Busboys and Poets – Washington, DC

Busboys and Poets has six locations in the Washington, DC area including Maryland and Arlington, VA. This is a restaurant that wants to create “a space for art, culture and politics to intentionally collide”. I can’t comment much on if they’ve achieved this particular goal, but I loved the comfortable atmosphere of the Shirlington location and loved the food even more.

Busboys & Poets (4)

We met some friends for lunch, so we had a party of 8. We made reservations so we did not have to wait for a table. I highly recommend doing that as this is a busy place! Plus we were there near a holiday. I enjoyed looking at the artwork on the walls and my son enjoyed climbing on the couches and looking out the large windows.

The menu is AWESOME. Seriously, there is so much to choose from. I ordered more than I knew I could eat because I just had to try more than one thing. Plus I love leftovers so why not? The vegan items are clearly marked which helped me narrow down my choices and I loved not having to ask the server a lot of questions about ingredients.

Busboys & Poets (5)Busboys & Poets (6)

I started with a chai latte with almond milk. I love chai lattes and want to support places that offer alternative milks to dairy. It was creamy and had the right touch of spice.

Busboys & Poets (1)

For food I ordered two things: the Vegan Cobb salad with a hemp vinaigrette and a side of vegan “tuna” salad. The Vegan Cobb salad consisted of arugula, tofu, tempeh, cashews, tomatoes and avocado. The hemp dressing was original and delightful and I ate every bite of the salad.

Busboys & Poets (2)

The “tuna” salad was made out of chickpeas as well as relish, carrot, nori, celery, and vegan mayo. Also awesome.

Busboys & Poets (3)

I truly enjoyed my lunch and would love to get every vegan item on the menu (17 in all!). This restaurant is an excellent choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner.


I recently went back for dinner on a Saturday night. I wasn’t disappointed! The Coconut Tofu appetizer was my favorite thing we ordered and shared as a group. It has the same coconut coating as you see on coconut shrimp but around tofu! The sauce with it was excellent as well. 

The Harira is a two bean Moroccan soup that reminded me of a richer, creamier minestrone. Great flavor! 

 I had the Vegan Quesadilla for my main dish, and while it is listed in the appetizer section is was plenty hearty for a meal. Plus it’s served with guacamole and vegan sour cream. 

Last I tried the Vegan Cheesecake. I prefer really dense heavy cheesecakes and this one was fluffy. It was still good (I ate it all) and if you like yours lighter you’ll love it. It has an Oreo cookie crust and topper. 

Ratings from a plant-based eating perspective (1-5 scale, 1=Terr ble  5=Excellent)

Ambiance: 5        Service: 4             Choices: 5           Taste: 5                Overall: 5

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