CAVA - Like Chipotle but Mediterranean

Ended up at a CAVA this weekend whilst running holiday errands and casual meet-ups with folks.

It really is a Mediterranean Chipotle. Pick your bowl/pita and then move along the assembly line following the options available.

There are more options than Chipotle and the price point is essentially the same:

  • 7-8 grains and salad base options (including a commercially made pita)
  • 6 dips (this was a little confusing since they place it on top of the grains/salad and have dressing/sauces at the end)
  • 8 proteins to choose from
  • 9-12 toppings (avocado is extra)
  • 7 sauces or dressings to finish the bowl/pita with

The combinations are really limitless.

Grabbed a bowl with the following:

  • Base: super greens, saffron basmati, lentils
  • Dips: tzatziki, spicy feta, eggplant
  • Protein: harissa honey chicken, braised lamb
  • Toppings: pickled onions, roasted corn, tomato-cucumber, tomato-onion, pickled cucumbers, feta
  • Sauce/Dressings: vegan garlic sauce & lemon-dill vinaigrette

I have to say, it was pretty hefty and there were a lot of flavors. The chowpup I had with with me said he would prefer CAVA over Chipotle.

I think I may have been too overwhelmed by the volume of options available.

They also have “chef-curated” pre-set items for folks who don’t want to build their own. But from what I could tell, it’s so complicated for this new store that the employees haven’t memorized what’s in them so folks usually end up with a build your own option anyway.

It was interesting to say the least.


There are a number of these chains popping up over the last 5-10 years. The few times we had picked one we preferred Sajj over Cava

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