With the Little City offering an array of restaurants, bakeries and bars, finding the right place to satisfy one’s sweet (or savory) tooth can be easy. In recent years, many of these eateries have expanded their menus to offer food items for those who may have dietary restrictions.
According to a November 2020 data brief by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 17.1 percent of U.S. adults aged 20 and over were on a special diet from 2015-18. Another survey in 2021 by German database company Statista showed that more than four in 10 Americans follow some kind of nutrition rules, whether it be vegetarianism/veganism, gluten/lactose-free or allergen-based diets.
In F.C. and surrounding areas, the variety of American, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Turkish, etc… restaurants can be daunting to one who has a special diet, especially if they are not sure what’s on the menu. Luckily, there is no need to worry, as many of these restaurants accommodate and produce various options for customers with a special diet.
Looking for a safe way to start the morning? People with a special diet can stop by Northside Social, where customers can grab a delicious vegetarian/vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free and/or flourless breakfast, along with caffeinated (or caffeine-free) beverages.
Those who may want a sweeter option for their breakfast can stop at Bakeshop, a F.C. bakery that offers vegan and gluten-free options for some of their delicious menu items, such as the vegan double chocolate cake, various macaroons and vegan pumpkin bread.
Recently-opened brunch spot Ellie Bird offers vegetarian and gluten-free options in their menu, including amish chicken piccata, buttermilk pancakes and tornado omelet.
Recently named the “Best International Food” by the News-Press’ annual “Best of Falls Church,” Plaka Grill provides “authentic Greek cuisine” with the “freshest ingredients available.” Of these ingredients, Plaka Grill offers vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free options for some of their most popular food items, such as the beef souvlaki, falafel and the roasted veggie wrap.
Turkish-based restaurant Yayla Bistro has dairy-free and gluten-free options to certain items on their menu, including their mezze platters, falafels and Mediterranean chicken. For those a little more sensitive to spicy food, Yayla labels which items on their menu may not be for the faint of tongue.
Specializing in Afghan cuisine, Panjshir’s menu has its own vegetarian section, offering Kadu Chalow – sauteed pumpkin topped with homemade seasoned yogurt — and Buranee – e – Kachalow — sauteed potatoes flavored with various spices.
At Roll Play Viet Grill and NUE — Elegantly Vietnamese, popular Vietnamese dishes are offered with vegetarian/vegan options, with the latter restaurant providing gluten-free options as well. One can enjoy vegan crispy imperial rolls, raw oysters and spicy veggie broth at either restaurant of choice.
Clare and Don’s Beach Shack, offers cocktails, live music and a large selection of vegan/vegetarian and gluten-free items and options. Whether one wants to indulge in seaside soft tacos or “Phish ‘N’ Chips,” this local “beach” spot is a safe place for those on a special diet.
Clare and Don’s sister restaurant Lazy Mike’s Deli also offers vegan/vegetarian entrees, such as the french toast, as well as gluten-free options for certain items on the menu.
For those who may deal with various food allergies, Harvey’s offers an allergen list along with its menu. This list includes menu items that can or cannot be substituted for dairy-free, gluten-free, vegetarian/vegan and overall allergy options.
Local breweries are also opening up their menus to those who are on a special diet. Solace Outpost, a popular bar & pub in the Little City, offers gluten-free crusts and a vegan cheese option for their pizzas, allowing a wide variety of customers to make their own pies.
Someone on a special diet will be happy to visit Happy Tart, which offers dietary preferences, such as vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free, to various menu items like the pecan tart and German chocolate cupcakes.
Satisfying a sweet tooth with a special diet can be tricky, but Little City Creamery, which makes their delicious ice cream from the milk of “uber-pampered, grass-fed Jersey cows,” also has gluten-free cake and sugar cones to top off a creamy treat.