What do you get when you combine a fair trade market, music, poetry, bookstore, wifi, comfy couches, full bar stocked with organic beers, wines, and spirits, a mix of vegan, vegetarian, and carnivorous fare, and the best vegan desserts I’ve ever had (other than my dad’s cinnamon rolls)? If you guessed Busboys & Poets, you’re correct!
During the day, Busboys has a chill, laid back atmosphere. You’ll be surrounded by people on their laptops, lounging in couches, sipping eco-friendly, fair-trade coffee. If you come for dinner or a weekend brunch, however, you would hardly be able to recognize the place. Packed with people, you’ll be lucky to get a table at any of their three locations without having to wait a good 20 minutes.
Their menu is full of staples such as pizza, paninis, hamburgers, and sandwiches, but also includes things not so easily found elsewhere, such as their vegan sausage, soy cheese, and coconut tofu served with a plum sauce. Don’t be scared, it’s actually quite good.
Overall, though, their main menu items leave a bit to be desired in the taste department. But as long as you save room for dessert, you will not be leaving dissatisfied. Busboys has been getting their vegan desserts from Vegan Treats bakery in Bethlehem, PA since 2008. This stuff is so good that I’ve actually made the trek to Bethlehem to indulge in the wide variety of vegan treats they have. But if you’re not in the mood to drive several hours for cruelty-free baked goods, Busboys provides a more convenient way of getting the tasty treats. Busboys does not carry everything Vegan Treats makes, but they have always had a vegan cheesecake, vegan cookies, and soy ice cream. The cookies and ice cream are good, but the cheesecake is a must. It has a full, rich flavor that just melts in your mouth without leaving any of the cheesy aftertastes. Even the non-vegans I know prefer it to the “real” thing.
If you’re in the mood for a place with a trendy, eco-friendly atmosphere, some decent food, and amazing desserts, for a fairly reasonable price of $10-$20 per dish, Busboys & Poets is definitely a solid choice.
Busboys at 14th & V
2021 14th Street
Wasingon, DC 20009
Busboys at Shirlington
4251 South Campbell Ave.
Arlington, VA 22206
Busboys at 5th & K
1025 5th Street NW
Washington, DC 20001