Moe's vs. Chipotle: The Truth

There are two types of people in this world: Chipotle lovers, and Moe’s lovers. I’m not going to lie, I have been a Chipotle girl pretty religiously for a while now. I respect other people’s opinions on the matter, but I just kept a respectable distance and tried not to get into an argument. They’re similar, but they’re so different that it really just comes down to preference.

However, this is real life and sometimes we rank things on a scale of worst to best. That’s OK, and I tried to put aside all of my judgments in order to provide you with good, honest journalism (or my attempt at it). I’ve only been to Moe’s once before this experiment, and I wasn’t that big of a fan, but I decided to order something different this time (with help from my Moe’s-loving friends) and give them a fair chance.

I asked multiple people with passionate opinions on this issue and they helped me create a list of categories to judge each restaurant and figure out who is the best: guacamole, queso, chips, aesthetic, options, drinks, service, cost, location, vibe, and entrée.

Guacamole

Herson Rodriguez

*Photo courtesy of Herson Rodriguez on Unsplash

Chipotle: I love watching the videos of Chipotle employees making the guacamole. You can taste how fresh it is, and they give great portions, especially when you get it in the bowl. I do, however, prefer the guacamole as an add-on in my bowl rather than a side with chips.

Moe’s: I was pleasantly surprised by Moe’s guacamole. It also tasted very fresh, and I liked that I could choose the size that I got on the side. However, as I said, I prefer my guac as a topping and I noticed that they didn’t give me as much as Chipotle when I got it on top.

WINNER: Chipotle. For portion control.

Queso

Chipotle: I’m not a huge fan of queso, so I’ve never had it before, but I was pleasantly surprised with it. It was spicy and had a lot of flavors, but the mouthfeel was a little weird, especially when it cooled off. It got chalky, which was gross.

Moe’s: I was also really surprised at how good it was (maybe I am a fan of queso). The texture was nice and gooey and it was a little spicy. Again, I liked that I could choose the size.

WINNER: Moe’s.

Chips

Chipotle: 10/10. Tortilla chips are low-key one of my favorite foods. I love how salty they can be, but you have to eat them in one sitting because they get stale really easily. But, you can tell how fresh they are.

Moe's: Also 10/10. They were nice and crispy, and they were warm when they gave them to me, which is always a plus. However, they’re also free with your meal, which is even better.

WINNER: Moe’s. Because free.

Aesthetic

Chipotle: I noticed they started using different bowls for the to-go burrito bowls, which was cute. I’m a big fan of ordering online and picking it up so I can skip the line, and the paper bag that they gave me was great because it had handles. The art on their cups is also pleasing to look at. Great.

Moe’s: I love the color that Moe’s has. Everything is bright and inviting. Sometimes if I go into a Chipotle too late the lights are dim and it feels like I’m walking around a Hollister circa 2013. The branding is adorable and everything has their name on it. However, they gave me a plastic to-go bag, which is bad for the environment.

WINNER: Chipotle. For sustainability.

Options

Travis Yewell

*Photo courtesy of Travis Yewell on Unsplash

Chipotle: Everything there tastes super good. The seasonings are always on point. Each element could hold its own, which is important. I can’t complain.

Moe’s: They had more options. The reason I like Chipotle is that I love spicy food. However, they did have fresher vegetables like cucumbers and they had two different kinds of chicken. I also love free salsas.

WINNER: Moe’s. There’s more for everyone.

Drinks

Chipotle: I have never been to a Chipotle that didn’t have a semi-broken soda machine. Either the ice machine is down or one of the sodas isn’t available. This time, it was lemonade. However, their bottle drinks are really solid and compliment the food quite nicely.

Moe’s: The Coca-Cola remix machines are so much fun. I got the Moe’s signature drink, which was a mix between limeade and lemonade I think. It was amazing, and I love options.  

WINNER: Moe’s.

Service

Chipotle: They kept the line moving even though I went at peak dinner time, which is very admirable. However, I always know people that are working, but I’m not friends with them and it’s always a little awkward for some reason.

Moe’s: The whole “welcome to Moe’s” thing is super cute, and everyone behind the counter was super nice and dealt with me being really unsure of what I wanted since I didn’t go there often. 11/10 service.

WINNER: Moe’s. Because I’m a people person.

Cost

Chipotle: A burrito bowl, a drink, chips, queso, and guacamole cost $20, which made me sad.

Moe’s: A burrito bowl, a drink, chips, queso, and guacamole cost $16 which was better. I think they forgot to ring up my drink, which I’m not complaining about. Still good because I also got free salsa and chips.

WINNER: Moe’s.

Location

Chipotle: It’s right next to campus. You could walk there.

Moe’s: You do have to drive, but it’s not that far away. If it’s worth it, it’s worth it.

WINNER: Chipotle. Because I spent all my money on food and now I don’t have enough for an Uber to Moe’s.

Vibe

Chipotle: It always feels a little more sophisticated even though it is technically fast food. The industrial feel is cool, and I like that you can see everything they do in the back.

Moe’s: Everyone was friendly, including the customers. I struck up a conversation with the lady in line, and I think she was a regular because she knew all the workers. It was really nice and made the experience of going alone less intimidating, especially because I don’t really go to Moe’s that often.

WINNER: Moe’s.

Entrée

I always get a to-go bowl with brown rice and tofu with whatever toppings I’m feeling that day. However, the tofu at Moe’s doesn’t have any seasoning on it, which is why I didn’t like Moe’s in the first place. To give them a fair chance, I got chicken at Moe’s instead, and I was pleasantly surprised. However, like I said I like the spiciness of Chipotle, and I thought that Moe’s was lacking in flavor because not everything was seasoned. Quality>Quantity.

WINNER: Chipotle. Because that’s my opinion.

Closing Ranks

Bari Abikar

*Photo courtesy of bari abikar on Unsplash

Moe’s did win seven out of the 11 categories. Objectively, they are a better restaurant. They appeal to more people because of the range of options that you have and the restaurant itself feels more inviting when you walk in. Moe’s wins.

However, I still think Chipotle is better because I like how they season everything. Their tofu is better and that’s important to me. In a perfect world, I’d have a Chipotle bowl with Moe’s drinks and chips.

I hope I did both restaurants justice. Overall, it really just comes down to preference. If you’ve never been to either one, I’d start with Moe’s, purely because it’s less intimidating than Chipotle.