6 Places to Eat in DC (with Gluten-free and Vegetarian Suggestions)

DC was such a beautiful place to visit and it had such good food! Even though DC is super touristy, we never ran into huge crowds or the need for reservations - maybe we just got lucky, but it was pretty easy! It was hard to find budget friendly restaurants, but everywhere we went had gluten free and vegan options.

Ted’s Bulletin

Ted’s Bulletin is a gorgeous art deco styled diner on 14th Street. It was so fun to be there, with gold padded seats and black and white films that play silently on the back wall. The food was delicious, although pretty pricey. They had gluten free bread, so I was able to get the best avocado toast I’ve ever had - arugula and radishes on top! Nick got the chicken and biscuits and loved them! We also had to try their homemade poptarts, which Nick accidentally left in a friends’ car, so we went back the next day to get another. Worth it! The jam inside was amazing.

Busboys and Poets

The morning before we left we stopped by Busboys and Poets, also on 14th Street, because we had several people recommend it to us! They had so many vegan and gluten free choices! It was awesome to have so many choices and I decided on the gluten free french toast. The coolest thing about this place was the bookstore in the front of the restaurant! We also heard that they have live music, book clubs, karaoke, and more.

Fishers Farmers Bakers

Our very first meal in DC was here while we were spending out day in Georgetown. Our table was full with mussels, guacamole and chips, pizza, tacos, and a black bean burger (me!). There was so much variety here, which made it the perfect place to eat with friends! There’s a huge fountain outside, which we all took pictures by. Plus, this place was right on the water so when we were done, we were able to take a nice walk along the Potomac River. This was another pricey place, but it was super nice and the food was delicious!

Union Market

If you are in the area, you have got to stop by Union Market. There are so many different booths selling everything from tacos to crepes to poke bowls to juice to seafood! There is also a District Donuts here, which we had been really hoping to try! We went a little too early (they opened at 11:00), so we sampled donuts and (gluten free) crepes then sipped coffee until the booths selling pork buns finally opened. Nick loves pork buns and he was so excited to try theme! They even had a mushroom one, which I tried! It was so good! We wished we had gotten there when everything was open because we had really wanted to try the tacos, too. Go ready to sample a million different delicious things!

DC Noodle

We met up with one of Nick’s friends who recommended going to DC Noodle. Nick had been craving ramen so this was perfect! DC Noodle, like a couple others we mentioned, is right off of 14th Street, so we were familiar with the area. There were many dishes that were made with rice noodles and could have tofu in it, so again, I had several options! Nick, of course, got the ramen, and I got tofu pad thai. It was some of the best pad thai I’ve ever had. The ramen was spicy, which isn’t usually Nick’s favorite thing, but he loved it!

Royal Thai

This restaurant we stumbled upon kind of randomly. We were in Chinatown and our dinner plans had fallen through when we found Royal Thai. We all love Thai food, but I’m always a little worried when we try a place we’ve never even heard of. They seated us upstairs all by ourselves, and it was so cozy with dim lights and a bunch of pillows on our bench. Nick and I both ordered the red curry, and it was amazing! I cannot recommend it enough.

Next time we go to DC, we are definitely going to search for more budget friendly restaurants. If you have any recommendations, let us know! With DC only a couple hours away, we’ll definitely be back

- Jess