Founding Farmers

  • Veg-options Veg-options
    ( 20 reviews )

1924 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, District Of Columbia, USA, 20006

Serves meat, vegan options available. Several locations in the area serving American fare. A small "meatless" section on the menu shows the veggie options. Has cold pressed juice. Open Mon 11:00am-10:00pm, Tue-Thu 11:00am-11:00pm, Fri 11:00am-12:00am, Sat-Sun 9:00am-2:00pm, Sat 2:00pm-12:00am, Sun 2:00pm-10:00pm.

Categories: Lacto, Ovo, American, Non-veg

20 Reviews

First Review by Sophia B.

Was fed a beef burger when I order a veggie burger - Edit

VEGETARIANS USE EXTREME CAUTION!! THEY MAY SERVE YOU BEEF INSTEAD OF A VEGGY PATTY. So after living in DC for a couple of years I was excited for my first visit to founding farmers. 3 vegetarians at the table including myself were all excited to try the Impossible (highly touted vegetarian patty that is supposed to be as close as the real thing) Burger. So once my “vegetarian” burger was brought out I was excited to chow down! After the first bite I thought it tasted very much like real beef (which I hadn’t had in almost 10 years) so I figured impossible burger delivered as advertised. I then quickly had a couple more bites because I was starving but then had to stop myself because I felt something was very wrong with this “veggy” burger. After close inspection I noticed my patty was an actual BEEF patty. I compared it to the other 2 Impossible burgers at the table and the difference and smell was very clear. Had a non vegetarian taste it, confirmed it was beef. Told the waitress the situation and the plate was taken back. A manager came to the table and apologized a few minutes later. Shortly after that an actual Impossible burger was brought out and manager said the chef was horrified about the mix up, I did not eat replacement and all other friends at table stopped eating the rest of their food. Although I was not physically ill I did feel an uneasiness in my stomach since I had not consumed beef in 10 YEARS. I was horrified that this happened to me but the fact that it could have happened to someone with a severe allergy is even more horrifying. My “meal” that I obviously didn’t finish was comped and I was offered a gift card (which I refused-will never eat here again) for the “mix up”. A place with the reputation of founding farmers, to only take the steps they took to rectify their complete and utter lack of awareness are shameful. I will NEVER EVER step foot at any of their locations. If they cannot figure out a fool proof plan in order for this to NEVER happen to anyone else they should stop serving vegetarian burgers all together. To all friends and family that visit our beautiful city I will make sure they stay clear of this place.

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Great Vegan Options - Edit

Our server was well versed in vegan dishes. She was able to make some great selections. The food was excellent! Will definitely come back.

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amazing impossible burger - Edit

I tried the impossible burger for the first time here and it was AMAZING. I ordered it with a side salad and the waitress immediately asked if I wanted the vegan bun and vegan salad dressing as well. Everything about my experience here was great, I will definitely be returning here on my next visit.

Pros: vegan friendly , great staff

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No vegan breakfast - Edit

Wait until 11am to go. No vegan breakfast options. Maybe they could've made an oatmeal and hash browns meal?

Cons: Not a lot of vegan options. Very crowded and loud.

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Few options, bland. - Edit

I've been twice now to Founding Farmers, and left feeling "meh" both times. The veggie food is unimpressive, but just as pricey as the rest of their menu. Not planning on going again.

Pros: Location

Cons: Bland food, Price

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So much salt - Edit

I went here with a big group (definitely make a reservation like we did) and was the only vegan. It was busy Friday night so the waiters were pretty rushed and didn't seem like they wanted to deal with many questions about the menu. Which is understandable, but hard for us vegans.

I got the Many Vegetable Mushroom Meatloaf because that was the most popular in all the reviews I read, and pretty much the only vegan option. When it first arrived I was disappointed by the portion size. But I took one bite and knew if I wasn't starving I could never finish the whole plate, it was SO salty! The vegetable loaf was salty, the gravy so salty, even the mashed potatoes (which were praised in all the reviews I read) so salty!

This restaurant definitely isn't set up for an easy vegan dining experience, but it's possible to manage if you're in a group of meat eaters.

I wouldn't choose to go back on my own, but don't regret trying it.

Pros: Good vegetarian options! there is a whole "meatles, Nice decor

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delicious - Edit

I've been here a few times and it's our favorite place to go in DC. I've had the vegan meatloaf (amazing) and the cauliflower steak which was pretty good as well. The mashed potatoes are the best I've ever had. They also have a good beer selection, the area is nice and the restaurant itself is cool too. My meat-eating boyfriend loves it. Must make a reservation.

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Need more veg food on menu! - Edit

My family & I have enjoyed our visits to Founding Farmers. The food is not bad, but I wish that there were more vegan choices on the menu. If you are in a hurry to get to a performance, expect to be held up because this place gets crowded early! It's nice if you have a group & you want to take time to eat & drink. It's tough to have an extended conversation here because the restaurant gets so loud that it's hard to hear my dining companion. Arrive early if you don't want to wait in line & if you want a quieter atmosphere.

Pros: Great place if you don't want to talk much, Good wine & spirits list, Veg food is tasty

Cons: Very loud, Can get crowded, Not enough veg choices on menu

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wonderful! - Edit

I thought this place was great! There was a long line but without a reservation we waited an hour but worth the wait. I too had the many vegetable loaf with mashed potatoes broccolini and mushroom gravy and thought it was wonderful! I don't live in DC but the next time I'm in the area I will make sure I have a reservation.

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Picked this place with a quick search, only to find out the people we were meeting had gone there for lunch. They loved it so back we all went for dinner...long lines should not deter you from taking your seat in the very cool dining area, Devon was our server and she was very upbeat and had answers to all our questions. Although they serve both veg and meat offerings the non-meat area of the menu held a good selection of options. Tried the Butternut Squash Ravioli and Many Veg "meatloaf". one word FANTASTIC! We have been trying to recreate it at home ever since, worth the drive, worth the wait and with the price!

Pros: Friendly Staff , Excellent Menu Options, Fairly Priced / Good portions

Cons: Wait time, A Bit Noisy

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Some people (like me) hate it, some people love it - Edit

I went here once when I first moved to the area, and I was very confused that this is popular. It's the worst of all worlds: food not so great, a little too pricey for my cheap eats sensibilities, self-important, and very crowded: you'll likely have to wait unless you got a reservation. And it's not exactly a gold star in the vegan options department. Many restaurants in the area do just as well or better.

The one good thing about it is the location near a lot of touristy things like the White House. But seriously tourist, you can do better.

Washington Post gave it zero stars, and I'm saving this review for the next time a friend wants to go there.

Look, I will freely admit it: I am a hater. I just don't get why anyone goes here, let alone why it's always packed. Other people LOVE LOVE LOVE it as the comments on facebook attest:

But if I can prevent one like-minded tourist from wasting one of their meals in DC on this place, then writing this review is worth it. DC has great vegan food, go enjoy it elsewhere.

Pros: location

Cons: crowded, food isn't good

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Few options - Edit

I was just there and there were only 2 vegan entree options. I chose the "Many vegetable meatloaf." It was VERY good, but the portion size was extremely lacking. On the pricey side. Not very friendly wait staff. Definitely need a reservation on a weekend for dinner.

Pros: Excellent Taste

Cons: FEW options, Not super friendly, Need reservation

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Hit or Miss - Edit

This is a go-to restaurant for when family are visiting me in DC. It has a fun environment and interesting menu. The menu changes so sometimes I've been happy with my food and sometimes not. I remember during one of my first visits, I had the vegan fish and chips bucket, which was a ridiculously fun and indulgent meal. During a recent visit I ordered the "cauliflower steaks" and felt completely ripped off after paying something like $15 for little more than a few pieces of grilled cauliflower. During that visit, everyone at my table felt bad for me because it was clear there weren't enough calories on my plate. The most recent time I ate at Founding Farmers, I was much more careful with my ordering and asked the server for a recommendation. He said vegetarians seem to like the meatless mushroom swiss reuben, so I ordered that and did actually get enough calories! It wasn't a very complex meal in terms of flavor, but it did satisfy (I seem to remember it wasn't vegan).

Overall, Founding Farmers can be a good place for a mixed meat-eating/vegetarian group, and can be especially good when family and friends are visiting. The food can be hit or miss though, so be careful when ordering!

Pros: Atmosphere, DC Location

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Farily good vegan food - Edit

Note- My review is for the Potomac, MD/Rockville, MD location. The DC location has a near identical menu & is also quite crowded most nights.

Make sure you ask for the vegan menu- it is a little separate card that explicitly lists items that are vegan all the time and ones that can be made vegan by request. If it's not on that card, don't order it. That said, the card had a decent selection. I tried the many veggie mushroom loaf, vegan mashed potatoes and grilled broccolini. Filling and tasty - good vegan comfort food. The only thing lacking is vegan desserts. You'll want to make a reservation- this place is regularly packed, even on weekdays - and try to avoid the big dinner hour rush times. Service can indeed be slow during that time. I'd give a 4 for the food, 3.5 for service due to being packed solid w/people.

Pros: Good vegan comfort food, Separate vegan menu card

Cons: Can be crowded & noisy

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Terrible service and misleading menu - Edit

I really wanted to like this place. I like farm-to-table, the food sounded creative and interesting, and the place looked cool. But our single experience there was very bad.

Most frustrating was that, after asking about whether several items were vegetarian, we ordered the fried green tomatoes. After we started eating them, the waitress came over and mentioned they were not vegetarian. Very frustrating.

This was but one of many instances of terrible service. So bad that, without asking, the manager came and apologized. But after the apology the service got worse. We were being pretty happy-go-lucky about the whole thing, but in the end it was extremely frustrating.

The food was hit or miss. Some of the dishes were truly delicious and creative, while others were good but not great. Overall, the quality of the food was about what I would expect given the prices, if not slightly underwhelming.

Pros: Good food, Good bar, Nice atmosphere

Cons: Service, Labeling on menu

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Founding Farmers in DC on Penn - Edit

Really Popular place and you def should make reservation. They have a meatless menu but this is NOT a vegan restaurant. The sides are limited for Vegan options but you should ask if there are options

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Good food, good atmosphere - Edit

I found this restaurant when visiting DC and dining with non-vegans. It was a great success. It is very popular so be sure to make reservations. We did and were seated right away so it wasn't a problem.

Non-shared Equipment: I appreciated that there was a separate meatless menu and that the meatless kitchen equipment was not shared with other dishes.

Options: Yes, there were only 2 vegan options. My husband and I shared the two different dishes and were very satisfied. We are from out of town and eating vegan out usually means a boring pasta-veggies-olive oil so actually having a decent recipe was a treat. There were other vegetarian dishes on the menu--I don't know if they could be adjusted to be vegan but it looked like it could. We didn't ask since we were pleased with the two options. The only vegan dessert was a sorbet. I think they are on the right track and would love to see them expand to include more vegan options in the future.

Drinks: Great quality cocktails and wines.

Pros: Vegan/Veg menu, Separate cooking equipment, Great atmosphere

Cons: Limited vegan options, Make a reservation!

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Too much hype - Edit

If you come here, expect to wait or make sure you had reservations. On a Friday night, 2 hours can be your wait time! Why? The food is cooked fresh and made from scratch, and, well, the libations menu is abounding with choices for everyone from young to old!

As for the infamous veg menu, I do not see why vegans find it amazing. Two choices does not make for a vegan menu. There were 2 vegan sides. The salads weren't vegan- how could there not be one vegan salad? A salad is all about the vegetables, so having just one be vegan makes sense, but that is asking too much?

Thankfully, there were so many wonderful drinks from cocktails to beers to in-house sodas to coffees, it didn't impinge upon my satisfaction too much. A drink for dessert is fine when they are this good! The sodas are awesome. No vegan desserts though- if they really wanted to be vegan friendly, that could easily be arranged, yes?

Anyhow, the two entree were a meatloaf that I did not care for and a burger that had a black bean base. Nothing fancy or exciting. If not with others, I would not choose to come here again for food. Drinks? Ok!

Pros: Drinks, Vegan items marked

Cons: Long wait , Small vegan selection

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Great for vegans! - Edit

They have a vegan menu and we had two items from it: Polenta with Roasted Red Peppers and Eggplant; and Farmers Artichoke and Chick Pea Gunny Sack. Both were outstanding. Even the sides were delicious: Lemon Arugula Salad; Lemon Garlic Spinach. I will go back and try the other vegan dishes next time I'm in DC.

Nice atmosphere, a very busy place! Make your reservations well in advance, it was booked until 9:30 every night even on a Monday!

Pros: Vegan food, Atmosphere, Service

Cons: Fills up early

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Best vegan bacon burger ever - Edit

The vegan bacon burger (burger made in-house with tempeh bacon) was amazing - truly the best vegan burger of any variety I've ever had. I also loved the fact that the veg items are cooked in equipment reserved for the purpose. Must go back to try the other items on the menu.

Pros: excellent food, separate cooking utensils, good choices

Cons: no vegan dessert

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