Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Chipotle vs. Qdoba


I have heard so many people argue about which restaurant is better - Qdoba or Chipotle. I decided to compare the two myself and let you know what I have come up with.

First off I would like to let you all know I have always been a fan of Chipotle and in my household that is where we always go. I tried Qdoba once, a long time ago and decided I liked Chipotle better. Because of this recurring argument, I started second guessing my decision and wanted to give Qdoba a fair chance, hence this blog post. Usually at Chipotle I order the salad with chicken because I love the dressing they have.

I started by ordering a salad at Qdoba because I already knew what the salad at Chipotle was like. Then, I went back for round two by ordering burritos. I also enjoy guacamole so I ordered chips and guac at both places. I also tried to used similar ingredients in each restaurant - cilantro-lime rice, black beans, chicken, pico de gallo, sour cream, cheese and lettuce - this way I could more accurately compare the two. I found many differences but surprisingly a lot of similarities.

 First, I will begin with the differences that I found:

1. (salad) Most noticeably is that Qdoba has a shell and Chipotle does not. This is one thing that I like better at Qdoba - I really enjoy taco salads with the huge shell. It gives some texture and saltiness to the salad and it's optional. You can eat all of it, some of it or none of it - it's up to you.

2. (salad) The dressings are different. Qdoba has a creamy dressing whereas Chipotle's is more of a vinaigrette. I like the dressing at Chipotle better because it has a tanginess that is a distinct flavor in the salad, whereas in Qdoba's I didn't notice it as much.

3. The big deciding factor for a lot of people who choose Qdoba over Chipotle is the fact that Qdoba has queso where Chipotle doesn't. Personally, queso doesn't matter to me and is not going to determine where I choose, mainly because it wasn't anything to write home about. Chipotle's guacamole is much better than Qdoba's queso - there I said it. I ordered the Queso Burrito and I just didn't see the big deal.

Here are some similarities:

1. The tortillas for the burritos are alike. I saw no real difference there. Qdoba does offer a whole wheat option whereas Chipotle does not. Both places steam their shells to soften them up.

2. The pico, cilantro-lime rice, beans, sour cream and cheese are all the same. It also seems like the other salsas available are similar. The include pica de gallo, green chile salsa, corn salsa and a mild crushed tomato salsa.

3. I didn't see any difference in the chicken except for that it seems like Qdoba gives a little bit more of it, per serving.

4. The prices are the same. You can get dinner or lunch for under $10 unless you want a drink and a side. I usually spend $12 at both places when I order the salad/burrito (doesn't matter which), guacamole and a drink.

If there are any other aspects that I failed to cover, please ask me below on the comments. I plan to visit each place a few more times and update this post because I know there are many other menu items that both of these places have to offer and that I can compare.

As of now I still prefer Chipotle. I appreciate the variety Qdoba offers but I am still more of a fan of Chipotle's flavor - there just seems to be more of it.

Here is a link for Qdoba's menu -
Here is a link for Chipotle's menu -

Qdoba's Location:

Chipotle's Location:

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  1. I loooooooove chipotle! I've tried Qdoba once and i hated it. I got the same exact thing i normally get when i eat at chipotle (chicken burrito, rice, sour cream & cheese) and it just didn't taste the same, i don't think they season their stuff as well as chipotle does. I might try Qdoba one more time and get something else off their menu.

  2. They both taste pretty much the same. Chipotle has better hot sauces to go along with your burrito. However Qdoba has warmer (temp) burritos. Chipotle's are usually room temp or cold by the time you get to your table. Chipotle is around fifty cents to a dollar cheaper. But because Qdoba is warmer than Chipolte, Qdoba wins! I'd pay the little extra for food that's at least warmer than the other place's.

    1. I guess I have never noticed a temp difference, maybe because I take it all to go? Anyway, I will pay more attention my next time dining at these places. Thanks!

  3. I like both of these places, but we have eaten at Qdoba many more times with friends and family.

  4. How is the steak at Qdoba compared to Chipotle? I always find that the steak at Chipotle is always really chewy and I end up spitting half of it out into a napkin by the end of the meal... which is gross.

    1. I will check that out! I usually get chicken and need to go back and get steak so I can answer your question. Thanks for the comment!