Judging (Soon to Open) Restaurants – Pret a Manger

Pret a Manger is set to open up at the corner of 11th and F Streets, NW relatively soon (Web site says mid-May). You can see their menu here. I’m wondering how this place compares to other sandwich shops like Au Bon Pain etc. Anyone every been to the 18th and Eye location (or one of the NYC locations)?

26 Comment

  • Would love to see one of these on U Street. They are all over London.

  • I went to some of these in Europe. They are pretty cool, very Starbuckish in style and looks and healthy / organic foods. Should be cool to have one here.

    • ah

      Much better food in London than Starbucks. More legitimate as a breakfast place rather than “just” a coffee place.

      While you’re on london/euro exports, how about checking out the Waggamama that’s coming to the Penn Quarter (in the old Ollsson’s, between Sei and Lifestyles USA)

  • I agree. I like their coffee.

    p.s. I miss London.

  • Better than Au Bon Pain. WAY better than Subway, primarily because Pret a Manger doesn’t have Subway’s odd wide-open-ass smell.

  • I’ve been to the one at Farr West. Pretty good. Average downtown lunch prices. Sometimes they give away free luches too. I’d go back.

  • The sandwiches are excellent; not a big fan of their coffee. Haven’t tried the soups.

  • This place is great. If I worked downtown I’d go here everyday for lunch. Pretty much what I did in London and it never got old.

  • Gotta be better than the nastiness that is Au Bon Pain.

  • I too went multiple times in London. Very good, better than Au Bon, way better in subway. Hopefully this will be the first of several.

    • In London, I checked out Pret a Manger in the hope they’d have something other than the usual mayonnaise-y sandwiches. No such luck.

      Maybe their US menu is different.

  • I dig the Pret in Farragut West. Their baguette sandwiches are delicious, including their egg salad and dried tomato breakfast sandwich. I like that you can get half portions of everything too. It has a European feel to it in that they use fresh ingredients and their proportions are not gluttonous.

  • I loved going to Pret in Europe, great fresh to-go options. I hopt it’s as good here. I think they’re owned by McDonald’s though if that matters to anyone.

  • They are not owned by Mcdonalds.

    McDonald’s did have a minority stake in the US branch,but sold it two years ago.

  • I’ve been to several in NY and love them. Glad to see that they are expanding to DC.

  • Hasn’t Pret a Manger been here for two years? At least in Eastern Market and Spring Valley….

  • When I was in London the exchange was close to 2:1, so I really hated going to Pret and paying 5 pounds, or close to ten dollars for a BLT. Funny enough, when Subway opened a location next to the Grad School I was attending, which was also close to a Pret, the lines for Subway ran out the door. Most of the Brits I knew hated Pret, but loved Subway. I think it partly had to do with the fact that there weren’t many places where you could buy sandwiches and choose your toppings – most places just sold pre-made sandwiches.(I was there several years ago though, which was before McDonald’s sold their interest, so I’m not sure what Pret is like now.)

  • I went to Pret a few times while I was living in England and thought it was a fairly reliable but unremarkable lunch option.

    I wonder if the UK and US menus are the same though– the Brits have quite a few sandwiches that those of us in the US are unlikely to get excited about (tuna and corn sandwiches come to mind). On the other hand, they also had some really delicious sandwiches like (hoisin duck) that would be pretty unusual here, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that…

  • I lived in London for 5 months. I’ve been to the Pret a Manger in London several times and maybe once or twice in New York.

    I seem to remember the food being gross -like the sandwiches were stale. I heard that from the day a Starbucks sandwich is amde to the day it’s sold can be up to several weeks. I’m guessing that this chain is the same. So no, I wouldn’t buy this stuff.

    And speaking of Wagamama, it’s just okay too… Fun place but the food was just so-so

    • They make all their sandwiches in the kitchen of each location every day. What doesn’t sell is given away to charity.

  • I’m addicted to their “Cobb” Salad. While a far cry from a true cobb, it’s a great salad – very filling and always fresh. I’m there once a week at least for it.

  • definitely better than scrubway or au bon or quiznos.

    they are all over london and i remember when i heard they were coming to the u.s. a few years back. glad they finally made it to the district!

  • Ate breakfast at one in London. I have to say I was very impressed. Some of the best ‘fast’ food I have noshed on.

  • I work near Farragut West station and go to Pret frequently. Like every sandwich and salad in town, I think its a bit overpriced. But I think it is very tasty and I love that you can get different sizes of sandwiches. It is very practical and easy.

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