Cheap Eats 2016: Chaia

Cheap Eats 2016: Chaia
One of our favorite vegetarian taco spots is Chaia. Photograph by Scott Suchman; food styling by Lisa Cherkasky.
Good Drinks Good for Vegetarians

The breezy taco stands of Tulum were the inspiration for this chic, pale-pink-walled George-town cafe. That means braised and fried meats are ditched in favor of brightly flavored local veggies, and flavor-boosting accessories come in the form of swipes of yogurt and copious handfuls of herbs and micro-greens. Sound a little too much like lunch at a yoga retreat? We thought so, too, until we tore into a pebbly corn tortilla holding a creamy stew of fingerling potatoes and kale enriched with pepperjack. Or another swaddling meaty mushrooms set off with tangy red sauce and briny crumbles of feta. The fillings are, across the board, as wonderfully satisfying as they are surprising. To drink, you can go the cold-pressed-juice route, but tacos and fizzy Lambrusco are an even better match.

Also good: Taco with rainbow carrots, pea shoots, and goat cheese; taco with winter squash, ricotta salata, and caramelized onions; cinnamon-coconut cookies.

See what other restaurants made our 2016 Cheap Eats list. This article appears in our May 2016 issue of Washingtonian.

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Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Anna Spiegel
Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.