If you have been in DC for more than a minute you can’t count on one hand all the bowl spots you’ve passed. There are many. If you love eating bowls of food as much as I do, DC is also the place for you.
But the best part is that many of the (now) national chains all around the city and the country started right here in DC. It’s the new thing, the build-your-own bowls. Here is the low down of the types of bowls that originated in DC that you must try. Go to them all. Take your time, enjoy; they are all different and tasty.
CAVA – Mediterranean
Some people call it the healthy Chipotle. But really, it’s not Mexican at all, it just tastes healthy. Cava is the best mediterranean fast casual chain around and it all started here in DC! You get to choose your favorite traditional greek and mediterranean flavors as you walk down the line. The flavors are unreal. I recommend the grilled meatballs and the crazy feta – it’s crazy. All bowls are only $9.37. They also sell their hummus and dips at many local stores for the “make it at homers”.
RICE BAR – Korean
Customizable Bibimbop bowl, what more could you possibly want? Rice Bar has it all. Either rice or broth based and a choice of four toppings plus a protein for around $9. Adding additional toppings is optional, yet encouraged. If you go black rice, unique topics, and topped with an egg, it could end up being the most colorful bowl you’ve ever eaten. But really, the range is huge and it’s fun – so good luck!
DONBURI – Japanese
Donburi turns your sushi into a delicious healthy bowl. It is the freshness flavors of sushi but easier to eat on a date night. The little dive restaurant hidden on 18th street is no secret. The tiny restaurant seats only about 15 people at once all around the bar. But let me tell you, it is worth the wait (and there are just as many people waiting for their take out orders). For a great price around $11-$13 you get a large portion of fish or protein over rice and a side of pickled veggies. It’s a really simple bowl and that’s what makes it taste so darn good.
BEEFSTEAK – Veggie
A unique opportunity to try a famous Chef’s food in a fast-casual form. DC Chef Jose Andres opened the veggie focused chain – Beefsteak. Although Beefsteak is not a vegetarian restaurant, the veggie options are loaded. Either pick an unlimited amount of your favorite ingredients and watch them cook right in front of your eye or choose from the many chef-inspired combinations on the menu. This really is the most loaded DC bowl option. But caution: pick carefully, the flavors are strong and sometimes all of your favorite foods don’t go together in one bowl.
TAKOREAN – Korean/Taco
Who would have thought a taco in a bowl would be so good! TaKorean knew best. The DC taco restaurant that started as a food truck now has four locations over DC. Taco’s are awesome, but have you ever tried to eat your taco in a bowl? It’s even awesomer. The combination of flavors in every bite is perfect. I highly recommend the Hoisin Tofu, even if you aren’t a tofu lover, it’s pretty awesome.
Sweetgreen – American/Healthy
Everyone by now knows about Sweetgreen. Commonly known as one of the first places that started the build-your-own salad bars. The salads are great, don’t get me wrong. But what is new to the menu is the warm bowl option made with either quinoa or rice. You’re favorite salad place also just became your favorite place comfort bowl place too. Its a two-for-one now at Sweetgreen.
Try them all. Let us know what you think. The options are unbelieva-bowl.