Cava –– originally called Cava Mezze Grille –– is redefining fast-casual food stateside, delivering hungry Americans affordable, customizable Mediterranean classics. With locally-sourced ingredients, the Cava menu is crafted to provide guests with fresh, nutritious foods. Cava offers an abundance of healthy, plant-based, vegan-friendly menu options, with everything from vegan bowls to pitas to sides.

Founded by Ted Xenohristos, Ike Grigoropoulos, and Dimitri Moshovitis, Cava caters to hungry guests looking to eat healthier. The three childhood friends learned everything they know about cooking from their nonnas and uncles, and in 2006, the three decided to team up and open Cava. For years, the three operated three restaurants in the Washington, D.C. area, until the brand gained national attention and began its national expansion. Today, there are 133 locations nationwide.

Everything That's Vegan at Cava Mezze Grill

Despite the meat and dairy options on the menu, Cava is one of the most vegan-friendly restaurants open today. Guests can substitute for fully plant-based meals, and most importantly, diners can customize their orders to be completely vegan. Anyone who visits Cava can adjust their meal to fit their dietary preferences, allergies, and tastebuds. Whatever you're ordering, make sure to not miss the skhug, Cava's specialty hot sauce, to finish your favorite meal.

Vegan Bowls and Pitas at Cava

  • Crispy Falafel Pita: This vegan sandwich is filled with hummus, roasted eggplant, pickles, cabbage saw, tomato and onion, and falafel complete with both skhug and garlic dressing.
  • Lentil Avocado Bowl: This plant-based option comes packed with avocado, spinach, super greens, falafel, roasted veggies, hummus, roasted eggplant, pickled onion, cucumber, lentil tabbouleh, and cabbage slaw that's topped with both skhug and garlic dressing.

Vegan Kids Menu a tCava

  • Kid’s Mini Pita: Served with a snack and a drink, kids can get one grain, one spread, one protein, two toppings, and a dressing.

Vegan Sides at Cava

  • Hummus
  • Pita Chips
  • Side Pita

Customize Your Meal to Be Vegan at Cava

Meal Options

  • Grain Bowl: Hefty, nutrient-rich bowl served with your choice of black lentils, brown basmati rice, RighRice, or saffron basmati rice.
  • Grains & Greens: Your favorite grain and salad greens together!
  • Mini Pita: A mini pita meal that makes an excellent snack!
  • Pita: Large warm pita for your favorite sandwich.
  • RightRice: A high protein and high fiber grain made from lentils, chickpeas, and peas.
  • Salad: Your pick of super greens, spinach, romaine, splendidgreens, or arugula.

Vegan Proteins at Cava

  • Falafel: Classic fried balls made from chickpeas and seasoned with parsley and other herbs.
  • Roasted Vegetables: A medley of Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and carrots.
  • Roasted White Sweet Potato: Sweet potato cooked with olive oil, paprika, salt, and coriander.

Dairy-Free Spreads and Dips at Cava

  • Harissa: This traditional spicy spread is made from peppers and tomatoes.
  • Hummus: Cava's specialty spread made with chickpeas, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and tahini.
  • Roasted Eggplant: The Roasted Eggplant spread is mixed with garlic, onion, and parsley.
  • Roasted Red Pepper Hummus: Cava's traditional hummus recipe mixed with roasted red peppers for an extra kick!

Vegan Toppings and Add-ons at Cava

  • Avocado
  • Cabbage Slaw
  • Fire-Roasted Corn
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lentil Tabbouleh
  • Persian Cucumber
  • Pickled Onions
  • Salt Brined Pickles
  • Shredded Romaine
  • Tomato & Cucumber Salad
  • Tomato & Onion Salad
  • Pita Crisps

Dairy-Free Dressings at Cava

  • Garlic Dressing
  • Greek Vinaigrette
  • Hot Harissa Vinaigrette
  • Lemon Herb Tahini
  • Preserved Lemon Vinaigrette (Limited Availability)
  • Skhug
  • Tahini Caesar

Eating Plant-Based is Good For Your Health

Visiting Cava for lunch or dinner makes eating healthier more accessible than ever. Guests can pick their meal components, packing in plant-based protein rather than meat alternatives. Avoiding meat and dairy options altogether help keep your body healthier for longer. Eating a mostly plant-based diet earlier in life can prolong life expectancy by over 10 years, whereas those who regularly eat red or processed meats have a 13 or 9 percent high risk of early death, respectively.

Adding more plant-based options to your diet can lower the risk of several diseases, including cancer. One study suggests that choosing plant protein and avoiding meat and dairy protects your gut health and improves your overall well-being. Other research suggests that eating more whole grains, lentils, beans, nuts, and soybeans helps control blood sugar, improve weight management, and offer protective nutrients to stay healthy.

For more plant-based fare near you, visit The Beet's Find Vegan Near Me articles

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