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We tried the huge new Pret menu drop and here’s what’s good (and not so good)

Pret’s new SS23 menu boasts a massive 19 new items, and we’ve eaten them all

Leonie Cooper
Written by
Leonie Cooper
Food and Drink Editor, Time Out London
Pret
Jess Hand
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You can keep your extremely specific seasonal streetwear launches, because the S/S2023 drop we’re genuinely most excited about is the new Pret a Manger menu. 

With 19 brand new bits, it marks the biggest range of new offerings from the high street hero since 2019. This is extremely large news in the al desk-o lunch game, not least because the new menu could come to define your snacking style for many months. 

There are salads, wraps, toasties, rolls, bloomers, puddings and cakes, and we here at Time Out have eaten each and every single one of them, so we can let you know what’s hot and what you definitely don’t want to cop. 

Read on for a perhaps overly detailed guide to everything from their King Charles-ready Coronation Chicken Bloomer, to the Avo Brunch Rye Roll and Spicy Salami Toastie.  

Pret
Jess Hand

1. Chocolate Espresso Cake 

Who the hell gets cake from Pret? Well from now on, we do – possibly daily. Maybe even hourly. And it’s all down to this immense hunk of coffee cake. Thrillingly and perversely moist, this wildly seductive slab of heaven comes complete with mega chunks of chocolate and a thick layer of coffee buttercream. We are in love and there’s nothing you can do to tear us apart. Leonie Cooper

FIVE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

2.  Veggie New Yorker Bloomer

Creamy, sharp cheddar, tangy American mustard, a satisfying crunch from the pickles; the Veggie New Yorker delivers everything you’ve ever wanted from a Pret sarnie. I truly don’t know why they ever took it off the menu, and the news that it’s making a triumphant return genuinely might be the best thing that has happened to me all week. I’m deadly serious. If there’s anything at all to fault, it’s that the advertised ‘crispy’ onions invariably go a bit moist after a few hours cosying up to that tart red cabbage. But I’m nitpicking here because frankly this is a God-tier Pret order. I love you, Veggie New Yorker. Never disappear like that again. Rosie Hewitson

FIVE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

3. Korean-Style Chilli Chicken Salad

Pret is coming for Itsu with its very own chilli chicken combo. Boasting a Crossfit connoisseur’s combo of brown rice, quinoa, edamame, big strong spinach leaves, fresh mint, dainty radish slices, and some raw, naked protein in the shape of chicken and a whole egg, this is truly a big bowl of health. The BBQ spice on the chicken is hotter than your average and extra chilli and lime dressing zings with intent. Very, very good. Leonie Cooper

FIVE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

4. Curried Chickpea & Mango Wrap

The best Pret sarnies are fresh, colourful and somehow make you feel quite virtuous despite the fact that you’ve just spent nine quid you didn’t really need to on lunch and it’s only Tuesday. This wrap is exactly that: creamy chickpeas, a warm hum from the ‘coronation’ sauce, a bit of zing from the pickled onions, big crunchy slabs of cucumber, just the right balance of sweetness from the mango chutney. It’s maybe a touch heavy on the sauce – there’s a danger it might end up going a bit soggy by teatime – but otherwise this is a solid addition to the menu. Rosie Hewitson 

FOUR STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

5. Vietnamese-Style Prawn Salad 

More tang than a pack of Haribo, and enough veg to fill you up while still patting yourself on the back for eating healthy. Your main flavours are lime and chilli heat, your mean textures are red cabbage crunch and cucumber snap. Big flavours, big textures, big hit. Eddy Frankel

FOUR STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

6. Black Forest Dessert Pot 

Unexpectedly contrasting in its textures, this miniature 1970s pudding pretty much does everything right. The granularity of the chocolate cake is offset marvellously by the cherry stuff. Think of it as a Gü pot that’s got itself all dolled up for a night on the tiles. It’s out to impress. And it does! Joe Mackertich 

FOUR STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

7. Pesto, Mozzarella & Roasted Tomato Toastie 

Like all of Pret’s toasties, this one comes sandwiched between two slices of standard seeded bread. Sometimes you get a mouthful of straight crust, but it mostly makes for a pretty damn decent toastie. Filling-wise, the toms are salty and tangy and the mozzarella has a respectable cheese pull, made all the better by a thick layer of pesto and fresh basil. The slices of un-roasted red pepper are a strange addition and I still don’t know if I’m mad about it or not, but they did provide a welcome crunch in what is otherwise a sandwich of softness. Ella Doyle

FOUR STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

8. Korean Style Sticky Mushroom Salad

A solid salad that’ll satisfy your stomach grumbles thanks to a healthy serving of brown rice and quinoa. The slaw and roasted mushrooms add a sprinkle of Asian fusion flavour, with the chilli and lime sauce adding extra zing. There’s also a boiled egg thrown into the mix, which gives proceedings a hint of French flavour. Highly decent. Jess Phillips

FOUR STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

9. Spicy Salami Toastie

We’re not sure if this would pass official muster on the mean streets of Milan, but this spicy salami toastie brings the goods when it comes to seriously melty mozzarella. The salami isn’t as spicy as we’d hoped – even with a sprinkle of chilli salt to up the heat – but if you’re looking for hot cheese, this bloomer’s your boy. Leonie Cooper

THREE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

10. Avo Brunch Rye Roll 

Tasty but messy. Take heed: this is NOT a grab-and-go lunch. Taking a bite caused slices of avocado and boiled egg to spill out all over my hands. There’s also a dusting of flour on the roll that got on my face. But the bread is nice and fresh, the chipotle ketchup adds a nice kick of flavour, and it’s stuffed with Pret’s distinct brand of tangy sundried tomatoes. If you’re into Pret’s egg and tomato breakfast baguette, this is a great contender. Grace Beard

THREE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

11. Greek Salad 

Sure, a small salad like this is never going to fill you up properly, and though we long for a high street Greek salad to be served in the traditional way, with an entire block of feta for you to smash into wantonly, this is a particularly decent take on the Hellenic standard. Crisp greens, a tart, tangy dressing and even some hidden sundried tomatoes in the mix, we’re not quite sure who in this economy is getting sides with their lunch, but if you’re only a wee bit hungry, this is a winner. Leonie Cooper  

THREE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

12. Pret’s Coronation Egg Bloomer 

Overpowered by the taste of one pesky condiment (mango chutney) which makes the sarnie too sweet. There’s a good range of ingredients, including positive additions of fresh coriander, pickled onions and crunchy onion bits, but the overall taste is not giving ‘coronation’. It was lacking in mayo, salt and that smoky curried flavour you’d be expecting in coronation dressing, alas. India Lawrence 

THREE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

13. Salted Caramel Dessert Pot 

A respectable addition to the Pret-ty Puds sub-genre, this smooth inverted mound of sweetness is objectively better than the chain’s chocolate mousse and lemon cheesecake, but falls some way short of the benchmark set by the new Black Forest Dessert Pot (we stan). The vanilla cheesecake and biscuit base are pleasingly light, but there’s not a huge amount to it beyond the sugar hit. Fine. Joe Macktertich 

THREE STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

14. Mexican-Style Chipotle Chickpea Salad

The chickpea game is strong with this one. It’s just a shame that you have to hook-a-duck them from mediocre and vinegary salad greenery – a few pine nuts or sunflower seeds wouldn’t go amiss. You get about two tomatoes and a sliver of avo for your money. Definitely more of an appetiser than the main event. Jess Phillips

TWO STARS 

Pret
Jess Hand

15. Coronation Chicken Bloomer

If it wasn’t filled with radioactive yellow gloopy stuff, I’m really not sure I’d know this was a coronation chicken sandwich. It’s not that it tastes bad, it just lacks the curried kick you want from a sarnie like this. The pickles try their best to muscle in and bring a bit of tang to the party, but it’s not enough. Disappointingly bland. Alex Plim

TWO STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

16. Korean-Style Chicken & Slaw Wrap 

The flavour is great, but the format is all wrong. Pret’s Korean-style BBQ chicken more than proved its worth in the new Chilli Chicken salad (see above), but in a wrap things quickly lose their star power. The cucumber batons are too big, and the wrap-to-filling ratio seems absurd. Too much dough, not enough juicy middle. Get the salad, and snub this. Leonie Cooper

TWO STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

17. Chicken & Stuffing Baguette 

Stuffing? At this time of year? A deeply unseasonal offering, this festive baguette seems more than a little out of place in Pret’s spring menu. This might have been alright if it was a real showstopper, but it’s pretty damn bland, with mayo, chicken and a barely perceptible herby pork stuffing. A hard pass. Leonie Cooper

TWO STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

18. Korean Style Mushroom & Avocado Wrap 

Squeaky chunks of cucumber, squishy roasted chestnut mushrooms and a crunchy-ish veneer of salad give this a strikingly busy texture, but the weapons-grade Korean BBQ sauce drowns out pretty much every flavour beyond the sweet rye wrap. If there was avocado in this it was beyond my powers to detect – perhaps the sauce had simply nuked it. I don’t think I’ve ever had a British-made, Asiatic sauce-based wrap that wasn’t essentially spoiled by the overpowering sauce and this was sadly no exception. Andrzej Łukowski  

TWO STARS

Pret
Jess Hand

19. Italian Deli Bloomer 

Pesto is the overwhelming flavour of this otherwise bland and lacklustre sandwich. For £5 (or whatever it costs) there is a shameful lack of filling here. The layer of Greve cheese is so flimsy you can barely taste it, and the same could be said for the salami. The bread is thinly sliced and flavourless. It’s no better than the sad sandwiches I make at home when I’m trying to save money on lunch. India Lawrence

ONE STAR

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