Chipotle vs. Qdoba: Where on Forbes Should You Eat?

author-pic at University of Pittsburgh  

You make your way back onto campus for yet another semester of academic suffering.  After weeks of being pampered with your parents doing your laundry and reminding you how to function, you’ll be back on your own and sadly, also left to find food on your own. There are no more home cooked meals here. Your diet will slowly return back to its intake of fast food garbage and whatever Market has available. It is once again time to face the age-old Forbes food question- should you go to Chipotle or Qdoba?

First, we’ll confront the pros and cons of every white girl’s favorite, Chipotle.


There are so many good things to say about Chipotle.  They have good vegan and vegetarian options, if you’re into that sort of thing.  There’s also a lot of non-vegetarian and vegan options, if you like to eat carcasses. Chipotle’s guacamole is leagues above Qdoba’s, and we’re so used to the question of “Do you know quac is extra?” that we aren’t even phased by it anymore.  Chipotle is probably also more conducive to your Instagram photo.

The line, oh the line.  You’re probably waiting in that line as you read this.  The line in Chipotle is always wrapped around the building, like the line for a concert, a book release, or the line of girls just looking for some “extra credit” during a cute professor’s office hours.  Chipotle also has a ridiculously limited menu.  No one eats salad, so that’s off the list. But we deserve more options than tacos, a burrito, or a burrito bowl. And yeah, your quac may be good, but we’re broke college students over here. Show us some pity, please. Also, forget about finding a seat to eat there. Even if you can find one, is it worth being surrounded by sorority girls and hipsters? We don’t think so.

Do those pros really outweigh the cons? Next up, the often overlooked Qdoba.


Qdoba had quite the year last year. They went from being shut down due to the infamous roof jumper to giving us two new flavors of queso.  Which is the first point we must address.  Qdoba. Has. Queso.  Chipotle’s typical shredded cheese could never compare. Qdoba also has the menu options we deserve. Not only can I get a burrito or burrito bowl, but I can get my burrito covered in sauce? Not to mention quesadillas and even soup. Honestly, we don’t even have some joke to make here. Qdoba also literally painted the hole in the wall onto their wall, and that’s definitely our aesthetic.

Qdoba, while it may stay open late enough for your drunk late night cravings where calories don’t matter, is definitely worse for your waistline than Chiptole.  Chipotle isn’t healthy by any means but Qdoba takes it right over the edge.  Also, Qdoba just sometimes feels… off.  It’s like a ghost town every time you walk in there. While no line is good, no one likes feeling like they’ve walked into an abandoned building just to get food. The workers aren’t nearly as friendly as Chipotle, and the food there, sadly, is not up to par with Chiptole, despite options. The recent avocado shortage has even taken away the draw of free quac. Your Qdoba experience nine times out of ten is just you eating your mediocre burrito alone, as you always are, with the staff judging you as your chewing rings through the store, unable to be drowned out by the sounds of others. 

The verdict?  It really doesn’t matter.  If you don’t mind spending 30 years of your life in a line for food, claim your Chipotle with pride. If nihilism is more your vibe, Qdoba may be for you. Either way, you’re still draining your parent’s hard earned money to avoid the responsibility of having to cook for yourself, when you actually do remember to eat. At least it’s better than McDonald’s.