Just in time to start eating clean, green and healthy for spring and summer, we reached out to our loyal (and wonderful!) Instagram followers to ask about their favorite Birmingham salads. We were so overwhelmed by the responses we received that we started salivating — and we decided to share the salad wealth with you.
A few of these come from the typical salad spots around town, like Ashley Mac’s and Urban Cookhouse. Others, like the seasonal salads from Post Office Pies and a to-die-for option from El Barrio, were total surprises. But whether you go for a sweet, berry salad or one that offers a savory flavor profile, this list has something for everyone.
Here are 10 of the best salads in Birmingham!
Birmingham’s Favorite Spring Salads
No surprise here: Ashley Mac’s was mentioned most in response to our “Best Salad in Birmingham” Instagram question. The crowd-favorite is the Baby Bleu, which features mixed greens, strawberries, mandarin oranges, bleu cheese and sugared almonds, topped with a poppy-seed vinaigrette. This one is gluten-free, vegetarian and the perfect healthy lunchtime treat.
El Barrio Restaurante y Bar
You may not think to order a salad at El Barrio, one of the absolute best Mexican restaurants in the Magic City, but plenty of our followers suggest their Chopped Romaine & Spinach Salad. Grilled corn, avocado, crispy tortilla strips and sweet peppers are tossed in a garlic-lime dressing and topped with pepitas. One follower noted that adding the grilled steak brings this salad to a whole new level, and the masa-fried shrimp sounds just as delicious.
MAFIAoZA’s in Mountain Brook may be known for their top-notch pizza and daily happy hour specials, but if you’re craving some lighter fare, go for The Rosé. And, no, we’re not talking about wine (this time). This salad features spinach, baby greens, dried cranberries, Marcona almonds and lemon-poppy chicken. It’s then finished with three deep-fried goat cheese coins. Need we say more?
Bettola serves up a few delicious salads, including the Herb Insalata, which features basil, spearmint, arugula, parsley and romaine. It’s definitely one of our favorites, but the most popular salad at Bettola, according to our followers, is the Kale Caesar. This one includes pecorino, toasted bread crumbs, shaved walnuts, sultanas (a dried fruit similar to a grape) and a classic Caesar dressing. It’s the perfect starter for one of Bettola’s dreamy pastas!
Urban Cookhouse is, of course, a local favorite for all of their salads, sandwiches and healthy lunchtime choices. In fact, it’s so beloved that we decided to include two Urban Cookhouse salads on our list.
The Berry Good salad features seasonal berries, tomatoes, spiced pecans, feta and their classic citrus vinaigrette. Add chicken (or chicken salad, as recommended by staffers) for some added protein. The Local Mix, a more savory pick, was also a follower fave. It includes applewood bacon, corn, hard-boiled egg, red onion, cheddar and a rich, honey-mustard vinaigrette.
Carrigan’s Public House
Carrigan’s is known for their killer corn dog that might be the most Instagrammable dish in the ‘ham, but have you tried their Super Salmon Salad? Grilled salmon, mixed greens, crumbled goat cheese, cherry tomatoes, toasted pecans and a honey-soy dressing make this one the perfect mix of sweet and savory. Right now, it’s only available during lunch, and we suggest enjoying this one on their patio during these warm and sunny months.
The Seafood Louie Salad from Olexa’s is another common favorite amongst our followers. It is a delicious blend of shrimp and lobster tossed in their housemade Seafood Louie dressing, served on a bed of spring mix alongside two other salads: dill caper pasta salad and loaded baked potato salad. Finally, the plate is garnished with tomato, egg slices and lemon. Yum!
Post Office Pies
After receiving this recommendation, we were ready to run over to Post Office Pies and give the Seasonal Beet Salad a try immediately. The Post Office chefs are committed to featuring the freshest local produce whenever possible, so their seasonal salads change often. Translation: You may not have much time to order this seasonal beet salad, but their rotating seasonal salads consistently receive rave reviews, so if you’re not in the market for pizza, the Post Office Pies seasonal salad du jour is your go-to.
Freddy’s Wine Bar
The Highland Tower from Freddy’s Wine Bar is a must-try. It is literally a tower of roasted red and gold beets, marinated carrot, mascarpone, crumbled walnuts and dill. This salad is beautiful, fresh, vegan-friendly and the perfect healthy pairing to one of Freddy’s delicious wines on their chic patio!
Now, who says salads can’t be the best thing on the menu?!