a side of “bloomies”
A mushroom bacon burger from PLNT Burger with a side of “bloomies”
Rey Lopez/Eater D.C.

Celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn is now focusing on Beyond Meat burgers at his expansion-minded stall planted inside Whole Foods all over the DMV (plus two in Pennsylvania and one in New York). PLNT Burger forms plant patties to order and griddles them on a flattop. The burgers get paired with crispy sides like Spanish onion “bloomies” and oat milk soft serve. Order online for pickup or delivery. For March, a green “Lucky Clover” shake whirls matcha, mint, and vanilla Oatly Ice Cream.

Inside the Whole Foods, 833 Wayne Ave
Silver Spring, MD 20910

2. PLANTA | Bethesda

4910 Elm St, Bethesda, MD 20814

This ultra-chic, plant-based restaurant in Bethesda serves up a colorful menu that manages to feel both healthful and indulgent. The Bethesda outpost hums with warm Miami vibes while serving a menu of hits like vegan sushi, fresh juice cocktails, pasta blanketed with a rich and spicy rosé vodka sauce, plus a vegan version of Maryland’s iconic crab dip made with fresh hearts of palm flown in from Hawaii three times a week.

4910 Elm St
Bethesda, MD 20814

3. Donut Run

6904 4th St NW, Washington, DC 20012

This vegan donut shop from self-trained bakers Shawn Petersen and Nicole Dao has brought serious buzz to Takoma since opening a year ago. Customers wait in line rain or shine, and sometimes before sun-up, for the plump, lighter-than-air rings in fun flavors like tiramisu, French toast, and pineapple upside-down cake.

6904 4th St NW
Washington, DC 20012

4. NuVegan Cafe (Multiple locations)

2928 Georgia Ave NW, Washington, DC 20001

Soy substitutes for fried chicken, crab, and chicken fried steak fill platters and sandwiches at this vegan soul food spot near Howard University. Meanwhile, a vegan brunch menu hits the classics with burritos, “cheezy” grits, and scrambled tofu. Order online at any of the four locations.

2928 Georgia Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001

5. sPACYcLOUd Lounge

2309 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009

This vegan hangout/skate shop in Adams Morgan serves a believable “fish and chips” built with vegan fillets and peasant potatoes. After much demand, Russian native Maria Brezinsky has also added more Russian food to the menu, like pelmini (Russian dumplings) and stuffed cabbage.

2309 18th St NW
Washington, DC 20009

6. DC Vegan

1633 P St NW, Washington, DC 20036

Dupont’s upstairs deli and catering company comes from vegan-obsessed couple Leah Curran Moon — an animal activist with a PhD — and Michael Jantz Moon, a musician who’s toured with the likes of Paul Simon. Tasty vegan takes on bar fare include include trumpet mushroom “calamari” rings, barbecue cauliflower “wings,” a beet burger, fried artichoke sandwich, and “Philly cheesesteak” sub (or bowl) constructed with braised jackfruit and a cashew cheese drizzle. Sit and stay in the sleek space or order online for pickup or delivery. The owners will open a botanical cocktail den below in May.

1633 P St NW
Washington, DC 20036

7. Bubbie's Plant Burgers at Plant Food Lab

1829 M St NW Suite 100, Washington, DC 20036

The magicians behind the plant-based, classic American food that comes out of Bubbie’s kitchen have hit a home run with the D.C. community. The one-time pop-up that became a Dupont Circle brick-and-mortar is getting ready to move again, this time to a larger, full service restaurant in Adams Morgan. For a few more precious months, the Dupont Circle location will churn out pulled jackfruit barbecue, plant-based burgers, and more with all proteins, sauces, cheese, and ice cream made in the restaurant’s kitchen. After moving, th Bubbie’s owners will open a new plant-based restaurant in the space.

1829 M St NW Suite 100
Washington, DC 20036

8. Chaia Tacos (Multiple locations)

3207 Grace St NW, Washington, DC 20007

Almost everything at this vegetarian taco shop can be made vegan, from the braised mushroom tacos to black bean enchiladas to the smoky collard green tacos and cinnamon-coconut cookies. There are also locations in Chinatown and Bethesda. Order online for pickup or delivery.

3207 Grace St NW
Washington, DC 20007

9. Elizabeth's Gone Raw

1341 L St NW, Washington, D.C. 20005

Elizabeth’s Gone Raw offers an upscale vegan dinner inside a historic townhome on Friday and Saturday nights. The six-course vegan tasting menu ($85 per person) features dishes like Peruvian white asparagus cream with tangerine pesto and black coral seaweed. Organic wine pairings are available for an additional $60.

1341 L St NW
Washington, D.C. 20005

10. Shouk (Multiple locations)

655 K St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

Shouk’s aim is no big deal: It’s just a world-saving mission. This super-casual, super-mission-oriented, homegrown shop for modern, 100% plant-based Israeli street food has four locations in the D.C. area serving knock-out dishes like oyster mushroom shawarma, filling bowls of hummus, and veggie burgers that aren’t grown in a lab.

655 K St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

11. Sticky Fingers Diner

406 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

Fare Well recently rebranded and reopened as Sticky Fingers Diner, putting all the pieces of Doron Petersan’s vegan mini-empire under one umbrella. With more seating, a cleaner look, and a full menu of Fare Well comfort food favorites, plus all the treats from the bakery, the diner is D.C.’s most approachable plant-based restaurant. Meanwhile, an e-commerce site ships Sticky Fingers products nationally and the and the Columbia Heights-based Sticky Fingers Bakery is still the baking hub.

406 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

12. Fancy Radish

600 H St NE, Washington, D.C. 20002
Stuffed avocado with pickled cauliflower and romesco at Fancy Radish
Fancy Radish/official photo

The debut D.C. restaurant from perennial James Beard award finalists Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby serves up pastrami-spiced carrots, rutabaga fondue, and spicy dan dan noodles in a dreamy garden-like setting. The menu is all vegan, but no one is preachy about it.

600 H St NE
Washington, D.C. 20002

13. Fruitive (Multiple locations)

1094 Palmer Aly NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

This organic fast-casual restaurant from Virginia Beach serves everything from cashew cheese-topped pizzas to kale salads to liquid meals (the dragon berry smoothie is electric pink). The best-selling dish is avocado herb toast with pesto on whole grain bread.

1094 Palmer Aly NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

14. Pow Pow

1253 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002

This kosher, vegan-friendly shop channels Asian flavors and techniques in a variety of starters and bowls, like Taiwanese fried cashew mozzarella and the yoga dragon bowl with grilled chicken substitute tossed in peanut sauce. 

1253 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

15. Hipcityveg (Multiple Locations)

712 7th St NW, Washington, D.C. 20001

The Philadelphia-based, fast-casual restaurant now has two D.C. outposts — in Chinatown and Dupont Circle — delivering burgers and sandwiches like a smokehouse burger with Beyond Meat and a crispy chick’n ranch. Pair them with green smoothies, soy milkshakes, and banana whips.

712 7th St NW
Washington, D.C. 20001

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