Where to grab a salad in San Diego that doesn't suck
If you know me, I don't want anything that's not a greasy cheeseburger or fiery hot wings but lately that hasn't been the case for me. After visiting the doctor back in November, I was told I need to make some lifestyle changes if I want to be medication free and live a long healthy life. With the doctor telling me that my blood levels and blood pressure was high, I immediately decided to eat a little better, which means adding healthier options to my food options. There are plenty of ways to eat better and live a healthier lifestyle, so I'm not saying eating salads will do the trick but my thought process was, If I can add good nutrients to a meal, meaning fruits, nuts, greens, fats and protein, I'll be steps towards a healthier lifestyle, which brings me to this list of spots I enjoy having a salad from in San Diego.
Please Note: All locations offer a variety of protein options with these listed salads.
Working Class | North Park
What to try: Spinach & Berry Salad
Swing by Working Class in North Park and try their Spinach & Berry salad. I'm here all the time, probably because I live right down the street from this spot, but I'm happy that I've tried their tasty . Packed with spinach, kale, blue berries, strawberries, chopped almonds, goat cheese and red wine vinaigrette.
4095 30th St | (619) 642-0114 | workingclasssd.com
Bay Hill Tavern | Bay Park
What to try: Beets by Bay
Bay Hill Tavern is a newer restaurant that opened up in Bay Park. They're offering a wide range of food, including pizza, burgers, wings, draft beer, cocktails, and of course, salads. They have an array of salads but my favorite on the menu is Beets by Bay. I'm a huge fan of beets, so any salad with beets in it will be good to me. This salad has Arugula, red & yellow beets, quinoa & farro mix, goat cheese, dried cranberries, toasted almonds with balsamic vinaigrette on the side. I typically like my salad dressing on the side in case I don't want any dressing on the salad.
3010 Clairemont Dr suite b | (619) 326-8828 | bayhilltavernsd.com
Encontro | North Park
What to try: Baby Kale Salad
Encontro is a cool spot in North Park with a great happy hour menu. You'll find me on the patio with a glass of wine that's half-off during happy hour (Monday through Friday; 2:30 - 5 p.m.). I love their salads but if I had to pick one, it'll be the Baby Kale Salad because it has all the nutrients. The Baby Kale Salad is packed with farmers market beets, blood oranges, capricho goat cheese, candied walnuts, avocado with preserved lemon agave citronette on the side.
3001 University Ave #3001 | (619) 291-1220 | encontronorthpark.com
Nolita Hall | Little Italy
What to try: Winter Citrus Salad
If you're in Little Italy, you should definitely head to Nolita Hall for their food and drinks. I dig the lay out of this establishment. The vibe is cool. They're offering pizza, burgers, brunch items, cocktails, draft beers and games. I stopped through for drinks and their tasty Winter Citrus Salad.
2305 India St | (619) 255-8000 | nolitahall.com/eat
Farmer's Table | La Mesa
What to try: Quinoa Salad
It's rare you'll find me in La Mesa, but when I am, you can find me at Farmer's Table having a Quinoa Salad. They also have locations in Bay Park and Little Italy. The Quinoa Salad has wild baby arugula, roasted butternut squash, sun dried tomato, herb goat cheese with pomegranate vinaigrette on the side.
8141 La Mesa Blvd | (619) 724-6465 | myfarmerstable.com/la-mesa
Dunedin New Zealand Eats | North Park
What to Try: Beet Salad with Blackened Salmon
I like the combination of the atmosphere and food. I love the New Zealand vibe you get with the decor and the food here at Dunedin New Zealand Eats, located in North Park. I'm here for the burgers and their brunch items, but lately, it has been for their beet salad, which is by far one of my favorite salads. I typically get a protein with this one, which is the blackened salmon. I love the simplicity of this salad; assorted beets, blue cheese, basil, onion, and pumpkin seeds.
3501 30th St | (619) 255-8566 | dnp-sd.com
Tom Ham's Lighthouse | Harbor Island
What to try: Quinoa & Watermelon Salad
When you're at Tom Ham's Lighthouse, you feel like you're on vacation. Good views on the patio, $1 oysters (during happy hour), local beers on tap, refreshing cocktails and coastal eats. What more can you ask for? While I'm enjoying my $1 oysters (I usually order a dozen), I'll grab the Quinoa & Watermelon Salad. It's very refreshing and light. This salad has pickled serrano chili, feta, radish, cilantro, grapes, toasted pine nuts with pedro ximenez vinaigrette.
What to try: Roasted Beets
Another salad with beets. If you haven't noticed, I really love a salad with beets. This one is perfect for dinner.
2150 Harbor Island Dr | (619) 291-9110 | tomhamslighthouse.com
Waypoint Public | North Park
What to try: Beet
If you haven't been to brunch at WayPoint Public, you're missing out. I figured I would give their brunch a quick shout out. I also like their selection of beers on tap. I've had their Beet salad a few times now and it doesn't disappoint! It has summer greens, roasted beets, smoked almonds, herb feta cheese with a duo of beet dressings.
3794 30th St | (619) 255-8778 | waypointpublic.com
The Hive Dive | Bay Park
What to try: Quinoa Salad
When I'm in the Bay Park area, I love stopping through High Dive for a drink and a bite to eat. I love the atmosphere and friendly staff. Oh my, I'm sounding like a yelp review, but it's true. I'm normally eating a burger here but there has been ONE occasion that I ordered the Quinoa Salad, and guess what? It didn't suck. It's a simple but light salad. Arugula, feta, strawberries, sunflower seeds with herb vinaigrette.
1801 Morena Blvd | (619) 275-0460 | highdivesd.com
End Zone Sports Bar & Grill | North Park
What to try: End Zone Salad
This sports dive bar, End Zone Sports Bar & Grill, is one of my favorites in North Park. I'm becoming a regular here the more I stop by. They have a special every day (they have a really good burger special), tasty wings, 24 beers on tap, friendly staff and the locals are nice. When it comes to their salads, I usually get their End Zone Salad, which contains mixed greens, candied walnuts, cucumbers, pears, Gorgonzola cheese and raspberry vinaigrette (on the side, of course).
2859 University Ave | (619) 677-2928 | endzonesportsbarsd.com
Holsem Coffee | North Park
What to try: Superfood Veggie Bowl
I'm a huge fan of Holsem Coffee. I love stopping by for a signature drink and if I can grab a seat, I'll stop in and get work done at the same time. I did get a chance to try their Superfood Veggie Bowl which will leave you full and satisfy for a while. It contains greens, quinoa, avocado, cucumber, carrots, red cabbage, chick peas, hemp seeds and black sesame.
2911 University Ave | (858) 429-9361 | holsemcoffee.com
This is my list of spots and hopefully you will try a few on the list. I didn't get to mention all of my go-to spots such as West Coast Tavern (Kale Caesar Salad), the new Lolita's Salad from Lolita's Mexican Food (all 7 locations) and the Ahi Tuna Salad from Bali Hai.
Let me know your go-to spots for a salad. I would love to update my list.
All photos taken by Jarnard Sutton