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Boston's best salads? A round up

Now that summer's really heating up and local veggies are ramping up, I thought I'd ask: what are your favorite Boston salads? Lettuce, no lettuce, hierloom tomato, greek, Caesar, chopped, fine dining or take out, put 'em all out there!!

I'll start by nominating the Tiger's Tears from Myers and Chang. Addictively spicy, loads with herbs, tender beef slices and a rainbow of peppers...

Also the New England Seafood Salad from hammersley's, super light and fresh with shrimp, scallops, lobster, asparagus and peas.

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  1. I haven't been there for a while, but I do like the seared tuna on salad at Stephanie's.

    1 Reply
    1. re: CookieLee

      Fireplace Grill lunch salads: particularly the Cobb with grilled chicken. Horataki or shephard's salad from Family and Esperia. And, surprisingly, pretty good lunch salads including greek salad from Temptations in Coolidge Corner.

    2. Seafood Cobb Salad at, wait for it, Skipjack's...I'm not kidding! Farm Grille was closed for vacation, so we went across the street to Skipjack's, and had a Seafood Cobb with lobster on a crostini, perfectly poached shrimp, and smoked salmon, on greens with hardboiled egg and avocado....

      1. Alta Strada in Wellesley has the most delicious salads. I love their Version of a Nicoise salad. It's an Italian version with Italian Tuna and it's fantastic. I also love the warm beet salad at Aquitaine.

        Alta Strada
        92 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02482

        1 Reply
        1. re: cherrytomato

          i second aquitaine's beet salad. A high quality Aged Boucheron (and when do you ever see unusual cheese on a salad here, something other than chevre, cheddar, parm, feta, blue...............?

          WARM BEET SALADE with M√Ęche, Aged Boucheron, Toasted Walnuts and Sherry Vinaigrette 8.95

        2. The single best salad we have ever had, one that we cannot not order when dining there, is at EVOO and is Eva's Greens with Rabbit confit, pecans and cherries and cheddar.

          second to it are thee 2 salads at the adjacent Za:

          Hass Avocado, Black Bean, Tomato, Red Onion, Cheddar Cheese, Bread 'n' Butter Pickled Jalapeno, Red Pepper, and Cilantro Salad with Cumin-Lime Vinaigrette, Sour Cream, and Tortilla Crunch 8.00

          Verrill Farm's Beets, Orange, Red Onion, Parsley, Toasted Hazelnut, and Goat Cheese Salad with Eva's Pea Greens and Citrus Vinaigrette 7.50

          Also love East Coast Grill's brunch salad of avocado, lettuce, cilantro, mango, hearts of palm, and pepitas.
          For take out, my favs are at Azama Grill: Mousskaa- eggplant, tomato and chickpea salad; and Avocado salad with lime and red onion.

          East Coast Grill and Raw Bar
          1271 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139

          138 Massachusetts Ave, Arlington, MA 02474

          Verrill Farm
          11 Wheeler Rd, Concord, MA, MA 01742

          EVOO Restaurant
          350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

          Azama Grill
          54 Harvard Ave, Boston, MA 02134

          2 Replies
          1. re: opinionatedchef

            Ohhhh...I love that rabbit salad at EVOO. Good call.

            EVOO Restaurant
            350 Third Street, Cambridge, MA 02143

            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Love that avocado and black bean salad at Za. Also, the potato salad with cucumbers, radishes, kalamatas, oregano and feta.

            2. Any of the salads at YoMa, the Burmese place in Union Square Allston. On a humid summer night, their roast pork or green mango salads are my favorite things to eat.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Jenny Ondioline

                Yoma's ginger and tea leaf salads are 2 of my favs: http://yomaboston.com/Site/Welcome_to.... The ferocious green papaya salad at Bangkok Blue is another: http://bkkblueboston.com/

                Bangkok Blue
                651 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116

              2. Cambridge 1 makes an array of very nice salads.

                As much as I hate to admit it, I do love the Original BBQ Chicken Chopped Salad at California Pizza Kitchen. It's about the only thing on their menu that I like, but I love it.

                If you like the Tiger's Tears from Myers + Chang (which I also like) them you'll love the Tiger's Tears at Floating Rock in Cambridge and Thmor Da in Revere. Thai restaurants typically have a beef salad (Yum Nuer) that is not entirely dissimilar; S&I Thai is my favorite these days. There's a great tea-leaf salad at Yoma in Allston.

                Erbaluce does some very nice "fancy" salads. Sebastian's does surprisingly nice "design-your-own-salads"; Whole Foods has a nice salad bar. I've had good salads also at Eastern Standard, Aquitaine, and Evoo.

                Floating Rock
                485 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA

                Eastern Standard
                528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                69 Church Street, Boston, MA 02116

                4 Replies
                1. re: lipoff

                  I love that BBQ Chicken Chopped as well - the ingredients are very fresh - and the jicama/corn/black bean/tomato/basil combo tastes so clean and satisfying!

                  1. re: lipoff

                    I like CPK's Field Greens salad with the pears and candied walnuts a lot...I'm sure it's not a very highbrow thing to like, but I do! :)

                    1. re: lipoff

                      The BBQ Chicken chopped salad is the only thing I've ever ordered at CPK. It's great - nice and crunchy. I even buy jicama occasionally to add to my own salads at home as an ode to that salad.

                      On a completely different note, I love the frisee salad with sweetbreads and a poached egg at ESK.

                      1. re: MrsCheese

                        you may well be aware of this , but just in case: jerusalem artichoke ("sunchokes") are crisp and crunchy like jicama- but with actual flavor; nutty carrot-like is how i describe them. thay have a really fascinating history and actually are native to MA. btw, no need to peel them. great as is, sliced or julienned in salads;a staple in ours.

                    2. Neptune has great salads,tuna ribbons,crab and avocado and their fried artichoke come to mind.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: phatchris

                        Oh yeah - I had the grilled calamari salad a few weeks ago, and it was amazing, though pricy for the size.

                        I also really enjoy the Hillstone fried chicken and avocado salad - haven't been there in a while, so I hope they still have it. And of course, Karo's chicken kabob salad, with "the sauce."

                        60 State St Ste P, Boston, MA 02109

                        1. re: phatchris

                          Phatchris you are right the tuna ribbons at Neptune is fantastic. Too delicious to share with another person.

                          1. re: phatchris

                            The crab louis salad at Neptune is fantastic when it is on the menu. I have found the tuna ribbons to be inconsistent and sometimes on the bland side.

                          2. The Fling at Emma's is a great salad to match with their pizza.

                            1 Reply
                            1. I always love the salads at Rendezvous Central Square. Steve Johnson has a way of making salads appealing to even those, like me who seldom order them when dining out. The last time we spoke to him he said we had to try the chilled shellfish salad. I adore the lobster salad when he has it on the menu and I'm slightly addicted to the one with the sliced apples, cheddar and pecans.


                              502 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02139

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: BostonZest

                                I just had a spectacular asparagus salad with poached egg, truffle vinagreitte, and a Parmesan like cheese last weekend.

                                1. re: veggielover

                                  My wife had that recently, and it was amazing!

                                2. re: BostonZest

                                  Just had that chilled shellfish salad @ Rendezvous and loved it. Nice mixture of lobster, calamari, octopus (?), and shrimp. My bf wiped my plate clean with bread.

                                3. the beef carpaccio salad at Scampo

                                  1. I love beet salads, and the one at Petit Robert in Kenmore was particularly good.

                                    1. Ooh, ooh, I forgot, one more...The preserved fish and bitter herb salad at Angkor Wat in Lynn...very cooling on a hot day....

                                      1. Forgot - the deep fried poached egg salad on frisee with bacon at Petit Robert Central.

                                        1. Cilantro Lime Salad at the Nordstrom Cafe in the South Shore Plaza.
                                          Also, the frisee salad at Troquet...and both the Cobb salad and the Abe & Louis salad at Abe & Louis.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: bostongal

                                            Steak & tomato salad and lobster salad are great at Abe's as well. I like Abe's a lot for lunch and brunch, not so much for dinner.

                                          2. spicy pig ear salad at shangri-la in belmont
                                            larb ped (duck larb) at s&i thai in allston
                                            larb pla dook foo (crispy catfish larb) at montien in the theatre district
                                            zaalouk (eggplant and tomato salad) at moroccan hospitality restaurant in malden
                                            laphetthot (tea leaf salad) at yoma in allston
                                            jinnthot (ginger salad) at yoma in allston
                                            thayettheethot (green mango salad) at yoma in allston
                                            antipasti bar at vinny's at night in somerville
                                            serbian-style potato salad at the serbian festival in cambridge
                                            goi sua (jellyfish salad) at pho 2000 in dorchester
                                            som tum (papaya salad) at s&i thai in allston
                                            tiger tears at floating rock in cambridge
                                            bok l'hong (papaya salad) at thmor da in revere
                                            pleah sach ko (beef salad with mint) at senmonorom in lowell
                                            tum mak hoong (papaya salad) at phien's kitchen in lowell
                                            yuk hwe (raw beef salad) at chung ki wa in medford

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: galangatron

                                              all salads at Sunrise Cafe in Dorchester and at most of the Dorchester vietnamese restaurants, particularly spicy chicken.

                                              1. re: galangatron

                                                had what i reckon was an anomalous yook hwe at chung ki wa - ice cold, literally, as in actually icy. once it came to temp it was quite good, but dang, it hurt my teef on first bite.

                                                1. re: Nab

                                                  the yuk hwe at koreana is like that too. had to let the beef come to room temperature before you could eat it. yuk hwe bibimbap is a nice alternative. no defrosting necessary

                                              2. While none of these is healthy or seasonal, I like the frisee salad at Eastern Standard, the BLT-as-a-salad at Flour (though they tend to burn the bacon) and the spinach and bacon salad at the Capital Grill. I guess if you put enough bacon on something, there's a good chance I'm gonna like it...

                                                Eastern Standard
                                                528 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: peelmeagrape

                                                  Ooh, Flour's lamb-sandwich-as-a-salad is good too!

                                                2. Sometimes I crave just a simple salad, and lots of it, for not too much $$. Cambridge 1 has an arugula salad-- just arugula, with a light dressing and shaved parm or grana or something in that neighborhood-- this, with a beer from their pretty decent selection, hits the spot for me. The atmosphere is often loud and it can be crowded, however, so my alternative is Upstairs on the Square, the Zebra Room or bar room, for a frisee salad with poached egg and lardons. I usually get one of their stupendous cocktails with it. This salad is so good I sometimes order a second one. ...These rooms are currently being renovated and the menu somewhat incorporated into that of the more formal, upstairs dining room, so I don't know if it's currently available. Anyone else have suggestions for finding great, but simple salads?

                                                  1. You may find this hard to believe, but Mr. Bartley's Burgers in Harvard Square has a great Greek salad. The dressing is to die for.

                                                    1. For an easy, every day option, I do like the Chef Salad at Tossed. My wife loves it too. Consistent, fairly inexpensive, fast...I wouldn't mind seeing more branches in other citys (Portland, ME Please?!)

                                                      1. Given the return of summer, I thought I'd bump this thread with some recent favorites. I'd love to hear others' thoughts on favorite Boston salads, particularly those that are veg-heavy and light on meat/cheese/creamy dressings.

                                                        -Cutty's gets so much (deserved) love for their sandwiches and bagels, but I'm crazy about the fennel and peanut salad (mixed greens with shaved fennel,
                                                        crispy shallots, peanuts, aged gouda) with their tangy house dressing. This is a combo I would never dream up on my own, but it is so wonderful.

                                                        -Tico has another of my favorites... the shaved cabbage and vegetable salad with salsa verde crushed almonds. I can't recall what veggies show up in this, zucchini maybe? Green beans? It's delightfully veggie-full. It's listed as an appetizer, but I think it makes an excellent lunch.

                                                        -Dorado in Coolidge Corner makes another favorite. The Dorado Salad is "romaine lettuce, green cabbage, jicama, tomatoes, cucumbers, scallions and watermelon tossed in our citrus & chipotle dressing with crisp tortilla strips & queso fresco." You can add chicken, steak, grilled fish, or fried shrimp for an extra $1.95.

                                                        Finally, a shout-out to the brussels sprout salad at Area Four. It's not on the menu now, given that it's summertime, but it's essentially shaved brussles sprouts, hazelnuts and, I believe, pecorino. An all-time favorite.

                                                        10 Replies
                                                        1. re: marketpeach

                                                          The Farm Salad at Sweet Cheeks Q is always one choice on our visits there. Lovely.


                                                          1. re: BostonZest

                                                            +1 on the farm salad! People always look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them that they should order salad at a bbq joint but they're never let down.

                                                          2. re: marketpeach

                                                            Bogies Place wedge salad is certainly not a healthy alternative, but it is a guilty pleasure and one of the best versions I've ever had.

                                                            Another non healthy choice, color me crazy, but I love the chopped salad with chicken at Maggiano's. Something about the sweet dressing, bacon, and blue - well it's not a weight watchers salad either.

                                                            1. re: Bellachefa

                                                              Along similarly fatty lines, Four Burgers in Central will make your burger into a burger salad. The patty comes on top of greens, alfalfa sprouts, carrots, tomato, bell peppers, and red onion. I like to add cheese, caramelized onions, grilled mushrooms, and sometimes bacon. I think burger juice makes a pretty great dressing.

                                                              Four Burgers
                                                              704 Mass Ave.
                                                              Cambridge, MA 02139
                                                              (617) 441-5444

                                                            2. re: marketpeach

                                                              wow, those all sound really terrific. i wanted to mention Ribelle's amazing kale treatments. Often it's stir fried/charred, but with its presentation and temp, it comes off as a salad.The oyster crema is prob my fav treatment (they always include some neat crunchy element [ like toasted quinoa] to complement the creamy and chewy) and it is one of my top fav dishes i have had there.

                                                              1. re: marketpeach

                                                                I love that salad at Area Four SO much. I think they currently have a salad with green beans and shaved mushrooms that still has the peppered hazelnuts, pecorino, and lemon vinaigrette. I need to get over there to try it...

                                                                1. re: marketpeach

                                                                  Just an FYI-- when I was reading through this 2011 thread, I realized that a good many of the mentioned restnts (more than usual)-- no longer exist!
                                                                  Rendezvous, Floating Rock,and more. So if you see some salad that calls out to you, you might want to make sure the place and/or the particular salad- still exists.

                                                                  1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                    OTOH, there are some new ones!
                                                                    My current favorite, the "Dressing Fish", on the wall at Northern Thai in Brighton...A larb-like mass of chopped roasted fish, with shrimp paste, lime juice, chilis and fish sauce, that you scoop up with lettuce and herbs...

                                                                  2. re: marketpeach

                                                                    Love the salads at Area IV! I enjoy the (seasonal) brussels sprouts salad so much I've started making it at home. All the rest I've tried have been really tasty too, always a great mix of flavors and textures. On the current menu, I've enjoyed the Kitchen Sink a lot, which I believe varies a bit seasonally, and I think of their smoked bluefish gyro as a great salad, atop pita. (Some of their pizza specials are like big salads atop pizza as well. So good.)

                                                                  3. Root in Allston kindly made their eggplant caprese sandwich into a salad for me tonight. Fresh basil and tomatoes, lovely greens, plus the crispy eggplant was like delicious croutons. And the garlicky vegan crema, creamy thyme sauce, and balsamic made for a killer dressing.

                                                                    Note: sandwiches at Root come with fries or side salad, so I got a side salad with my big salad. Bit redundant of me, but I just mixed the side salad into the big one.

                                                                    They have other salads on the menu that I'd love to try, like the kale with butternut squash, cranberries, pepitas...

                                                                    1. Can't remember if both of these are listed, but my two favorite salads in the city are the Wedge Salad at Bogie's Place, and the Ubiquitous Kale Salad at Alden & Harlow.

                                                                      1. Another vote for that kale salad at Alden.

                                                                        Liquid Art House does beautiful little composed salads, like the summer salad on the current menu. Pricey but delicious.

                                                                        Kale & nectarine salad at Myers & Chang also surprised me and my kale-jaded palate.

                                                                        The Abbey does nice salads. Had one of greens, baby tomatoes, fig and burrata I quite liked.

                                                                        Doesn't appear to be on the current menu, but I like the curried quinoa salad at Root.

                                                                        Not on the current menu, but Coppa's farro salad is one I could eat every time I go there.

                                                                        Not sure grilled romaine with oxtail and egg at Strip-T's counts as a salad, but I'm glad that one is back on the menu.

                                                                        The German cucumber salad and potato salad at Karl's Sausage Kitchen Cafe are perfect of their kind.

                                                                        Duck larb at Thai North is terrific.


                                                                        1 Reply
                                                                        1. re: MC Slim JB

                                                                          Kale salad was by far the best thing i had amongst the 9 plates i tried at Alden and Harlow. Too bad, about half of them were marred by oversalting.

                                                                        2. Love the kale salad at Cook in Newton!

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: veggielover

                                                                            We have become major devotees of Ribelle's 2 diff kale dishes.They are both so unique with elements of creamy, crunchy and acidic punch. The Kale w/'Oyster crema'did not appeal to me but of course, after eating it, I swooned! and now i have to order it every time we go there.

                                                                            1. re: opinionatedchef

                                                                              no kale salad on the menu at Ribelle's the past two weeks. The sprout salad and the beet salad were great though.

                                                                          2. Hopping on the kale salad train to recommend Tory Row's "Kale Kale Salad." They do an interesting preparation of very finely shredded raw kale and roasted kale which, with slivered almonds, makes for a nice texture. Plenty hearty, especially if you add grilled chicken or shrimp. Must like red onion.

                                                                            Tory Row
                                                                            3 Brattle St (Harvard Sq.)
                                                                            Cambridge, MA 02138
                                                                            (617) 876-8769