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Last modified on July 10th, 2018 at 9:21 am
Salad isn’t just for people trying to eat healthy. Vegetables can be tasty too. Happy greens, balanced dressings, and contrasting textures help create the best salads worth craving.
While classic such as the Cobb Salad or Caesar Salad are easy go-to options, we’ve limited their appearances here to showcase a wide variety of the splendid salads Tucson has to order.
In alphabetical order, here’s our list of the best salads in Tucson.
Start the morning with a Breakfast Salad instead. Butternut squash, roasted poblanos, over medium eggs, sharp white cheddar, squash purée, lightly dressed arugula, heirloom tomato, and pepitas.
For more information, call (520) 623-3888 or visit 5pointstucson.com.
The simple Wilted Kale Salad with feta cheese and Granny Smith apples boosts its complexity with crispy tandoori garbanzo beans and kale pesto.
For more information, call (520) 398-5382 or visit agustinkitchen.com.
The B Line’s Salmon Salad features pan-seared salmon on a bed of mesclun greens with fresh seasonal garden veggies. While there are four dressings to choose from, the soy-ginger easily pairs best with the salmon.
For more information, call (520) 882-7575 or visit thebline.xyz.
The Lizzy Salad features romaine, grilled chicken, bacon, Gorgonzola, red onion, sweet bell pepper, basil-honey vinaigrette. The Barrio Rojo is our beer pairing of choice since it goes so well with the Gorgonzola.
For more information, call (520) 791-2739 or visit barriobrewing.com.
Who’d have thought that a place known for whiskey and donuts also has one of the best salads? The Lost Salmon Salad features smoked salmon, arugula, wild greens, red onion, capers, tomato, hard-boiled egg, croutons, and creamy lemon dressing.
For more information, call (520) 203-7370 or visit batchtucson.com.
Although the Roasted Veggie Salad is vegetarian, the abundance of root veggies give it a winter stew level of satisfaction without all the heaviness.
For more information, call (520) 441-9509 or visit fukushuconcepts.com.
It’s torture saying no to tacos, but the large and satisfying BOCA Salad features cabbage, Anaheim avocado vinaigrette, carne asada, grilled onions, pickled onions, pico de gallo, and lime. If you have any leftovers, try it on top of rice noodles.
For more information, call (520) 777-8134 or visit bocatacos.com.
The Grilled Flank Steak Salad features a delightfully savory blend of honey-hoisin-marinated flank, Kalamata olives, roasted mini peppers, grape tomatoes, feta, grilled red onion, mixed greens, crispy onions, and honey balsamic vinaigrette.
For more information, call (520) 628-8533 or visit cafealacarttucson.com.
The Charred Romaine Wedge con Chicharrón highlights local whole leaf romaine with pork belly chicharron, red onion, Willcox hot house tomato, and mesquite-smoked blue cheese. The charred edges provide complex nuttiness and smokiness to pair with the tangy dressing.
For more information, call (520) 485-1922 or visit charrosteak.com.
While the Frisée Salad is off the small plate menu, it’s big with flavors. Jicama, apple, and blue cheese champagne vinaigrette combine for the perfect blend of bitter, crisp, sweet, sour, and savory. A more modest version of one of the best salads.
For more information, visit cafecoronet.com.
The Asian Salad features a blend of organic spring mix, crunchy Chinese noodles, broccoli, snap peas, almonds, Mandarin oranges, and sweet Chinese salad dressing. For a healthier alternative to the Chinese noodles, try sunflower seeds. P.S. It’s better with chicken added.
For more information, call (520) 319-2467 or visit choicegreens.com.
The Depot Salad features the naturally leaner Piedmontese beef for its top sirloin along with mixed local greens, heirloom cherry tomatoes, shaved parmesan, avocado, smoked crispy onions, and roasted shallot dressing.
For more information, call (520) 798-1618 or visit hotelcongress.com.
The Fried Goat Cheese & Pomegranate Salad features what is essentially a warm goat cheese-stuffed hash brown alongside clementines and mixed greens. The contrasting temperatures and textures create new sensations in each bite.
For more information, call (520) 792-6684 or visit thedutchtucson.com.
One of the most-ordered items on the menu, the Strawberry and Chicken Salad features spring mix topped with a field of strawberries, white meat chicken, blueberries, blue cheese, walnuts, and poppy seed dressing.
For more information, call (520) 885-2842 or visit eclecticcafetucson.com.
The Salmon Salad features grilled salmon on top of arugula, roasted red beets, red onion, and goat cheese with a watermelon jalapeño vinaigrette. The dressing is one of most unique in town and is secretly the star with its subtle sweet-and-heat funk.
For more information, call (520) 445-6625 or visit ermanosbrew.com.
Falora’s Kale Salad features green curly kale massaged with olive oil and cashews. Kalamata olives, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes add to the veggie umami. One of the best salads on this list and one of our faves.
For more information, call (520) 325-9988 or visit falora.com.
Since chef Doug Levy changes the menu regularly, you’ll get to try different salads on a regular basis. Don’t get too attached though, as the salad might never return to the menu. Pictured above is the Coconut-Eggplant Chicken Salad with romaine lettuce, grilled Nadia eggplant, cashews, toasted coconut flakes, minted coconut dressing, seared chicken, and sweet and hot peppers.
For more information, call (520) 326-9363 or visit eatatfeast.com.
A salad at a pizza place isn’t intuitive, but it’s worth a taste at Fiamme. The arugula is simply dressed with lemon, while cherry tomato, pine nuts, and shaved parmesan add subtle layers of flavor and texture.
For more information, call (520) 529-5777 or visit fiammepizzatucson.com.
Ghini’s Wild Salmon French Farmer Salad features wild salmon cooked marinated, thyme-crusted, or blackened with warm haricot verts, diced potato, hard-boiled egg, farm tomatoes, and organic baby greens with their house vinaigrette. It tastes even better when Edith Piaf music is playing in the background.
For more information, call (520) 326-9095 or visit ghiniscafe.com.
Sushi’s not unhealthy, but you might not want the rice carbs. The Tuna Poke Style Salad features fresh tuna and seaweed on a bed of spring mix greens and a spicy dressing.
For more information, call (520) 529-8877 or visit ginzatucson.com.
The Arugula Feta Salad features an especially-Instagrammable blend of cremini mushroom, avocado, dried cranberry, cucumber, sprouts, sunflower seeds, raspberry-herb vinaigrette.
For more information, call (520) 777-4465 or visit fukushuconcepts.com.
Peruvians are experienced with quinoa, considering it was first domesticated by Andean peoples 3,000 to 4,000 years ago. Peru is also world leader in quinoa production.
Inca’s Ensalada de Quinoa features little bits of diced veggies and Peruvian corn with lime dressing. While the lettuce looks like it’s just a garnish, use it to make quinoa lettuce cups.
For more information, call (520) 299-1405 or visit incascuisine.com.
Jackson’s Steak Salad features char-grilled local Merchant’s Garden greens, roasted seasonal veggies, marinated Flank steak, sherry whole grain mustard vinaigrette, and candied Marcona almonds. Since so many of the components have varying levels of char, the savory depth is complex.
For more information, call (520) 347-6373 or visit eatdrinkjackson.com.
Thanks to the temperature of Kingfisher’s Warm Cabbage Salad, the spiced pecans, smoked bacon, Gorgonzola, and caraway are fragrant. The caraway is evocative of sauerkraut, while the balsamic dressing adds a kiss of brightness.
For more information, call (520) 323-7739 or visit kingfishertucson.com.
The Coffee Roasted Beet Salad also features horseradish crème fraîche, grapefruit vinaigrette, cocoa nibs, hazelnuts, fennel, and frisée for a sophisticated blend of pleasant bitterness and earthy notes.
For more information, call (520) 545-0577 or visit maynardstucson.com.
Nook’s Steak Salad features Arizona hanger steak, arugula, sun-dried tomatoes, zucchini, caramelized onion, soft-fried egg, and lemon vinaigrette. The tomatoes amplify umami, while the egg supplements the beef’s richness.
For more information, call (520) 622-6665 or visit nookdowntown.com.
North’s Seasonal Vegetable Salad currently highlights butternut squash, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, radicchio, pecorino, farro, pistachio, and date with a white balsamic vinaigrette.
For more information, call (520) 299-1600 or visit northitaliarestaurant.com.
The Smoked Salmon Salad features hot-smoked, hand-pulled salmon with spicy candied pecans, pomegranate, red onion, gold raisins, artisan field greens, lardons, and green onion vinaigrette. Smoked salmon is essentially healthy bacon, right?
For more information, call (520) 797-1233 or visit theparishtucson.com.
Reilly’s fall/winter version of the wheat berry salad currently features local wheat berries, roasted squash, arugula, goat cheese, Marcona almonds, and sherry vinaigrette. The squash is charred just enough for a touch of smokiness and sweetness.
For more information, call (520) 882-5550 or visit reillypizza.com.
Forks can get the fork out, as Renee’s Caesar features whole leaves of romaine with Parmigiano-Reggiano, house creamy Caesar dressing, and homemade croutons made with Udi’s gluten-free bread.
For more information, call (520) 886-0484 or visit reneesorganicoven.com.
Rocco’s humble Caesar Salad features a more prominent shade of yellow — if you appreciate egg yolk, you’ll fall in love with the homemade Caesar dressing. Garlic lovers will also adore this salad.
For more information, call (520) 321-1860 or visit roccoslittlechicago.com.
Unripe green papaya isn’t sweet — instead, it’s used for its crisp texture and ability to meld well with potent flavors. Senae’s Som Thum features shredded green papaya, long beans, cherry tomatoes, and peanuts with an bright yet intensely savory dressing. It can also handle peppers well, if you’d like to order it spicy.
For more information, call (520) 373-5335 or visit senaethai.com.
Tavolino’s lunch menu exclusive Pollo Salad showcases the beauty of their roasted chicken alongside Gorgonzola, cranberries, caramelized walnuts, apples, and mixed lettuce.
For more information, call (520) 531-1913 or visit tavolinoristorante.com.
One of the most popular salads on this list by a significant margin, Time Market’s Kale Salad features organic kale, lemon and pecorino dressing, and bread crumbs toasted in butter. Even children go nuts for this one.
For more information, call (520) 622-0761 or visit timemarket.xyz.
Paleo diet or not, Trident’s Paleo Bowl features a variety of filling salad ingredient favorites — grilled chicken, avocado, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, egg, mixed greens, and olive oil.
For more information, visit tridentgrill.com.
Since Tumerico’s daily-changing menu is already so healthy, not many customers order the salad. However, that doesn’t mean Tumerico’s salad isn’t worth a trip. Chef Wendy Garcia whips up salads based on whatever she has on hand from the farmers market, flavored with a variety of her flavorful salsas, vinaigrettes, and moles.
For more information, call (520) 270-2055 or visit tumerico.com.
Union adds an East Asian twist to the classic French Niçoise salad with their Tokyo Niçoise. Baby greens are topped with seared rare tuna, a 6-minute egg, spicy edamame, sweet potato shoestring, kimchi, Kalamata olives, and a ponzu sesame vinaigrette.
For more information, call (520) 329-8575 or visit uniontucson.com.
Taco salads have a bad rap, since you’re often less healthy than actual tacos and salads. But a giant fried shell isn’t needed for flavor — instead, order Urban Fresh’s Health Heart Taco Salad with purple cabbage, green onions, roasted corn, taco-seasoned mushrooms and beans, tomato, carrot, jicama, romaine mix, cilantro, baked chips, guacamole, and tomato salsa vinaigrette.
For more information, call (520) 792-9355 or visit urbanfreshtucson.com.
Parsley lovers need to try the Tabuli Salad with parsley, tomatoes, onions, bulgur, lemon, and olive oil. The grassiness is especially refreshing with abundant lemon.
For more information, call (520) 332-2294 or visit urbanpitaaz.com.
New on Welcome Diner’s menu, the Braised Chicken Tinga Salad features mixed greens, Tepary beans, chipotle ranch, cotija, house-made corn tortilla strips. The smoky chile and tomato-flavored chicken is shredded like a chicken salad, so it’s like eating a chicken salad on a salad.
For more information, call (520) 622-5100 or visit welcomediner.net.
The Las Cruces Chili Spiced Chicken Salad features baby field greens with mango, grilled pineapple, berries, seasonal fruit, Danish blue cheese, and raspberry vinaigrette. The fruit is abundant, yet still works so well within its savory context.
For more information, call (520) 206-0017 or visit wildgarlicgrill.com.
The refined Lobster Salad from Wildflower’s lunch menu features sizable chunks of lobster with artichoke heart, grilled asparagus, crispy potato, and white truffle vinaigrette.
For more information, call (520) 219-4230 or visit foxrc.com.
Does our best salads in Tucson list include your favorite? Let us know in the comments.