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April 19, 2016

Cheap Vegan Eats in Washington, D.C.

Vegan Travel

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to us the last of my American Airlines miles to book myself a trip to Washington D.C. for my 23rd birthday. I wanted to celebrate my birthday in a city I’ve never visited and spend the weekend exploring till my feet gave out, making new friends, and of course – eating awesome vegan food!

I decided to go vegan 5 months ago, and although it has been one of the best decisions of my life, it definitely makes eating out a little more difficult. But thankfully I love a good challenge and finding the best vegan food in different cities has become a favorite hobby of mine. And because I am a budget travel blogger, I make it my mission to not only find the best restaurants but ones that won’t break the bank, either!

This was my first time in the city and I didn’t know about any restaurants here going into my trip. I didn’t even know if there would be any good vegan food in the city but boy, was I wrong! D.C. is an amazing place to be a vegan and here are a few of the places I loved!

1. Cava Grill

Cava Grill

Cava Grill (owned by Cava Mezze) serves build-your-own Greek bowls that are extremely filling and so delicious! They have tons of ingredients and though they’re not all vegan, you have tons of vegan options to choose from so you can create your perfect meal. They also have a soda fountain with their unique housemade juices and teas, and I had to try a sip of all of them! Not only that, but you get more food than you can eat for just $11! This was probably my favorite meal of the trip and I’m praying they open a store in my city (come to Miami, please!) They have four locations around town, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one. 🙂

Fully Vegan? No
Vegan Labels? In Store No, Online Yes
Vegan Options? Yes

2. &Pizza

Vegan Pizza

Just because you’re vegan doesn’t mean you can’t eat pizza! Thankfully more and more pizza shops are starting to cater to the vegan community by offering vegan cheeses, plant-based meats, and more. &Pizza is very vegan-friendly and has their menu labeled to make things easier. They value health and serve organic dough, locally-sourced produce, and ingredients that are all MSG and GMO-free. Their interior and branding is very design-savvy (pretty unique for a pizza shop!), which as a creative by trade, is very important to me! This was one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had, and it was about $10. They have 7 locations around D.C. so hey, you might as well eat it twice!

Fully Vegan? No
Vegan Labels? Yes
Vegan Options? Yes

3. Sweetgreen

D.C. Vegan Food
(Photo by @thecrunchyradish)

Sweetgreen is a salad bar that I tried for the first time in LA and fell in love with. It’s surprisingly hard to find places where you can build your own salads with good ingredients and I try to get in as many greens as possible when I’m traveling. When I found out they were actually founded in D.C., I made it my mission to find it! Lucky for me, they are also a chain in the city and have 11 locations around town. Talk about a health takeover! If you want something affordable, healthy, and filling – I definitely recommend getting lunch or dinner here.

Fully Vegan? No
Vegan Labels? Yes
Vegan Options? Yes

4. Ben’s Chili Bowl

Ben's Chili Bowl
(Photo by @avecruth)

Ben’s Chili Bowl was started in 1958 and is a Washington D.C. staple. You wouldn’t think a fast food joint that serves hot dogs and chili cheese fries would have any vegan options, but believe it or not, they have a great vegan chili! Stopping by here is a great thing to cross off the D.C. bucket list, grab a quick bite, and best of all – you’ll only spend $4.50 doing it 🙂

Fully Vegan? No
Vegan Labels? Yes
Vegan Options? Yes

5. Sticky Fingers Sweets & Eats

D.C. Vegan Food Guide
(Photo by @stickyfingersdc)

I sadly didn’t have enough time to go here during my visit to D.C., but I had stumbled upon their shop on Yelp and found it to have awesome reviews! This is a guilt-free place to treat yourself and they serve everything from cakes, cupcakes, cookies, donuts, and more. I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re in the city and having a donut for me! 😉

Fully Vegan? Yes
Vegan Labels? Yes
Vegan Options? Yes

Want to remember these spots? Save the photo below to your Pinterest! 🙂

Cheap Vegan Eats in Washington D.C. by @lifeoverstuff

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  1. Lauren says:

    Yessss! Needed this bc I’m pretty sure I’m going to DC in a few months!

  2. Molly Conrad says:

    So happy I found this! Going to DC in August and I’m in need of some good vegan grub 🙂


I'm Donna — travel photographer, educator, and environmental advocate here to help you turn your passion into a career and help you find freedom in life + business. 

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