Baked By Melissa’s Essential NYC Salads

When she's not making them on TikTok, Melissa Ben-Ishay orders these salads in the wild.
a woman holds a mini cupcake next to a blue stand mixer and trays of other mini cupcakes

photo credit: Cody Guilfoyle

While she didn’t exactly invent the mini cupcake, Melissa Ben-Ishay of Baked by Melissa is certainly pretty responsible for their appearance at many an office birthday party for the past 16 years. But for a certain corner of the internet (mostly people who’ve never experienced the specific delights of office birthday parties), Baked By Melissa has a lot less to do with cupcakes—she’s the salad queen.

In a pivot for the ages, Melissa has transformed her social media presence into one very focused on salad content. Her viral salad TikToks, compiled and expanded into full recipes in her new cookbook Come Hungry, are now as synonymous with her brand as her tiny technicolor treats. So who better to offer up her expertise on New York's salad game? Though she's not always looking to eat her leafy greens on a night out—"quite frankly, it's not often a salad rises to the occasion of me wanting one when I go out to eat, considering how many I make myself," she says—these are the restaurants serving dishes she'll break her fast for.


West Village

$$$$Perfect For:Date NightPrivate DiningSmall PlatesWalk-Ins
Earn 3x points with your sapphire card

"Their little gem salad is just delicious. A little gem salad: if it's on the menu, I'm going to get it. I tend to make salads that have a lot of ingredients. A little gem, when done right, it's simple, it's delicious, it's crunchy, it's refreshing. It hits all the notes. I always wish I ordered more than one. Sometimes I do make everyone order their own because I want my own."



"Hillstone is one of my favorite restaurants of all time. Their grilled chicken salad is delicious. I like to get it chopped with the peanut sauce on the side. Sometimes they'll do that, sometimes they won't. Either way, it's one of my favorite salads. I've been going to Hillstone since high school. I've celebrated birthdays there; it was the first restaurant I took my first-born child to. There was a time in my life where I was at Hillstone on 27th and Park multiple times a week. It was a joke in my office that if I was going to dinner, it was at Hillstone."

photo credit: Emily Andrews



SevenRooms logo

"The little gem salad here is also so good. It's so simple. And the first time I ate it, we were out with another couple and, you know, you have to put a little bit on your plate. I don't want to do that with this salad. I want to eat the whole thing. It's the same as the one at Via Carota in my book. It's refreshing. It's delicious. It's simple. I could order three of those and be happy—three of those and the bread and the butter, that's all I need. It's a perfect meal."

"Periyali is a hidden gem on 20th Street. It's one of my favorite Greek restaurants in Manhattan. The vibe is not trendy, which I love because you only get the people who love the food there. Their Greek salad is just so good. I like to eat it with their bread. It gives the perfect ratio of all the flavors and crunch in every single bite. "

"I love a shredded, piled-high salad that you could eat with chopsticks. Theirs' has a hint of spice, which was a little overwhelming for me. I wish I liked spicy food more, but it was so good that it makes the list. I just sweat through it, and it really isn't even all that spicy."

"I love their Greek salad, but all of their salads are just incredible. My husband is from Israel, and when we're there visiting family, I enjoy the food more than words can even explain. Cafe Mogador is the closest you can get to that in Manhattan."

"Bubby's Cobb salad has just been a staple in my New York City dining experiences. It's delicious and one of the few salads that you can really eat as a meal and enjoy, I find. I get it without blue cheese. I sometimes replace it with cheddar cheese and it's delicious."

"I've gone through all the phases. When Chop't opened, I was obsessed. Who knew you could eat such a volume of salad? They're huge, and they're amazing. And, of course, I did Sweetgreen too. Right now I'm really loving Just Salad.

I don't order one that's on the menu. I make my own. It probably has a thousand calories, and it has everything in it from pumpkin seeds to almonds, tortilla chips, chickpeas, quinoa, carrots—like, all the things. And then sometimes, if I order it to the office, I'll make my own dressing because I'm so particular. But other times I just get their balsamic vinaigrette and their creamy Caesar and I do three parts balsamic vinaigrette and a little creamy Caesar and it's so good."

"The cucumber salad at Ippudo is so good. It's crazy. It's salty and it has that toasted sesame oil. It's crunchy and so cold every time, and I can't go there without ordering that. It's another example of, like, "We have to share it...I don't wanna share it...I wanna eat the whole thing by myself."

Chase Sapphire Card Ad

Suggested Reading

former Bachelorette contestant Tyler Cameron wears a white polo shirt and blue jeans and holds a pair of sunglasses in his hands

Tyler Cameron's NYC Restaurant Bucket List

The spots the reality TV star prioritized before moving out of Manhattan.

a photo of a man with slicked back hair in a black t-shirt

The TikTok-famous chef takes us on a food tour of his favorite delis, bodegas, and sandwich shops.

Comedian Andrew Schulz and his wife Emma Turner sit on the red base of a black rooster statue in front of green fields and rolling hills

The comedian and his wife tell us about their go-to romantic restaurants in the city.

four cast members from the show Summer House – three women and one man – stand in front of a green background, smiling and posing

From Quogue to Montauk, the reality TV vets have you covered when it comes to food, drinks, and vibes.

Infatuation Logo


2024 © The Infatuation Inc. All Rights Reserved.
The views and opinions expressed on The Infatuation’s site and other platforms are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of (or endorsement by) JPMorgan Chase. The Infatuation and its affiliates assume no responsibility or liability for the content of this site, or any errors or omissions. The Information contained in this site is provided on an "as is" basis with no guarantees of completeness, accuracy, usefulness or timeliness.


Get it on Google PlayDownload on the App Store