After more than a year of not seeing my best friend Charlsy, I visited her in Alexandria, Va., for a short girls weekend with lots of D.C. and Virginia eats and catching up. I try to frequent only local eateries when I travel and we did plenty of that! Today I’m sharing my favorite D.C. and Alexandria area restaurants and what I ordered at each. Most of these restaurants are vegetarian friendly!
Duck Donuts, Alexandria
Duck Donuts was my favorite local discovery. It’s a doughnut place where you can order custom doughnuts! You pick which frosting, topping and drizzle you’d like and you get it just minutes later hot out of the oven/doughnut maker. I immediately daydreamed about opening up my own franchise! haha We liked our doughnuts so much that we came back every day of my trip and I brought one back to Chicago for Graham. (Shoutout to the TSA for not making me throw it out or eat it right there in line!) You could buy single doughnuts, a couple, or get a half or full dozen.
Jinya Ramen Bar, Fairfax
I was in the mood for ramen and my friend recommended a perfect place in Fairfax, Va. Jinya Ramen Bar lets you order just about any type of ramen you could crave. I went with the spicy vegan ramen and wasn’t disappointed. I only wish I would have skipped the spinach, which becomes a bit too mushy for my taste. The broth was creamy, spicy and delicious! You can also order a noodle refill for $2! This particular ramen comes with thick noodles but you can order some with thin noodles as well. In addition to ramen you can order small plates, rice bowls, salads and appetizers.
Busboys and Poets, Arlington
I also really enjoyed Busboys and Poets, where we went for dinner one night. (They have various locations; we visited the Shirlington restaurant.) You can find plenty of vegan and vegetarian options here, but I was craving a crab cake sandwich with spicy mayo instead of the tartar sauce it normally comes with. It also is served with fries, but I was content with my sandwich. I also enjoyed the hummus and pita appetizer we shared. I highly recommend this restaurant! It’s more than just an eatery; various events are also held here. According to its website, “Busboys and Poets is a community gathering place. First established in 2005, Busboys and Poets was created by owner Anas ‘Andy’ Shallal, an Iraqi-American artist, activist and restaurateur.” My friend mentioned that campaign events are sometimes held here.
Epic Smokehouse, Arlington
Epic Smokehouse, as the name implies, is all about the meats and was probably the least vegetarian-friendly restaurant we visited, but they adjusted a popular dish for me and it was mouthwatering! I ordered the Mr. H, which typically has two fried corn tortillas with chorizo sausage, scrambled eggs and home fries topped with creamy cheese sauce and fire roasted EPIC sauce. I obviously ordered mine without the chorizo sausage and I added avocado. So good! They also have bottomless mimosas for brunch, in case you’re not pregnant like me and can partake! The restaurant has a Kentucky vibe and would be the perfect place to order a bourbon with your meal.
What have been you favorite recent local eats? Share them with me in the comments!