Editor's Picks

Eat Clean This Spring with Our 10 Favorite Salad Spots

There’s much more to the modern salad than just boring old lettuce.

By Megha Tejpal March 3, 2016 Published in the March 2016 issue of Houstonia Magazine

Bistro menil nrxwzr

Bistro Menil suggests pairing this chicken breast confit salad with a coupe of Domaine Charles Brut Cremant D'Alsace.

Backstreet Café

Chef Hugo Ortega may be known for the bold Mexican flavors he turns out down the road at Hugo’s, but he also has an excellent command of seasonal American fare. Settle in at this classic Houston café and try his roasted pear salad spiked with blue cheese, dried fruit and nuts, or his fried green tomatoes over arugula, portobello mushrooms and pecans.


Benjy Levit has been bringing farm-to-table freshness to Houston since long before it was cool—in fact, the restaurant just celebrated its 20th anniversary. The seasonal menus here give vegetables their due. This spring, try a salad of grilled amberjack tossed with spinach, butternut squash, pomegranate and dill-soy dressing.

Bistro Menil

This gem, nestled next to the gift shop at the Menil Collection in Montrose, offers eight different salad choices, all of which include the option to add a protein such as chicken, tuna or a crab cake. The kale-and-quinoa salad with goat cheese is a popular selection, but we love the more idiosyncratic zucchini salad with Parmesan and pancetta.

Coltivare dg4bia

Try this local strawberry, hazelnut, red cabbage, mint and yogurt salad at Coltivare.


The fresh fruits and vegetables served here are grown in the restaurant’s own garden, enabling the kitchen staff to create a long list of unique salad blends. The menu changes daily, but spring may be the best time to dig into a dish of homegrown lettuce, herbs and lemon. Additions often include chiles, house-made croutons and avocado.

Dish Society

The menu here veers toward the healthy and locally driven, so it’s no surprise salads play a major role. Among the standouts: Brussels sprouts with quinoa, dried cherries and golden raisins, and a citrus-beet creation made with Texas fruit. Diverse protein options include turkey, shrimp and brisket.

Local Foods

The ever-changing menu of salads here always incorporates fresh Texas ingredients. As the days get warmer, cool down with the tomato and cucumber salad served with spinach, arugula and pecans. The protein-rich vegan taco salad, made with kale, vegan “taco meat” and avocado, is a favorite among diners year-round.

Pondicheri opwa2y

This salad at Pondicheri combines roasted pumpkin, feta, pumpkin seeds, greens, pomegranate seeds and turmeric dressing.


This Indian chaat house isn’t all street food and baked goods. Refreshing salads with a Desi twist include a shrimp chutney salad with roasted beets, avocado, pomegranate seeds and fresh greens. For something more indulgent, try the creamy butter chicken salad, a unique fusion dish that tosses the stew with crisp lentils, local greens, blueberries and goat cheese.

Ruggles Green

This local chain boasts an impressive roster of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, but don’t assume it’s all health food. Highlights include an arugula salad with honey-fried goat cheese and a kale Caesar with caramelized onions and sundried tomatoes.


Singaporean food is a fusion of Chinese flavors with influences from across Asia and the West. Houston’s sole restaurant devoted to the cuisine serves appropriately eclectic salads, including one that pairs Fuji apples and prawns with jicama and cilantro in a lemongrass-mint vinaigrette.

True Food Kitchen

Whether or not you’re an adherent of Dr. Andrew Weil’s anti-inflammatory diet, you’ll want to visit his Houston outpost and sample the mouthwatering greens. The kale crunch salad comes with avocado, grapefruit, almonds and a chile-garlic dressing, while the chicken chopped salad features cranberry, dates and farro tossed in an almond-champagne vinaigrette. Don’t get too attached, though: The menu changes throughout the year.