Mediterranean fast-casual dips, pitas, and grain bowls from popular DC-based chain Cava Grill are now available in New York for the first time. The health-conscious lunch company with 17 locations — including a couple in LA — debuted at 143 4th Avenue near Union Square today, offering up their menu of customizable salads and grain bowls for a DIY lunch with ingredients like hummus, spicy lamb meatballs, and falafel. It also sells cookies from local favorite Ovenly. The outpost seats 38 people and is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
The chain, which is cousin to a full-service restaurant called Cava Mezze, is incredibly well-liked in DC, and New Yorkers might recognize the Cava Grill name from the dips that they sell in Whole Foods. In LA, people compare it to cult beloved salad fast casual chain Sweetgreen for its DC birthplace, health focus, and move to the west coast. It’s been expanding steadily. Last year, the company raised more than $60 million, most of it from a venture capital firm backed by an AOL co-founder. Founders Ted Xenohristos, Ike Grigoropoulos, and chef Dimitri Moshovitis plan to open at least 10 more locations across the country within the next year.