The Best Salads In Seattle
Where to eat plates of lettuce that taste good.
We live in a city where people are constantly eating vegetables. Maybe that’s because Seattle has a large vegan population, or because farmer’s markets happen every day of the week. It’s also possible that we need the extra vitamins to make up for the early sunsets post-Daylight Savings Time. Whatever the reason, salad is a foolproof way to consume plants.
But not all Seattle salads are created equal, and sometimes not everyone you’re with wants to eat one. So if you’re going to stick a lot of fresh produce in your mouth at once, you might as well commit to a great salad in a restaurant that everyone else will like, too. Here are the best places to order salad in Seattle.
Barrio Mexican Kitchen & Bar
Your Order: Barrio Chopped
Barrio is a Mexican spot that pretty much doubles as a party. But you’re not here to party, you’re here for chopped salad. It wins against anything else on the menu, and it’s not by any means because the tacos and enchiladas here are bad (they’re not). It’s because the Barrio chopped is excellent. It has romaine, pickled onion, cabbage, avocado, cotija, spiced pepitas, tomato, corn, and a buttermilk-cilantro dressing that we would like to float in.
Your Order: Jersey Salad
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Your Order: Farm Salad With Chicken
If you live in Seattle and are at all amenable to crossing the 520 bridge to eat some plants in Kirkland, Deru’s farm salad is worth the trip. It’s a giant serving of mixed lettuces, herbs, crumbled feta, toasty pepitas, and roasted carrots—and you can (and should) add their tasty herb-roasted chicken for $4. Dressed with a thick green vinaigrette, this salad is immensely satisfying (even better than the pizzas here), and an especially great choice if you’re grabbing a healthy lunch but plan to follow it with a slice of their coconut cake.
Your Order: Il Corvo Kale Salad
If you miss Il Corvo’s kale salad, this West Seattle spot owned by the same team read your mind, as it’s now available on Il Nido’s menu. They tweaked it a bit, and the result is a plate of leaves that we actually prefer over the version from Il Corvo. There’s now a lacy Parmigiano frico on top, and the garlicky pepperoncino vinaigrette has more zing to it, but you can still expect ribbons of well-dressed kale and a handful of spiced pumpkin seeds thrown in for texture. We always used to push Il Corvo’s greens aside once the pasta arrived, but this revamp is so tasty that we’re keeping it around. Also, if you’re sensing a theme here, it’s that pepitas make salad taste really good.
Your Order: Sài Gòn Chicken Salad
This Central District spot is a Vietnamese classic, and we’re huge fans of their newest salad. The Sài Gòn chicken salad is an open house party of crunch, between crisp cabbage, roasted peanuts, and fried shallots. To freshen it up, there’s mint and rau răm, which flavors the steamed chicken brilliantly along with nước chấm vinaigrette. It’s an ideally-engineered bite of cold stuff before the phở hits the table.
Your Order: Kale Salad
This palace of sausage, schnitzel, and beer cheese has a rad plate of greens that deserves more attention. It’s seemingly simple—just shredded kale with granny smith apples, orange segments, an “umami pecan crumble,” and creamy lemon-hued honey vinaigrette. But the balance of sweetness, tartness, and touch of spice from the nuts restores our faith in the concept of the Biergarten side salad.
The Pink Door
Your Order: Pink Door Caesar
There are certain things at The Pink Door that you must order every time you’re there. Most of them involve pasta, but you also can’t miss the caesar. The romaine-to-dressing ratio is always perfect, we love the crunch of the fennel-dusted croutons, and you can add Dungeness crab to make it a little more substantial.
Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria
Your Order: Salerno Salad
Nobody’s arguing that caesars aren’t great salads to have with Italian food, but there’s life beyond cheesy, anchovy-topped lettuce. A perfect example is Tutta Bella’s salerno—a refreshing bowl of romaine with shaved fennel, cucumber, cherry tomato, globs of fresh mozzarella, and a basil-flecked dijon dressing that tastes like mustard summer. Plus, it’s an excuse to eat more cheese as a prelude to pizza.
Marination Ma Kai
Your Order: Sexy Tofu Taco Salad
One of the greatest salad double-features of the entire Pacific Northwest happens at Marination Ma Kai. Start with their taco salad, which comes with a bed of cilantro-flecked slaw, a protein of your choice (we like the sexy tofu best), pickled jalapeño slices, spicy creamy Nunya sauce, and sesame seeds. But, because life is all about balance, you should also have a plate of macaroni salad at the table with you, too.
Pablo y Pablo
Your Order: Pablo Chopped
If you’re on a first date, it seems natural to order some vegetables to prove that you’re a responsible adult. Pablo Y Pablo is from the same team behind Barrio, so you know they’ll also have a nice interior and an impressive plate of leaves. We like the Pablo Chopped, which is a riff on an Italian chopped salad. It has romaine, kale, chickpeas, pickled peppers, cotija cheese, diced ibérico chorizo, plus avocado and spiced pepitas on top, all with an oregano-heavy dressing. Have a margarita on the side—those are plant-based, too.
Windy City Pie
Your Order: All Kale Caesar! Salad
Windy City Pie’s kale caesar is like a magic trick. It tastes thoroughly caesary, but the dressing is more like a vinaigrette. Despite this place being a church of deep-dish pizza, the salad is so tangy and delicious that it (almost) distracts us from the crispy pies. This plate of leaves cuts through the richness of the cheese, buttery crust, and candied bacon.
Frank's Oyster House
Your Order: Green Goddess Wedge
Chances are, you’ve had a sad wedge salad at a wedding or a steakhouse at some point in your life. But the one at Frank’s—with huge cubes of smoky homemade bacon, radishes, and a creamy green goddess—will restore your faith in eating a large hunk of lettuce covered in stuff.
Rancho Bravo Tacos
Your Order: Taco Salad
For a quick, satisfying bowl of protein and vegetables, the taco salad at Rancho Bravo topped with crushed tortilla chips and chipotle cream is our casual go-to. If you’re feeling bold, break apart some taquitos on top as croutons.
Matt's In The Market
Your Order: Potato Salad
Matt’s is a special place with a special lunch situation. And that’s mostly because every sandwich comes with a side salad. You could opt for the mixed greens with pumpkin seeds and blue cheese, or you could live for today and get the delicious mustardy potato salad with bacon. Choose your destiny.
Your Order: Caesar Salad
The caesar at The Masonry has a tangy dijon-based dressing tossed with romaine, shaved parmesan, and homemade focaccia croutons. And, it tastes even better when thrown on top of a margherita pie. If you’re with a huge group, call ahead to reserve a couple of the communal picnic tables—they’re always available to book, so you can plan your adult pizza party with very short notice.