Dupont Circle Specialty
1528 Connecticut Ave. NW., Dupont Circle
Despite the name, José Andrés’ fast-casual joint in D.C. (there’s also a location in Philly now) puts all of the focus on vegetables. You’ll pick a base of bulgur, quinoa, rice, or leafy greens, and top it with vegetables and some oomph, like an avocado or a poached egg. The pre-made favorites, like the excellently named “Frida Kale,” or the “Kimchi-wa” bowls, sort of take out the guesswork. There's a second location in Foggy Bottom.
1306 18th St. NW, Dupont Circle
This tiny little spot off Dupont Circle serves hummus the way it’s served in Israel—rather than a side dish, it’s actually the base of the meal. When you order, you’ll receive a bowl of hummus topped with a medley of (typically sautéed) vegetables and/or meats, along with a small green side salad and a warm piece of pita bread. The meals are incredibly filling but never overwhelming.
1200 19th St. NW, Dupont Circle
Taylor Gourmet is the blood, sweat, and tears of two Philadelphia transplants who opened the chain’s first deli after determining there wasn’t a single good Philly-style hoagie spot in all of D.C. Today the chain is many locations strong, making it a lunchtime staple for everyone from college students to President Obama. The salads are perfectly suitable if you’re trying to keep lunchtime healthy, but the real order here is anything on their freshly baked bread (which gets delivered daily). The Italian sandwich and the Philly cheesesteak are obviously excellent, though anything involving their fried chicken cutlets is also worth a try. They're expanding fast, with locations in Mount Vernon Triangle, H Street Corridor, and Cardozo.
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