Julian Metcalfe, the man who brought Pret a Manger to New York, is about to bring us another gift from across the pond. Anyone who has been to England—or has enjoyed a stopover at Heathrow—will be familiar with the ubiquitous British fast food company Itsu and its colorful butterfly logo (they're about as easy to spot in London as Duane Read is in NYC).
The Asian-inspired restaurant chain offers up healthy grab-and-go options including noodle dishes, soups, salads, dumplings and sushi. Metcalfe announced in a statement that Itsu will be expanding outside of England for the first time with a spot in midtown. The new location is set to open sometime in 2018 at 530 Seventh Ave, where, conveniently, there is already a Pret a Manger.
This is probably not going to be the last you hear of Itsu. Since its founding in 1991, Pret has quickly spread to become a global name, now boasting more than 50 locations in NYC alone, and Itsu might be on the same track. Even if an English company bringing sushi to NYC seems counterintuitive, I can personally vouch for the miso soup and dark chocolate covered rice cakes—both long-time airport staples for me. The chain, whose motto is "Eat Beautiful," focuses on nutritious foods with low calorie and saturated fat counts. Itsu claims that their dishes help you "feel and look beautiful too."
It's quite a lot of "beautifuls" for fast-food sushi. Still, ever-busy New Yorkers should appreciate a healthy option for quick grub that doesn't involve choking down a $12 green juice. And it's bound to beat rolling the dice with mysteriously-colored deli sushi.