We try 10 of the best salad shops in the Triangle

Courtesy of Shay Harrington

This month, we find relief from the summer heat in the cool green crunch of entree salads, such as the salads served at Chopt.                                                            PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAY HARRINGTON

Fast-casual salad shops abound in Raleigh, Durham and beyond. We seek out some of our favorites.

By Greg Cox

Originally published 7/27/2017

A monthly roundup of ethnic eats, counter service chow and other tasty bargains. This month, we find relief from the summer heat in the cool green crunch of entree salads.

b. good

Multiple locations; see website for details

bgood.com

B. good’s Watermelon and Feta salad pairs the quintessentially cooling fruit and mild, creamy goat cheese with a supporting cast of arugula, baby spinach, cannellini beans, snap peas, sun-dried tomato and toasted corn in a light red wine-olive oil dressing. If you like, add the protein of your choice: grilled chicken, organic tofu or a local egg.

Chopt

420 Daniels St., Raleigh; 1490 Fordham Blvd., Chapel Hill

919-670-2333 (Raleigh); 919-240-7660 (Chapel Hill)

choptsalad.com

When the going gets tough, the tough head for Palm Beach – the Palm Beach salad, that is, a medley of grilled chicken, avocado, grape tomatoes, English cucumbers, hearts of palm and romaine lettuce in a hot honey vinaigrette. The fact that it’s 320 calories only adds to the cool factor.

Diced

1028-234 Oberlin Court, Raleigh; 1377 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary

919-307-3613 (Raleigh); 919-377-8572 (Cary)

dicedsalads.com

Sweltering, but can’t get to the beach? Plunge into the Shrimp Caesar, featuring wild-caught shrimp, shaved parmesan and croutons on a bed of crisp romaine tossed in a house-made Caesar dressing. And no need to worry about sunburn or sand in your shorts.

freshii

2316-106 Hillsborough St., Raleigh

919-424-7900

freshii.com/us

Dreaming about a Hawaiian vacation? Pokii is freshii’s vegetarian take on poké, the island’s famous raw fish salad, serving up pickled ginger, cucumber, avocado, cabbage, carrot, edamame, green onion and sesame seeds on a bed of brown rice and kale, with an Asian sesame dressing and spicy yogurt sauce. Better hurry, though. Pokii is a limited-time offer.

Giardino Gourmet Salads

821 Bass Pro Lane, Cary

984-664-3030

giardinosalads.com

As cool and chic as its name, the Parisian is a melange of brie, green apples, red grapes, sliced almonds and baby mixed greens, tossed in a honey apple cider vinaigrette and topped with house-made garlic croutons. Be advised that the Piccolo (small size) salad is an ample meal for most people.

Grabbagreen

4421 Six Forks Road, Suite 103B, Raleigh

919-326-7799

grabbagreen.com

Decisions, decisions. Grabbagreen’s salad menu reads like a travel agency’s list of vacation packages, tempting with destinations ranging from South Beach to the Gulf of Mexico. Let’s say we set sail for the Amalfi Coast (chia seeds, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, red pepper, spinach, tomato and feta in a Mediterranean pomegranate sauce)?

happy + hale

443 Fayetteville St., Raleigh; 703B Ninth St., Durham (A North Hills location is planned.)

919-307-4148 (Raleigh); 984-439-1790 (Durham)

happyandhale.com

Say you’re the sort who likes to fight fire with fire. Beat the summer heat with the spices savor or the Happy Harissa Bowl: harissa-marinated chicken, black lentils, arugula, roasted red peppers, caramelized onions, sun-dried tomatoes, pita crunch, harissa and curry yogurt dressings. Note: this one’s only available at Raleigh and Greenville, S.C., locations.

Hungry Leaf

2608 Erwin Road, # 132, Durham

919-321-8001

hungryleaf.com

Keep your cool and stay gluten-free with the E.A.T. Cobb. That’s E.A.T., as in hard-boiled egg, avocado and grape tomato, playing with a cool, crisp backup chorus of iceberg lettuce, red onion, bacon, grilled chicken and blue cheese. Choose from 16 house-made dressings, but blue cheese is recommended on this one for good reason.

Newk’s Eatery

1144 Kildaire Farm Road, Cary

919-535-8390

newks.com

Kick it old school with Newk’s respectful update on a classic chef salad: diced smoked ham, nitrate-free oven-roasted turkey, mixed greens, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, aged cheddar cheese, house-made croutons and your choice of dressing.

Tossed

4117 Davis Drive, Morrisville

919-460-4449

tossed.com

Weighing in at just 390 calories, the refreshingly different take on a tuna salad at Tossed is mixed with apples and dried cranberries in a light mayo dressing, and it’s served on a bed of baby field greens, avocado, carrots and cucumbers in a honey balsamic vinaigrette.

ggcox55@gmail.com or themenunc.com