In the past few years, there has been an influx of fast-casual restaurants specializing in food in bowls. It’s good news for those of us looking for a takeout salad for lunch or dinner. Most of these places also have grain bowls, some have smoothie bowls and there is a good chance you can also pick up an energy bite or fresh juice while you’re there. But we’re talking salads here, so here’s what some Calgary spots offer.
The Chopped Leaf
This chain is expanding quickly across Canada and has more than a dozen locations that are open or opening soon in Calgary. Like similar restaurants, it has rice bowls and salads. Salads can be ordered in starter or full sizes, or you can get the ingredients in a wrap. There is a selection of pre-designed salads on the menu, including the Chopped Signature with lettuce, cranberries, roasted pecans, red onions, feta and croutons, or you can build your own salad. Order online and pre-pay to save time when you get there.
Standout ingredient: Pita chips for some extra crunch.
Tip: The Chopped Leaf has a loyalty program called Chop Club that earns you one point for every dollar you spend. At 150 points, you get $10 for a future menu purchase.
Multiple locations, choppedleaf.ca
At Dirtybelly, you order your salad by the scoop by mixing and matching scoops of salads like broccoli, kale, ricotta and Champagne vinaigrette or cauliflower, chickpeas, golden raisins, almonds and curry vinaigrette. Salad and grain bowls are also available.
Standout ingredient: Spicy sunflower seeds for a little extra kick.
Tip: Go when the weather is terrible and you don’t want to go outside. The two downtown locations are on the Plus-15 levels of The Core and Brookfield Place.
The Core, 317 7 Ave. S.W., 403-452-3340; CF Market Mall, 3625 Shaganappi Tr. N.W., 403-475-4816; Brookfield Place, 214, 225 6 Ave. S.W., 403-263-2277, dirtbelly.com
Fork and Salad
You can build-your-own your salad here or go with one of the salads on the menu. There are 12 signature salad and grain bowls, as well as a seasonal menu with options like the Fruit Ninja salad made with arugula, shredded kale, blueberries, mandarin oranges, strawberries, cucumbers, feta cheese, toasted almonds and a maple vinaigrette. If you are feeding a crowd or family, order the 160-ounce family-sized salad. If you don’t feel like leaving your home or office, order online and have it delivered with Uber Eats.
Standout ingredient: Parmesan crisps.
Tip: Try one of the house-made fresca drinks.
120, 880 16 Ave. S.W., 403-455-7300, forkandsalad.com
Of all the places on this list, Freshii has the most locations in Calgary. There are wraps, burritos and soups on the menu, but the main features are the grain bowls and salads. Choose your own toppings or choose from options like the Buffalo salad with lettuce, blue cheese, tomatoes, carrots, celery, ranch dressing and Buffalo sauce or the Metaboost salad with spinach, field greens, kale, mango, almonds, carrots, goat cheese, edamame and balsamic vinaigrette. Order online to have your salad waiting for you when you get there.
Standout ingredient: Salsa fresca.
Tip: For complete meal planning order the Freshii Meal Box. Sign up for one, three, five or 30 days. Choose the clean, slim, bulk or gluten-free plan and get three meals and two snacks every day.
Multiple locations, freshii.com
The Main Dish
The Main Dish offers several salads for takeaway or dine-in. The takeaway deli salad options include Asian noodle, basil pasta and artichoke chickpea feta. The lunch and dinner menu also features options like the strawberry quinoa salad with almonds, feta cheese and carrots on mixed greens and the maple citrus spinach salad with berries, almonds, goat cheese, avocado and red onion. Options like the latter two come in two sizes.
Standout ingredient: The free range chicken.
Tip: Dine in on Wednesdays for $5 glasses of house wine.
903 General Ave. N.E., 403-265-3474, tmdish.com
Seed N Salt
This bowl-centric restaurant opened in Mission in June 2017. It has smoothies, smoothie bowls, grain bowls and a breakfast menu with multiple avocado toast options. As for the salad, you can build your own or you can go with one of Seed N Salt’s creations and add your choice of protein. The Be Well salad is a great choice, with spinach, spring mix, pickled and raw beets, carrots, cucumber, quinoa, avocado and two dressings.
Standout ingredient: Blackened chicken.
Tip: Order online to have your salad or bowl ready to go.
2008 4 St. S.W., 403-460-9904, seednsalt.com