Don't shake your head and declare it only “rabbit food.” Salads – when done right – can burst with flavor in every bite, too. In honor of National Salad Month, our Yelp gal-about-town has rounded up a list of local joints that serve mouthwatering versions of the healthy meal. Pass the dressing, please.
Big Front Door (North Park)
This savory urban deli boasts big bites of leafy goodness with its salad selections. The Cobbler caught our eye: house-smoked turkey, avocado, egg, tomato and cucumber topped with crumbled Maytag and a red wine and blue vinaigrette. The Southwest is another solid choice, loaded with chicken, corn salsa, jicama, pico de gallo, avocado, jack cheese and black beans, plus a tasty orange dressing.
Bushfire Kitchen (Carlsbad)
This organic local eatery opened about six weeks ago and is already a neighborhood favorite. Here, you’ll find an array of farm-fresh food made the old-fashioned way. Drop by and grab an option from the menu of beautifully crafted salads. Choose from options like a Rustic Greek, The Strawberry and Spinach mix or Quinoa and Beet with wild arugula.
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Urbane Café (Linda Vista)
This family-owned company tosses stunning salads like the current special: chopped mixed greens, avocado, goat cheese and cashews, topped with mango salsa and jicama and mango miso vinaigrette dressing. Other options include the BBQ chicken with house-made coleslaw or the Urbane Cobb, all served with fresh bread.
Café Secret (Del Mar)
If you can make it past the empanadas (we dare you), you’ll find a Peruvian spread that will wow your palate. Try the Quinoa Mediterranean with organic quinoa, greens, roasted bell red peppers, onions, olives, queso fresco, avocado, tomato and balsamic vinaigrette. The café also has a beautiful caprese on the menu with pesto and crostinis.
Healthy Creations (Encinitas)
This completely gluten-free and organic café has a healthy menu full of flavor. The Wild Salmon Salad is made with spinach, a spring mix of greens and smoked fish, plus tomatoes, carrots, red onion, apple slices, dried cranberries and sliced almonds with a sweet, tangy dressing. An alternate option is the Middle Eastern Plate: it’s a mix of greens, sprouts, tomatoes, feta, olive and dressing topped with homemade falafels.
Slater’s 50/50 (Multiple Locations)
No mistake here: a salad is still a serious Slater’s experience. Purists should snag the Chipotle Kale option with roasted corn and cilantro. The bacon and burger-loving bold can opt for the Bacon Cheeseburger salad, a bed of romaine topped with a Brandt beef patty, bacon, dill pickle, red onion, tomato and cheese plus 1000 Island dressing. There’s also the unique Beet, Barley and Brussels salad: a spring mix plus pickled beet, barley and Brussels sprouts with an apple cider mustard dressing, onions and cotija.
Trish Sanderson is the community manager and marketing director for Yelp North County San Diego. She leads the local community of Yelp reviewers both online and off.