By Arielle Berger
Hi. My name is Arielle and I am no stranger to food.
I love to try new foods and seek out places to eat that are off the beaten path. I grew up eating primarily organic food with a salad at every home cooked meal, so I have a good sense of what is healthy and what is not. Growing up, I thought it was annoying that my parents made me eat my veggies while my friends would eat pizza and takeout. But now that I am older, I appreciate that I grew up eating healthy foods, subconsciously learning the foods that are healthiest for me.
When I first got to Washington, D.C. this semester, I knew I would be in for a treat. The city is a hub for food. From bottomless brunch buffets to happy hour food deals and everything in between, D.C. does not disappoint. I made it my mission to find some of the best local restaurants.
Now, here is the thing: I am gluten intolerant. Yup, there is the eye roll. But seriously, I am. Gluten tends to inflame my throat causing strep throat seven out of ten times, and that is no fun for anyone. So I want to take you on a journey of some of my favorite ‘healthy’ foods of D.C. Safe for gluten-free folks like me, but with gluten filled options as well.
Pronouced bur-EE-dough. Clever, right? Buredo combines two of my favorite foods, sushi and burritos. You can find this sushirito restaurant in downtown D.C. (conveniently located next to my work office). The menu consists of 11 sushiritos that are made fresh to order. It is pretty easy to edit the ingredients just to your liking.
Some popular items include spicy tuna tartare (pictured to the right), avocado, cucumber, tuna sashimi, tempura crunch and edamame.. I ordered the Gogo but substituted the coconut crema for the siracha mayo.
If you are a fan of following the trends and ordering very Instagramable foods, and you are NOT allergic to any sort of seafood, then Buredo is the spot for you. You can check out there very aesthetically pleasing website here!
2. The Little Beet
The Little Beet, it has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?
There are a surprising amount of Chipotle-esque, make-to-your-liking, type restaurants here in D.C. The Little Beet is one of them, but better and healthier! This farm fresh restaurant (no
surprise there, just look at the name) changes their food based on seasons to guarantee the freshest, in season items. The Little Beet gets all their food from “the best farmers and vendors in all the land” (according to their eye catching, all natural website). And ALL of their menu items are gluten-free WOO-HOO.
I will admit that I was a little overwhelmed when I first got to the counter – there were just so many yummy food options that I could not decide what to get. Take a peek at their seasonal menu and you’ll understand what I mean. I settled on the grain/salad blend with white beans, roasted kale, beet falafel, avocado white bean spread, and pickled ginger. Take a peek at that masterpiece.
I am a taco junky and finding
this little gem was a blessing and a curse (on my wallet). I stumbled across Chaia when I googled “must eat places in D.C”. Chaia is located in Georgetown, so it is a little bit of a trek to get there. Luckily, I was already in Georgetown doing my second favorite thing (shopping), and after a few hours, it was taco time.
Chaia is located one block off the main road in Georgetown, across a small bridge. After crossing the bridge you will first see the back of the restaurant, in all its green vine covered glory. After you walk through a cute little park, with tables to eat at, you will see the doors leading to taco heaven.
The restaurant is cute and quaint and just feels like a nice place to hang out in. They have orange infused water and servers who
are always smiling. Their menu is simple and to the point, so as a very indecisive person, I was thankful for that.
There were five different types of tacos when I went. I ended up deciding on the mushroom, Moroccan carrot and, my favorite, the creamy kale and
potato taco. My friend got the roasted beet and absolutely loved it. Each one had the most distinct flavors. I ended up eating my tacos so fast that I contemplated getting a second round because they were that good.
Check out their unique taco flavors here and see you if you can recreate them at home. And if you do, let me know!
I’ve said Fruitive wrong the entire time that I was in D.C. I always called it fruit-iv, but apparently it is pronounced fru-I-tive (adj.) meaning enjoyment. Anywho, it’s fabulous. They have everything from salads and sandwiches to gluten-free waffles, smoothies and lettuce wrapped TACOS. Back at it with the tacos.
It is located right in D.C.’s City Center making this place a must. Everything on this menu is healthy. There is kale, spinach, quinoa, and flax just to name a few things. If the healthy way is a stay off the path for you, I promise you will like this place. They still have waffles (gluten-free) but they come with coconut whipped cream and maple syrup, so the sweet tooth lovers are in luck.
But as you know from the post above, I love tacos, so naturally I had to get their collard tacos. There are three kinds and thankfully I was able to get all three. Each comes in a lettuce wrap so they are extremely messy, but totally worth it. I got the Sesame Ginger Taco (which was the best), the Southwest Taco and the Tuscan Taco. Again, each was uniquely perfect.
My non gluten-free roomie got the Avo Portobello Panini and devoured it in about 6 bites. I think she enjoyed it. I have also tried the Hail to the Kale salad and Coconut Colada and have been very pleased. Needless to say, I have spent my fair share at Fruitive. Health nut or sweet tooth, check out their menu.
5. Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken
So I said healthy, right? Well I’m going to stay off the path, A LOT, like total gluten, a lot. This is a D.C. hot spot and listed on the “21 best donut shops in America” list by Thrillist. This shop specializes in their crème brulee doughnut as it was named “the city’s best doughnut”. So for these reasons, I am adding it to my list. Yes I ate it all and yes, my tonsils swelled up and I got stick. But yes, it was worth it. Besides their doughnuts, Astro is known for their fried chicken doughnut sandwich.
*Peep the pic*
This sandwich was one of a kind, with a warm piece of fried chicken, tomatoes, sriracha buffalo sauce, and pickled jalapenos, it was definitely different, but a good different.
The line is typically out the door with not just tourist but actual working D.C’ers, so you know this place is a must.