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The Physicians Committee

Translating Nutrition Research into Community Education: A Workshop for Implementing Diet-Related Chronic Disease Curricula

Food for Life Training: During Your Stay

The nation’s capital is a great place to explore whether you are walking, renting a bike for the day, or hopping on the train. D.C. is home to history, culture, and the arts—a wide variety of things to enjoy are found here and we hope you have a chance to see the sights and relish in some vegan eats!

Things to Do in D.C. >

Veg-Friendly Dining >


If you’ve decided to extend your stay beyond the timeframe of the training, there are many enjoyable things to do during the weekend in the nation’s capital.

United States Capitol

One fixture you can still access in post-9/11 Washington is the Capitol, and it is a weird and beautiful place. There are 540 rooms and almost as many lawmakers, all connected by winding halls, tunnels, and an underground train. To get inside, you have two choices: You can go on an official tour after getting tickets from a kiosk just outside the building, or you can contact your state Senator or Representative to get a pass to the gallery and watch the place in action—or inaction, which is equally interesting.

The National Mall

The best way to see most of Washington's monuments and museums is to stroll down the Mall, a greenway crowned by the Capitol and lined with treasure all the way to the Lincoln Memorial. Start by taking the Metro there (orange or blue line to Smithsonian; take the Mall exit out of the station), as parking is impossible. Then choose your own adventure, rambling in and out of museums and staying only as long as you'd like. If you have kids with you, take a break at the old-fashioned carousel in front of the Arts and Industries building, about halfway down the Mall. Or duck into the sculpture garden at the Hirshhorn Museum nearby. There's a lot to see, so you'll have to prioritize — or chill out and assume you'll be back one day.

The National Museum of American History is one museum not to be missed on the Mall. Reopening on Nov. 21, 2008, after a two-year renovation, it is a massive collection of all things American—from Abraham Lincoln's top hat to the Nintendo Game Boy. Another sure thing on the Mall, the National Museum of Natural History has something for everyone in the family, from the femme to the fierce. The Hope Diamond is here, along with an insect zoo, an IMAX cinema and a hall full of dinosaurs.

U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum

The Holocaust Memorial Museum, located just off the Mall, is profound, unusual, and a place you must visit eventually. The architecture enhances the exhibits, which are alternately provocative and heart-stopping. I wouldn't bring young children here. To visit during the high season from March through August, you'll need timed tickets, which you can get on the day of your visit or in advance here. Ride the orange or blue line to the Smithsonian Metro station; take the Independence Avenue exit.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

At the west end of the Mall is a dark low wall that may be the most powerful memorial to loss in the world. Veterans and relatives come to make pencil rubbings from the 58,000 names engraved in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. For everyone else, to walk down the long, long chronological list of the casualties is to grasp the consequences of war, without fanfare or hubris. (From the Smithsonian stop on the orange or blue line of the Metro, head west.)

International Spy Museum

This is one museum that is actually worth paying for—especially if you're burned out on the more nutritious museums (which you will be any second now), or if you have children over age 10. The Spy Museum, one of D.C.'s most popular attractions, is noisy with films and interactive displays. But at the end of the day, this museum works because spies are cool, and so are KGB lipstick pistols and invisible-ink letters. Be sure to check out the exhibit on the Navajo codetalkers and the history of spying going back to Moses. Take the red, yellow or green line to Gallery Place/Chinatown.

Washington National Cathedral

America does not have many truly impressive Gothic cathedrals, so the National Cathedral is one worth visiting. It is actually an Episcopal church, but Congress has designated it the National House of Prayer. Since 1907, it has been used for state funerals for three presidents, monthly emergency unity services during WWII, presidential prayer services and 9/11 memorial ceremonies. Half-hour tours are held throughout the day. It is striking and pleasantly removed from the rest of official D.C. in a more residential area.

The U Street Corridor

At night, you have three main choices in D.C.: Georgetown, where the tourists and frat boys go to party; Adams Morgan, where the frat boys go once they've graduated; and U Street, where you won't find any of the above. The strip of bars, restaurants and boutiques runs for about eight blocks between 17th Street and 9th Street NW, in a neighborhood called Shaw. The birthplace of Duke Ellington, U Street was once a center of African-American culture. Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong were regulars. After the 1968 riots, the corridor sat mostly vacant for far too long. But it is now finally, fully revived, jangling with sound and motion after dark.

Check out D.C.'s best live-music venue, the 9:30 Club, just off the corridor at the corner of 9th Street and V Street NW. The icon of U Street is still Ben's Chili Bowl, a family-run, old-school chili-dog joint that opened in 1958 and stuck around when almost nothing else did. They offer veggie dogs and vegan chili. Take the green or yellow line to the U Street/African-American Civil War Memorial/Cardozo stop.

Gravelly Point

To get a break from all the history and heritage, head across the Potomac River to Gravelly Point park (off the northbound George Washington Parkway in Virginia). It's a grassy knoll known only to locals where you can watch airplanes come in (shockingly close to your head) for a landing just a few hundred feet away at Reagan National Airport. There is also a walking and biking path that runs along the river, plus a pretty view of Washington.

Malcolm X Park

One of the nicest and least appreciated parks in D.C. is a place officially called Meridian Hill Park but known to everyone as Malcolm X Park. Its 12 acres sit on a hill overlooking downtown and the monuments. John Quincy Adams lived in a mansion here after leaving the White House. Today, there are spooky statues and cascading pools of water, more reminiscent of a neglected European chateau garden than a National Park Service tract. Visit late on a Sunday afternoon to dance to the sounds of the ad hoc drum circle that has been forming weekly since the 1950s.

Borrowed and adapted from Amanda Ripley’s piece published in Time.


Best Eats in Friendship Heights

All of these spots are within walking distance and make great alternatives if you choose not to take advantage of meals provided by the Physicians Committee during the training.

Pete’s Apizza

Classic New Haven style pizza that has Daiya on the menu.

4940 Wisconsin Ave., N.W.


Indique Heights

Indian restaurant with great lunch buffet and many vegan options.

2 Wisconsin Circle


Whole Foods

Great hot bar and salad bar. There is also a Whole Foods on 40th Street in Tenleytown.

4420 Willard Ave.



Brown rice makes an appearance and is available as an option in your burrito, taco, or burrito bowl.

4471 Willard Ave.



Bagelry with lots of vegan options on the menu!
5504 Connecticut Ave., N.W.

Le Pain Quotidien
Serves simple, elegant boulangerie fare made with organic ingredients whenever possible, with lots of vegan options.
5310 Western Ave., N.W.


Other Great Spots in DC to Explore


Sticky Fingers

An-all vegan bakery is right next to the Columbia Heights Metro Station in DC. Offers delicious desserts and plenty of savory foods.

1370 Park Road, N.W.

Everlasting Life Café

Vegan Soul Food near Columbia Heights. This certainly isn’t low-fat, but the vegan mac-n-cheese and fried “chicken” are worth the trek.

2928 Georgia Ave., N.W.

Café Green

All vegan, organic, full-service restaurant and bar. Enjoy menu items using local, seasonal ingredients, plus a variety of raw selections, smoothies, and desserts.

1513 17th St., N.W.


Bar food with a heavy influence of BBQ thanks to the restaurant upstairs.

2471 18th St., N.W.


DC is known for its Ethiopian food. This restaurant has won numerous awards for its delicious vegan offerings. Plus, it’s in the heart of Adams Morgan—a neighborhood known for its nightlife.

2434 18th St., N.W.


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