It’s the time of year when we are all thinking of eating a little lighter, a little fresher, and a little cooler. But it’s sometimes hard to get inspired by a salad, especially when you get into a salad rut and eat the same one over and over. We thought it would be a good idea to help you broaden your salad horizons by bringing you some of the best salad restaurants in DC. You’re sure to find one here you’ll love, then you can go to one of the great DC farmer’s markets (they’re everywhere this summer) and try out some of your newfound salad skills at home.
Best Salad for the Ladies Who Lunch:
Cilantro Lime Chicken at Nordstrom Café, Tyson’s Corner. Are you looking for a little spice, a little crunch, and a salad that will fill you up while you shop ‘til you drop at Tyson’s? This classic café’s take on a Southwest salad is light enough for virtue and substantial enough for either lunch or dinner.
Best Classic Salad Experience:
Iceberg Lettuce Wedge at Palm Restaurant. It’s not fancy and it’s not new, but the creamy bacony, bleu cheesy goodness of a wedge salad served in a great steak restaurant will make you feel that all’s right with the world. And the little fried onions on Palm’s version take it over the top.
Best “Everywhere You Want to Be” Salad:
Kale Caesar at Sweetgreen. Delicious while still feeling like you’ve done something good, the Kale Caesar combines kale and romaine for the best of classic and healthy. And with Sweetgreen’s all over town, you’re sure to find one near you.
Best Cobb Salad:
Classic Cobb at Chopt Creative Salad Company. True confession: Cobb Salad is my absolute fave. So in my ongoing quest for the best Cobb Salad in DC, I took the expertise of the internet into consideration. The winner hands-down was this salad at Chopt, and with Freebird grilled chicken, Nieman Ranch smoked bacon, and no skimping on the avocado, the people have spoken, and they were not wrong. Want a little more kick to your Cobb? They also have a Kebab Cobb that is to die for.
Best Mayonnaise-Based Salad:
Everything at Wagshal’s Delicatessen. Whether your obsession is egg salad, chicken salad, tuna salad, or shrimp salad, you’ll find it at Wagshal’s. If you’re putting out a summer buffet, add some great bread and sides and you are done.
Best Custom Salad:
You Build It at Cava. With a base of greens, grains, or both, you build your salad here with one of Cava’s incredible dips or spreads, a protein of your choice, and an array of toppings. Then drizzle on your favorite dressing on the top. My choice was super greens with saffron rice, tzatziki, spicy lamb meatballs, pickled onions, Kalamata olives, diced cucumber, and a drizzle of lemon herb tahini. But that’s just today. I might be in a totally different salad headspace tomorrow. And that’s fine because they’ve got everything here.
Best Sweet Fruity Salad:
Poached Pear Salad at Busboys and Poets. Okay, I know this is a divisive issue. Some people hate fruit in their salads. Some people love it. I am a Libra so I can see both sides. But poached pears and goat cheese and onions? I’m sorry, I just can’t hate that.
Best Vegan Salad:
Any at HipCityVeg: Okay, this is going to sound weird, but trying to find a vegan salad is really hard, you guys. It’s like all of the vegan cafes are so busy trying to make things into other things and trying to prove that vegan is MORE than JUST salads that they forget that making a really good salad is a good thing, you know? But HipCityVeg is not sleeping on their salad game and the results are so good it’s impossible to choose. Jerk Caesar is amazing and spicy and islandy and delicious. Udon noodle’s Chinese black bean dressing is addictive. The Chopped Med salad with marinated tofu will fill you up and you’ll want a to-go container of the basil dressing. And the Arugula Taco salad is so good you’ll want to come back the next day just for that. Seriously, salads are great and vegan salads like this? Amazing.
There are so many amazing salad restaurant options in DC and right now is the time to get out there and find the one you love the most. And if you’re looking for a home with a great neighborhood restaurant within walking distance, you’re in luck! DC has so many amazing places and so many great, walkable neighborhoods. Let your Eng Garcia Realtor help you find a place you’ll love to call home.