Qdoba VS Chipotle: Which Is The Better Choice?

Considering Qdoba vs Chipotle is pretty common for lovers of Tex-Mex cuisine. Both of these are famous restaurant chains offering Mexican, or rather, Tex-Mex cuisine.

These chains have quite a few similarities beyond the cuisine they serve. The biggest being their names, which are rather difficult to pronounce and write.

Jokes aside, there are some notable differences between these two famous food chains. Let’s take a look and see where these two differ.

Chipotle vs Qdoba: Points Of Comparison

What Is Chipotle?

Chipotle, also known as Chipotle Mexican Grill, is a famous American food chain that serves Mexican cuisine. Chipotle has more than 3000 locations and plans to have at least 7000 locations in North America. The company has an international presence, with stores in the USA, Canada, France, UK, and Germany.

While it has some international presence, most of the USA has the lion’s share of Chipotle locations. 

These are impressive numbers, as the company is relatively young. It was founded in Colorado by Steve Ells on July 13, 1993. Chipotle recently moved its headquarters to Newport Beach in California.

Even though the company is famous and well-liked for its Mexican food, it keeps its menu somewhat limited. There are five main offerings from this company:

  • Burrito
  • Bowls
  • Quesadillas
  • Tacos
  • Salads

However, the menu isn’t so small as these dishes have variations based on items like chicken, steak, pork carnitas, tofu, and a few others. The tofu offering, as you can guess, is intended to appeal to vegans and vegetarians. The vegetarian options often include guacamole or queso. 

Also, while Quesadillas are technically included, many locations don’t explicitly carry it or relegate the dish to the “secret menu”.

Patrons of the restaurant can also enjoy toppings like rice, salsa, beans, and more. So, while the restaurant offers a limited menu, it has a fairly good range given the available combinations and options.

What Is Qdoba?


Qdoba, also known as Qdoba Mexican Grill, is another famous American food chain that serves Mexican cuisine. This means that it competes with Chipotle, though both chains appear to have different philosophies and priorities. Though Chipotle is much better known in the USA and even internationally, Qdoba has a solid niche for itself and offers great food.

The company has more than 700 locations. Most of these are in the USA, though about a dozen are located in Canada.
Interestingly, Qdoba too was founded in Colorado. When it came into existence in 1995, the company had the name Zuma Fresh Mexican grill. In 1997, it changed name to Z-Teca, and finally to Qdoba Mexican Grill in 1999. The name has remained unchanged since then.

Contrary to Chipotle, Qdoba’s food offering is fairly extensive. Their menu is wide and varied, and you could try a good variety of famous Tex-Mex dishes like burritos and quesadillas. Or, go off the reservation and order some interesting, maybe even experimental dishes like loaded tortilla soup, impossible burritos, or impossible tacos. 

They even serve breakfast, include guacamole with most orders, and have several other interesting options. 

Is Qdoba Good?

As fast food chains go, Qdoba is good. That doesn’t mean the chain’s a genius in food serving and culinary expertise. It means that this is a fairly decent fast food chain that offers acceptable food. You could probably get better burritos at another restaurant, but as fast food goes, Qdoba is as good as any other.

One of the reasons people doubt Qdoba is because for many, it’s a somewhat lesser known restaurant chain. After all, there are barely 700 Qdoba locations, while Chipotle goes past 3000 locations. 

But this isn’t entirely a game of numbers and locations. By Qdoba’s own admission, they don’t want to be another Chipotle. They’re more interested in doing their own thing, their way. So, what you get at Qdoba is a deeper menu, more options, and fairly good food. 

If you’re trying to pick between Qdoba and Chipotle, I’d say the taste difference is minimal, if any at all. Overall, yes, Qdoba is a good place to enjoy your choice of Tex-Mex cuisine.

How Do These Restaurants Compare On Cost?

Taking care of your pocket is a good part of choosing where you eat your food, or whether you’d choose Qdoba or Chipotle. Well, the comparison isn’t all that straightforward, because pricing varies by location. Therefore, there is an obvious variation in price for both restaurants. 

On average, in most cases, Qdoba seems to be offering a better deal on pricing when compared to Chipotle. Much of this largely comes down to one item: guacamole.

Most people like to have some guacamole with their food. Qdoba offers a serving for free, while Chipotle charges extra for guacamole. This gives Qdoba an edge in pricing. Though there are other menu items that could be compared, this is the biggest contributor.

Food Options And Taste

As the menu and food options go, Qdoba offers a deeper menu and more options. Chipotle has a fairly decent offering too, but Qdoba offers more variety. 

Matters of taste, though, are more subjective. There are plenty of people who swear that one chain is better than the other. And in the true fashion of such debates, people can get pretty passionate about these opinions. 

Both restaurants have fairly decent offerings, so feel free to take your pick!


In this comparison of Qdoba vs Chipotle, we look at the two famous food franchises offering Mexican, or Tex-Mex cuisine. Both the food chains have interesting offerings and do a good job in keeping their patrons satisfied. They’re both fairly similar and have a decent range of offerings. Both are good choices, so enjoy yourself without worrying about which one to choose!

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