I love salads. Especially for lunch, there is nothing more satisfying to me than a large salad. When I am not at home writing and eating leftovers in front of my computer, I am in my car dashing around town from meetings, delivering kids here and there. When I have the time, I love to linger on a restaurant patio with an iced tea and a salad, but lacking this luxury, I will often grab a salad to go.
With this inspiration in mind, I have compiled a list of my top 10 salads in the Phoenix valley for you to try. Most of these places are centrally located in town where I am 80% of my time. However, I would also love to discover some off the beaten path spots in the East and West Valley, so shoot me a comment with one of your favorites!
Shredded Kale and Quinoa Salad from La Grande Orange Grocery (LGO)
I have to admit it is a toss up between the kale salad or the Rotisserie Turkey Salad from LGO, which is more like a chef salad with egg, bacon, and blue cheese. The kale salad is on the lighter side, with kale quinoa, red grapes, red bell peppers, sunflower seeds, lemon zest, parmesan and Manchego cheeses served with their addictive house vinaigrette.
What makes me very happy is that there is an LGO in Terminal 4 so I can grab one of the best salads in Phoenix before I hop on a plane to San Antonio or Dallas.
Kale and Rotisserie Chicken Salad from Houston’s
Never mind the fact that Houston’s is super annoying because you can’t make a reservation and sometimes you have to wait forever, this salad is worth the hellacious wait. Houston’s rotisserie chicken is tossed with kale, fresh herbs, and Parmesan Reggiano in a roasted peanut vinaigrette.
Seasonal Vegetable Salad from North Italia
Don’t get enough vegetables in your diet? North Italia has you covered with this seasonal veggie salad chock-a-block full of grilled asparagus, broccolini, sweet corn, heirloom cherry tomato, farro, goat cheese, and pistachios tossed in an Italian herb vinaigrette.
If you want to be extra, order the Zucca Chips to crumble on top. A good alternative with many Valley locations is the Original ChopShop and their Raw Vegetable Salad.
The Del Mar Salad from Chelsea’s Kitchen
I had to get a seafood salad in this list, and the Del Mar is one of the best around town (and tastes even better if you are sitting on the patio sipping a glass of Sauvignon Blanc). Shrimp ceviche, blue crab, avocados and olives are served on a bed of iceberg lettuce with 1000 Island dressing.
I am going to give you a pro tip here, so read carefully: when you order the Del Mar Salad, ask for it tossed. Or else it is waaay too much work and would be bumped immediately from this list.
Steak Salad from Zinc Bistro
Oui oui, you must make your way to le Zinc Bistro in Kierland Commons for this Steak Salad. Order some frites to pair with the Prime flat iron steak, oven dried tomatoes, spiced walnuts, red onion, roquefort cheese, haricot verts (French green beans) that are served on iceberg lettuce with a sherry blue cheese vinaigrette. Trust me, you will be singing La Marseillaise in no time!
Hannah’s Field from Postino
Once again another salad with kale and quinoa tops my best in Phoenix list. Honestly, I never realized that I was so predictable. Healthy, but clearly predictable. As long as you are checking the healthy box then you might as well go ahead and order a glass of one of Postinos’ lovely proprietary wines to accompany this hearty salad of kale, quinoa, apple, apricot, toasted almond, pecorino stagionato, and pickled red onion tossed in an apple cider-mustard vinaigrette.
Mexican Caesar from CRUjiente Tacos
Like many Americans, I grew up thinking that the Caesar salad was an Italian dish. It wasn’t until culinary school that I learned of the Tijuana roots of this famed salad attributed to restauranteur Caesar Cardini.
In Arizona, Chef Richard Hinojosa serves a spicy twist of the Caesar salad that has romaine hearts, cotija cheese, spiced pepitas (pumpkin seeds), escabeche (pickled veggies), and sourdough croutons in a roasted poblano dressing. And while you are at CRU, don’t forget to order a margarita!
Burrata and Heirloom Tomato from Francine
There are so many things to love about Francine, and this burrata salad is one of them. Located in the “luxury wing” of Scottsdale Fashion Square near Nobu and Ocean 44, Francine is named for owner Laurent Halasz’s mother, and features classics from the Mediterranean.
Two other salads came in a close second, the Niçoise and the Dungeness Crab & Shrimp. Just goes to show how good the burrata is.
The Country Vegetable Chop from The Windsor
The Windsor, located in midtown Phoenix, is a great spot to hit for happy hour or Sunday brunch. Their Country Vegetable Chop is a light, yet satiating salad that combines traditional southern flavors with fresh ingredients like snap peas, brussel sprouts, avocado and crispy okra. Perfect to eat while sitting on their airy patio with a refreshing cocktail in hand.
The Stetson Chopped from The Gladly
The Stetson Chopped from The Gladly is the ‘best salad in Phoenix’ to cap off my list… Executive Chef Bernie Kantak created this salad at the now closed Cowboy Ciao and named it for the street on which his popular restaurant was located in Old Town Scottsdale, Stetson Rd.
While you can still find it at Chef Kantak’s restaurants, Citizen Public House and The Gladly as The Original Chopped, as well as at New Wave Market and Super Chunk Sweets & Treats, (even at Phoenix Sky Harbor), I thought you may want to try it at home. Check out this post of mine here where you can make the Stetson Chopped at home.
And if you are curious about my favorite salad of all time, it would be The McCarthy at the Beverly Hills Hotel. Shockingly, it costs $25 but is so incredibly yummy and satisfying that it is worth the splurge. Named for a popular guest and polo player, Neil McCarthy, the McCarthy salad is loaded with watercress, red beets, cheddar cheese, bacon, hard boiled eggs, chicken breast, tomatoes, and avocado in a balsamic dressing. So popular you can find the recipe here. NOTE: I just read that it now costs $45!!! I find that hard to believe so maybe I have to make it to LA for some reconnaissance.
Looking for more lunch? Here’s a list of the best places for lunch in the valley, via The Scout Guide Phoenix/Scottsdale. xoM