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The nation’s capital will celebrate its first Veg Restaurant Week from May 7-14th.
If you’re looking for a last-minute treat for Mom this Mother’s Day, try booking a table at one of more than 30 restaurants participating in Washington D.C.’s first Veg Restaurant Week.
The event was announced last week by Mayor Muriel Bowser and features participation from popular vegan restaurants, local fast-food favorites, and fine dining locations. The weeklong fest is co-chaired by D.C. Shadow Representative Oye Owolewa and celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn.
Veg Restaurant Week
D.C. Veg Restaurant Week “presents an opportunity to celebrate those small businesses that are showcasing plant-based fare and making it more accessible to residents throughout the District,” the organizers said.
Participating restaurants currently total 34, and include PLNT Burger, Hip City Veg, D.C. Harvest, Equinox, Gangster Vegan Organics, RAWish, and Sweet Sosumba. Some locations are offering prix fixe menus, new items, discounts, and even complimentary menus.
Mayor Bowser said the celebration signals a “global shift” toward plant-centric food norms that many leading scientists say would help lower greenhouse gas emissions. The Mayor said governments can play a crucial “trailblazing role” in the shift. The event follows the passing of D.C.’s Green Food Purchasing Act last year, which is intended to reduce the District’s carbon footprint by 25 percent by 2030 by way of more sustainable food and beverage purchases.
Veg Week follows a recent campaign in the area from Eat Just targeting U.S. Senators and members of Congress over their inaction on climate change. The campaign saw a truck giving out free vegan egg sandwiches in April. Sandwiches were named after Senators Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and the truck’s billboard read “These egg sandwiches are more effective against climate change than Congress.”
D.C.’s vegan BIPOC community
Bowser also highlighted the event’s nod to the city’s rich history of Black veganism; Gangster Vegan Organics, RAWish, and Sweet Sosumba are all Black-owned.
“Plant-centric eating lowers the risk of heart disease, stroke, obesity, and Type 2 diabetes, and those conditions disproportionally undermine the health-related quality of life of Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) residents of Washington, D.C,” she said.
“D.C. Veg Restaurant Week encourages the public and community leaders to get to know and celebrate their neighborhoods’ healthy and planet-friendly dining options while supporting local businesses,” Max Broad, founder of DC Voters for Animals Education Fund, said.
“Together with Mayor Bowser, our co-chairs, and the diverse and culturally-rich restaurants taking part, we hope to model the benefits of continuing to center plants on our plates all year round.”
Bowser is not the nation’s only mayor advocating for more plant-based food. New York City Mayor Eric Adams recently declared March 20th as the city’s official MeatOut Day.
Adams reversed his own health issues with a vegan diet and has been outspoken in his support of New Yorkers, especially its children, consuming more plant-based food. New York City’s public school district is the nation’s largest and also one of the most vegan. In addition to plant-forward meals during the week, the schools now serve vegan meals on Fridays.
Lead photo by Yeon Choi on Unsplash.