In San Francisco or New York, there are organic restaurants and cafes everywhere. In DC, not so much. Like everything else worthwhile in this town, you have to work to find them. Well, not to worry. I’ve done the heavy lifting for you. In no particular order, here are some places (from casual to upscale) where you can chow down and know that you are eating food that’s good for you and for the planet:
1. Java Green Cafe. In bustling Farragut North, JGC is a vegetarian/vegan oasis among the steak houses and chain sandwich joints. Belly up to the counter to order vegetarian fare with a Korean twist such as Udon noodle soup, Boolgogi and Kimchi, plus assorted salad and sandwiches featuring “faux” turkey, chicken, and tuna. Be forewarned: If you go during the lunch-time rush, there’s usually a long line and limited seating.
2. Chix. Newly opened in Shaw, the poultry-centric cafe uses earth-friendly materials in all of its packaging, paper products, cleaning products, and even in its construction materials and interior decor. All of the chicken is 100% natural, free-range, hormone-free, antibiotic- free, and slow roasted over natural charcoal and wood. Many of the sides are organic too including basmati rice and hummus.
3. Hook. In the heart of Georgetown, local celeb-u-chef Barton Seaver cooks up responsibly sourced seafood and local products. Selections from the menu include Yellowfin Tuna with roasted sweet potato, chorizo vinaigrette, citrus, thyme and Wahoo
quinoa cake, pine nut puree, and marinated onions.
4. Vegetate. Located in the Historic Shaw neighborhood, Vegetate “believes in using the best possible ingredients from local and regional farms, purveyors and businesses.” On the menu you’ll find braised cabbage nori rolls, root vegetable noodles, and house made grilled seitan. Half priced wine by the glass every Sunday.
5. Restaurant Nora. You want fancy and organic? This is the place. Founded by internationally renowned chef Nora Pouillon, RN was the first certified organic restaurant in the country and one of the first vegetarian restaurants in DC. The seasonal menu features organic new-American cuisine such as pan-roasted Amish chicken breast stuffed with pistachio pilaf and grassfed beef tenderloin roast with truffled potato gratin. There’s a $66 tasting menu and a $56 vegetarian tasting menu.