You may not win friends with salad, but you can win your lunch or dinner with it, for sure. Though not all salads are created equal–and not all salads are easy on the calories–if you need to boost your veggie intake and fill up with some leafy greens, Vancouver is like a brimming bowl of options.
From every hipster’s favourite (kale, yeah!) to bowls of lettuce topped with fresh local seafood and much more, toss your hat off in tribute to these 19 must-try salads in Vancouver.
If you’re a salad hater, perhaps what you need to bring you over to the dark side is pulled pork. Hubbub’s salad bowls are made with romaine lettuce and crisp red and green cabbage, dressed in a house vinaigrette and topped with red peppers, black beans, corn, celery, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños. Among your choices for a protein add-on: Pulled pork.
Address: 777 Thurlow Street, Vancouver
Tractor Foods is definitely a go-to if you’re a fan of salads, since that’s a big part of what they are all about. Walk the line at this cafeteria-style eatery and pile your plate with servings of their veggie salads, but make sure you leave room for the roasted brussels sprouts, which is made with shredded kale, radicchio, Italian parsley, and a sweet-tangy apricot mustard vinaigrette.
Pleasing not just the health conscious, Railtown Cafe offers patrons half a dozen different salad options to choose from, including a traditional Caesar salad and The Salmon, a colourful collection of farmers’ market field greens, tomatoes, fennel, asparagus, oranges, and olives, dressed with a citrus vinaigrette.
Address: 397 Railway Street, Vancouver
Address: 968 Howe Street, Vancouver
It’s hard to say that anything in the Glowbal group is a secret, and it’s clear that with the lunchtime lines at their grab-and-go spot in the Telus Garden building Nosh is not a secret, but we can attest that their build your own salad option is a noteworthy cheap eat. For $10 you can order a small, and load it up with your choice of toppings and ingredient. Don’t be shy, ask them to double that scoop of tuna or shrimp or roasted veggies. Pack it in!
Address: 101-510 West Georgia Street, Vancouver
With mix-and-match combinations, Pokérrito’s poké bowls are available with fish like torched-flamed tuna and salmon (delivered and cut daily), and mix-ins like avocado, edamame, cucumber, pineapple, wasabi, and more. Skip the rice and fill the base of your bowl with lettuce, and, boom, you’ve got a poké salad. Look at you, so on trend!
Address: 558 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver
Both locations of the charming Shishinori offers Kawaii-cute Japanese eats with an emphasis on fresh and healthy. Order up a bowl, like the Wild Salmon, or a salad, to get a real sense of what this sweet little spot is all about.
Address: 2328 Cambie Street, Vancouver
Address: 1467 W Pender Street
In addition to carb-loaded temptations, this sandwich-centric casual eatery in Vancouver’s Chinatown also prepares a range of enticing salad options, including the Kale and Cauliflower, featuring quinoa, chickpeas, radish slices, hemp seeds, and a honey lime reduction. For extra satisfaction add a serving of the kitchen’s herb chicken to the already hearty mix.
Address: 237 Union Street, Vancouver
This is the salad that you can kind of get addicted to. Gently grilled kale is teamed up with roasted hazelnuts and caramelized apple, and is tossed in a warm brie and honey dressing. Seriously, stawwwwwp it: It’s so freaking good.
Address: 1300 Robson Street, Vancouver
This little green, plant-based food truck offers fresh, colourful, satisfying salads, all made using ingredients sourced locally and seasonally–which means they don’t have the same menu all the time. PS, Culver City’s dressings are all gluten-free, vegan, and made by hand.
Address: Find the truck at Hastings and Thurlow Tuesday to Friday, from 11:15 am to 2:15 pm
The mecca of salads, Field & Social, has a beautiful menu of even more beautiful salads (dished up in a beautiful space, to boot). While there’s much to love about their Kale Caesar, their boldly fresh Persian Herb Salad, their soulful orzo salad, and their Kimchi & Co. noodle salad, start at the beginning with their Field Cobb. Their riff on the classic is made with super fresh ingredients, including: roasted chicken breast, crispy bacon, romaine, arugula, tomatoes, seared brussels sprouts, cucumber, radish, shallots, and soft boiled egg with a double dressing of blue cheese and tangy mustard vinaigrette.
Address: 415 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver
Alongside build-your-own burritos, this Granville Street spot offers hearty, jazzed up salads. Made on the spot, Hungry Guys Kitchen prepares unique creations like the sweet yet punchy Pepita De Mi Vida, which is comprised of organic tofu, shredded kale, organic quinoa, edamame, red beets, red cabbage, fresh mint, local apples, dried cranberries, blue cheese (not overly aggressive), pumpkin seeds, and a maple balsamic vinaigrette.
Address: 988 Granville Street, Vancouver
Vancouver’s trailblazing Juice Truck has a great menu of cold pressed juices and smoothies, but their brick and mortar cafe also has an impressive food menu. Try their Kale Caesar, made with with smokey maple tempeh, nut and seed “parmesan,” chipotle coconut bacon, and fresh lemon, all topped with raw cashew caesar dressing. Look for bowls, soups, and seasonal fare, too.
Address: 28 West 5th Avenue, Vancouver
Maenam’s modern take on Thai food is an essential experience when dining out in Vancouver, and they also have a worthy salad that can go on your must-try list. Their unique Banana blossom and fresh baby corn salad includes fresh mint, coriander, thai basil, lychee, and sesame seeds, and makes for a great vegetarian option. If you’re in the mood for something else in the salad department, Maenam has a couple other killer options on the menu, and often has great salad-centric specials, too.
Address: 1938 West 4th Avenue, Vancouver
Known for their gourmet sandwiches and artfully composed salads, this charming European-inspired cafe is often packed throughout the day. Served with a buttered baguette, the House Salad is one of the most popular items on the menu at Finch’s. It consists of sliced pear, blue brie, cucumber, roasted walnuts, and a white balsamic dressing.
Address: 353 West Pender Street, Vancouver
Without a doubt one of Vancouver’s standout restaurant debuts in 2016 is Kissa Tanto, the Japanese-Italian hybrid in a chic Chinatown space. See the two cuisines meld on the plate via their Octopus Salad, made with crispy octopus, citrus mayonnaise, daikon, radish, basil, ikura, and parmesan. It’s so approachable, a three-year-old will eat it–well, at least mine did.
Address: 236 East Pender Street, Vancouver
While we all know French food is all about la beurre, they do occasionally veer into fresh veggies territory. Witness la Salad Nicoise, particularly at Les Faux Bourgeois, where you’ll find their popular rendition made with confit tuna, artisanal greens, niçoise olives, capers, and anchoïade. They make a veggie version, too.
Address: 663 East 15th Avenue, Vancouver
Sure, it’s kale. And, yeah, it’s Earls. But their Warm Kale Salad is definitely worth noting: black kale, baby potatoes, roasted brussels sprouts, cranberries and toasted almonds are served in brown butter vinaigrette with grilled chicken.
It doesn’t get much more old school than ordering a Caesar salad at Hy’s, thanks to the old school way they still wheel the cart over to your table and assemble the salad right before your (hungry) eyes. Plus, it’s a delicious fresh Caesar salad, and you’re wise enough to know you’ll be enjoying that with a side of their signature Cheese Toast. Right? Right.
Address: 637 Hornby Street, Vancouver