Eat Right: Best Salads in Columbus
After the indulgences of the holidays, we’re all looking for ways to lighten up this January. If the last few months have been a never-ending buffet of cookies, pies and booze, treat your body to some needed vitamins and nutrients in the form of veggie-filled salads. Here are some of the city’s best.
811 Highland St., Columbus, OH 43215
Basi Italia’s deceptively simple menu description—“A classic, revisited”—does not do this stunning salad justice. It’s a deconstructed version of the familiar favorite, with crunchy romaine hearts and croutons, shaved parmesan, roasted cherry tomatoes and salty white anchovies. While you’re at it, try the city’s best vegetarian starter, the Zucchini Pronto, a heap of zucchini and almond draped in thinly sliced pecorino.
Brassica’s Falafel Salad
680 N. High St., Columbus, OH 43215
The salads at this casual Mediterranean spot are heartier than most, thanks to a base of brown rice and lentils under the pile of greens. On top, you can choose your toppings. Try it topped with the cumin-spiked falafel and all the veggies you can handle—pickled cabbage, beets and cucumbers, spicy carrots, marinated eggplant and roasted cauliflower.
CBC’s Roasted Chicken Salad
525 Short St., Columbus, OH 43215
CBC Restaurant’s Roasted Chicken Salad has been a longtime local favorite thanks to its perfect mix of salty and sweet flavors. Crisp romaine and mesclun are topped with pulled slow-roasted chicken breast, sweet corn, marinated olives, chopped dates, toasted pine nuts, diced roma tomatoes, creamy goat cheese and cornbread croutons, all in a sherry vinaigrette.
Ella’s Beet Salad
266 E. Main St., New Albany, OH 43054
Ella Bistro’s signature salad is a masterful combination of bold flavors. Earthy beets are paired with spicy arugula and aromatic fennel, paired with the sweetness of goat cheese, apple and candied walnuts in a bright citrus vinaigrette. Make it an entree by adding chicken, salmon or shrimp.
129 E. Nationwide Blvd. — Downtown
Flatiron Bar & Diner has a seasonally rotating selection of excellent salad small plates. Right now you can try the sweet Beet Salad, with ricotta, pistachios and bourbon raisins in a brown sugar vinaigrette. But the Flatiron Salad is meaty enough to double as an entree. It’s topped with a Cajun Petit Sirloin plus roasted red peppers, roasted zucchini, tomato confit and farro, and drizzled in balsamic vinaigrette and Gorgonzola dolce butter. Vegetarian? Go for the excellent house Tofu-Rizo (a chorizo riff) in place of the sirloin.
Katalina’s Stoplight Salata
1105 Pennsylvania Ave. — Harrison West
Go ultra-healthy with Katalina’s live greens salad, starting with a bed of live Great Lakes Growers greens. It’s topped with fresh corn, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, red onion, pepitas and Katalina’s 3-Herb Lime Vinaigrette with mint, basil and cilantro. Or treat yourself with the Southern Fried Salata, topped with buttermilk-brined fried Gerber chicken breast, avocado, tomatoes, green apples, walnuts and sprouts in a Southern Buttermilk Herb Dressing.
Milestone 229’s Broccoli Salad
229 Civic Center Dr. — Downtown
Enjoy a cheffy take on a picnic staple with Gigi’s Broccoli Salad. A creamy dressing (Grandma Gigi’s “secret recipe”) tops crisp broccoli, raisins, sunflower seeds and flavorful double-smoked bacon. Also excellent is the 229 House Salad, with mixed field greens, shaved Napa cabbage, Granny Smith apples, red onion, goat cheese, and sunflower seeds in a sherry vinaigrette.
4740 Reed Rd. — Northwest Columbus
Nicola Restaurant & Bar’s signature salad is a lovely combination of finely chopped vegetables including romaine, fennel, tomato, cucumbers, carrots and corn, all tossed in a housemade lemon Agrumato, or infused olive oil. Plenty of accompaniments can be added, too: chicken, shrimp, salmon, prosciutto, anchovies, meatball or sausage!
Tip Top’s Herbed Goat Cheese Salad
73 E. Gay St. — Downtown
The cheese is the star of Tonya’s Herbed Goat Cheese Salad. Herbed goat cheese is lightly grilled before it’s served over mixed greens with tomato wedges and balsamic vinaigrette. Also great is the Green Beans & Goodness salad, with mixed greens, green beans, diced tomatoes, bacon, black olives, chickpeas, mozzarella, green onions, and hard-boiled egg with buttermilk ranch dressing.
Worthington Inn’s Arugula & Watercress Salad
649 High St. — Worthington
For this salad standout, the Inn’s chef balances the bitterness of the arugula and watercress with a lovely array of sweet and savory toppings, from Point Reyes blue cheese to sweet grilled pear, pecans and fennel in a smoked peppercorn vinaigrette. Or try the Red Oak Salad, with roasted golden beets, figs, goat cheese and toasted seeds with a walnut-cider vinaigrette.
Dine Originals Columbus celebrates, supports and promotes the culinary diversity that locally owned and operated member restaurants contribute to the identity and culture of our city. The nonprofit group is committed to strengthening the local economy and enriching the community through education and charitable partnerships.
On the first Wednesday of each month, each Dine Originals restaurant offers their own special dining experience, whether it’s a prix-fix dinner, a tasting menu, a retail wine night or a fun promotion. No matter which Dine Originals restaurant you visit tonight, you’ll be treated to a VIP dining experience that can’t be found anywhere else.
For more information, visit www.dineoriginalscolumbus.com.