The Best Salad Bars in Manhattan
Isn’t it amazing to think about what types of food our bodies crave depending on the season? For example, there’s something cozy about warming up in the middle of winter with a crock pot recipe. And in the hot summers New York City experiences, I think we can all agree that stopping by your favorite artisanal ice cream shop is always a win! If there’s one type of food that’s versatile enough for spring, summer, fall, and even winter, it’s crisp green salads. I know what you’re thinking… Salads are boring. Well… I’m here to tell you first hand that if you pair leafy greens with the season’s freshest ingredients, you’ll have a fulfilling, healthy meal! Fill up your summer picnics, weekday lunches, or midday snacks with inspo from the best salad bars right here in Manhattan!
Sweetgreen doesn’t mess around when it comes to prepping the freshest ingredients to top off your salads with. Since 2007, they’ve been committed to providing customers with simple, seasonal, and healthy food – all prepared from scratch. The Sweetgreen team puts a lot of focus on not only how the food is prepared, but where it comes from, and how the local communities and environment are impacted. My favorite summertime salad is the Earth Bowl, which is a perfect combination of warm quinoa, organic arugula, roasted chicken, white cheddar cheese, tomato, raw corn, hot chickpeas, spicy broccoli, tossed in a pesto vinaigrette. While it’s light enough for a summer meal, it is guaranteed to keep you full through your next one!
Don’t let the name fool you – Just Salad offers one of the best fresh dining experiences I’ve come across in Manhattan. Their Backyard BBQ Bowl, mixed with BBQ chicken over warm brown rice, house made apple fennel slaw, black bean and corn salsa, topped with an agave dijon dressing is hands-down one of my favorite summer dishes. Another favorite is their Farmer’s Market Gran Bowl, with organic quinoa, fresh seasonal fruit, ripe grape tomatoes, cucumbers, organic mesclun, mint leaves, and goat cheese (my favorite with salads).
Contrary to the name, Just Salads offers other delicious menu items if you’re looking to change up your order:
- Protein, Buffalo, and Spicy Chicken Wraps
- Market Plates
- Ginger Shrimp and Warm Grain Bowls
- Crispy Toast Boxes
- Seasonal Soups
Manhattan’s West Side vs. East SideBelieve it or not, there are quite a few differences between the West and East Sides of Manhattan! From family-style mom and pop shops to vibrant nightlife, which neighborhood best suits your lifestyle?
A really cool trait of this shop is their use of reusable salad bowls. If you buy one of their bowls for $1, you’ll receive free salad toppings with every visit, on top of helping to save 75,000 pounds of plastic every year! How’s that for eat good, do good, feel good?!
Here’s a little fun trivia about Manhattan’s tried, true, and adored salad bar, Chopt:
Every 60 days, the Chopt team travels to a new destination to source new and exciting flavor combinations for their salad bowls.
This summer, they went to California and brought a bit of the “best coast” (their words, not ours!) back to the east coast. Along with their regular lineup of delicious greens, they have three new Cali-inspired salad bowls on the menu for the season. Our favorite is the Melrose Grain Bowl, which is Job’s tears and quinoa blend, local feta, spicy pickled snap peas, seasonal radish, English cucumber, Napa cabbage, sunflower shoots and sorrel, tossed in a Meyer lemon vinaigrette with a wedge of lemon for good measure.
Another awesome thing about eating at Chopt? They have an online nutrition calculator, so if you’re on any kind of diet or “eat clean” routine this summer, you can easily log on, click exactly what salad base, toppings, dressing, and extras you want, and find out exactly how many calories, sugars, proteins, etc. you will be consuming.
Along with their spot-on sammie lineup, ‘Witchcraft has one killer salad bar, too. And who would expect any less, considering it’s the brain child of Tom Colicchio, who you will probably know as the famous American chef who co-founded the legendary Gramercy Tavern. You can’t go wrong ordering here, but we have a summertime soft spot for the Avocado and Greens salad, a perfect marriage of avocado, shredded vegetables, nuts, radish, romaine, arugula, lightly sprinkled with tahini dressing. Things that make your taste buds go “mmm”, and your waistline say “thank you!”