It’s summertime in the Valley once again, and if you’re like me, you start craving cool, crisp salads to enjoy for a lunch or dinner meal out. We may be challenged by our triple-digit temps this time of year, but lucky for us, the Valley has lots of options when it comes to finding a great salad.
Check out this list of ten of our local favorites and next time you’re in the mood for some salad, you’ll know where to head.
1 The Vino Bambino at Oregano’s
This huge and tasty salad is definitely made for sharing. It starts with a fresh Romaine blend tossed with Caesar dressing, a mix of tri-colored pasta and black olives, pinto beans, scallions, Parmesan cheese and fresh cilantro. Then it’s topped with delicious slices of wine-marinated chicken, chopped red bell peppers, and sundried tomatoes. And save some room so you can treat yourself to an Oregano’s famous Pizookie for dessert!
Oreganos has multiple locations throughout the Valley.
2 The Blackened Bleu Skirt Steak Salad at Cooper’s Hawk
A wonderful take on a steak salad, this has beautifully seasoned steak meat, applewood smoked bacon, Bleu cheese crumbles, red onion, sweet grape tomatoes, a bit of Italian vinaigrette, and fresh Bleu cheese dressing. Pair it with a glass of one of the many great wines that this winery-restaurant offers.
Cooper’s Hawk has 2 Valley locations in Scottsdale and Chandler.
3 The Twisted Noodle Salad at Twisted Grove Parlor and Bar
This awesome and oh-so-fresh salad has everything: kale, avocado, cucumber, tomatoes, scallions, herbs, coconut, peanuts, and carrots. It’s dressed in a chili-lime vinaigrette, and you can add your choice of one of these proteins to top it off – marinated filet, charred shrimp or rotisserie chicken.
Twisted Grove Parlor and Bar is in the Village at Hayden in Scottsdale.
4 The Antipasto Salad at Lorenzo’s
When you’re in the mood for a meaty, Italian salad, you can’t go wrong with this one. Made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, olives, onions, eggplant Parmesan strips, roasted red peppers, salami, provolone, and fresh mozzarella cheese, I suggest you cover it with their Balsamic vinaigrette dressing. And bonus! You get several delicious garlic knots as a side. Perfect with or without some pizza.
Lorenzo’s is in North Scottsdale.
5 Ginger Miso Crunch Salad at Flower Child
And when you’re looking for something delicious that’s vegan and gluten free, salads are generally a good option. Try this super healthy salad that’s full of carrot zoodles, zucchini, red pepper, Asian cabbage, mint, cashews, and sesame seeds. Dress it with their zesty lemon avocado dressing that’s sugar-free and dairy-free and consider adding some tofu for more protein.
Flower Child currently has 5 locations throughout the Valley.
6 The Grayhawk Salad at The Quill Creek Café
Sit back and enjoy the gorgeous views of the Raptor Course and the McDowell Mountains at the Grayhawk Golf Club while you dine on this fantastic salad. It’s made with sliced chicken, garden greens, angel hair pasta, tortilla strips, carrots, cilantro lime dressing, and Thai peanut sauce. So yum!
The Quill Creek Café is in north Scottsdale and open to everyone.
7 The Kale + Quinoa Salad at Original Chop Shop
It’s hard to choose with so many great salads and bowls here, but this salad is one the best. It is full of kale, quinoa, snap peas, tomatoes, smoked almonds, corn, golden raisins, parmesan, and a tasty lemon-Dijon dressing. Pair it with a glass of one of their fabulous fresh juice blends or a seasonal lemonade. Perfect summer lunch or dinner.
The Original Chop Shop has 3 Valley locations.
8 The Peri-Peri Jerk Chicken Salad at Tap House Kitchen
Oh, the flavors and textures! This one’s got Jerk-seasoned chicken thigh, cucumber ribbons, orange, pomegranate seeds, mint, red onion, cilantro, white quinoa almond crunch, and a honey-charred lime dressing. Try it with a local brew.
Tap House Kitchen has locations in Scottsdale and Phoenix.
9 Chicken and Pine Nuts Salad at Sauce
Yes, I will admit I sometimes daydream about this salad made with organic spring mix greens, romaine, big chunks of roasted chicken, grape tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, and a gorgonzola vinaigrette. Almost as good as a trip to Italy, and way less expensive.
Sauce has multiple locations around the Valley.
10 The Original Chopped Salad at Citizen Public House
This famous salad’s origins go back at least 20 years, when the dish first appeared on the menu at Cowboy Ciao, which has since closed. Variations of that Stetson Chopped Salad are now found at several Valley restaurants. This outstanding one is very similar to the Cowboy Ciao version with its smoked salmon, couscous, arugula, pepitas, Asiago cheese, currants, dried sweet corn, marinated tomatoes, and a buttermilk-herb dressing. A classic for a reason.
Citizen Public House is located in Scottsdale.
Let us know what you think, and share your favorite Valley salads in the comments.