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Inexpensive Salads -- Need Panera Alternatives

Bench May 2, 2012 11:54 AM

I've been eating Panera salads every day for lunch and sometimes dinner. They're decent and inexpensive ($7-8), but I'm growing tired of them and I don't think the dressings are very healthy.

What are some good alternatives in the Boston area? I have a car and don't mind driving to the suburbs.

  1. p
    ProperBostonian May 4, 2012 09:15 AM

    For under $10, Panera really is your best option in the Boston area.

    Have you tried the salads at McDonald's or Wendy's?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ProperBostonian
      Science Chick May 4, 2012 09:53 AM

      The salads are D'Angelos are usually passable, and they give you a nice pita with them. If health concerns are primary, here is the link to their salads. You can click on any one of them and get a popup with the nutritional info. They aren't limited to these though....they'll throw a scoop of anything you want on top. I usually splurge and get the Lobster on a garden salad.


      You can also get the calorie info for all their dressings on this link:

    2. Boston_Otter May 4, 2012 09:49 AM

      I like the salads from both Pinky's Pizza and Deli-icious.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Boston_Otter
        teezeetoo May 4, 2012 03:52 PM

        Temptations in Brookline (I only know the one on Beacon above Harvard at Coolidge Corner) makes acceptable and inexpensive salads. Lamberts out on Morrisey Boulevard in Dorchester has an excellent salad bar. If you like Asian salads, you can do very well with shrimp or chicken salad from Vietnamese restaurants, which I find generally very good and inexpensive. Many Greek restaurants and Turkish restaurants (Espera in Brighton and Family in Brookline) make excellent greek or shephards or horataki salads which are usually some combination of feta, olive, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and greens.

      2. lipoff May 4, 2012 07:37 PM

        Sebastian's (the cafe in the Broad Institute building in Cambridge, but with a separate entrance) has a nice salad station, as does Cosi nearby in Kendall Square. I also like Quizno's salads, and Whole Foods have excellent salad bars. Finally, California Pizza Kitchen's BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad is one of my absolute favorites. Maybe a touch more expensive, but obviously not very expensive and just wonderful.

        1. n
          nasilemak May 5, 2012 03:25 AM

          Red Lentil in Watertown and Life Alive in Central Square, Cambridge.

          1. BlueMagic May 5, 2012 04:03 AM

            Whole Foods has a great salad bar.

            1. BostonZest May 5, 2012 05:58 AM

              If you see the Bon Me food truck you might try their noodle bowl for $6. It is greens, soba or rice noodles and the protein of your choice- chicken, pork or tofu & shiitakes. You choose from the dressings of the day. The Vietnamese vinaigrette is light and clean. Photos here.


              Schedule here: http://www.bonmetruck.com/?page_id=35

              On Gloucester Street between Boylston and Newbury is Cafe Jaffa and they supply wonderful simple salads with the dressings on the side for $7.25 or less. For under $10 you can top them with enough chicken or schwarma to make two meals from one salad.


              1 Reply
              1. re: BostonZest
                MrsCheese May 5, 2012 07:35 PM

                I also would recommend the noodle salad at Bon me. I may get skewered for this but I'd also recommend the salads at chipotle particularly with the corn salsa.

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