• Vegan Washington DC Field Report: Busboys & Poets and Pitango

    May 29th, 2011quarrygirlwashington dc

    hey peeps! time for yet another field report! this one comes to us from our dear friend patricia (an awesome certified massage therapist and yoga instructor!), who recently went on a trip to the east coast. here is one tasty installment from her journey, that’s making me think i need to book at trip to washington dc just to eat and drink. a foodie field trip, or eat-cation, if you will! enjoy:

    i recently took a trip to the east coast and was so happy to have some awesome guidance from @kmudrick on where to eat and drink. one of the places he suggested when visiting dc was Busboys and Poets. this place blew my mind. i mean, just look at the sign “food, books, film, coffee, stage, internet, bar”. woah.

    la desperately needs a place like this. a place where you can sit and work, read a book, enjoy a show, have some grub, or relax with a coffee or beer. it’s so cozy with a great feeling of community and super cool art.

    we loved this place so much we went to the 14th street location (there are three) two days in a row.

    enough chatter, let’s get to the grub!

    Tempeh with vegan mayonnaise, arugula, roasted red peppers, saute'ed onions on rosemary sun-dried tomato loaf

    the restaurant is not entirely vegan but the menu is about half vegan. they clearly mark gluten free, veg, and vegan to make ordering less complicated. on the first visit i had the tempeh panini ($8.95). this was literally THE BEST SANDWICH I HAVE EVER EATEN. hands down.

    tempeh, vegan mayo (i got mine without), arugula, roasted red peppers (i’m sure you could also get it without, qg), sauteed onions, on rosemary sundried tomato loaf. the sandwich came with a choice of sides and being on vacay i went for some french fries. i only ate a few of the fries, though because the sandwich was so tasty and so huge i had to prioritize. in fact two bites into the second half i had to discard the bread and go for the delicious filling. the tempeh was so flavorful and the combo of flavors from all the ingredients was just amazing. oh, btw, i chose abita’s restoration pale ale to accompany my sandwich which was also delicious.

    Vegan Nachos yellow corn tortilla chips with guacamole, daiya vegan cheese, pico de gallo, sour cream, black-eyed pea and red pepper salsa

    on day two i went for the vegan nachos ($8.95). piles of chips covered in daiya, guac, vegan sour cream, pico de gallo, red pepper salsa, and….black eyed peas. it may sound weird but the black eyed peas were really great on the nachos and everything tasted really fresh. my only complaint was that the salsa wasn’t that spicy but our waiter happily brought me a side of really hot fresh jalapenos. problem solved, yum! in my experience nachos can be tricky for restaurants to veganize well but busboys and poets does a great job.

    instead of beer on our second trip i opted for the white sangria. oh. holy. wow. this was some of the tastiest sangria i’ve had. not too sweet, a bit of a bite, and delicious fruit. i’m not talking about an apple slice and an orange slice. i had two glasses that ended up with raspberries, cherries, pineapple, and apple.

    if you are anywhere near dc do not miss any chance to pop in to busboys and poets. even if it’s just for a coffee, cocktail, or book, but i suggest to go in on an empty stomach and grub it up.

    Potango Lemon Sorbet! $5.50

    an extra bit: our hotel was about a mile away and it was a hot humid day to be walking around. we happened to pass by Pitango and i cooled off with some fresh and tasty lemon sorbet. a small was $5.50 but according to their website they use fresh, local, organic, blah blah blah…worth the money. it was delicious for sure.

    Pitango has locations in dc, md, and va. i visited
    1451 P Street,
    Washington, DC 20005

    Busboys and Poets
    2021 14th St
    NW DC 20009
    (202) 387-7638

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16 responses to “Vegan Washington DC Field Report: Busboys & Poets and Pitango” RSS icon

  • Girl Least Likely To

    This place looks like a dream come true! I’m a huge book need, beer geek and vegan foodie. I could spend hours, or even days, here!

  • Gauri Radha गौरी राधा

    The nachos look good.

  • Tofurky Jerky

    You look good.

  • I have only been to Busboys and Poets once, but I also got the tempeh sandwich and agree it’s one of the best meals I’ve ever had.

  • Why is it so hard to find good vegan food and alcohol at the same restaurant in Los Angeles? Doesn’t seem to be a problem in other cities.

  • Da Data Monkey

    Bar. Beer. Booze. Oh, and what looks like good food. Happy reviewer for sure…

  • Really helpful as we are going to DC in July for 2 weeks! Thanks for the pics, too. Yum!

  • We had a bad experience at BB&P. They gave my partner dairy cheese and eggs in her “vegan” dish and seemed not to care all that much about their error when we spoke with the manager. The food was alright, but be observant as we always need to be in omni restaurants.

    If you have a car in the DC area, the best spot I have found is Great Sage in Clarksville, Maryland. They went from veggie to vegan since their opening a few years ago. The servers are good but one fellow was fantastic and he went beyond to make sure we had an enjoyable meal with a 4 1/2 month old baby in tow. Look for the man in dreadlocks and beard and asked to be seated in his area. For the life of me I can’t recall his name.

    Your experience may vary.

  • Busboys and Poets is THE GREATEST. It’s everything you could want from a bookstore/restaurant/coffee shop. My favorite is the vegan quesadilla which is out of this world freaking delicious. I’ve always had good experiences with the wait staff. The bookstore has an awesome radical bent and tons of great reading material. Also, they carry desserts from Vegan Treats in Pennsylvania, which is the other greatest.

  • Lived in DC/VA for 6 years and still somehow missed out on this deliciousness? Makes me want to go back…kind of.

    Did you make it to Sticky Fingers?

  • Busboys and poets has really in the last few years added a lot of vegan items to its menu. To the poster above who had a bad experience… they’re definitely getting better at it.

    If you’re heading to DC there are a ton of great vegan places to eat at. Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant in Falls Church, VA is my hands down favorite. Clare and Don’s Beach Shack also in Falls Church, VA has a regular menu AND a vegan menu and great drinks. It’s next door to the awesome State Theater so you can maybe grab a live music show after dinner 🙂

    I also recommend Soul Vegetarian on Georgia Ave, in DC. The Organic Falafel Stand in Takoma Park, MD (right over the DC line on Carroll Street across from the Takoma Park-Silver Spring Co-op), Amsterdam Falafel in Adams Morgan, Maoz Vegetarian (again falafel) in Dupont Circle (19th and M street, actually). If you like pho and you’re in Silver Spring, head to Pho An in the White Oak shopping center off of New Hampshire Ave and near Colesville Rd (Rte 29).

    I could go on… just check out Yelp if you need any more ideas… the DC really is very vegan friendly 🙂

  • Busboys has some great stuff, but the real DC treat is Everlasting Life on Georgia Avenue. It’s the best vegan food in DC and also happens to be the cheapest.


  • I’ll also add that Busboys is not worth going to if you want a bar experience, it’s small and always crowded, but there are plenty of good craft brew places around town.

  • I’ll second Everlasting Life. I like Soul Veg, but I love Everlasting Life! Their cinnamon rolls are ridiculously good. And the mac & cheese, and the fried chicken sandwich … now I’m drooling.

    I don’t eat out much, but Everlasting Life is one of my favorites. Great Sage, too, but I don’t get there much now that I’m carless. I love the atmosphere and the bookstore at Busboys (and the Vegan Treats!) but I’m always wary of the food, as at any omni place.

  • Don’t know if they have them anymore, but 2 years ago I had BY FAR the best vegan cheesecake here. It was so good, I actually had to double check with the waiter that it was indeed vegan. No other vegan cheesecake has ever came close to theirs. I still dream about it…

  • @andrea, thanks for all the great tips! and @dave! thanks , hope the metro can get me there.

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