First came the Chipotle-ization of everything, and then the Sweetgreen-ification. Now, rather than emulate their predecessors, a new wave of fast-casual concepts is doing their own thing.
These up-and-coming concepts remain true to the fast-casual tenets of convenience and high-quality food at an affordable price. But the chefs and restaurateurs behind them have applied a personal stamp to these brands and are attempting to forge a new path, whether elevating the lesser-known dishes of their native culture, taking plant-based menus mainstream or finding a new spin on what’s already popular (we’re talkin’ to you, Chinese take-out).
Here are seven concepts riding their own wave that we think are worth watching.