Review: Cava's Ready-To-Serve Dips Left Us Impressed, Including A Creamy Standout

When it comes to preparing for guests, we spend a fair amount of time deciding what kinds of appetizers we want to offer. Because it's so flavorful and readily available, we often turn to hummus. With its plentiful flavor options and ability to partner with so many foodstuffs for various dipping options, it's a delicious choice that also suits many, including people with plant-based diets. Plus, whatever is left over makes for delicious sandwich toppings in the week ahead.

What's even better than having a delicious appetizer is having one that requires nearly no prep on your part. That's why we were excited to dive into Cava's line of ready-to-eat dips. We're all for an offering that not only impresses our guests but also makes hosting a bit easier. Cava's dips promised to add that special touch to our appetizer assortment with minimal effort, allowing us more time to enjoy the company of our guests.

Meet Cava's line of dips

Cava, known for its Mediterranean dishes, operates as a fast-casual restaurant chain with many locations in the United States. Extending beyond Cava's popular menu items served in its eateries, the chain's grocery line of dips brings flavors from its kitchens to your home. These dips work well in a variety of occasions, from holiday celebrations to game nights, or even just for casual late-night snacking.

While we didn't receive the full lineup of Cava's dips, the selection we did get appeared to represent a well-rounded spectrum of its offerings. Among the ones that came our way, the Spicy Feta and Tzatziki both contain dairy. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find a substantial number of dairy-free options, catering to a wider range of dietary preferences, and making vegans quite pleased.

Though we aren't focused on them here, Cava also offers a line of dressings. We're looking forward to trying these out the next time we make Greek salad.

Price and availability varies

Whole Foods Market is a key retailer for Cava dips. If you frequent Whole Foods, you're likely to have seen Cava's range of dips. Their availability, however, varies by region. In the mid-Atlantic and Northeast, shoppers have a wider selection of retailers and Cava product offerings. In contrast, the Midwest mainly offers these dips at Whole Foods, with more limited choices.

The variety of dips also differs by location. Illinois stores, for example, offer a wide range with Traditional Hummus, Tzatziki, Spicy Hummus, Harissa, Roasted Red Pepper Hummus, Organic Traditional Hummus, and Spicy Feta. In Florida, the options are limited to Traditional Hummus, Tzatziki, and Spicy Hummus. Despite both states selling Cava dips out of Whole Foods, the available selection is markedly different.

Price variation is another regional aspect. At Whole Foods, for example, an 8-ounce container costs $5.29 in Florida but only $4.79 in Illinois.  We discovered that your experience with Cava dips varies significantly based on your geographical location, from the variety available to the pricing.

The nutrition is pretty consistent

When delving into the nutritional aspects of Cava's dips, the hummus variants — both the Traditional and Spicy — clock in at 45 calories per 2 tablespoon serving. This portion also packs in between 2.5 to 3 grams of fat, and offers 2 grams of protein. A serving of Tzatziki, on the other hand, has only 30 calories and 2 grams of fat, with a single gram of protein. 

It's worth mentioning that these nutritional figures are based on the standard serving size of 2 tablespoons. In practice, however, we found that this portion is quite modest, especially if you're using the dips as a spread on pita bread. While it's a sufficient amount for a light taste, those who prefer their pita generously coated might find that this serving size doesn't go as far as they might hope, and might end up enjoying several servings each sitting.

Organic Traditional Hummus taste test

Funnily enough, we expected the Traditional Hummus and the Organic Traditional Hummus from Cava to have similar taste profiles, but some of us definitely felt there was a difference. Despite their identical appearance in the packaging and similar textures when spread on pita bread or dipped with a carrot, the flavor difference was rather noticeable.

On closer inspection of the ingredients list, both variants contain essentially the same items, with the key distinction being the use of organic ingredients in the Organic Traditional Hummus; obviously, this wasn't surprising. However, we noticed a significant detail: the placement of garlic in the ingredient list. In the organic hummus, garlic is mentioned a little further down the list, suggesting its reduced presence compared to the regular hummus.

This subtle variation in ingredient composition appears to have a noticeable impact on the overall flavor. The organic hummus, with less garlic, offers a milder taste, which may not appeal as much to those who enjoy the more robust garlic profile of the classic hummus. 

Traditional Hummus taste test

While some of us noticed a remarkable difference in taste between the regular and organic hummus, interestingly, others couldn't discern any variation at all. This very perception — or lack of it in some cases — shows that preference for one over the other is largely a matter of your own personal taste. If you're a fan of a strong garlic flavor, the Traditional Hummus is likely to be your favorite. However, for those who prefer a subtler taste, the organic hummus might be more appealing.

Regardless of these individual preferences, it's worth noting that both varieties of Cava's hummus are of excellent quality. They boast a smooth texture that maintains its consistency without separating. We should also mention that the hummus is notably thick, lending itself well to spreading on various foods or being used as a robust dip. Though we thought it behaved well in its container, the form of this hummus would do well in a bowl on your snack spread.

Spicy Hummus taste test

Beyond the basic hummus offerings, we also got to sample Cava's Spicy Hummus, and it was an instant hit among us. This variant stood out with its reddish hue, which was vibrant but not overwhelmingly so. Its flavor profile was quite delightful, if a little surprising. We thought there was just the right amount of kick to add excitement without being overly spicy. The spiciness is really subtle, enhancing the overall flavor rather than overpowering it. It's more about adding an extra layer of depth to the taste rather than just heat.

We particularly appreciated that the Spicy Hummus is available to a wide range of palates. It's an excellent choice for those who enjoy a bit of spice but don't necessarily want an intense heat. Even for hummus fans who typically shy away from spicy foods, this version is approachable and enjoyable. You may even be able to convert a few skeptics into hummus lovers with this one.

Harissa taste test

The Harissa dip from Cava presented us with a completely new taste experience. Unlike the moderately piquant Spicy Hummus, which is suitable even for those with a milder spice preference, the Harissa is notably spicier. It's a dip that truly livens up the taste buds and pairs wonderfully with a variety of items. We found it particularly enjoyable with crackers and pita, where its bold flavors could shine.

This Harissa dip is not only flavorful, but also visually striking. It boasts a rich, bold red color, hinting at its robust taste. The base of stewed tomatoes lays the foundation for a complex flavor profile, which is further enhanced by the addition of ingredients like garlic and parsley. These parts come together to create a dip that is not just spicy, but also deeply flavorful and aromatic. We think it makes an exciting dimension to your snack or meal, especially if you appreciate a good kick of heat. 

Tzatziki taste test

One of the standout items in Cava's selection was its Tzatziki sauce, which quickly became a favorite of ours. This time, we enjoyed it with warm pita and sliced cucumbers, but when we typically enjoy tzatziki, it's for slathering on a pita and topping with a huge amount of gyro meat, tomatoes, and onions. Having an entire container in our fridge, ready for snacking or as a complement to various dishes, has been a real treat, and we're looking forward to preparing a gyro with it soon.

As far as the feel of the dip, we noticed an impressively fresh taste with an ultra-creamy texture and a perfect balance of flavors to boot. It's bright white in color with little bits of green hanging about, adding to that fresh taste. This variety comes in a smaller size as well as a larger one, and if you plan to serve gyros to a whole bunch of people, we definitely recommend picking up one of the bigger containers. There's just not enough sauce in the smaller one to make a bunch of gyros.

Crazy Feta taste test

The Crazy Feta dip from Cava was, without a doubt, the star of the show for us. This dip is a fusion of flavors, combining the expected — creamy feta cheese — with the unexpected and zesty kick of jalapeño. This pairing resulted in a tasting experience that was both unique and memorable.

The dip's charm lies in its complex flavor profile. The characteristic tang and slight funk of feta cheese beautifully complements the sharpness and heat of the jalapeño, creating a delightful mix of tastes. This combination, while unexpected, works harmoniously.

The texture of the Crazy Feta strikes a perfect balance between being slightly chunky, adding a satisfying bite, and being smooth enough to spread easily. This textural contrast adds another layer of appeal to the dip.

How Cava compares to other dip brands

One of the first points we noticed when comparing Cava's dips to other brands was the packaging. Cava opts for a simple, unassuming design. This minimalist approach means that unless you are specifically searching for Cava products, the packaging might not immediately grab your attention on the supermarket shelf. However, for those familiar with Cava's restaurant eats, the brand name will undoubtedly resonate.

Flavor-wise, Cava's dips stand out from the typical supermarket offerings. We found that these dips tasted fresher and more like homemade hummus than what we've generally come to expect from store-bought varieties. This sense of freshness and the close resemblance to a homemade product set Cava's dips apart in the crowded supermarket dip section.

The Crazy Feta is definitely a unique variety of dip we don't often see in the grocery store. It's certainly a tasty change from other dips you may pair with veggies or crackers.

Verdict: Should you try Cava dip?

In a word, yes. You should try out Cava dip. Ultimately, our experience with Cava's line of dips was largely positive. While we would have loved a broader variety of hummus flavors and the chance to try every dip in the lineup, the selection that we did sample left us quite impressed. The quality and flavor of these dips are commendable.

However, availability might be a concern for some. Since Cava's dips are primarily sold at Whole Foods, those who don't regularly shop there may find it challenging to access these products. In many markets, Whole Foods seems to be the predominant retailer for Cava dips. So, while we definitely recommend trying them if you happen to come across them in your usual shopping trips, we're not entirely convinced that they warrant a special trip to Whole Foods — with one exception. If you're planning to make gyros, we highly suggest going out of your way for Cava's Tzatziki. It's outstanding, and could very well be the perfect addition to your gyro-making endeavors.


Cava generously provided us with a selection of six ready-to-eat dips to experience. Arriving in a meticulously packaged and well-insulated box, our assortment included Tzatziki, Traditional Hummus, Organic Traditional Hummus, Spicy Hummus, Harissa, and Crazy Feta. To thoroughly evaluate these dips, we focused on three key aspects: flavor, texture, and mouthfeel.

In our quest for a comprehensive review, we enlisted the help of some family members, who contributed to our overall impressions. Each dip was sampled and scrutinized, not just for its standalone qualities but also for how it paired with various accompaniments. From crisp vegetables to warm pita bread, we explored a variety of combinations to truly understand the versatility of each dip.