Breakfast / Brunch: Tryst
Address: 2459 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
2459 18th St NW
DC is definitively a “Brunch” town. Like most major cities that have a large population of young, urban professionals, this midday weekend meal isn’t just about consuming food, it’s about nourishing your soul and enjoying a relaxing, delicious meal that spans the first four hours of your weekend day–and doesn’t require you to change out of your Lululemon leggings and Ugg boots.
Tryst is a well-known haunt for D.C.’s bohemian underground. Nestled in between iconic nightlife locations, such as Madam’s Organ, it is the perfect place to pull up with your tablet on a weekend morning to catch up on your stories, people watch, and nosh on healthy, delicious brunch options.
I could not resist the low-carb, high-protein option of the spinach frittata, along with some fruit salad. My friend and I split that and a bowl of granola with fruit and yogurt. The perfect marriage of sweet and savory, and all very friendly to health conscious diners.
Tryst also has a killer coffee bar and an array of tempting pastries and cakes (including Vegan and Gluten Free options!). Or you can keep the party rolling with a mimosa or any of the offerings of the full wine and spirits list.
Lunch: Pleasant Pops
Address: 1781 Florida Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009
1781 Florida Ave NW
This dining destination started as an artisan popsicle stand at the Mount Pleasant Farmer’s Market in D.C. Since their Farmer’s Market debut in 2010, it has grown into a full-scale market and cafe, with a variety of locally sourced, hand-crafted treats that are both healthy and indulgent!
I’m a “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” kind of girl, so many times I opt for a lighter lunch that is more of a bridge between breakfast and dinner than a meal unto itself. Plus, this keeps me from feeling too weighed down midday and hitting an afternoon slump.
Pleasant Pops had the perfect option for me! I devoured my Blueberry Banana Smoothie Bowl topped with coconut flakes, chia seeds and sliced almonds in about three bites, and only barely abstained from licking it clean in public. They also have a full menu of soups, salads, and sandwiches for those seeking more substantial lunch options for their midday meal.
Dinner: Smoke & Barrel
Address: 2471 18th St NW, Washington, DC 20009
2471 18th St NW
Smoke & Barrel has a plethora of vegan and vegetarian alternatives to the greasy, fatty animal meats we have come to expect from this genre of food. By lightening up your protein with meat alternatives, you drastically reduce the fat / saturated fat content of your meal, while boosting your consumption of healthy nutrients.
One of my favorite things about the menu is that the meat alternative options aren’t listed in a separate section on the menu, they’re integrated in with the other meat-based entrees, sandwiches, and specialties. Choosing a healthier dish, such as the Sweet Potato and Oat burger, doesn’t deprive you of the Smoke & Barrel dining experience that your carnivorous counterparts are enjoying.
I chowed down on the Vegan Spare Ribs and Smoked Asparagus–all of the messy, indulgent, finger-licking good barbecue fun without breaking my New Year’s resolutions!
Dessert: Sticky Fingers
Address: 1370 Park Rd NW, Washington, DC 20010
1370 Park Rd NW
Sticky Fingers is the place to go in D.C. when you’re craving animal-free baked goods. Doron Petersan is the mastermind behind the menu, and she’s infused every aspect of it with the same playful, daring energy that defines her own stand-out persona!
Located in the bustling Columbia Heights corridor, it’s a great stop for those that want a more health conscious (but still delicious!) taste of something sweet. Vegan baked goods tend to be more nutrient-rich than their traditional counterparts, and when they’re baked by expert hands like those at Sticky Fingers, you won’t even miss the animal fats!
I stopped in on a chilly afternoon to share a platter of vegan goodies with a friend–we sampled the Little Devil, Red Velvet Cupcake, and a Sweet & Salty cookie. I left with a few treats in tow to share with my husband, a vegan dessert skeptic who is about to become a believer!
And with that, it’s time for me to fall into my food coma. My eating tour of Washington, D.C. proves that living life to the fullest and living a healthy lifestyle are not mutually exclusive! Make your 2017 the healthiest, most abundant, and vibrant year possible!