5 D.C. Restaurants Modeling Inclusivity in Dining

From expansive zero-proof cocktail menus to a restaurant embracing Deaf culture, we’ve got you covered.

We all seek to belong — in the workplace, among friends, within communities and even when we dine at restaurants. But what does inclusivity in dining look like? It can mean creating spaces that accommodate those with disabilities, providing options to those with food allergies, serving those who abstain from alcohol and featuring menus that offer dishes to those with dietary restrictions. Here are five venues in D.C. that are raising the bar for inclusivity in dining. 

Botanical Bar

The bar with a zero-proof menu 

Lots of bars have no- or low-ABV drinks, but the nonalcoholic menu at Botanical Bar is notable due to the assortment of spirit-free options. The bar features four creative mocktails, including the “Aperol Spritz-ish,” modeled after the classic Italian Aperol spritz, made with apertif rosso, soda and Mediterranean tonic. Diners can also opt for a nonalcoholic beer and two zero-proof wines. 1633 P St. NW, DC; dc-vegan.com/botanical-bar // @dcvegan

Hell’s Kitchen

The steakhouse that accommodates vegetarians + vegans 

It’s not uncommon for restaurants specializing in steak and seafood to direct those seeking vegetarian or vegan dishes to the section of the menu labeled “salads” or “sides.” But at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen, the team takes vegetarian and vegan steakhouse fare to a new level. Options include pan-seared “scallops,” where crispy, savory tofu patties resembling scallops are served on individual puddles of creamy celery-root puree alongside a sweet but tart pickled apple salad; tomato saffron risotto; beluga lentils and a decadent baked macaroni and cheese. 652 Wharf St. SW, DC; gordonramsayrestaurants.com  // @hellskitchen

La Collina

An Italian restaurant with a menu flagging food allergies  

The team at La Collina adds a notation by each dish on their menu to indicate whether it is peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, shellfish free, fish free or soy free. The restaurant has a plethora of dishes available to those with multiple allergies or restrictions. Highlights on the menu include a cheesy cacio e pepe pasta that is peanut free, tree nut free, egg free, shellfish free, fish free and soy free (and can be gluten-free by substituting gluten-free pasta). There’s also a vegan white bean salad and desserts like a gluten-free chocolate torta. 747 C St. SE, DC; lacollinadc.com // @lacollina_dc


A restaurant with myriad vegan, vegetarian + gluten-free dishes 

Lapis is a D.C. hot spot for so many reasons: The cozy dining room, delicious Afghan food and irresistible cocktails come together to create an epic dining experience. What’s more, the menu invites vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diners to enjoy Afghan cuisine in abundance. Such diners will not be stuck with just one dish to sample, nor will they have to adhere to a certain section of the menu. Rather, the menu is teeming with treats like veggie dumplings, quintessential Afghan flatbreads, a variety of stews, spinach sambosa and fragrant rice pilaf. As the menu humorously states, “Veggie dishes are Afghanistan’s best kept secret because most people think we are meat-eating mountain people with large turbans (also true).” 1847 Columbia Rd. NW, DC; lapisdc.com // @lapisdc


The pizza joint that embraces Deaf culture 

Come to Mozzeria for their Neopolitan pizzas, stay for the Deaf culture. This Deaf-owned and operated spot serves as home to delicious pizzas and other bites, job opportunities for the local Deaf community and a way for diners to experience Deaf culture firsthand. Mozzeria’s space is designed to be accessible, and the restaurant has an open floor plan and bright lighting to facilitate communication via American Sign Language. Stop by Mozzeria next time you are on H Street to check out a venue that has delicious pizza and welcomes all. 1300 H St. NE, DC; mozzeriadc.com // @eatmozzeria

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