13 Vegetarian and Vegan Takeout Options to Kickstart 2021

The plant-based dining choices just keep getting better and better.
Busboys & Poets Photo Session

Coconut tofu bites at Busboys and Poets. Photo by Joy Asico / Asico Photo

Busboys and Poets 

The menu at Andy Shallal’s D.C.-area chainlet offers a host of plant-based choices. In Shirlington, popular vegan options include nachos made with vegan cheese, vegan sour cream and black-eyed-pea salsa; crispy cauliflower tacos with garlic harissa and a side of cabbage-and-carrot slaw; and coconut-crusted tofu bites with plum-red-pepper sauce. Busboys serves a number of dishes that swap the meat for vegetable-based proteins, including a vegan version of tuna salad, plus various meatless substitutes for sausage, chicken and beef. If you’re not subscribing to Dry January, the Shirlington cafe also has several sustainably-made wines that are designated vegan, meaning they use no animal products as part of their refining processes.  // 4251 Campbell Ave, Arlington (Shirlington)


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Squash and ricotta panini at True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen

A new winter menu released in early January includes the Winter Immunity Bowl, a seasonal favorite featuring delicate lion’s mane mushrooms, farro, quinoa and a bevy of vegetables in garlic broth. And in the sandwich category: a roasted-squash-and-ricotta panini made with lemon ricotta and pickled red onions on a housemade pita.  The health-focused restaurant’s two top-sellers are both vegan—the Teriyaki Quinoa Bowl and the Ancient Grains Bowl. The bar serves up a number of alcohol-free drinks (try the Kale Aid, made with ginger, apple, celery, cucumber and lemon) as well as specialty teas and house-pressed juices. True Food Kitchen has an online app for pick-up and delivery, and both area locations offer outside seating. // 4238 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Ballston Quarter) and 2910 District Ave., Fairfax (Mosaic District)


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A Brussels sprouts melt, available at Galaxy Hut and Spacebar

Spacebar and Galaxy Hut

Spacebar—the cozy Falls Church City spot known for its grilled cheese and craft beer selections—and its sister restaurant, Galaxy Hut, in Clarendon, have long catered to diners looking for creative vegetarian and vegan eats. Even the housemade condiments served with sandwiches and tots (ranch, sweet mustard, aji amarillo aioli, barbecue sauce and Russian dressing) are vegan. Galaxy Hut’s menu is completely vegetarian, but Spacebar does offer a few meat add-ons for its its grilled cheese sandwiches, which are served on bread from The French Bread Factory in Sterling. Since March, both locations have limited service to online ordering and contactless pickup. // Spacebar, 709 W. Broad St, Falls Church City; Galaxy Hut, 2711 Wilson Blvd., Arlington (Clarendon)


Pumpkin dumplings at Aracosia


The vegetarian menu at this Afghan restaurant in McLean is nearly as long as the list of carnivorous options. Try the popular pumpkin dumplings topped with mint and cayenne pepper; risotto with eggplant and butternut squash; or Baadenjaan Chalou, a dish of roasted eggplant served with saffron basmati rice. Aracosia (which also has a D.C. location and is sister to Afghan Bistro in Springfield) opened a large, heated and covered patio in the fall, and offers online ordering for pick-up.  // 1381 Beverly Road, McLean

Categories: Food & Drink