Loaded with greens, grains, and plenty of quality products, a good salad delivers big on both nutrition and taste. Restaurants in Huntington Beach are leveling up their health food game with hearty salads that stand alone as satisfying meals. These aren’t the sad salads off the buffet line — enjoy your veggies dressed up with everything from the refreshing coconut flavors of Thai cuisine to seafood options befitting our Surf City USA® locale. Chefs around town aren’t afraid to push the boundaries of what a salad can be. Here are 10 spots around Huntington Beach where you can get your green on.
Sessions West Coast Deli
While Sessions might be better known for redefining the modern sandwich, chef Max Schlutz brings that same flavor-forward philosophy to his lineup of green offerings. The Thai chop at the Pacific Coast Highway beachfront deli is a local favorite, marrying Peruvian peppers and chile-garlic dressing with refreshing mint, coconut, red cabbage, and watermelon radish tossed with a crisp spring mix. All of the dressings at Sessions are made in-house, and produce is sourced from local growers for a true taste of Orange County.
At a restaurant with “health” in its name, a salad seems like the obvious choice. But there’s nothing obvious about these complex creations at Jan’s, a Main Street institution known for serving up freshly prepared surf shop favorites since 1972. Add protein or avocado to any one of the seven options, like the vegetarian kale with crumbly feta, dried cranberries, carrots, and sunflower seeds tossed in a creamy tahini dressing.
On the marketplace sides menu at this sunny cafeteria-inspired restaurant in Pacific City, there’s a sampling of fresh veggie dishes that rotate seasonally. Lemonade is known for using organic produce to create light and bright plates like the snap pea edamame salad with matchstick carrots, watermelon radish, and sesame vinaigrette. Grab a few to go (with a signature handcrafted lemonade, of course) and head across the street to the beach to enjoy right on the sand.
Olive Pit Grill
For a Mediterranean take on salad, check out this north Huntington Beach casual eatery that offers healthy, all-natural Greek cuisine. Olive Pit's cobb, nicoise, and caesar are all on the menu here but don't skip the village "horiatiki" salad. It's a traditional Greek dish of cubed tomato, cucumber, kalamata olives, red onion, pepper, capers, and a wedge of feta dressed with olive oil, but you can also add your pick of proteins like lamb gyro or falafel.
A resort gem tucked inside the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort & Spa, the refined Watertable offers the kind of salads that belong in the pages of a glossy magazine. A seasonal rotation of menu items includes dishes like the squash blossom salad with stracciatella cheese, roasted shallot vinaigrette, and pepitas. For a stunning pop of color on your plate, order the pomegranate salad that features notes of the tart and tangy fruit in a vinaigrette drizzled over a bed of arugula, spinach, red onions, goat feta, and Marcona almonds.
Heirloom a Modern Farmhouse
A warm and welcoming ambiance carries over into the delightful comfort foods served at this Beach Boulevard farmhouse, open for dinner service Tuesday through Saturday. Heirloom a Modern Farmhouse is owned by a mother-and-daughter who focuses on delivering farm-to-table fare from scratch, inspired by global flavors and the availability of fresh produce each season. Try the signature heirloom salad, a generous bowl of tomato, arugula, Maui onion, watermelon radish, and Marcona almond topped with nutty Midnight Moon cheese shavings, and avocado champagne vinaigrette.
This Huntington Harbour gastropub is not one to rest on its laurels. In addition to a core salad trio — a house, chop, and wedge — Red Table regularly introduces transcendent specials that make regulars out of first-time guests. Take, for instance, the ahi tuna poke salad: a simple yet addictive plate of fresh fish enhanced by the sweet citrus of mandarin oranges, served over mixed greens and topped with sesame dressing and crispy rice noodles. Don't ever order the same thing twice at this restaurant that prides itself on a passion for food, great wine, and amazing cocktails.
Once you step inside the Shorebreak Kimpton Resort downtown, Pacific Hideaway will transport your palate to an island paradise. And when you're a stone's throw from the water, what better salad to order than a seafood chop? Available for lunch, dinner, and brunch, it features shrimp, crab, and bacon on a produce-packed plate of avocado, tomato, and romaine, plus a touch of heat from a creamy wasabi ranch.
Henry's Uncorked: A Patio Wine Bar
Located at The Waterfront Beach Resort, a Hilton Hotel, Henry's Uncorked: A Patio Wine Bar invites guests to dine al fresco with ocean breezes and live music on the weekends. Its butter and lobster salad is hard to turn down, a masterpiece that defies every expectation. A base of tender Maine lobster holds up a glorious arrangement of butter lettuce, watermelon radish, and a sprinkling of chopped Marcona almonds, with just a hint of citrus and green goddess dressing.
If you can tear your eyes away from the ocean views at this Paséa Hotel & Spa restaurant, check out a great selection of salads on the menu. Barbecue steak, pear, and chicken ranch are solid, diverse options, but the Little Gem is truly a standout favorite. The smoky flavors of Spanish chorizo and roasted corn complement Tajin-coated nuts, cotija cheese, and avocado dressing, perfect for brunch, lunch, or dinner by the sea.