Not safe. The salads are served with gloves that handle wheat. The spreads/dips have knives in them that are used to spread on pita. I ask the server to change gloves and serve me from a fresh bag of lettuce. I no longer get the dips (eg hummus) due to the cross-contamination. Despite these precautions, my dishes have tested positive for gluten (Nima sensor) on my last 3 visits. I give up.
I was encouraged by the reviews the chain has gotten as well as the chain’s ratings, but it was a cross contamination nightmare. The employees touched pita bread then immediately dunked their hands into the salad containers. They also used a knife sitting in each sauce container to smear sauce directly into the pita bread, then put it back in the container. I decided that it was way too big of a risk, so I left.
Tasty food, large selection of GF items.
When I told server I have celiac she immediately removed gloves, washed her hands, out on new gloves, retrieved my greens from an unopened container and personally put on all my toppings. Even though the only gluten item is the pita all it takes is touching pita and then greens. I was very impressed that she knew what to do even before I asked. Plus the food is fab!
The staff was very helpful and cautious. They changed their gloves immediately upon learning of my issue, and rather than passing things down the line they had one staff member take care of everything for me so as to make sure my needs were met.
Don’t go to this location during lunch rush if you are Celiac. While the menu is clear, the options are plentiful, and the staff is knowledgeable, when it gets busy they just shout at you and send you down an assembly line. In other build your own style restaurants (Chipotle etc) one person will take your order down the line to prevent cross contamination. I was lucky to hit the place right after a staff switch, so everyone has fresh gloves but there was no good way to ensure my food was safe. Other Cava experiences in less busy atmosphere make me still want to come back when it is not quite as busy.
Make sure to ask them to change their gloves before you start ordering. Most staff have been accommodating but some have not (in which cases I’ve left and gone somewhere else). Food is delicious. I emailed to ask which items would be safe for me as I have other allergies and they sent back a great list and explained which things I could and could not eat and why. Overall, a fast and yummy meal as long as they change their gloves.
Lots of choices - I didn’t feel like I was missing bread. 3 Stars for good food; they lose two for poor staff. This was our first time here and they were not very helpful with what was included with what option (ie, one lettuce? Three? Rice and lentils or just one?) It’s very loud (lots of hard surfaces and sound just bounces) so hard to ask questions and I just decided to order what I wanted and if there were extra charges for two kinds of lettuce, then oh well. I’d eat here again because the food was good.
GF items are marked but it's very easy to get glutened from cross contamination. Used to be easier to avoid but they now spread most of the line ingredients directly on pita and mix it back in.
So many options for people with Celiac! Not to mention it's delicious and filling! All foods are clearly marked as to what allergens they contain online - which makes choosing easy!
Staff is very knowledgeable about ingredient list. There are breadcrumbs in the regular meatballs, but not in the lamb meatballs. Mix and match your own entree on top of a base (different kinds of greens, white basmati, brown basmati, black lentils) and add the toppings you like. Great beverage selection too.
They do a great job at changing there gloves and walking down the line with your food. There is a lot of food you can eat, but look at the menu and know what doesn't have gluten before you get to the line. The workers don't seem to know, but the menu is on the wall so no worries there. The wall Menu is labeled what has no gluten and other allergens.
This is my favorite place to go for gluten free and dairy free options. Everything is marked on their online menu and app. They are very accommodating when I asked them to change their gloves. You can tell they have been trained well.