by Grace Fiorella, Staff Writer, April 2021
Whether the food is better at Cava or Sweetgreen is one of the most heated debates at Nobles. Legacy Place, the after-school hangout spot of students in Dedham, has both restaurants. Most students at Nobles have visited one or both and have their own strong opinion on which is better. I’m sure those opinionated students could be easily angered and prone to ranting about their favorite spot, but I see no debate: Cava is the better restaurant. Cava has the better food. Cava is the better choice.
To summarize, Cava is advertised as a Meditteranean restaurant with healthy, casual fast food. In short, it’s like a mix between Chipotle and Sweetgreen. Sweetgreen is advertised as a healthy, casual fast food restaurant that serves salads.
To start, Cava just has more variety. No matter the mood, there is always something for your appetite. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, have any other dietary restrictions or none at all, Cava has numerous options and varieties of meals for you. Cava is also nut-free and careful about allergies to make the customers’ experience safe and pleasant. The way I see it, at Sweetgreen, you can only be in the mood for a salad, which most people are not typically in the mood for. Sweetgreen also uses major allergens in their product and cooking, which could possibly be unsafe for customers.
The array of options at Cava begin with a base – salads, greens and grains, grain bowls, and even pitas. At Sweetgreen, your only base is a salad. Even their warm bowls and plates have a salad base. If you’re in the mood for grains or pitas, Sweetgreen cannot help you.
Cava also has dressings and dips, something else that Sweetgreen lacks. In Cava’s display of dips, they offer roasted eggplant, tzatziki, crazy feta, hummus, harissa, and red pepper hummus. They are to die for. Sweetgreen does not have any of these options and when I eat there, I always find something missing in my meal. Spoiler alert: it’s the dips! The food at Cava has more variation and suits people with vast and minimal palates.
However, the protein section is what really makes Cava stand out. Falafel, spicy lamb meatballs, honey chicken, roasted vegetables, chicken, meatballs, lamb — there are just so many options to choose from! Sweetgreen only offers chicken, tofu, and steelhead. It pales in comparison to Cava’s array of delicious proteins.
And then there are the toppings. Cava has corn, feta, lentil tabbouleh, tomatoes, olives, cucumbers, and peppers – they once again make up for the categories in which Sweetgreen falls short.
The superior Cava menu is easier to manage with its buffet-style serving. Sweetgreen has more of a “name”-based menu, which makes it harder for picky eaters. They have pre-named salads and bowls with pre-set included ingredients. Cava allows for customization. You can pick and choose what you want without worrying about the menu. It’s all your choice! While at Sweetgreen, picky eaters often have to request the removal or addition of something else to go with their named order. At Cava, you’re spared all the confusion and even get out quickly when you are on a time crunch.
Another reason why Cava is better than Sweetgreen is that it has better hours. Cava closes at 10 pm, whereas Sweetgreen closes at 9 pm. This one-hour difference proves that Cava goes the extra mile when you need food late at night after a performance or game. The longer hours highlight the dedication the restaurant has to its customers.
Cava also fills you up more. With its wide selection of proteins, it leaves your hunger satisfied longer than Sweetgreen. This fullness also helps you forget you ate anything remotely close to a salad – it feels and is like a full-course meal.
The taste is also just stronger. Sometimes at Sweetgreen, I often find myself eating to just eat rather than to enjoy the food. At Cava, I appreciate the taste of every bite and savor it.
And while I’m savoring the flavor, I don’t have to worry about calories. Sweetgreen broadcasts the number of calories in each bowl, but Cava allows you to check the nutritional facts of your meal on their app or online, only if you want to. It is easy and accessible if you want to know what you are eating and putting in your body, but not something to worry about in the store.
Finally, the drinks at Cava appeal to those who want something healthy and delicious. I often find myself looking at the drinks in Sweetgreen thinking, What is even in this? After tasting them, I realize they are too healthy to be good. The juices at Cava are the perfect blend between healthy and scrumptious. The teas at Sweetgreen are inferior to the juices at Cava, in my opinion.
Overall, the prices are similar at Cava and Sweetgreen, but the taste and variety are what really separates the two places. For a meal at Legacy after school, Cava is definitely the better, tastier option.
Read the opposing opinion by clicking HERE.