Food & Drink

The 12 most surprising places a vegetarian can eat at in DC

Published On 12/18/2014 Published On 12/18/2014
Laura Hayes
Acqua Al 2 DC
Laura Hayes
Greg Powers
Oyamel Cocina Mexicana
Laura Hayes
Ping Pong Dim Sum
Beuchert’s Saloon
Mandu
Kangaroo Boxing Club
DGS Delicatessen
Laura Hayes
Laura Hayes
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1. Acqua Al 2 DC 212 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003

This cozy Florentine restaurant has delicious pastas (many of them vegetarian-friendly!). If you can wrangle a companion, opt for the tasting of five vegetarian pastas for $15 per person.

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2. Perry’s 1811 Columbia Road NW, Washington, DC 20009

Perry’s offers traditional Japanese cuisine in Adams Morgan, and exceptionally good service. Their Sunday Drag Brunch buffet is not to be missed!

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3. Kapnos 2201 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

Chef Mike Isabella's 14th Street Corridor restaurant is a go-to for upscale but reasonably priced Greek food. Open for dinner nightly and brunch on the weekends, Kapnos serves a small-plates menu of spreads, mezze, phyllo pies, and whole roasted meats like lamb, goat, duck, chicken, and suckling pig. There's plenty of seafood as well, given that wood-fire grilled octopus is the house signature. The wine list is stacked with red and whites from Greece and kegged lemonades.

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4. Oyamel Cocina Mexicana 401 7th St NW, Washington DC, 20004

Because an expertly-prepared cucumber-infused margarita is nothing without a plate of salsa verde-topped pork tacos, Oyamel is an essential D.C. destination for all varieties of Mexican cuisine. From the extensive menu of ceviches and traditional antojitos (Mexican small plates) to the wildly eclectic selection of available tacos -- ranging from sautéed Oaxacan grasshoppers to braised beef tongue and seared mahi-mahi -- the kitchen makes sure to pay homage to the miraculous diversity that defines traditional Mexican cooking. The corn tortillas are hand-made, the meats are smoked in-house, and the bar prepares all of its own creative infusions. And last but very very far from least, the colorful blue-tiled eatery offers a daily happy hour featuring 1$ beers, 2$ tacos, and 5$ margaritas (which means for 20$ you can have a balanced meal of three margaritas and two tacos).

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5. Fat Pete's Barbecue 3407 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008 (Cleveland Park)

Fat Pete's brings 10 types of delicious 'cue to DC (two kinds of pulled pork! Two kinds of ribs!), delivering fantastic wood-smoked flavors by the pound. 16 drafts, small-batch bourbon, and killer sides -- like stuffed hush puppies and mini marshmallow-topped candied yams -- shore up the massive meat menu.

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6. Ping Pong Dim Sum 900 7th NW, Washington, DC 20009 (Chinatown)

Pong covers 7000sqft of dark wood tables, low-hanging lamps, and lattice-work accented bars, and is serving up delicious dim sum alongisde Eastern-inspired cocktails.

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7. Beuchert's Saloon 623 Pennsylvania Ave SE , Washington, DC , DC 20003 (Eastern Market)

A reborn western saloon with the upscale hipness of Eastern Market, Beuchert’s takes “farm-to-table” fare to the next level. Everything on the market-driven menu is sourced from local coops and farms, resulting in an abundance of fresh flavors. We suggest you sip on a specialty cocktail and order the roasted bone marrow -- a verdant combination of pickled pistachios and mustard seed, served with a parsley salad -- to fit in with the local herd, providing the taxidermy Buffalo (mounted above the cherry wood bar with lifelike expressions) haven’t done so already.

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8. Mandu 453 K Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001 (Penn Quarter)

This is the larger, Downtown location of Dupont's Korean diner -- rocking decorative wooden ducks and bamboo flooring that creeps up to the ceiling, the spot's serving latenight eats like Korean Tacos.

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9. Kangaroo Boxing Club 3410 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20010 (Columbia Heights)

As its name suggests, this Columba Heights restaurant and bar errs on the side of quirky. KBC does great things for barbecue, and its dinner menu is packed with smoked meat platters, BBQ sandwiches, and burgers, plus a few vegetarian options for the meat-averse. At weekend brunch, the signature smoked brisket and pulled pork get topped and scrambled with eggs. Though you'd certainly be missing out if you didn't order any food, KBC is the kind of cool and laid-back place to grab a drink, especially when the sidewalk patio is in full swing.

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10. DGS Delicatessen 1317 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20036 (Dupont Circle)

DGS Delicatessen takes the idea from your old Jewish grandmother's kitchen and elevates it with a modern and creative spin that gives this authentic deli-bar new flavor and energy with a homestyle base. Styled after the turn-of-the-century grocery stores, DGS Delicatessen house cures and smokes their all meats and fish as well as crafts their own duck fat matzo balls.

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11. The Partisan 709 D St NW, Washington, DC 20004 (Penn Quarter)

With 30+ charcuterie options, medium plates like sausages and corned beef belly, and feasts like a whole roasted pig's head, The Partisan will cater to your meat cravings, no matter your appetite.

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12. Tico 1926 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20009 (U Street)

The bright and graffic graffiti murals are the first clues that your visit to Tico, an outpost of original Boston tapas bar, is going to be a colorful one. Inspired by Schlow's travels in Latin America, Spain, and Mexico, Tico offers bold small plates with Latin leanings, like roasted cauliflower with cotija cheese, black bass ceviche, and a velvety tres leches cake for dessert. There are multiple taco varieties too, but what keeps fans coming back for more are the addictive hibiscus margaritas.

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