‘Tis the season of salads! We’ve compiled some of our favorites found at local restaurants. We hope this list whets your appetite like it does ours, as these picks definitely showcase those fresh vegetables to their best! We’re sure you’ll agree — these 10 crave-worthy salads (in no particular order) are worthy of a shoutout.
Some are oldies but goodies and some are fresh to the local dining scene. But, these 10 keep calling us back time and time again. And while each of us at StyleBlueprint has our own top 10, these salads are the ones that crossed over on almost everyone’s list, making them to today’s list.
Kale Caesar Salad at Pinewood Social
Kale may have already enjoyed its five minutes of fame, but Pinewood Social is giving it the continued attention it deserves with this salad. Tossed in light Caesar dressing and topped with Parmesan and sourdough croutons, this is the perfect midday treat. If you are eyeing this salad for dinner, order the larger version and add chicken or shrimp to fill you up.
Epice Salad at Epice
Epice is responsible for our new-found love of Lebanese cuisine, and we find any excuse we can to snag a seat on their 12South patio. Traditional eats, such as hummus, tabouleh and mujadara, have their place on the menu, but on summer days, we almost exclusively order the Epice salad, a combination of greens, goat cheese, toasted almonds and fig vinaigrette. Chicken, fish, tenderloin and lamb are all available as additions to the salad, but we’d be regretful if we didn’t steer you toward the lamb.
Shaved Root Vegetable Salad at Butcher & Bee
Butcher & Bee selects fresh root vegetables, tosses them with sorghum-chili vin, picked grapes and a black olive crumble. Although this is not an entree-size salad (or even really a salad), it still warrants ordering. Plus, that is the beauty of Butcher & Bee — with the dishes served in shareable sizes, you can try a bit of everything on the menu! If it is veggies you are after, also consider the Tiger Style Brussels and the Drop the Beets.
Black Bean Salad at Calypso Cafe
Calypso Cafe has no shortage of delicious salads, but we always find ourselves coming back to the black bean salad. With tortilla chips, black beans, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, sour cream, red onions and meat (or rice for those looking for a vegetarian option) and topped with barbecue sauce, it can’t be beat. Calypso has three locations (Charlotte Pike, 100 Oaks and East Nashville), providing all the more chances to dig into this salad. After 25 years, this salad has quite a reputation for addiction!
Kale Salad at Burger Up
Each season, we crush on Burger Up’s seasonal salad, which highlights in-season produce. That said, we know we can always order the kale salad and leave feeling more than satisfied. So if the seasonal salad doesn’t tickle your fancy, opt for the bowl of chopped curly green kale, roasted hazelnuts, dried tart cherries and pecorino Romano tossed in citrus vinaigrette. If you want a heartier meal, top your salad with a burger or seafood.
Romaine Wedge at bartaco
bartaco’s two salad options are equally delicious, making it hard to select just one. But at the end of the day, we had to go with the wedge salad because it steps outside the norm. It is a simple salad of radishes, chipotle-lime dressing and pepitas atop a stack of whole romaine leaves — which is a far cry from the ranch-drenched, bacon-topped wedge salad some places serve. As most dishes at this taco joint are, the salad is on the smaller side, so we always like to pair ours with the chicken soup, an oyster taco or a pork tamale.
Spring Lettuces Salad at Le Sel
Guilty of loading our salads with as many toppings as we can get our hands on, we were pleasantly surprised to find Le Sel’s salads so simple and so delicious. The spring lettuces salad replaced the classic Bibb but like its predecessor, it features fresh herbs and a light, bright dressing — which are all this salad needs to be a knockout lunch option. Now that we have your mouth watering, stop into Le Sel for lunch and pair this with the onion soup for the perfect combination.
Insalata Grande at Porta Via Ristorante e Bar
When everyone wants pasta or pizza but you are craving a dose of veggies, make your way to Porta Via, and the whole group will be happy. Mixed greens, roasted mushrooms, artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, pine nuts, shaved aged Parmigiano and balsamic vinaigrette are all mixed together, which makes for a hearty and filling salad with classic Italian flavors.
Charcuterie Salad at Etch
If you adore a charcuterie platter, but want to avoid having to share it with the whole table, try it as a salad. This one at Etch redefines the way you think of a salad, as lettuce is just the side show. The stars are the Tennessee prosciutto, house-cured sausages, yellow beet mustard puree, greens, spiced vinaigrette, smoked lima beans, pickled onion, apple confit and fried mushrooms. This salad is only available on the dinner menu. So if you go for lunch, try the Thai salad, Latin chicken ensalada or Etch salad. And you’d be crazy not to order a roasted cauliflower for the table.
Greek Salad with Fish of the Day at Kalamata’s
If we scan the parking lot outside of Kalamata’s and see an empty spot, we always take it as a sign that we were meant to have a Greek salad that day. Add chicken and it really hits home, but the fish of the day elevates it to a moment of bliss. The beauty of Kalamata’s is that you can grab a meal to go and barely have to pause for a lunch break.
We must have missed some of your favorites. Honestly, we have about 10 more we could add to this list ourselves. But don’t worry, we will update the list frequently. Till then, here’s to healthy munching!
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