16583848 231830637226013 7178139620163452928 n bguhqe

The Buddha Bowl at Verjus.

As cravings go, none feel quite so insistent as the one that wants a salad. We scrubbed the city for 10 restaurant salads that satisfy supremely—then couldn’t resist adding one more. You got others? Comment! 

Mbar

Chef Jason Stratton enshrines the salad of his former mentor Bruce Naftaly (Marmite) with the occasionally offered Local Lettuces a la Naftaly: a plateful so delicate, biting in seems unduly harsh. But bite you must, because this salad honors the freshness and simplicity of local lettuces, then enlivens them with snips of herbs and a mustard-cabernet vinaigrette that’s at once vibrant and subtle as dew.

Verjus

The Buddha Bowl at this tony Bainbridge Island juice bar is technically a grain bowl, but the heap of shredded lacinato kale and the colorful and ridiculously tasty riot of purple daikon and roasted carrots and chiogga beets and sunchokes and golden beets and avocado—well let’s just say it rings all the same bells, only over fermented brown rice with tamari and beneath a lovely dripping egg. Divine.    

Bar del Corso

Arugula, roasted beets, and blood oranges make a fine, fine combination—particularly when embellished with fennel and pecorino cheese in a lush vinaigrette. Let the record show that this beloved Beacon Hill pizzeria switches up salads to reflect seasons and kitchen whims; let it likewise show that they’re all terrific, among the most reliably so in town.

Canlis

Pretty much impossible to round up the best salads in town and leave out the one that started it all: The  Canlis Salad, the Canlis family’s original take on the Caesar, tossed tableside with the signature strokes of mint and bacon. Dating from 1950—when the current owners’ Lebanese great-grandmother’s recipe was pressed into service—this one sounds dated. Then you taste it.

Thackeray

The chopped salad at this new Wallingford sprawler is a full-throttle romp across fields of romaine and kale, brightened with apple and pomegranate seeds and herby feta and ribbons of fennel, with pumpkin seeds and avocado for texture. Wash it all in a za’atar-orange vinaigrette and it’s explosively good. Get a small or large. (But get large.) 

Revel

It’s one for the ages, folks: The corned lamb salad at Fremont’s frisky fusion temple Revel, where owners Rachel Yang and Seif Chirchi long ago discovered the magic of salt-cured lamb with peppery mizuna in a spicy nuoc cham dressing. Like so many salads, this one sounds a little weird—then tastes written in the stars.  

Evergreens

The five hundred wage slaves ahead of you in line at these design-your-own-salad emporiums (three locations downtown, one South Lake Union, one U Village) can’t be wrong. Order your own creation or a house combo, which they mix and dice up and dress right in front of you. My fave’s the Sombrero: a mashup of lettuce and tortilla chips and black beans and corn and cherry tomatoes and Beecher’s and jalapenos and more stuff, all bound up in one of their 14 dressings. I think honey Dijon lends a necessary sweetness, but “it’s up to you” is the whole point in here. 

London Plane

The salads in this charming whitewashed daytime Pioneer Square haunt are as many and varied as the chefs’ culinary brain cells, so it may be meaningless if I laud the honey-roasted carrots with chard leaves and cumin-cured olives or the herby chicken salad with trofie pasta and stinging nettles and feta—for they may never be made again. But something like them will be—and they let you order a plate of three.

Juicebox Cafe

The Quinoa Greens Salad is the standout in this pristine juicebar/cafe on Capitol Hill, its grains mixed up with cilantro, baby lettuces, radish, carrot, avocado, feta, shaved fennel, and cumin pumpkin seeds in a sparkling vinaigrette. Add organic chicken and it’ll fill you for the day.

Skillet Diner

Skillet didn’t invent the Kale Caesar, but it sure perfected it: kale, housemade croutons, parmesan, and at least one lolling anchovy just to freak out the children. You can add fried chicken thigh or blackened rockfish for meatiness—but this one feels substantial aplenty on its own.

Long

Much from the long menu at this downtown sister of Tamarind Tree is worth ordering, but the Green Mango Salad is such a festival of julienned (sweet, firm mango), torn (cilantro, basil, mint), pickled (carrots, jicama), frizzled (onions), and crushed (peanuts)—it makes “party in your mouth” the realest of real things. Tamarind sauce and your choice of skewered meat too.

 

Want more food news, plus editor’s picks in every neighborhood, advanced search options, and all of our best-of lists? Download our new Gastronaut app in iTunes or Google Play!

Show Comments
In this Article

Editor’s Pick

Tamarind Tree Restaurant

$ Vietnamese 1036 S Jackson St

Half the joy of this Little Saigon treasure is walking in off a crappy parking lot and into a glittering geode of low-lit sophistication and burbling water f...

Editor’s Pick

Long Provincial Vietnamese Restaurant

$$ Vietnamese 1901 Second Ave

Tam Nguyen escaped Vietnam as an eight-year-old, and now brings the cuisine of its villages to the downtown sister of his heralded Tamarind Tree. The elegant...

Editor’s Pick

Skillet Diner

$$ All Day Breakfast, American/New American Multiple Locations

It’s the pleasant-looking character actor of Seattle dining—able to slay hangovers via pork belly and cornmeal waffles, make a kale salad feel decadent, and ...

Editor’s Pick

Juicebox

$$ Vegetarian 1517 12th Ave Ste 100

The healthy juice trend has made major inroads in places like Portland, Brooklyn, and Los Angeles. And Capitol Hill’s newest outpost for liquid combos like t...

Editor’s Pick

London Plane

$$ American/New American 300 & 322 Occidental Ave S

An eloquent country-house aesthetic prevails in this airy, two-level space off Occidental, with its bakery, deli, and in-house flower shop, painting a Jane A...

Evergreens

$$ Sandwiches/Deli Multiple Locations

What's not to like about fresh salads made-to-order, your choice of everything, tossed before your eyes in a big stainless bowl? Takeout only in most locations.

Editor’s Pick

Revel

$$ Asian Fusion 403 N 36th St

It’s eye-popping, rule-breaking Korean-fusion comfort food—pork belly kimchi or smoked herring chermoula pancakes, short rib and pickled shallot dumplings, s...

Editor’s Pick

Thackeray

$$$ American/New American, Mediterranean 3400 Stone Way N

Like its siblings (Purple Cafe, Barrio, Meet the Moon, Lot No. 3), this warm and windowy Stone Way sprawler extends an outstretched arm to everyone—vegans an...

Editor’s Pick

Canlis

$$$$ American/New American, Continental 2576 Aurora Ave N

The only restaurant in the city to legitimately rate as mythic has been perched out over the vertiginous eastern edge of Queen Anne Hill since 1950. That mak...

Editor’s Pick

Bar del Corso

$ Italian 3057 Beacon Ave S

Lucky Beacon Hill, that its pizzeria so embodies the soul of the neighborhood restaurant. The place bubbles, from the sheer crush of devotees inside its tidy...

Editor’s Pick

Verjus

$$ Vegan, Vegetarian 124 Madrone Lane N

Chef Brendan McGill—besides clearly on his way to locking down all the food options in downtown Bainbridge (Hitchcock, Hitchcock Deli, Bruciato Pizza)—is als...

Marmite

$$$ Sandwiches/Deli 1424 11th Ave

Longtime culinary icon Bruce Naftaly (of the famed Le Gourmand) has gone more casual but no less careful in his Chophouse Row lunch and brunch spot, now open...

MBar

$$$ Global 400 Fairview Ave N

Chef Jason Stratton runs the kitchen at Mamnoon's view-laden rooftop sibling.