The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 Salads

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Photos by Katharine Shilcutt
The super-summery Sicilia salad at our No. 2 pick.
We've come a long way from the days when salads were considered simply "rabbit food" or fare for picky girls attempting to slim down. I often anticipate a salad in a restaurant as much as I do the main course thanks to the extra attention that many restaurants pay their leafy greens. And just as frequently, I'll go to a restaurant specifically for a salad -- something I certainly never did 20 or even 10 years ago.

So on this first day of summer, here's a celebration of our favorite fresh and refreshing salads in town.

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10. Salad bar at Georgia's Market Downtown

Although I prefer a salad that's thoughtfully constructed for me, there are times when all I really want to do is crash madly through a salad bar and hurricane together a mad mixture of vegetables on a plate. Georgia's has long been my favorite place to do so, mostly because you always know that the vegetables, fruits, dressings and other accompaniments are organic and as fresh as Georgia's can get them.

9. Som tam at Vieng Thai

Green papaya salad isn't for everyone, but those who enjoy the stuff will find the best version of it in Houston at Vieng Thai. I love the apt description that the Fearless Critic team gives of Vieng Thai's version in its Houston guide:

Som tam is made with green papaya (which has nothing to do with the sweet orange version of the fruit; it's crisp and sour, somewhere closer to cabbage or jicama). It also involves fiery chiles, palm sugar, salt, garlic, dried shrimp, peanuts, fish sauce, lime and often other ingredients, ground together with a mortar and pestle.

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Photo by Christina Uticone
8. Salade Max & Julie at Brasserie Max & Julie

This delicate but tasty French salad from Houston's most adorably French brasserie comes with shaved celeriac, toasted fennel, hazelnuts and orange slices all on top of a huge bed of mixed greens. In keeping with the orange slices, it's dressed with an orange vinaigrette that -- while actually a winter fruit -- always tastes like summer to me.

7. Que Más salad at Mission Burrito

The phrase "que más" means "what more," and the Que Más salad at Mission Burrito is a veritable treasure chest of ingredients -- greens, potatoes, corn, roasted red peppers, jicama, tortilla strips, cheese and the meat of your choice (although it's just as good without). It's an eclectic mix, yet somehow it works; it's hearty, healthy and tasty. Try the low-fat buttermilk dressing if you're a health nut, but the salad is truly best with Mission Burrito's signature cilantro-ranch dressing.


Location Info

Georgia's Market Downtown - CLOSED

420 Main St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Brasserie Max and Julie

4315 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Vieng Thai

6929 Long Point Rd., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Mission Burrito

2245 W. Alabama, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Local Foods

2424 Dunstan Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Que Huong

11201 Bellaire Blvd, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Haven - CLOSED

2502 Algerian Way, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

L'Olivier

240 Westheimer Road, Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Trevisio Restaurant

6550 Bertner St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant

Beaver's

2310 Decatur St., Houston, TX

Category: Restaurant


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11 comments
BillieJean
BillieJean

Agree. And if you're into Som Tam, the great Thai papaya salad, try the one at Njoy Thai which just opened in Montrose....it's wonderful!

KeJo
KeJo

Chop Salad at Vic and Anthony's is awesome.

Erin
Erin

What about Rosie Carabba's House Salad?!

Dagny Faucett
Dagny Faucett

Good salads at Tossed, The Cheescake Factory

Houstess
Houstess

Concur on Brasserie 19's frisee salad.  Would add Bistro Provence Salade de Confit de Canard,  tender shredded duck on mixed greens with bacon and poached egg.  Delicious as a light meal itself.

PM
PM

Good list.  A few others that I would put on my own: - any Pappas owned restaurant greek salad, a classic in Houston - cucumber and tomato salad at Zabak's - B19 frisee salad w/ poached egg, dijon ving, and bacon lardon - chicken kabob salad at Cafe Lili - house salad at pondicheri - the slice at Reef

Bill
Bill

fried goat cheese salad at backstreet cafe?

Carrie
Carrie

Love the list! 100% agree with the #1 salad, my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I'll have to make a Trevisio trip sometime next week, it's just down the street from work.

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