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Best Salad in Boston???

  • j

Who has the best salad in the Boston area?
Need a good salad for lunch.

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  1. There may be those who dissent from this opinion, but I LOVE California Pizza Kitchen salads if your lunch is near the Galleria Mall in Cambridge or the Mall at the Prudential Center. I particularly like the Barbeque Chicken Chopped Salad - I find all the ingredients (jicama, cilantro, black beans, tomatoes and chopped lettuce) to be really fresh. If you are looking for something more 'special occasion' or fancy, then I think the salade nicoise at Petit Robert to be delightful as is the Frisee aux Lardons (with poached egg). I also like the beet salad at Sibling Rivalry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Small Plates

      how about that sweet bread salad at eastern standard, or the bibb salad at Harvard gardens.... luckys lounge makes a similiar south western chopped salad

    2. Small Plates, I do dissent indeed, but that's another story. I enjoy the big spinach salad at the Parish Cafe on Boylston near the public gardens and my employer on Arlington. Handy for me, but you didn't say where you were coming from? I'd rec the Parish anyways, frankly.

      1. I'm no salad connoisseur, but I really enjoyed a kind of deconstructed Caeser salad at a recent sunny lunch on the patio at Pops in the South End. It had a couple of good anchovies, a lot of finely shaved hard Italian cheese (a good Parmesan, maybe?), and one perfectly poached egg.

        On the traditional French tip, Brasserie Jo, Aquitaine, Pierrot, Petit Robert, and Beacon Hill Bistro all do very fine frisee/lardon/poached egg salads, which I love.

        Another stunner is the fasulye piyaz (that's probably misspelled), the complimentary white bean salad served at Brookline Family, my favorite Turkish place in town.

        1 Reply
        1. re: MC Slim JB

          I'm also fond of the Salade Camodgienne at Elephant Walk, a chicken and napa salad with a fish sauce and lime dressing.

        2. I recently had one of the best salads ever at the B-side Lounge. It was a mushroom ceviche--a wide array of mushrooms over lettuce and a just-tangy-enough dressing. I never rave about salads, but that was a winner. It was a special, but sometimes restaurants will add a successful special to the regular menu, so you could check.

          1. Hi,

            You didn't say if you wanted a sit-down meal, but if you don't mind a more casual setting or taking out, Sebastians has the best salads. They have two locations, at 100 Summer St., and Devonshire Pl. It's a made-to-order salad bar, with about 15 different items. It's huge, fresh, and only $6.75

            8 Replies
            1. re: mwk

              There is a local chain called "Not Your Average Joe's"...they have a great chipotle chicken salad that has chick tenders, greens, wontons, and sugared pecans..teh dresssing is a chiptole ranch. All the food is great, good comfort food (meatloaf), great pizzas and really good kids menu for a inexpensive price.

              I love local salad bars in Needham (fresh city, whole foods, lambarts, and roche brothers)....

              1. re: mwk

                I agree with you MWK - for a qiuck take out salad, Sebastians has the best option, particularly in the Financial District. They're my "go-to" for salads at least a couple times a week.

                1. re: chowciao

                  They also run the cafe adjacent to Novel in the Boston Public Library, and I think Sebastian's food is superior to and a much better value than Novel's. Plus you can eat it sitting in that lovely interior courtyard by the fountain.

                  1. re: MC Slim JB

                    Sounds wonderful. The charm of the MFA salad bar for me is eating in the museum courtyard. Plus the grilled vegetables.

                    1. re: ginnyhw

                      That reminds me of another wonderful salad, the panzanella at Pops. Huge, full of great grilled vegetables, tomatoes, avocado and toasted French bread. It makes a fine entree at dinner, but I don't think it's on the lunch menu.

                2. re: mwk

                  Yes, Sebastians has really good customized salads.

                  1. re: nasilemak

                    The last couple of times I've gotten salads at Sebastians, some of the ingredients have been less than fresh particularly the cucumbers which had that weird texture/color they get when they've been sitting pre-cut for too long. It was gross. And I did complain via email, they got right back to me offering a free lunch. But what I really want is good, fresh ingredients which I did not get on subsequent visits. It's off my list of places now.

                    1. re: lissy

                      Agreed - not fresh across the board in spite of good service and great concept - they dump new greens on top of old ones which stay and get even older - yuk - has anyone had a dressing with flavor better than a supermarket bottle here, either - it's across the street and I don't go there anymore.

                3. Bin 26 Enoteca has a terrific lunch salad of rare grilled tuna on a bed of greens, accompanied by hard boiled egg, olives, capers, white beans... I forget what else. Maybe some spears of asparagus? I have a feeling the ingredients may change a bit based on what's good that day, but it's a take on nicoise. I think it was about $9-11. That, plus the excellent bread basket, and too many glasses of wine -- well, it makes for a lovely afternoon.

                  On the totally other side of the spectrum, and if you're looking for a *BIG* salad, Cheesecake Factory (I know I know) has really hearty and tasty ones. I especially like the Asian Chicken salad, but I recommend getting dressing on the side (and maybe leave off the fried rice noodles) in order to get it back to being a healthful choice. But they do give you tons of chicken and other goodies. I think this clocks in at about $8 for the lunch portion, which is as large as a man's head.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: litchick

                    On the Bin 26 side, I actually had a great salad off of Sonsie's summer menu. I know it's not a popular option on this board, but the salad was fabulous. A chopped salad with lardons, sheep's milk camembert, and asparagus, I believe...

                  2. This post from last year has a bunch of good salad options around the Financial District:


                    I'll repeat my recs for the Vault (many options, swarming with high finance types) and Temptations (healthy, fast, take-out only).

                    If you're not opposed to a chain, I've never gone wrong with the salads at Houston's. Most aren't exactly healthy, but the ingredients are very fresh, and most are chock full of large pieces of fun ingredients like chunks of avocado, fresh fried chicken fingers, etc.

                    1. i live for salad. while stephanie's is not really my favorite place to eat, they do make a really good chinese chicken salad. its huge, and the dressing is quite tasty. I also love the nicoise salad at Eastern Standard. If you are looking for a good place to get salad on the go, try Tossed that just opened in the Pru. THey are a chain, but you can make your own salad and all the ingredients are really fresh.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: NiKoLe1625

                        For a quick take-out salad the Garden salad with marinated chicken and feta is really good at J Pace.

                      2. Among the more recent ones that I've had:

                        Caesar salad at Domani -- balanced dressing (although more anchovy could be nicer), hints of bacon, chopped romaine, cherry tomato and a lovely boiled egg.

                        Papaya salad at Suvarnabhumi Kiri - excellent sticky rice.

                        90 Exeter St, Boston, MA 02116

                        1. In a hidden, out of the way hallway of the Pru (near where Marche usded to be), there is a new place called Tossed. They are doing the "build your own" salad concept, along with the cobb, nicoise, chopped, greek, and so on. I have been several times and have been very happy with almost everything. The only complaint I have had was that the honey dijon dressing was way too sweet.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: naughtywaitress

                            Agreed on Tossed. I really like their signature salad, and the chef's as well.

                            1. re: naughtywaitress

                              I meant to post on Tossed when I got back from Boston, and never did...thanks for the reminder. It is apparently a small east coast chain. And it may be an "out of the way" hallway of the Pru, but it is right across the mall from the entrance to the Hynes Convention Center, and may well be one of the best lunch choices if you are at a meeting there. I ate several times there while attending a convention: I loved the build your own concept and was able to construct salads that were totally different each time. It works like a salad bar, except that you pick the ingredients from a long list and the staff puts them together and tosses your salad. About my only complaint was that the first two times I ate there I found the salad underdressed (better than the other way around!)...I would recommend asking for extra dressing on the side. The cost of the salad will vary according to the ingredients. Mine averaged 10 dollars for full-meal salads; not cheap, but not bad for a convention lunch. The ingredients were always fresh and tasty: good, ripe haas avocados, fresh greens, arugula, ripe tomatoes, etc, etc. There must be 50 "toppings" choices...you could do everything from a taco salad to a fruit salad with the various combinations....(A bowl of basic greens starts at 3.95, and most toppings are 50cents to a dollar...you can also get grilled chicken or steak for around 1.50 extra). Service is fast; you order at the counter.

                            2. Not sure if it's to everyone's taste, but I've liked Souper Salad the times I've been. They're in the Back Bay more or less between the Park Plaza Hotel and the Hancock Tower. They get mobbed at lunchtime and they're not a table service place, but their salad bar is wide ranging and the items have been fresh when I've gone.

                              1. I'm a big fan of the salads at Garden of Eden, on Tremont. Always very fresh ingredients, interesting variety, and good lunch portions.

                                My favorite was a salad with lentils and duck last summer. There may have been beets as well.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: JP RS

                                  Oh yes, ditto on the GoE salads. My one regret is that they changed their menu about 6 months ago and got rid of my favorite sandwiches (no amount of begging reversed that decision), and now I don't go there as often as I used to. The salads are good, though, with lots of fresh tidbits thrown in.

                                2. My vote for the best salad by far in all of Boston is the Santa Fe Chicken Salad at Purple Cactus in JP. Excellent grilled marinated chicken, fresh, fresh, fresh ingredients, to die for Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette and big, but not monstrous!

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: kimmins

                                    a vote for the cobb salad at Zaftigs and any salad i've had at eastern standard kitchen: chicken, frisee, nicoise. all good.

                                    1. re: kimmins

                                      My new favorite is the salad nicoise w/salmon at Cafe Bistro @ Nordstrom at the Natick "Collection."

                                    2. I love the God Salad at Rivergods in Cambridge with their chili peanut dressing. I've often tried to emulate it at home but it taste better when someone else chopped it up for you.

                                      1. I'm not a salad fan, but the best I know of is at the Fruit Center Marketplace in Milton (aka Milton Marketplace). A nice breakfast place is upstairs from there called "A Lighter Fare".

                                        1. COSI has wonderful salads AND you get a piece of hot bread with it... can't be beat... get a COSI card and with every 10 purchases you get one FREE!

                                          1. It's not in the same realm as some of these others, but for a "grab and go" salad downtown, I love Finale's Chef Salad. The bacon is perfect, almost fried (is it fried?!), super crunchy and melts right in your mouth. Nice mix of flavors (golden raisins, smoked turkey, bacon, cheddar cheese, grape tomatoes, walnuts, arugula, spinach), good dressing (on the side to go), and they definitely don't skimp on the toppings.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: iamsam

                                              Are Finale's salads premade at lunch, or can they make them to order?

                                              1. re: twitchology

                                                Made to order. (And they're happy to make substitutions.) Although I should warn that they've switched bacon-techniques, and it's not as "deep fried delicious."

                                            2. Had an enormous chef's salad at JA Stats the other week - for $10, was large enough for two servings.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. The Palmito at Orinoco or the Fling at Emma's. Both restaurants are phenomenal but those two salads alone are unbelievable.

                                                1. Where's the best salad nicoise in town? Preferably at a reasonable price. It's my favorite hot weather meal.

                                                  I had one at brunch at Sel de la Terre; it was fairly good although out of balance (one, yes one, haricot), and an appetizer rather than entree portion (no one here knows me, but I eat like a bird and usually complain that portions are much too big). The tuna steak was excellent, but also modest (about 2 oz).

                                                  Close to my studio is Z Square and Grafton Street, but I'm not sure I should trust either (I haven't been to the former, had mediocre fish and chips at the latter).

                                                  I might be able to do something in town if it's close to the red line. I notice that Eastern Standard has one, but it's fairly expensive (at least at dinner; it's difficult for me to get there for lunch).

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: twitchology

                                                    I had a good one at Bouchee a few months ago- could have used a but more tuna but was otherwise spot on!

                                                  2. Not technically in Boston, but I love the salads at Second Street Cafe in Cambridge. My favorite is their cobb. Seating is limited inside, but I love to get a salad to go and sit by the water near the Galleria.

                                                    4 Replies
                                                    1. re: italyinmind

                                                      Seconding this rec for Second Street Cafe, and also posting (mostly for twitchology's sake) about the salads at City Slicker Cafe. They have a "California BLT salad" which I get topped with grilled chicken. Greens, grape tomatoes, avocado, bacon, croutons, and the chicken. I know twitch has been looking for dinner salads and these are big, plus they deliver. (Note, it's a schlepp from the T)

                                                      Worth checking out if you are still on a salad quest.

                                                      City Slicker Cafe
                                                      588 Somerville Ave, Somerville, MA 02143

                                                      1. re: yumyum

                                                        Good suggestion yumyum. I always seem to forget about City Slicker even though I live half a mile away! Their salads are good, as are their dressings. I always appeciate the fact that they grill the chicken to order, so you know it hasn't been sitting pre-sliced somewhere.

                                                        1. re: italyinmind

                                                          I live in Somerville and often drive past the City Slicker on my way to Market Basket... I've been tempted by the avocado poster, and have been meaning to try it out as I LOVE big, hearty salad for dinner (not the dainty cucumber and mealy tomato salads offered by most take-out joints). Now I know where to get my fix!

                                                          1. re: mipiace

                                                            Oh you must try it. That particular salad has been ringing my bell lately, but the rest of the menu is great, and the very nice owner was just telling me what a hit his biz has taken since the Somerville version of the big dig. Try the creamy roasted garlic dressing. Mmmm.

                                                    2. I vote for the Israeli Couscous Salad at Zaftigs. Really tasty and a great deal.

                                                      I really miss the salad bar at the StockPot in Harvard Square. Anyone know why/when they folded? I know it's been a long time since they were in business but i kept hearing rumors of the owners reopening elsewhere.

                                                      1. Now that we have moved out of Boston proper, I would like to recommend the lunch salads at Strip-T's in Watertown and any of the salads at Kouzina in Waban. A new place in Newton Highlands, Citreo, serves a great Palm salad with grilled chicken and hearts of palm. You can sit outside and pretend you are in the Carribean.

                                                        1. Not Your Average Joe's Almond-Crusted Goat Cheese Salad. Served warm over mixed baby greens with fresh raspberries, caramelized pepper pecans and raspberry vinaigrette. Yummy with chicken or shrimp added. NYAJ's menu is mostly hit or miss, but this salad rocks!