Fast-casual eateries took hold early in Washington, D.C. A slew of concepts modeling themselves loosely on Chipotle seemed to be launching or opening new branches every week to feed a long-standing demand for tastier and less-pricey lunch options. Today, the nation's capital has more fast-casual places per capita than any other U.S. city besides Las Vegas, and concepts including Chop't, Sweetgreen, Zoup, Chix, Thaaja, Newton Noodles, Vapiano, Potbelly, Cosi and Shophouse are vying for market share.

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