Eco-friendly eateries around D.C.

Media Credit: For GW Hatchet Sustainability guide, sustainabile restaurant, pics and food from hip city veg

HipCityVeg uses entirely non-GMO ingredients while composting and recycling its food and packaging.

You don’t need to look far to find eco-friendly eateries in the District.

From Dupont Circle to Chinatown, you can find sustainable meals ranging from plant-based burgers to cocktails made with almond milk. If you want to stick to your plant-based streak while treating yourself, check out a sustainable joint that uses compostable to-go packaging and serves plant-based meals with locally produced ingredients.

Here’s a rundown of a few sustainable restaurants to visit in honor of Earth Day:

Chaia Tacos
With a fully vegetarian menu of eclectic tacos and quesadillas, Chaia Tacos defies everything you thought you knew about traditional Mexican dishes. Its lineup of tacos (three for $13 or one for $4.50) includes a braised mushroom with feta, creamy kale and potato with pepper jack cheese and a smoky collard greens flavor. It also offers sides like black beans ($4), chips and dips ($4) and a host of seasonal drinks like kombucha ($4), hibiscus tea ($3.50) and margaritas ($8). Chaia Tacos partners with local farms for its plant-based ingredients and composts its utensils, serving trays and excess food, according to the restaurant’s website.

Georgetown, 3207 Grace St. NW, Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday and Monday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Chinatown, 615 I St. NW, Monday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, closed.

Firefly is a contemporary American restaurant in Dupont Circle that has been in business for more than 20 years. The restaurant recycles used fryer oil, implements recycled and compostable take-out packaging and sources ingredients from local farmers, according to its website. The restaurant is currently offering a “Cherry Blossom Menu” ($55), which includes a cocktail, appetizer, entree and dessert. The options include “The Moon and Back” cocktail, a combination of New Amsterdam Vodka, Giffard Ginger liqueur, Taro root powder, homemade ginger syrup, St. Germain and almond milk foam; a taro milk pudding dessert; and a Japanese-inspired ceviche appetizer.

1310 New Hampshire Ave. NW, Wednesday through Friday 4 to 10 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., 5:30 to 10 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

HipCityVeg is a vegan fast-food chain that started in Philadelphia and has expanded to two locations in D.C. The eatery offers vegan takes on classics, like burgers, cheesesteaks, wraps and milkshakes. In addition to its meatless menu, HipCityVeg promotes sustainability by using 100 percent non-GMO ingredients and composting and recycling its food and packaging. The chain is currently running a promotion called “Take the Veg Pledge,” which encourages customers to eat one plant-based meal a day between HipCityVeg’s birthday, April 16, and Earth Day, April 22. By signing up, customers get a free birthday cake shake and will receive an email each day of the week with a discount and sustainable life hack.

Downtown, 712 7th St. NW, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Dupont Circle, 1300 Connecticut Ave. NW, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

NuVegan Cafe
“Where Compassion Meets Nutrition,” NuVegan Cafe is a vegan soul food spot with three locations in the DMV. It uses soy and wheat ingredients to create vegan “chick’n” drummies, tenders, fillets, fried steak and crab cakes. It also offers tofu sandwiches and bean burgers. Its soul food classics include vegan mac and cheese ($4.50), collard greens ($4.50) and okra and tomatoes ($4.50). Freshly-squeezed juices, including cucumber, apple and carrot flavors, and plant-based smoothies are available as a refreshing end to a filling vegan meal. 

2397 6th St. NW, Monday through Saturday noon to 8 p.m., Sunday noon to 7 p.m.

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