Protein Bar Opens Downtown

The quinoa-focused eatery joins a bustling fast-casual food area.

The Protein Bar unveils a third location. Photograph courtesy of Protein Bar via Facebook.

Signs have been up for months now at the new Protein Bar location at 1011 19th Street, Northwest. On Thursday at 11 AM, the Chicago-based shake-and-quinoa-salad spot finally threw open the doors, offering free “bar-ritos” to the first 51 customers who darken them.

This will be Washington’s third Protein Bar, which owner/weight-loss success story Matt Matros created in 2009. The first one, at 398 Seventh Street, Northwest in Penn Quarter, came to us in August of 2012. A second opened at 800 North Glebe Road in Ballston in late January 2013.

Breakfast options include quinoa bowls and oatmeal, while lunch involves “grilled” and “chilled” protein bar-ritos, salads, and more quinoa bowls—among those the “health Parm” with chicken, marinara, and Parmesan cheese. You can also pick food and shakes up for dinner; Protein Bar keeps the lights on until 8 PM.

The arrival of the new spot brings another healthy option to what’s becoming something of a fast-casual hub. Potbelly and Corner Bakery, the intersection’s longstanding monuments to mediocre midday dining, have been joined in the past few months by locations of Sweetgreen and Energy Kitchen on L Street. Around the corner, G Street Food draws crowds not willing to wait it out at what has long been the best lunch choice in the area: The Greek Deli. Across the street from the new Protein Bar, Boloco serves up customizable burritos. Certainly not as health-focused as Protein Bar’s quinoa-stuffed wraps, they are nonetheless delicious.

Protein Bar. 1011 19th St., NW. 202-887-0100. Open Monday through Friday from 7 to 8 and Saturday from 10 to 4.