Whether you’re working on your beach body or simply attempting to beat the Houston heat with something crisp and refreshing, you’ll want to munch on one of these tasty creations. 

Common Bond Cafe & Bakery

With the Houston summer ready to beat the city down, ’tis the season for melon. Try a fresh take on the classic pairing of melon and prosciutto at this neighborhood favorite, which combines the sweetness of compressed watermelon and cantaloupe with the saltiness of crispy prosciutto and sheep’s-milk feta. The rainbow salad gets extra texture and flavor from fried shallots, peppery arugula, fresh mint, razor-thin radishes, crunchy pepitas, and a healthy drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette.

Doris Metropolitan

The heirloom tomato salad at this high-end Israeli steakhouse celebrates the humble tomato with four colorful preparations—split cherry tomatoes, gorgeously charred wedges, juicy slices, and thin wisps of crisped skins. Dressed up with creamy feta, fresh herbs, and Moroccan olives, the dish is ingeniously rounded out by a bright egg yolk, ready to coat each bite. Fresh bread service makes the perfect companion.

 

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Fig & Olive

The fig and olive salad, a signature offering at this delightful newcomer, explores the coastal regions of France, Spain, and Italy in the Galleria’s former Saks Fifth Avenue space. The bountiful bowl sings with sweet fig and crisp apple, bright tomato and bitter olive, nutty Manchego and buttery Gorgonzola dolce, all of it finished with a fig vinaigrette. Pump up the protein by adding grilled chicken, salmon, scallops, or shrimp.

Feges BBQ

This barbecue joint pays as much attention to its garden-inspired offerings as its smoked meats. Embrace the lighter side of the menu with a pleasurable pulled chicken and butter lettuce salad, which showcases tender shreds of smoky chicken and dreamy buttermilk dressing. Or skip the meat entirely and choose a plate of three righteous sides, such as kale salad, Moroccan-spiced carrots, and braised collards.

 

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Hopdoddy Burger Bar

Yes, this Austin import is known for its bodacious burgers, but hear us out: The fully stacked Y’all’s Chicken Salad, available at the Rice Village and Vintage Park locations, is worth veering off the usual beefy path for. It’s a summer picnic in a bowl, plump with in-season greens, baby Romaine, and adornments like avocado, heirloom cherry tomatoes, blue cheese, bacon crumbles, and fried shreds of “potato hay.” The pièce de résistance is the flawlessly crisp fried chicken, served with a side of buttermilk ranch.

Night Heron

Agricole Hospitality is known for highlighting tastes from around the globe via well-sourced ingredients, and the shrimp Caesar at the group’s cool-and-casual newish haunt is a great example of that. Charred wild-caught shrimp are the star, arriving on a bed of sweet Little Gem lettuce and mildly bitter red endive, along with queso fresco crumbles, toasty sourdough, and aged-black-garlic dressing. Pair it with an excellent Salty Dog cocktail kissed with honeysuckle, because nobody said you can’t enjoy booze with a salad.

Image: Alice Levitt

Pokéworks

It’s all about poke your way at this choose-your-own-adventure spot (think of it as like a Chipotle, but for Hawaiian-style fish). Diners can skip the starchy rice or noodle base and go straight for the greens, building a poke stack onto a bed of fresh Romaine and leafy spring mix. Fill your bowl with choices like Ahi tuna, salmon, and organic tofu; then mix, sauce, top, and crunchify with everything from fresh jalapeño and spicy furikake to umami-kissed shoyu sauce and crispy lotus chips.

One Fifth

With this sophisticated concept switching from its current Romance Languages iteration to Mediterranean fare at the end of July, this is your last chance to indulge in its well-appointed grilled radicchio salad. The Italian-inspired plate showcases the slightly bitter leaves—mellowed out after a quick sojourn on the grill—along with a bright pistachio gremolata and show-stopping goat cheese croquette.

Ragin’ Cajun

Take a break from pinching and peeling to indulge in the buffalo crawfish salad, a remix on the classic chicken version featuring fried crawfish tails. Every crunchy crustacean is dressed in a tongue-tingling house-made sauce and tossed with fresh Romaine and sweet roasted corn. Take your pick from ranch or blue cheese dressing and add in extra blue crumbles if you so please.

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In this Article

Ragin Cajun

$$ Cajun Multiple Locations

What started out as a small po' boy shack back in 1974, has grown into a chain—and now a Houston institution. Po' boys, gumbo and crawfish are served to the ...

One Fifth Romance Languages

$$$ French, Italian, Spanish 1658 Westheimer Road

Pokéworks

$$ Hawaiian Multiple Locations

Go crazy with all-you-can-add fish-and-rice bowls filled with everything from shiso, cucumbers, diced mango and masago. Sauces range from basic ponzu to brig...

Editor’s Pick

Night Heron

$$ American/New American 1601 W. Main St.

Hopdoddy Burger Bar

$$ Hamburgers 4444 Westheimer Rd., Ste. H100

Fans queue up at this cult favorite/Austin import on nice afternoons, contentedly awaiting their lavish Primetime burgers, which top rich Akaushi beef pattie...

Feges BBQ

$$ Barbecue 3 Greenway Plaza Suite C210

Fig & Olive

$$$ French, Mediterranean 5115 Westheimer Road, Suite C2500

Doris Metropolitan

$$$$ Mediterranean, Steak 2815 S. Shepherd Drive

Editor’s Pick

Common Bond Café & Bakery

$$ American/New American, Bakeries, Café 1706 Westheimer Rd.

It’s not all croissants and kugelhopf and colorful packages of macarons at this nearly perfect patisserie—you’ll find stellar breakfast and brunch items on o...