Monday, March 26, 2012

Salad Days

Even though the Sacramento weather can't seem to figure out whether it's winter or spring, I've been craving salads lately. I'm ready to move on from hearty soups and full-bodied red wines to cool fresh salads and crisp chardonnays. So where are the best places for a vegan to find a salad in Sacramento? Here are some of my favorite local salad spots:

Jack's Urban Eats isn't particularly vegan-friendly otherwise, but I love their Create Your Own Salad option. You get to choose your salad greens (mixed greens, Romaine, or spinach), dressing (the only vegan dressing option is the balsamic vinaigrette), and six toppings from among a list that includes numerous vegan choices (broccoli, corn, cucumber, red bell pepper, grilled mushrooms, tofu, celery, beets, grape tomatoes, Fuji apple, kidney-garbanzo beans, red onion, sun-dried cranberries, pepperoncini, peas, jicama, carrots, and fire-roasted red peppers). You can order a half salad or a full salad (the price difference is $1.00). There are several Jack's Urban Eats locations in the greater Sacramento area. More information is available at

Mai Pham's Star Ginger Asian Grill and Noodle Bar, located at 3101 Folsom Boulevard, offers a fabulous Ginger Sesame Tofu Salad, which consists of pan-seared tofu, greens, red and green cabbage, celery, cilantro, roasted peanuts, crispy noodles, and ginger-sesame dressing. Her Lemon Grass Restaurant, located at 601 Munroe Street, serves a delicious Ginger Tofu salad that includes, in addition to the ginger and tofu, green beans, carrots, broccoli, tomatoes, onions, fresh basil, and roasted chili-soy vinaigrette. More information about Mai Pham's restaurants is available at

Cafe Bernardo R15, which is located at 1431 R Street, currently has a really tasty Asian Cabbage & Tofu Salad on their menu. In addition to the cabbage and tofu, its ingredients are carrots, scallions, mushrooms, cashews, and soy-ginger vinaigrette. This salad does not appear to be offered at either of the other Cafe Bernardo locations, although the Cafe Bernardo Midtown, which is located at 2726 Capitol Avenue, has a Napa Cabbage & Tofu Salad, which includes carrots, mushrooms, scallions, sesame seeds, and soy-ginger vinaigrette. More information about Cafe Bernardo is available at

Magpie Cafe, located just down the street from Cafe Bernardo R15 at 1409 R Street, offers a variety of salads every day, most of which are vegan. Although their menu changes daily, certain salads seem to be offered fairly consistently. I haven't tried them all, but my favorites so far have been their golden beet salad and their outstanding black rice salad. Other vegan salads that were offered during my most recent visit to Magpie Cafe were broccolini, bean, fruit, potato, and asparagus. Information about Magpie Cafe is available at

La Trattoria Bohemia, which is located at 3649 J Street in East Sacramento, offers an excellent Insalata Pomodoro, which consists of tomatoes and avocados with fresh basil, capers, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil. It's a good sized salad, so you may not need to order anything else, but if you think you're going to need more food, this salad goes well with the Spaghetti Aglio-Olio. More information about La Trattoria Bohemia is available at

What local restaurant makes your favorite vegan salad?


Emily said...

You can't forget to mention Tower Cafe when making a best-of-Sacramento salads list! They have 8 or so "meal" salads (all vegan-adaptable) that rival any in town: flavorful house-made dressings with a wide variety of fresh ingredients.

My all-time favorite is their Asian noodle salad which comes with angel hair pasta, carrots, sprouts, and cucumbers in a tangy sweet & hot Szechuan dressing. Ask to sub avocado for the chicken.

The salad I have been craving since I moved abroad, though, is the Tecoluca. From their menu: "Pinto, white, and black beans marinated in a smoked chipotle & orange vinaigrette then tossed in salad greens with corn tortillas, cilantro, onion, tomato, avocado and wedge of lime." It's everything I want in a salad and so much more. Plus, it's so gargantuan it'll feed you for a day or two.

Pam said...

Thanks for the recommendations, Emily. Both of the salads you described sound wonderful. I guess I'm overdue for a visit to Tower Cafe!

Anonymous said...

I love Jacks!!!! Im not Vegan or Veg anymore but I loveeeee reading your blogs!!!

Pam said...

Thanks, Vicky! I love Jack's too. I'm glad you enjoy the blog -- I have fun writing it.