July 29, 2008

Sticky Fingers Bakery

Posted in brunch, cupcakes, dessert, eating out, Uncategorized at 7:40 am by veganalects

There are Philadelphia vegans, New York vegans, Portland vegans (of course), Texas vegans, and even Canada vegans. But where in the blogosphere are the DC vegans? I don’t want to say there aren’t any, but I haven’t seen the US capital make more than a cameo appearance on any of the vegan blogs I read. Further, vegan publications consistently overlook DC. Herbivore travel issue, anyone? Milwaukee made the destination list, but we got skipped! (And it’s not like Herbivore was trying to win points for obscure locations—Portland, San Francisco, and NYC all made the list. Who needs a vegan guide to Portland, for god’s sake?)

Anyway, to bring this rant to a point, I live in DC (well, the suburbs thereof) and I think it’s a great place to be vegan. There are plenty of restaurants and markets in the area with wide vegan selections, but what I find really exciting is to look at a menu and realize I can order anything on it. It doesn’t happen often. And what I find really really exciting is when that menu primarily comprises sweets. Enter Sticky Fingers.

Sticky Fingers Bakery has been a DC vegan staple for a few years now, but the old location near Dupont Circle was…well, kind of dingy. It occupied a small, rather dark basement store. One went for the apple tart, not for the atmosphere. But it recently moved to as-hip-as-Dupont-once-was Columbia Heights, and the new place is beautiful. It’s a real café, it’s light and cheery, and I think it may have an expanded menu, too. I don’t normally go for pink, but it works.

I went to Sticky Fingers twice over the course of a week, purely to fulfill my duty to you and DC’s reputation among spoiled Portlanders, and here is what I ate.

Actually, I didn’t eat this chocolate peanut butter cupcake. My friend did. She was craving peanut butter and to the best of my knowledge enjoyed it.

This I did eat. It’s an almond crème cupcake and it was very satisfying. It made me want to go home and bake some immediately, but instead I just went back to Sticky Fingers two days later. Whoo!

After I ate the cupcake it occurred to me to eat breakfast. My friend pointed out the breakfast sandwich. This ain’t your mama’s Egg McMuffin. It’s your vegan aunt’s Egg McMuffin: vegan egg, vegan sausage, vegan vaguely cheesy sauce. That explanation makes it sound kind of shady, but it was actually quite good. (Never having consumed an Egg McMuffin, however, I cannot compare the two.)

Finally, I had to have Sticky Fingers’s signature item, the sticky bun. It’s their trademark for a reason; I can make good cupcakes myself, but this was truly a treat. I recommend putting it in the microwave for ten seconds—it almost feels oven-fresh.

There was a surprise treat in here, too. Can you find it? (Ooh, it’s just like I SPY.) If you said the latte, you win nothing. The latte was one of the best I’ve ever had. Vegan lattes are harder to get right than dairy lattes because both the beans and the soymilk must be good; I’ve found that even good cafés often have inferior soymilk. Yet another advantage of the all-vegan institution—it does not just humor vegans but caters to us. Here’s hoping that this post single-handedly attracts a mass migration of vegans to the DC area, creating a vegan community to rival Frisco’s. Our motto: “Better than Portland.”


  1. Vegan Dad said,

    Yes, Sticky Fingers rocks! I visited there (and blogged about it) earlier this year. You should also check out Federal Vegan (www.federalvegan.blogspot.com)–a fellow D.C. blogger.

  2. Soy latte perfection?! Oh my gosh, I wanna go to D.C. I’ve heard that some of the Sticky Fingers baristas are really good. Why must it be so hard for us to get a good latte? It’s the worst feeling to pay $4 for a small cup of crap.

    As for your treats and breakfast? Wow, all of that looks delicious! I was never, ever intrigued by the egg McMuffin either, but I think it would be fun to try a vegan version! Your photos are gorgeous, and your friend’s cupcake looks especially sinful. Mmm.

  3. I always see their ads in Veg News and SOOO WISH I could go there. I’ve been to DC twice, but both time before I was vegan (I was vegetarian then, but it’s easy to be a vegetarian just about anywhere). Now I wanna go back and eat at Sticky Fingers! Especially the Eggless Mcmuffin!

  4. Indignant Son of Milwaukee said,

    I can’t let pass without response your oh-so-subtle implication that Milwaukee is an “obscure location” (“Milwaukee made the destination list, but we got skipped! (And it’s not like Herbivore was trying to win points for obscure locations”…}. As you know far better than most people in the world, Milwaukee (the one in Wisconsin, not Milwaukie, the differently-spelled suburb of Portland) is one of the grand locations in the US of A, possibly its spiritual heartland. It lies at the confluence of the Milwaukee, Kinnickinnic, and Menomenee Rivers, and of what other cities can THAT truthfully be said? It has a large and quite good antiquarian bookstore in the airport, and of what other cities can THAT be said? (Not to mention a Harley-Davidson outlet store in the airport which sells little biker hats for dogs.) And Milwaukee is the home of your 106-year-old Aunt Belle and you near-step-grandmother Harriet (and of what other cities…?) Admittedly, its food has not generally been vegan-friendly, to say the least, featuring such traditional regional dishes as fish fries at Serb Hall and genuine Green Bay chili – but I would like to point out to you that the last time you were in Milwaukee, you asked at the airport for a vegan friendly restaurant and were directed forthwith to a terrific place where you were quickly satisfied and actually quite happy.

  5. veganalects said,

    Vegan Dad- I saw your post about Sticky Fingers! That’s what made me want to try the breakfast sandwich. And thanks for the tip about a fellow DC vegan.

    Ruby Red Vegan- You should definitely make it out to DC, if only for Sticky Fingers (no, there’s much more than that). I hate wasting money on bad lattes, too, and it happens far too often.

    Bianca- I hope you get to come up again sometime. It’s worth a visit.

    Indignant Son of Milwaukee, aka Dad- I just meant that I think DC is a more obvious choice for a vegan travel issue than Milwaukee, and Herbivore clearly wasn’t avoiding obvious choices. I’m sure it has some great vegan-friendly places, but I think DC should be ranked right below the vegan giants.

  6. Lydia said,

    Hi there,
    I just wanted to say that I have spent the summer in DC for an internship, and I have been quite happy with its vegan-friendliness. Sticky Fingers has been a blessing (even my omnivore husband was obsessed with the vegan club), but even apart from it, I have had no trouble keeping myself fed. It’s too bad that in a week I have to go back to the land of cheese. I’ll be sure to talk up DC as the new vegan mecca when I get home.

  7. moss said,

    just curious, what did the egg part consist of?

  8. DC Veg(A)n said,

    Sad thing is Sticky Fingers is part of the gentrification of Columbia Heights what used to be a cool mostly working class latino neighborhood is turning into a ritzy high priced shopping district and former residents have been driven out or are being driven out. Though their stuff is really really really really good, but it is also really really really expensive and a rare treat. Other great places to check out that aren’t part of these new gentrifiers are Java Green (around K street, I recommend the Jobche Noodles with spicy chicken and also don’t tip in the jar apparently the owner takes from the tip jar though maybe that has changed)
    New Amsterdam Falafel Shop (late night awesomeness with unlimited toppings though you cannot double top and pretty cheap in Adams Morgan)
    Soul Veg (near Howard University their mac and cheeze is amazing though I think because of messed up religious practices they don’t treat women who work their very well but don’t quote me on that)
    Harmony Cafe (in former slave port turned yuppie shopping area Harmony is not all vegan or vegetarian but they have a lot of vegan fake meats stuff and other veg food that is amazing and considering it’s location it is really cheap and really good and not stuck up georgetown eats)
    Also Bens Chili Bowl (a fricken D.C. monument as far as most people are concerned they have vegan chili and fries that is it but it is good though sadly the list of people who eat free got extended and now Obama who has no history at all with the place except eating there ONCE (and plus he is loaded)recently got added to a list that included Bill Cosby and Bill Cosby alone (who has money but also has a long awesome history with the place and his pictures line the walls)
    Peking Express (not far from BCB on U Street, has a lot of TVP stuff and good veggie dishes along with meat…they do Yu Shiang/garlic sauced Eggplant right no other useless veggies just sauce and lovely purple eggplant so damn good!)

    Also I would venture outside of the district too rockville for two awesome places.
    1. The Vegetable Garden (pure awesomeness I got the crispy beef and it tasted like real crispy beef and it was not they are all vegan and really really really really really awesome they do great veg sushi!)
    2. Terrys Healthy Foods (if you want any fake meat or seafood of any kind Terry has it and he is also really nice and honest, most stuff is vegan some of it has egg I think but it is all really good and supplies most vegan places around here with things like Vegan Wings on sticks and Vegan Chicken Hams and even Shrimp and large pork logs that make really great vegan pork dumplings) Though his small warehouse is only open on weekends you can call him the number is in the vegdc guide!
    and one last one on the College Park campus of UMD, the Maryland Food Co-op, a worker owned/operated volunteer friendly co-op specializing in vegan and vegetarian food with a really great handmade sandwich line (that does have turkey slices turkey salad and tuna salad as the only meat in the store other than that it is vegetarian and mostly vegan and really awesome and worth supporting!

    Veg on!

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