Want ‘gut-friendly’ fast food? LEON opens first US restaurant in DC

WASHINGTON — London-based LEON, a fast food chain founded in 2004 with a goal of making fast food healthy and natural, will open its first U.S. location in downtown D.C. this month.

The LEON restaurant will occupy space at 1724 L Street, NW, in the Washington Square building.

LEON calls itself the pioneer in “naturally fast food,” and its Mediterranean-leaning menu includes falafel wraps, chicken, basil and pine nut salads, vegan burgers, crushed pea salad and yogurt sundaes.

The breakfast menu also includes smashed avocado and halloumi muffins, as well as honey and toasted seed oatmeal porridge.

Its online menu lets diners filter their potential choices by things like, “I don’t eat gluten,” “I’m vegan,” “I’m pregnant,” “I’d like a meal under 500 calories,” and “good for your gut.”

LEON was co-founded by former Proctor & Gamble executive John Vincent and is named after his father. It has 60 locations in the U.K., Norway and The Netherlands.

Why did he pick D.C. for the first U.S. location?

“D.C. feels like the most special of starts to our U.S. adventure,” Vincent said. “We have found the people, community and culture of D.C. very inspiring.”

Like its London restaurants, the D.C. location will be powered by sustainable energy. The chain has also removed all plastic straws and cutlery, and packaging is compostable.

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