There will be plenty to eat in Falls Church this Saturday at the annual Taste of F.C. and Fall Festival. But when it comes to vegan options, the choices become rather limited. A few Little City restaurants, like Clare & Don’s Beach Shack and Nourish Market, have cruelty-free items on their menus, though there’s no promise those offerings will be available at this weekend’s event. But there’s no need to worry.
Despite the limited selection on Saturday, there are plenty of restaurants in and around Falls Church where vegans can grab a bite after enjoying the festivities. Here, five Falls Church vegan-friendly restaurants and their stand out, cruelty-free dishes:
Clare and Don’s Beach Shack
130 N. Washington St. | 703-532-9283 | clareanddons.com
This Falls Church staple and Best of Falls Church dominator has menu offerings for vegans and meat eaters alike. Clare and Don’s Dill Pickle Chips are an awesome appetizer that you can’t just find anywhere. The tofu sandwich is tasty if you’re looking for a something familiar – you can get it blackened, coconut-flavored, fried or grilled. The Phish N’ Chips – two beer-battered strips of tofu served with fries – are a great entrée if you’re craving seafood or just a hearty, comforting meal.
Favorite dish: The Cluckless Tacos – soft tacos stuffed with grilled or blackened tofu. Other favorites: Tofu Cakes, Swamp Rice and Phish N’ Chips.
2842 Rogers Drive | 703-942-5622 | lovinghut.us
Vegans can bring their meat-eating buds here to prove that a vegan diet can be as delicious and comforting as an omnivorous diet. The fried wontons – fried soy proteins and mushroom wrapped in a wheat wonton – are a salty and savory treat served with sweet and sour sauce. The summer rolls, which have vegan ham and seafood, lettuce, mint and cucumber, are served with almond hoisin dipping sauce and engage nearly the entire flavor palette. If you’re craving a cold sandwich, the club sandwich is earthy, salty and savory and it comes with a side of your choice. And most of the desserts are made fresh – the cannoli is a light, but delectable treat for the end of a meal at Loving Hut.
Favorite dish: The Lemongrass Cutlet – a sweet and savory chicken-like entrée that comes with palette-cleansing veggies. Other favorites: Spicy Noodle Soup, Sesame Eggplant Tofu and Spicy Sweet Potato Curry.
709 W. Broad St. | 703-992-0777 | spcbr.com
The Falls Church counterpart to Galaxy Hut in Arlington can convert several items off of their grilled cheese menu into cruelty-free fare. Smoky tempeh can substitute for pastrami in this rye bread sandwich, which results in something closely resembling the Reuben at Galaxy Hut. For something a little heartier, they have vegan meatloaf, which you can get on a sourdough bun with marinara and vegan cheese. For something savory, if not sloppy, there is the pulled BBQ sandwich, which comes with fried shallot and vegan cheese. Or if you’re looking for something light, spacebar has a grilled vegan hot dog that comes with kraut and mustard on rye bread.
Favorite dish: The #6 – smoky tempeh is an apt replacement for pastrami in this rye bread sandwich and pairs well with the kraut. Add vegan cheese to help cut the sour taste of the kraut. Other favorites: The #10 with vegan chicken instead of roast beef, the #12 with vegan meatloaf instead of meatloaf and the #18 with a vegan hot dog.
Sunflower Vegetarian Restaurant
6304 Leesburg Pike | 703-237-3888 | sunflowervegetaraian.com
Don’t let the name fool you – the gross majority of the large menu at Sunflower is vegan. This delightful Seven Corners restaurant has great fried chicken wings, which are made with mushrooms and soy protein, on their appetizer menu. The kale and burdock deluxe, with tofu, seitan and chick peas, is an earthy and hearty meal that’s cleansing and substantial. There’s also an entire entrée menu that features vegan or vegetarian variations of a traditional Chinese food restaurant’s menu.
Favorite dish: Vegan General Tso’s Magic – chunks of soy protein in hot kung-pao sauce, served with steamed broccoli and carrots. Other favorites: Crispy Shredded Beef, Vegan Chocolate Cake and Vegan Tiramisu.
1051 W. Broad St. | 703-533-8484 | nourishmarket.com
The deli in the back of this health food store has a variety of options for vegans looking for a snack, a medium-sized bite or a filling meal. The Israeli couscous is a hearty and earthy snack or side dish for those looking for something other than fries or a salad. The green garden salad is a great option for those looking for a light bite and can be topped with the Nourish Market’s “chicken” salad for a more substantial meal. Finally, the black bean burger is a high-protein option for those looking to fill up. It can be topped with chipotle vegenaise and is served with a soup, chips or a deli salad.
Favorite dish: Power Veggie Sandwich – all of the vegetables Nourish has to offer, plus avocado on your choice of bread. All of Nourish’s bread is vegan. Other favorites: Vegan Chicken Salad, Vegan Chicken Fajita and the Black Bean Burger.
(All News-Press photos)