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Best Take-out Places for a "Big Salad" (Dinner)?

A bit of an unusual request, but my wife and I sorely miss the "Big Salads" available back home in New York City's diners (Sunflower Diner on 26th/3rd was a definite fav). A nice Cobb salad, in a huge portion size, with toasted pita. Available for delivery after 9:30pm...

However, in SF, we are having trouble finding places to take-out for a healthy dinner meal! For lunch, there's Mixt Greens, but they're closed after 3pm. Forget the delivery and forget the 9.30pm -- we're willing to drive, and show up at 7.30 for a nice Cobb and some toasted pita.

Does anyone know of diners, restaurants, etc. in SF that can offer a "Big Salad" (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Big_...) for takeout?

Obviously others in the area must feel a similar pain. Hoping to drum up some ideas!

Thanks in advance,

Mixt Greens
114 Sansome St Ste 120, San Francisco, CA 94104

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  1. Thanks for posting this request, I'm curious myself to see responses. The best Cobb salad I've found in SF is at Chow, but it's not a Big Salad (especially for $12.95). But the ingredients are great (fresh, tender chicken) and I love their house dressing. For big salads, I often stop at Crepevine (salads are the only thing I like there). Particularly the Bangkok and the Cancun. These are truly Big Salads, and I'm never disappointed with the freshness of the ingredients.

    I'd love a Mixt Greens-type option for dinner, but I don't know where or if this exists. Pluto's in the Marina, maybe?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Frosty Melon

      I had a similar (Berkeley-area) post probably a couple years ago. The Barney's salads aren't bad (but not worth going out of your way). The one that I like the best is the Tostada Salad w/Carnitas at Talavera on Solano. (Note - NOT the taco salad). Can't help you out in SF, but I suffer from the same issue over here. (In fact, I made "big salad" dinner last night, and "big salad" lunch today, both at home, because the take out options are limited.)

      1. re: lmnopm

        For East Bayers, my favorite type of Big Salad is from Cactus Taqueria (I go to the College Ave location, but the one in Solano is good too). Their regular house salad or their caesar are both good, and you can get them with chicken, avocado, shrimp, and I think carne asada if you ask nicely. Their greens are excellent, and I love both of their salad dressings (and have tried to recreate both at home with no luck, I would buy bottles of both of those dressings).

        Cactus Taqueria
        5642 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

        1. re: JasmineG

          In the East Bay I personally LOVE the tostada salad at Picante -- huge! Tasty!

          1328 6th St, Berkeley, CA 94710

          1. re: JasmineG

            I had the Cactus Taqueria "Casa" salad with grilled chicken today.

            It was really.... really bad!

            2 on a 10 scale.

            I only ate 20% of it and I was hungry.


            Plus it took them 20 minutes to make the horrible mess?

            The tostada salad looked much better.

            Cactus Taqueria
            5642 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618

      2. Just how big is big? A standard clam shell carry away box? Bigger?

        1. Whole Foods is a good option. Between the salad bars and prepacks, you'll find a lot of decent salads. Potrero and the SOMA branches especially. Just go easy on the heavy items.

          Cafe Gratitude has very good salads. I also like the huge salads at Ti Couz. I've had good salads recently at Radius Cafe and Darwin Cafe; not sure if they're available late in the day.

          Too bad Einstein's is gone. Their giant salads were very similar to Cafe Intermezzo in Berkeley.
          Holy Land in Berkeley has a 5 or 7 salad combo of Middle Eastern salads that is great.

          I would start with Middle Eastern restaurants rather than San Francisco's dreadful "American" diners.

          Cafe Intermezzo
          2442 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

          Whole Foods Market
          399 4th St, San Francisco, CA

          3 Replies
          1. re: Windy

            I'll vouch for the SOMA branch of WF - their salad bar really outdoes their fellow WF compatriots, and often to great degrees (like the one closest to me at home in Napa.)

            1. re: Windy

              This thread makes me miss Einstein's all over again. They were a non-profit salad and sandwich place started by the owners of Cafe Intermezzo.


              Cafe Intermezzo
              2442 Telegraph Ave, Berkeley, CA 94704

              1. re: Windy

                I agree that Whole Foods is probably the best option.

                For a salad that others prepare for you, Pluto's is good.

                There are lots of places that have Cobb salad - not sure of one with a good toasted pita.

                1. Sprout Cafe in Palo Alto specializes exclusively in big salads of infinite combinations:


                  I believe there might also be a Pluto's in SF itself:


                  2 Replies
                  1. re: mikeh

                    Yes, there's a Pluto's in the Marina off Chestnut. Healthy if generic salads, made to order, well priced.

                    1. re: mikeh

                      I like Pluto's I think there is one in the Marina.

                      Max's Cafe has decent salads - I think they are pretty big. I've only had them for lunch though.
                      Its seems mostly chains have these...or neighborhood cafes.

                      California Pizza Kitchen is another place. In fact pizza places in general often seem to have salad options.

                      Cheesecake Factory.... Max's is starting to sound good.....

                    2. The Squat and Gobble in the lower haight has really tasty salads and they are huge. I like the asian chicken salad and the salmon cobb is yummy too. Always surprised how fresh they are and they are open late.

                      1. I think that that most of SF's crepe house mini-chains -- Squat & Gobble, Crepevine, The Crepe House, etc. have decent big salads. I can't recall if Cobb is a choice, but it's worth checking out.

                        Zazie (Cole Valley) & La Note (Downtown Berkeley) both have a good-sized, satisfying salad Nicoise.

                        I also had a carne asada salad at Green Chile Kitchen (WA/NOPA) last month that was terrific.

                        941 Cole St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        Green Chile Kitchen
                        1801 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 94117

                        Crepe House
                        429 Gough St, San Francisco, CA 94102

                        1. Plant Cafe (on Embarcadero & in the Marina) has a tasty make your own salad option. I enjoyed it a lot when they were still called Lettus Organic. Haven't eaten there recently. Incidentally, I read a rumor that they are opening a branch at SFO. Certainly hope that's true!

                          1. Fattoush a middle eastern restaurant on Church St. in Noe Valley is known for its' "Fattoush" salad which has toasted pita tossed in...it also has a Meditteranean salad....menu.com has the particulars...it is right on the J Church line near 24th...

                            1. Check out Split Pea Seduction on 6th Street in SoMa. It's perhaps not the east-coast style of salad you're looking for, but they always come up with salads that are interesting and hearty enough to pass for dinner. You can even add meaty toppings to the salads like braised chicken or prosciutto. Their soft-cooked egg is my favorite. Here's a link to their menu, which changes every day.


                              Unfortunately they're only open on weekdays until 5, but one of the advantages of having salad for dinner is you don't have to eat it right away.

                              Split Pea Seduction
                              138 6th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

                              1. Clare's Deli has a Big Salad on the menu along with Cobb and Chef. Great sandwiches, too. Open until 11pm.

                                Clare's Delicatessen & Late Night Kitchen
                                3505 17th St, San Francisco, CA 94110

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: scarmoza

                                  Finally got a chance to order the Big Salad at Clare's. I don't think it's the kind of big salad you're looking for :(

                                2. Savor on 24th has salads with prices for regular and small so I suppose regular is somewhat larger! No Cobb listed:


                                  While part of a chain, the Buckhorn Grill has delicious salads, including Cobb salads. I love the yik-yak. 865 Market Street. Also Cobb salads at Cafe Madeleine at 43 O'Farrell but I don't think open for dinner.

                                  Cafe Madeleine
                                  300 California St Fl Grnd1, San Francisco, CA 94104

                                  1. Thanks so much for all the suggestions. A lot of these places we've definitely seen before, but had no idea they had such a loyal following. We'll pick through them one-by-one.

                                    Part of the secret is the toasted pita, but beggars can't be choosers.

                                    1. They close at 9 but the takeout salad bar at Canyon Market in Glen Park is great. Open later is Frtjz. They make a good salad.

                                      Canyon Market
                                      2815 Diamond Street, San Francisco, CA

                                        1. re: hhc

                                          San Francisco Soup Company has pretty good salads. They have prebuilt combinations or you can just choose what you like.

                                          Julie's Kitchen is kind of like Whole Foods with both a salad bar and prepared foods. The quality is pretty good.