Leon is a beloved chain of fast casual restaurants throughout London offering mediterranean themed food. Leon aims to make fast food healthy. The elegantly simple “Eat Food, Not too Much, Many Plants“ guidance from Michael Pollan is quoted as the inspiration for their veggie rich menu. Things to love about Leon include –
- Lots of gluten free and other allergen free dishes
- Lots of vegan and vegetarian options
- Use of olive oil, spices and herbs for flavour
- A kids menu designed for low sugar, salt and fat
- Ethical sourcing and local sourcing policies
- Sustainable Restaurant Association membership
- Super simple online menu with filters for dietary needs and preferences
- Better Brownies (they really are!)
Leon International Expansion
Imagine if a gluten free genie granted you a wish. Not just any wish though. You can choose one existing UK chain restaurant with a great gluten free menu and have it expand overseas. What would you choose?
Honest Burgers would be nice. Pizza Express or Rosso Pomodoro maybe? Pho? Good choices! I’d wish for Leon. Simple. Quick Food. Tasty Food. Healthy Food. Reassuring business ethics. When travelling, all exactly what I want.
Turns out that genie does actually exist, kinda, in the form of private equity firm Spice. Spice has provided investment funding for a massive expansion plan. Leon plans to open another 50 sites in the UK by 2020 and more sites overseas. So Leon, which opened its first first outlet in London in 2004 and now has an empire of 45 venues will start appearing overseas. There will be a Leon in the US before the end of 2017. The best bit, for me at least, is yet to come . . . .
Leon Schiphol Airport
I travel to The Netherlands frequently on business. I have simply come to accept that there is no food available within Amsterdam Schiphol Airport that is safe for me to eat and that I would want to eat. Until now! Until Leon opened on both sides of the departure gates. Count them! Two! Woohoo!
The Leon Schiphol menu is very similar to the menu in UK outlets. However the ingredients are almost all sourced locally within the Netherlands, in keeping with the Leon local sourcing policy. This also means the eggs will be free range, milk organic and meat sourced from higher welfare standards farms.
My beloved Crushed Pea Salad is missing but the Hot Boxes and Salad Boxes range is present. So too are the baked fries. I’m sorry to keep you waiting, I know what is important here and the answer is yes! The Better Brownies have also travelled! They really are Better Brownies. Better than most. Fudgy, chewy, slighty nutty, slighty orangey, densely chocolatey and sprinkled with unmelted chocolate chunks. There is a legend that says the Leon Better Brownie was the result of an error in an early batch. Chocolate was not fully melted as intended, leaving lumps of solid chocolate throughout. If true, glory to whomever made that error!
Leon Schiphol Airside & Landside
There are actually two Leon’s inside Schiphol. One is in the Schiphol Plaza area prior to Departures otherwise known as ‘Landside. The other is in Departure Lounge 1 known as ‘Airside’. Lounge 1 is only accessible if you are flying to a Schengen Zone Country (Europe).
If you are flying to UK, Ireland, US or a Rest of the World destination you cannot get to Lounge 1 so make sure you get your Better Brownie before security.