12 Great Salads for Summer in Metro Phoenix

The chopped salad and wedge are always top of mind at Kantak restaurants.
The chopped salad and wedge are always top of mind at Kantak restaurants. The Gladly
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 — sometimes in restaurants that would obviously offer a nice selection of salads, but also at places that may be a surprise to some.

In the spirit of going green, here's a quick list of 12 places with some of the best salads in town.

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.

Cortado Salad

Otro Cafe
6035 North Seventh Street

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, because no one is judging.

Ridgeview Farms Chicken Salad

Pane Bianco
4404 North Central Avenue

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.

click to enlarge Be sure to order the lemon pesto dressing at Cornish Pasty. - LAUREN CUSIMANO
Be sure to order the lemon pesto dressing at Cornish Pasty.
Lauren Cusimano

Greek Salad

Cornish Pasty Co.
Multiple Locations

Yes, this is a local chain of cool English pubs known for its pasties and cocktails, but the team here can also scare up a mean salad. In fact, a whole section of the Cornish Pasty menu is dedicated to big bowls of greens, veggies, and protein — or not. The Greek salad comes recommended, with its mixed greens, feta, kalamata olives, red onions, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. We also suggest the lemon pesto dressing — a creamy green dream in a cup. Feel free to add chicken, more veggies, vegan chicken, roasted turkey, beef, mojo jackfruit, pork and sage sausage, or salmon.

Gem Lettuces

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 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.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Multiple Locations

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.
click to enlarge The beloved chicken feta salad from George's Kitchen. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
The beloved chicken feta salad from George's Kitchen.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

Chicken Feta Salad

George’s Kitchen
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 cheese fiend.

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.

Vegan Caesar

Flower Child
Multiple Locations

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.

click to enlarge The Steak Salad at Feeney's. - JACOB TYLER DUNN
The Steak Salad at Feeney's.
Jacob Tyler Dunn

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.

The Beet Chop

Original ChopShop Co.
Multiple Locations

The Beet Chop at the Original ChopShop 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.

Green Garden Kale

The Henry
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.

Editor's note: This story was originally published on June 20, 2016. It was updated on May 29, 2021.
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