Sandwich enthusiasts are celebrating the opening of the first Pret a Mangers California location earlier this month. The renowned London-based chain is famous for its convenient sandwiches and pastries. Situated at the corner of Le Conte Avenue and Westwood Boulevard, opposite the University of California Los Angeles campus, this marks the debut standalone cafe for this dining spot in California.

The cafe is the first of more than forty locations to open in California. Lots of foot traffic occurs at the Westwood location due to its proximity to UCLA and is situated on a block full of popular shops and restaurants.  Pret a Manger menu includes chicken and bacon sandwiches, tuna and cucumber baguettes, and blueberry and granola pots. With most sandwiches coming it around $10, they are a cheap and convenient option for UCLA students. Baked goods like cookies and croissants are also available alongside the restaurant’s signature organic coffee. 

Plenty of seating is inside, and the walls are adorned with nods to Los Angeles and Pret’s native London. According to SF Gate, the cafe was already filled with students and locals this week. 

In 2019, a small Pret a Manger opened in the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX. Still, aside from that, the Westwood location is the company’s first installment anywhere west of Chicago. The brand boasts over 650 international locations, and conquering the West Coast is the next stage of development. President and CEO of Dallas Holdings, Shane Thakar, revealed that most of the locations will be concentrated in Los Angeles and Orange County, with another storefront expected to open soon in the Studio City neighborhood of LA. Rumor has it that another Los Angeles location is also in the works and is expected to open at a ground-floor location in the Westfield Century City Mall. 

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Pret a Manger, which translates to French for “ready to eat,” was founded in London in 1983. The restaurant chain steadily grew and became popular in the city before expanding into the United States with a New York location in 2000. By 2016, 74 Pret a Manger storefronts across the United States already existed. Today, there are outposts of the chain in sixteen countries worldwide, including France, Canada, Germany, India, Italy, and Greece. Four hundred ninety-eight locations are in the United Kingdom, including Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. The brand is still strongly associated with London and has 291 locations in the city alone.

Since establishing shops in the United States in the early 2000s, Pret a Manger has significantly increased its presence nationwide. There are 58 storefronts across the East Coast, two in Chicago, and now the Westwood location in Los Angeles. Time will tell whether the brand will successfully become a part of West Coast culture the way it has elsewhere.