Veggie Love: Salad Days

6 Essential Portland Salads

Dig into these bountiful bowls, from vegan tosses and veggie riots to ocean wonders.

By Kelly Clarke August 14, 2017 Published in the September 2017 issue of Portland Monthly

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Quaintrelle's Little Gems salad

Image: David Gaston

Quaintrelle Seasonal Little Gems with Tarragon and Cured Egg Yolk

VEGETARIAN No salad is simple at this North Mississippi spot. Fragrant tarragon, creamy bits of shaved, cured egg yolk, and the nutty double punch of crunchy sunflower and bitter little nigella seeds vaults a bed of Little Gems lettuce into something truly special. $14 (salad offerings change seasonally)

Stacked Sandwich Shop Wedge

VEGETARIAN One of the best wedges in the city gets an umami upgrade from fried shiitakes, oil-cured tomatoes, and a chuggable blue cheese dressing. Read more about it. $6–12

The Sudra Peacock Salad

VEGAN A Tex-Mex-meets-Indian tower of spice power, with layers of kale, roasted roots, corn, peppers, and crisp-edged tandoori soy curls mingled with lemony tahini dressing. $7–10

Garden Monsters Hercules 

Vegan This chill cart tosses mix-and-match bowls of greens with scratch dressings and a big array of toppings, from roasted red spuds to quality faux chicken cubes. The pepperoncini, green pepper, black olive, and feta-studded Hercules tastes like an old school Italian grinder sandwich—plucky red wine vinaigrette included. $4.50–10

Nostrana Insalata Nostrana

PESCATARIAN More than a decade in, still nothing beats this Italian freight train of flavor: bitter radicchio slathered with Caesaresque red wine vinegar and anchovy bite, salty Parm, and olive-oily croutons perfumed with rosemary and sage. It’s lick-your-plate good. $12

Tasty n Alder Salad Niçoise

PESCATARIAN John Gorham’s downtown crew does the Southern French classic right, anchored by crazy-flavorful confit albacore tuna. Fork in for a trove of salty potato, string beans, soft-boiled egg, and candy-sweet bursts of roasted cherry tomato. $16

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