I still remember the iconic sight of my first burrito bowl being masterfully crafted right before my eyes.  Three years ago, Chipotle took over the nation and became (in my opinion) one of the best "fast food" chains in existence. Aside from its amazing burrito bowls, one aspect that allowed Chipotle to gain widespread appeal was its commitment to serving non-GMO food and its utilization of grass-fed animals.  While Chipotle has sparked a revolution in the food industry, another restaurant is beginning to take its place in the spotlight. CAVA in New York City is taking the country by storm with it's unique flavors and healthy food choices.

Locations and Information

CAVA, a Mediterranean restaurant, is currently located in eight states and will open in another three within the year.  While this restaurant is spreading at a rapid rate, it is (somehow) still not a household name.  This article will allow you to get ahead of the foodie curve and learn about what CAVA has to offer before the lines start running out the door.


Similar to Chipotle, CAVA dishes out your food right before your eyes, allowing you to tailor your bowl to taste. The great thing about this restaurant is that there are amazing options for healthy and non-healthy eaters (yep that would be me). The range of possible combinations and flavors will keep you coming back for years and give you a new experience with every bite.  Without further ado, here is what CAVA can offer you (haha that rhymed).

The Mouth-Watering Menu

Let me set up the scene: Imagine yourself in a hipster, Chipotle-esque restaurant, stomach growling, and the smell of fresh falafel and lamb meatballs filling your nostrils. To start off, a worker will ask you what you would like the base of your bowl to be.  You can choose a salad, grain, half salad half grain, etc.  (Make sure to ask for a free Pita on the side).  The salad choices include SuperGreens, Organic Arugula, Spinach, Romaine, and SplendidGreens. The grains range from Saffron Basmati Rice and Brown Basmati Rice to Black Lentils (shout out to my healthy eaters).

As you make your way through the line, you get to choose three dips to dollop on top of your salad/grain base.  The unique options include: tzatziki, crazy feta, hummus, harissa, roasted red pepper, and eggplant.  

Next, your server will ask you to choose, my favorite part, the protein.  Try your best to keep from drooling over the freshly-made falafel balls, grilled chicken, lamb meatballs, grilled meatballs, beef, lamb, and seasonal vegetables.

Then, last but definitely not least, comes the toppings and dressings.  There are too many options to list so I am just going to mention a few of my favorites.  For toppings: olives, tomato + onion salad, pita crisps, banana peppers, and mint.  For dressings: green harissa, sriracha greek yogurt, and yogurt dill.  

I can remember taking my first bite of CAVA more vividly than I can taking my first bite of Chipotle; The only emotion running through my mind was regret; regret that I didn't know about CAVA sooner. The flavor and texture of the pita crisps along with the falafel balls, toppings, and dressings came together to make not only a delicious meal, but one that made me feel good afterwards. 

Exotic Drinks

To go along with your heavenly bowl, CAVA has some of the hippest, freshly-made beverage options.  While these vary from season to season, I highly recommend the Blackberry Orange Shrub, Apple Cinnamon Sage, Green Tea, Cucumber Mint, and Rosemary Limeade. 

So...What are you waiting for? Catch the next train to NYC and see what all the hype is about! I guarantee that CAVA's unique flavors and healthy food will keep you coming back for more!