The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Calabash Teahouse & Cafe

Posted on June 02, 2016 by The VRG Blog Editor

Recently I had the extreme pleasure of dining at Calabash Tea & Tonic in Washington DC. It is difficult to put in to writing how wonderful this establishment truly is, so I deeply encourage everyone to go and try it for yourselves! When I am dining out the ambience of the venue is almost as important to me as the food, and as soon as I walked through the door I felt the warm, calm, and welcoming vibe of Calabash. Every menu item looked outstanding so it took me several minutes to decide what I wanted to eat. I finally settled on the Vegan “B”LT, made with toasted coconut “bacon,” a samosa, and a peanut butter – chocolate chip – oatmeal cookie. The coconut “bacon” on the Vegan “B”LT was an interesting meat substitution that I had not previously tasted, and I was surprised by how delicious it was paired with arugula, tomato, and a creamy sauce. The samosa was large and it had the perfect balance of spices. Being the sugar monster that I am, I of course had to order dessert and the cookie was the ooey-gooiest cookie I have ever had. Plus, I enjoyed that it was the combination of all my favorite cookies.

In addition to the delectable food, Calabash offers a wide variety of specialty teas. I paired my meal with the humorously named “Tea-yonce” which was made with ginger, lemongrass, and cayenne. I also sampled their freshly brewed elderberry kombucha. I was so impressed with the food that I did something I have never done at a dining establishment before – I introduced myself to the owner to personally thank her for creating such a remarkable restaurant. Her name is Sunyatta Amen and she is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. We got to talking and she told me that she is a 5th generation herbalist, a naturopath, and she comes from Jamaican and Cuban heritage. She believes in using food, plants, and teas as medicine and tools for wellness. When you order a tea or a tonic at Calabash, they don’t ask what you “want,” they ask how you’re feeling so they can help you figure out what your body needs. Sunyatta described Calabash as “the people’s pharmacy” and a “modern apothecary.” I could tell that Sunyatta deeply cares about her customers and their well being. Had I not been in a hurry to see the Smithsonian before closing time, I would have stayed at Calabash for several hours tasting more vegan food, sampling teas, and learning as much about herbs from Sunyatta as possible.

I left Calabash feeling happy, energized, and pleasantly full. I will absolutely be traveling back to Washington DC specifically to spend a day at Calabash as soon as I am able. I cannot recommend Calabash Tea & Tonic highly enough.

Calabash Tea & Tonic is located at 1847 7th St NW in Washington DC. They are open from 9:00am – 8:00pm every day. (202) 525-5386
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By Brigette Dumais



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