Dining with Dietary Restrictions, DC Edition, Part II

By Esther Hidalgo and Charlotte Sturm, Host Committee Members


Sit-Down Dining

Welcome back for Part 2 of our mission report: Sit-Down Dining. While seeming to favor Jose Andres establishments and those serving small plates in this post, we can confirm that all of these dining establishments are quite considerate when it comes to accommodating dietary restrictions of whatever persuasion, and the food offerings are delicious.

Lebanese taverna.pngLebanese Taverna Restaurant

For classic and contemporary takes on Lebanese cuisine, try Lebanese Taverna, which is conveniently located near the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel at 2641 Connecticut Ave. NW. The vegetarian-friendly menu offers a range of dining options, including a Hommus Bar, Mezza (small, shareable plates), sandwiches, and full entrees. Diners can also easily identify items that are gluten free (marked “GF” on the menu), as well as which meat dishes are certified halal (“H”). Gluten free diners may also request spiced rice as a replacement for non-gluten free sides. If in doubt, we recommend the salad bar offerings which are mostly raw and highly modifiable.

Barcelona_FF_042-383x258.jpgBarcelona Wine Bar

Serving delectable Spanish tapas dishes and willing to cater to any and all food allergies, sensitivities, and special needs, we cannot recommend Barcelona highly enough. Located at 1622 14th St NW, DC, this popular dining spot is large enough that reservations are probably not necessary during the week. Upon arriving, we quickly informed our server of our diner’s food allergies and sensitivities, and the wait and kitchen staff took great care to accommodate our diner’s food allergies and sensitivities, marking up a menu with allowable options and possible cross-contamination. Allow approximately 15 extra minutes for this process. Fear not – once you have your custom menu and place your order, the food arrives very quickly and you won’t be disappointed. Chorizo with sweet and sour figs was the favorite dish of the night, while the heirloom carrots on a bed of orange yogurt were sweet with a lovely tang; those who can consume tree nuts may wish for more pistachios to garnish the top of this dish.


Oyamel Cocina Mexicana YOA2R_Mk_400x400.jpg

Oyamel, located in the Penn Quarter section of DC at 401 7th St NW, is another Jose Andres establishment that hits the mark. The interior are inspired by Mexico City’s urban vibe, and the menu features vegetarian-friendly small plates, entrees, and traditional Mexican tacos, which are prepared with corn tortillas. The customer service is exceptional; servers and the bar staff are courteous, very knowledgeable about menu ingredients, and willing to discuss ordering options and modifications. Adventurous diners may wish to try their delicious Chapulines tacos filled with perfectly seasoned and sautéed grasshoppers.


Zaytinya, situated at 701 9th Street NW, specializes in Eastern Mediterranean fare, referred to as meze, which means small plates meant to be shared. The theme and atmosphere cultivate a convivial dining experience. The dishes, many of which are modifiable, are delicious and beautifully plated. The staff is courteous, professional, and seem accustomed to serving diners with dietary restrictions. The server was unfazed when our diner with dietary restrictions unfurled the sacred scroll which listed all of her food allergies.


Also of Note

Whether you are craving a specific organic grocery item or wanting to stock your hotel refrigerator with a few snacks, the closest Whole Foods grocery store is located at 1440 P Street NW.


Honorable Mentions

Although our diners did not make it to these restaurants, they are recommended by other experienced diners with restrictions, and they are highly rated on the Find Me Gluten Free app. They may also suit other special dietary needs.

  • Commissary DC (Multi-Ethnic), 1443 P Street NW (Also Dairy Free and Vegan Friendly)


Mission Accomplished, and Bon Appétit!

Do you have a favorite DC-area restaurant that is also friendly to diners with restrictions? Let the diners and your fellow conference attendees know in the comments below!

Dining with Dietary Restrictions, DC Edition, Part I

By Esther Hidalgo and Charlotte Sturm, Host Committee Members


Fast Casual Food

Two intrepid diners. One a carefree omnivore who likes her vegetables as much as she likes her proteins. The other, a food lover whose dining experiences are impacted by dietary restrictions owing to a range of food allergies and sensitivities.

One urban setting: Washington, the District of Columbia. Growing in reputation as a city for foodies, DC offers something to appeal to every palate.

Their mission: to taste their way through just a few of the multitude of DC dining options and find restaurants that serve delicious food while still being able to accommodate special dietary needs. In this 2 part blog post, the diners will first cover some fast casual options, and later they will move on to more leisurely (and yes, pricey) sit-down options.


Located in Dupont Circle at 1528 Connecticut Aveneu NW, Beefsteak is a fast-casual restaurant by Jose Andres. It is almost 100% vegetarian in its culinary offerings; the optional add-ons of chicken sausage, poached egg, or salt-cured salmon may appeal to non-vegetarian dining companions. The menu is clearly marked to identify dishes which contain gluten and dishes which are vegan. Limited edition dishes like the Santorini Special highlight seasonal produce. And the Make Your Own option lets you build the exact meal that you want to, and can, eat. The full ingredient list for menu items is not apparent, so diners with extensive restrictions may have to ask questions about specific offerings. When presented with one such question, the staff member thoughtfully admitted to not being knowledgeable about those ingredients and promptly called a manager to assist. The manager easily and confidently responded to such questions, leading to a tasty and safe meal experience for both diners. One diner especially liked the Gazpacho Bowl, which was savory and refreshing, and paired nicely with the bag of Jose Andres signature potato chips, which were crumbled over top.



Cava serves up fast-casual Mediterranean-inspired salads and grain-based bowls. They have locations all over the city, including in the Dupont Circle area at 1222 Connecticut Avenue NW. The a la carte ordering system begins with the customer declaring their “base,” and then moving, assembly line-style, through a selection of dips/spreads, proteins, vegetables, and toppings. Cava partners with local farms to source fresh and seasonal ingredients. The staff are knowledgeable and friendly about questions relating to dietary restrictions. Some stores have printed menus with dietary information for Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Vegetarian, Vegan, and Soy Free diners. This menu is also available online at https://cava.com/menu/allergens. Even if you are a carefree omnivore, you may have questions about the array of options for your salad or grain bowl. Don’t be afraid to ask, so you don’t find out the hard way that the crazy feta spread might just be a little too crazy for your taste.


sb_sys_medias_media_key_830.jpgMitsitam Native Foods Cafe

The Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe, located within the National Museum of the American Indian, offers a wide variety of dishes from the indigenous peoples of the Americas. Open from 11 am – 3 pm daily, this lunch spot is set up cafeteria-style, so diners can customize their meals from the huge assortment of a la carte options. Food offerings are organized into five different regional stations – Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso America, and the Great Plains. Using ingredients such as bison, turkey, and salmon; green chiles; white and black beans; quinoa; and plantains, the resulting dishes such as ceviche, posole, soups, and seasonal salads are delectable and one-of-a-kind in the DC dining scene. Dishes are well described and pictured on cards (which also display the prices), but not every ingredient is listed, and there is the potential for cross-contamination in food preparation areas. Gluten-free dining should not be an issue at Mitsitam, but those with other food allergies should consult with staff or the restaurant manager before indulging.

Also of Note

If you’re joining your colleagues for baseball at Nationals Park on Friday night, rest assured that you can and will eat well at the game. The Gluten Free Grill, on the Main Concourse (section 100), serves exactly the celiac-friendly food its name suggests, and it also offers gluten-free wine and beer. A housemade veggie burger from the Georgetown Grill (section 130), fries topped with vegetarian chili from the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl (sections 110, 141, and 317), or dishes like veggie cheesesteaks, mushroom sandwiches, or a vegan crab cake at Field of Greens (section 136) could be just the ballpark food you’ve been searching for.

Honorable Mentions

Although our diners did not make it to these two bakeries, they are highly rated on the Find Me Gluten Free app or website, and they may also suit other special dietary needs.

And so our diners have come to the end of their fast casual dining adventure. Stay tuned for part two tomorrow, at which time our diners will spend a little more time to sit and savor their meals.


Dining Options

By Anna Yallouris, Host Committee Member

The Joint Annual Meeting is only a few weeks away and we hope you take some time to explore D.C. during your stay including the wide range of dining options. There have been new additions to the restaurant scene since the last annual meeting took place in D.C. and the week of the conference also coincides with D.C. Restaurant Week (August 13-19) which is a great opportunity to try new restaurants.  All participating restaurants will be offering 3-course menus for lunch ($22), dinner ($35) and brunch ($22).

Restaurant Week_Summer_Color_1







The conference hotel is conveniently located near several places to eat along Connecticut avenue. For a quick bite to eat, there is a Chipotle, McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, and Pizza restaurant (Pizze) within walking distance. For sit down options, below are restaurants in the immediate area as well.

** New restaurants in the area since the last annual meeting in D.C. that I recommend checking out.

Woodley Park

The Afghan Grill ($$) – 2309 Calvert St. NW

District Kitchen ($$) – 2606 Connecticut Ave. NW

**Dukes Counter ($$) – 3000 Connecticut Ave NW

Hot N Juicy Crawfish ($$) – 2651 Connecticut Ave NW

The Italians Kitchen ($$) – 2608 Connecticut Ave NW

Lebanese Taverna ($$) – 2641 Connecticut Ave NW

Medaterra ($) – 2614 Connecticut Ave NW

Nando’s Peri-Peri ($) – 2631 Connecticut Ave NW

Open City ($$) – 2331 Calvert St NW

Tono Sushi ($$) – 2605 Connecticut Ave NW

Woodley Cafe ($$) – 2619 Connecticut Ave NW

Additional neighborhoods to explore within the area include Cleveland Park, Van Ness, Adams Morgan, and Dupont Circle. While this list is not exhaustive and does not include other areas that have even more dining options such as Chinatown, Penn Quarter, U Street Corridor, Georgetown, Shaw, Foggy Bottom, etc. – it is a good place to start if you want to stay nearby the conference activities.

Cleveland Park

**Bindaas ($$$) – 3309 Connecticut Ave NW

Cleveland Park Bar and Grill ($$) – 3421 Connecticut Ave NW

Dolan Uyghur ($$) – 3518 Connecticut Ave NW

Firehook Bakery ($) – 3411 Connecticut Ave NW

Indique ($$) – 3512 Connecticut Ave NW

Laredo ($$) – 3500 Connecticut Ave NW

Medium Rare ($$) – 3500 Connecticut Ave NW

**Sababa ($$$) – 3311 Connecticut Ave NW

St. Arnold’s Mussel Bar ($$) – 3433 Connecticut Ave NW

Trattoria al Volo ($$) – 3417 Connecticut Ave NW

Van Ness

Breadfurst ($$) – 4434 Connecticut Ave NW

Bucks FIshing & Camping ($$$) – 5031 Connecticut Ave NW

Comet Ping Pong ($$) – 5037 Connecticut Ave NW

LIttle Red Fox ($$) – 5035 Connecticut Ave NW

Pho 14 ($) – 4201 Connecticut Ave NW

**Sfoglina ($$$) – 4445 Connecticut Ave NW

Thai Pad ($$) – 4481 Connecticut Ave NW

Adams Morgan

Amsterdam Falafelshop ($) – 2425 18th St NW

Bourbon ($$) – 2321 18th St NW

Donburi ($) – 2438 18th St NW

Federalist Pig ($$) – 1654 Columbia Rd NW

The Grill from Ipanema ($$) – 1858 Columbia Rd NW

Jake Rose Dining Saloon ($$$) – 2007 18th St NW, Washington

Mintwood Place ($$$) – 1813 Columbia Rd NW

Roofer’s Union ($$) – 2446 18th St NW

Sakuramen ($$) – 2441 18th St NW, Washington

Smoke & Barrel ($$) – 2471 18th St NW

**Tail Up Goat ($$$) – 1827 Adams Mill Road NW

Tryst ($$) – 2459 18th St NW

Dupont Circle

Bar Charley ($$) – 825 18th St NW,

Beafsteak ($) – 1528 Connecticut Ave NW

**Bibibop Asian Grill ($) – 1516 Connecticut Ave NW

**Buredo ($) – 1213 Connecticut Ave NW,

Cava ($) – 1222 Connecticut Ave NW

District Taco ($) – 1919 M St NW

Duke’s Grocery ($$) – 1513 17th St NW

Hank’s Oyster Bar ($$) – 1624 Q St NW

Iron Gate ($$$) – 1734 N St NW

Obelisk ($$$$) – 2029 P St NW

Rakuya ($$) – 1900 Q St NW

The Riggsby ($$$) – 1731 New Hampshire Ave NW

Sette Osteria ($$) – 1666 Connecticut Ave NW

Shake Shack ($) – 1216 18th St NW

Sushi Taro ($$$) – 1503 17th St NW

Teaism ($$) – 2009 R St NW

Teddy & the Bully Bar ($$) – 1200 19th St NW