The greater Phoenix area is nothing like Reggie’s — where you can’t even get a big salad. Full-meal salads are found on menus across the Valley, in restaurants that would obviously offer a substantial selection of salads as well as places that may be a surprise to some.
So in honor of National Salad Month and impending pool season, here are a quick dozen places with some of the best salads in town.
Green Garden Kale
4455 East Camelback Road
This simple but flavorful salad at The Henry combines romanesco, broccoli, snow peas, green beans, Brussels leaf, arugula, pistachio, and tahini vinaigrette with a base of shredded, good-for-you kale. Unlike some unwieldy kale creations, everything in this salad is chopped down to bite-size pieces and the slightly bitter taste of the kale gets balanced by the vinaigrette.
3243 North Third Street
Red and green gem lettuce come together with bitter radish just so it can all be topped with buttery blue cheese, juicy tomatoes, and a creamy dill dressing in this lunch and dinner offering at Ocotillo in central Phoenix. This salad, however, is not for the weak of heart. It’s a surprisingly hearty portion and also comes loaded with avocado, egg, and crispy bacon.
If you’re looking for something lighter than a burrito when you hit up chef Doug Robson's Otro Cafe, we'd suggest the Cortado salad. Egg, cheddar, freeze-dried peas, and corn nuts top off a bed of kale and greens mixed with a creamy, house-made, herb-infused buttermilk ranch. It also pairs perfectly with one of Otro’s famous margaritas ... or two, and no one is judging.
You wouldn't expect a burger bar like Zinburger to have a great Asian chicken salad, but we promise this one's worth a try. Julienne carrots, bell peppers, and chopped mandarin oranges are tucked into mixed greens and red cabbage, then topped with warm grilled chicken, Asian sesame ginger meets goddess dressing, sesame seeds — and, maybe most important, a sprinkling of crisp wonton chips for a texture that’s just about perfect.
The Original Chop
Citizen Public House and The Gladly
7111 East Fifth Avenue, Scottsdale
2201 East Camelback Road
This salad is so good it has its own Facebook page and T-shirts — and to be fair, the attention is well-deserved. Served chilled, this salad is a well-organized affair, with each ingredient arriving at your table in a neat little line. The list of add-ins includes Alaskan smoked salmon, Israeli pearl couscous, chopped arugula, pepitas, freeze-dried corn, and tomato. Sure, it's a simple recipe — everything just gets blended with a Pecorino Romano ranch dressing — but the balance of flavors and textures means we can never resist ordering it. The dish originated at Cowboy Ciao, and lives on at Citizen Public House and The Gladly.
The Beet Chop at the Original Chop Shop Co. is full of golden beets, plus house greens, arugula, sour apple, goat cheese, cashews, and golden raisins. The cashews round out the mix, giving each bite a powerful crunch that goes well with a citrus-infused red-wine vinaigrette. We're all about gold, especially when it comes to beets.
Ridgeview Farms Chicken Salad
This is not your grandma's chicken salad. Tender chopped chicken is mixed with mustard seeds, chopped celery, apple, basil, and red onion, and served over a giant, leafy spring mix with salt and pepper heirloom tomatoes and a simple-but-elegant balsamic dressing. Not too heavy, yet totally satisfying, it's available for dine-in or take-out at Pane Bianco — the choice is up to you, and we promise it tastes great no matter where you dig in.
Jerk Chicken Salad
The Breadfruit & Rum Bar
108 East Pierce Street
If you can’t make it to Jamaica, we have the next best thing: the spicy jerk chicken salad at The Breadfruit & Rum Bar in downtown Phoenix. Super-sweet tomatoes, pineapple chunks, and sliced beets contrast with traditional jerk chicken's flavors of cayenne and chipotle spice. Raspberry vinaigrette brings out the warmth of the cinnamon in the seasoning, rounding out a fulfilling dish. With a rum punch in hand, you’d never even know you were still in Arizona.
Seared Wasabi Pea Crusted Saku Tuna
House of Tricks
114 East Seventh Street, Tempe
At House of Tricks, you'll need to take a deep breath before reading all the ingredients in the Seared Wasabi Pea Crusted Saku Tuna. Wasabi pea-crusted seared Saku tuna comes perched atop a bed of spring mix, pickled tomatoes, avocado, sliced cucumber, edamame, wonton chips, and, yes, more wasabi peas before being dusted with shaoxing-miso dressing and garnished with fresh cracked pepper. The wasabi peas and edamame give this salad an unmistakable Japanese vibe, and we love the bold flavors that mean this salad is light, but far from light on taste.
Flower Child has your vegan salad options on lock — as do many other vegan eateries across greater Phoenix. Thoroughly coated, but not drenched, in a Caesar-style dressing that’s more tangy than salty, a blend of spinach and romaine lettuces meets tomatoes, cauliflower, and gets a little bit of crunch from earthy sunflower seeds. You might miss the traditional Parmesan cheese, but the addition of creamy avocado will help you forget.
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Chicken Feta Salad
6102 North 16th Street
One of the lunch specials at George's Kitchen, a family-owned, modern Greek eatery in uptown Phoenix, is the chicken feta salad – and if you happen to develop a taste for it, you’ll often spend lunch in the sleek dining room (though delivery and takeout service is available). The salad consists of organic mixed greens topped with tomato, onions, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, cucumbers, and sliced bell peppers. The greens are served under a generous amount of free-range, grilled chicken breast and enough imported French feta to satisfy even the biggest feta fiend.
Feeney’s Steak Salad
Feeney's Restaurant & Bar
6314 North 12th Street
Part of you might come to Feeney’s for the Old World feel, but the main reason is probably the menu — namely, the Feeney’s Steak Salad. The Feeney's Steak Salad comes as house salad-style greens under an abundance of julienne vegetables (thin strips of veggies like carrots and red onion), tomato, cucumber slices, and juicy, sliced beef tenderloin. The dish is topped with a generous amount of feta cheese and Greek dressing.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 20, 2016. It was updated on May 13, 2019. Jennifer Lind Schutsky contributed to this article.