Mediterranean Chains You Are About To See Everywhere

A chicken pita with vegetables and feta cheese
A chicken pita with vegetables and feta cheese - slunce/Shutterstock

Creamy tzatziki sauce, crunchy falafel recipes, crumbly feta cheese, and warm pita bread are only a few items people can look forward to while visiting some of the best Mediterranean restaurants around the United States. While fancy original restaurants are fun for a date night, there is something to be said about a familiar chain, especially if you spot one in a not-so-familiar town. The good news is that, with the Mediterranean diet becoming increasingly popular among diners, there are some chains people are likely about to see springing up from the woodwork. In other words, they are set to be everywhere!

Mediterranean cuisine is known and widely regarded for its wide array of spices and fresh ingredients, namely fruits, vegetables, olive oil, different grains, seafood, and lean meats. These are all influenced by the culinary traditions of places along the Mediterranean basin, making it a healthy option for those who enjoy eating out now and again. From the popular menu options offered at Luna Grill to the familiar aromas of cumin, saffron, and coriander spilling out the doors of CAVA locations, Mediterranean cuisine lovers will be pleased to know that healthy, fast-casual options are going to continually grow into the norm. Here are some examples you may see down the street soon.

Read more: The Healthiest Fast Food Chains In The U.S.

Luna Grill

Luna Grill falafel pita
Luna Grill falafel pita - Luna Grill/Facebook

Located across Southern California and Texas, Luna Grill will likely begin popping up in other locations across the United States due to its growing popularity among Mediterranean food lovers. With signature plates, salads, wraps, pitas, and more, Luna Grill has a little something for everyone, and each dish is just as good and healthy as the last.

Each plate is cooked over an open flame, ensuring the best flavors possible are brought out, and includes a side of pita bread, tzatziki, basmati rice, and the customer's choice of Greek cabbage, a house salad, spicy hummus, or original hummus. The grilled kabob meat is marinated for eight hours before it's served. While some might think of Luna Grill as little more than Greek fast food, the reality is that each dish is made fresh to order and customers typically leave happy and with a full tummy. During an interview with Forbes, Luna Grill's founder, Sean Pourteymour, said that the appeal was simple and undeniable. "In my view, it's simple Mediterranean food that we grew up with that mama used to make. It's simple, fresh, high quality, and great services."

Travelers from around the world will soon be able to enjoy Luna Grill's delicious cuisine. That's because the restaurant partnered with San Diego International Airport to be one of the dining locations for the airport's new Terminal 1 opening in 2025.

Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh

Garbanzo Mediterranean chicken pita fries
Garbanzo Mediterranean chicken pita fries - Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh/Facebook

Once on the brink of bankruptcy, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh got a second chance at being a premiere Mediterranean chain when it was acquired by Center Lane Partners, the owner of Saladworks, back in 2020 for $1.2 million. CEO and President of WOWorks, Kelly Roddy, believes that Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh shares "a core DNA based on fresh, flavorful and healthy food along with a heart for hospitality" (via Restaurant Business).

Currently located in 18 states, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh prides itself on its unique ordering system, in which the customer first selects their protein and entree, then fills it with up to five extra items. These can include cucumber tomato salad, original hummus, roasted eggplant spread, signature garbanzo beans, and more.

Next, it's time to sauce it! With up to three standard sauces, such as tahini or the chain's signature white sauce, it is safe to say each meal is bound to be full of flavor. Lastly, customers can complete the meal with a variety of sides, beverages, and even tasty desserts. With such a unique menu and health-dense options, it makes sense the chain is looking to expand. In 2021 alone, Garbanzo Mediterranean Fresh grew by a very healthy 15 locations, and is currently working on plans to expand further in the coming years.


Chicken shawarma bowl
Chicken shawarma bowl - CAVA/Facebook

CAVA, also known as CAVA Grill, is arguably one of the most popular Mediterranean chains in the United States right now, thanks to its hospitality, warmth, and, yes, its food. With a wide variety of fresh and homey meals, such as a Sweet + Spicy Chicken Pita, CAVA's popularity has allowed the chain to make seriously big plans for the future. Most of these consist of CAVA Group expanding the chain across the United States and having a minimum of 1,000 locations operational by 2032.

Ironically, the company's business plan is based on the fact that people can't necessarily afford the ingredients that go into CAVA dishes, meaning that they opt to go out instead of cooking at home. According to the CFO of CAVA Group, Tricia Tolivar, "This is certainly not something you can whip up at home when you're trying to be quick and efficient" (via The Wall Street Journal). The comment is based on the fact that ingredients such as tzatziki, falafel, and feta cheese are not exactly cheap, at least as far as many consumers are concerned. However, considering the options CAVA offers, there is little room to complain about the lack of a home-cooked meal and plenty of room to hope that you may see a CAVA near you soon.

The Hummus & Pita Co.

Falafel pita, French fries, and Coke
Falafel pita, French fries, and Coke - The Hummus & Pita Co./Facebook

Serving 100% homemade dishes with fresh ingredients, The Hummus & Pita Co. is a fast-growing Mediterranean chain already located in various spots around New York, Michigan, and Connecticut. Each state serves a different menu, although each is just as delicious as the next.

While the restaurant's Michigan locations offer a Vegan Meatball Pita option, the New York and Connecticut Hummus & Pita Co. menus also offer vegetarian-friendly falafel and vegan shwarma, as well as a Turkish Meatball Pita. Beyond that, the three states share many similarities when it comes to delicious and fresh cuisine, including the Dream Pita, The Greek, and a wide variety of chickpea smoothies perfect for warm summer days. And, of course, there are numerous hummus varieties to choose from, including roasted red pepper, sundried tomato, jalapeño, and original.

A popular lunch spot for those on the go and perfect for catering for office events, The Hummus & Pita Co. is undoubtedly one of the more popular Mediterranian chains on the East Coast. So, it might not come as a surprise that the Brooklyn-born chain has its eye set on the West Coast, with plans on an expansion starting in Los Angeles. In 2022, The Hummus & Pita Co. was putting the final touches on its first location in the City of Angels.

Roti Modern Mediterranean

Shawarma bowl
Shawarma bowl - Roti/Facebook

Located in Maryland, Illinois, Washington, D.C., and Minnesota, Roti Modern Mediterranean is one of those chains that is bound to begin popping up in more locations across the country. That's thanks to its fresh assortment of bowls, salads, and pita options, such as the za'atar chicken bowl, the shawarma squash and feta bowl, a Mediterranean sunset salad, and a salmon and kale greens and grain bowl, to name just a few.

In 2021, the CEO of the chain, Justin Seamonds, announced the company's wish to expand after it permanently closed the doors on 14 of its locations due to the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Even so, he expressed excitement as Roti Modern Mediterranean aimed to rebrand and add new items to its menu, such as the Flip the Bird Roti. The chain also sought to give customers a fresh taste of a Mediterranean favorite while getting a new flair via interior design. Along with the brand revamp, the company announced its plans to expand its reach in 2024, looking for workers to fill in spots at new locations.

With new menu items, a new look, and a build-your-own bowl option, Roti Modern Mediterranean is a quick and easy option for those who want quality food without having to worry about processed ingredients and high calories. Each menu item has the calorie count listed alongside more detailed nutritional information, including how much protein, fat, and carbohydrates are in each dish.


Chicken shawarma pita
Chicken shawarma pita - taim mediterranean kitchen/Facebook

The New York-born Mediterranean chain Taïm began in the city's West Village in 2005 and quickly expanded throughout the state and into New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. With its growing popularity and gifting page, customers from all over the country can order ready-to-cook Taïm kits to be sent right to their doorstep. The gift is a perfect idea for Mediterranean cuisine enthusiasts who like a build-your-own meal option, which currently comprises the entirety of Taïm's menu.

From falafel and hummus to pita and the Middle Eastern classic of shawarma, fresh, quality ingredients and 18 mouth-watering spices go into the made-from-scratch meals. For anyone who may be hesitant to walk into any of Taïm's locations, workers can typically be found outside the front door, handing out free samples of signature items like falafel and cauliflower shawarma. And, according to the chain's COO, Bethany Strong, the restaurant makes its own fresh hummus multiple times a day (via QNS).

In March 2023, Strong also announced that Taïm plans to continue growing its locations throughout Queens and the greater New York and Washington, D.C. areas. The chain hopes to double its locations in 2024 and give communities the Mediterranean cuisine that so many hopeful diners have been craving.


Falafel pita
Falafel pita - Brassica/Facebook

A popular Mediterranean eatery in the state of Ohio, Brassica has opted to further expand its brand since opening its first location in Columbus, Ohio, in 2015. In 2023, the chain's delicious Lebanese-inspired cuisine made its way to the West Side of Cleveland. While this specific location didn't allow for online orders when it first opened, the plan was to establish an online ordering and curbside pickup option there in 2024.

Because the growing chain prides itself on having a health-oriented menu and committing to organic ingredients and sustainability practices, customers are in for a treat when they walk through the doors of Brassica. With a build-it-yourself menu, numerous selections will keep people coming back for more and more. First, customers are asked to select either a sandwich, salad, or hummus plate. Then, there are a few options for protein, such as chicken, falafel, and even brisket. Lastly, condiments! Between the various sauces and vegetable options, such as sweet beets and cabbage, customers can make a new meal each time. While this chain is one of the smaller ones on the list, its many glowing reviews, high-quality ingredients, and business momentum could be spelling big things for Brassica.

Shawarma Press

Family-style Mediterranean dinner plate
Family-style Mediterranean dinner plate - Shawarma Press/Facebook

Shawarma Press is a newer chain that opened in Irving, Texas in 2017 and quickly made headlines while offering chicken, beef, and vegetable pitas and bowls. From there, the restaurant opened eight more locations throughout the state, as well as new locations in Georgia and Kansas. Though it's no surprise to the growing base of loyal customers, the company plans on further expanding its operation. As of 2023, it's been making noise about opening an estimated 50 locations around the country in the next five years.

Due to Shawarma Press' excellent food and fresh ingredients, it has won numerous awards, including The Most Innovative Supply Chain and the Silver Stevie Award for Excellence in Business. With such publicity, people are bound to start seeing this fast-casual Mediterranean chain popping up across the country in no time.

The establishment offers a wide range of Mediterranean favorites, including a signature hummus wrap, chicken shawarma, and steamed basmati rice with a choice of protein, sauce, and salad. While fast-casual establishments aren't known for their healthy options, Shawarma Press is all about transparency and makes nutrition information available to the public on its website.

The Kebab Shop

Falafel and vegetable pita
Falafel and vegetable pita - The Kebab Shop/Facebook

Residents throughout California, Texas, and Southern Florida can probably attest to the delight of eating the fine cuisine at The Kebab Shop. With an array of dishes and sauces, including jalapeño cilantro and spicy chili sauce, this chain, which opened in San Diego's East Village back in 2007, is bound to make waves in different parts of the country in no time. In fact, in 2022, The Kebab Shop opened a new location in Los Angeles, followed by grand openings in the tiny Orange County town of Seal Beach and another in Atwater Village in 2023.

With options such as casual dine-in, take-out, and even catering, people flock to The Kebab Shop where they have a medley of Mediterranean favorites from which to choose. Some items on the menu include a grilled saffron chicken kebab, a carved chicken doner kebab, a kale & quinoa salad, and the ever-popular build-your-own-meal option. Needless to say, there is a little something for everyone, even those who enjoy a little spice to their meals (fire hummus, anyone?).

The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill

Spinach and feta phyllo dough
Spinach and feta phyllo dough - The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill/Facebook

In a 2021 statement posted on the restaurant's website, The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill Brand President Bob Anderson discussed developing 150 new locations of the fast-growing Mediterranean chain by 2024. As of April that year, there were only 21 restaurants in total, the first opening in Nevada in 2011. As of March 2024, that number includes nearly 60 currently operating locations, with many more set to open. Apparently, people just can't get enough of The Great Geek's simple yet delicious food options, allowing the company to expand its brand at such a quick rate across the nation.

Priding itself as being a "home away from home" establishment, The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill makes its food daily from scratch and with the freshest ingredients, making Greek gyros, salads, bowls, pita bread, and soups taste like they came straight from your own kitchen. Go for a personal gyro or share a Mezze Plate full of dolmades, falafel, hummus, and spanikopita with a friend. Either way, there is clearly no way to order incorrectly when it comes to The Great Greek Mediterranean Grill's hearty menu.

Read the original article on Mashed