When dining in New Orleans, it may be tempting to go for the buttery shrimp and grits, spicy hot sausage po-boys, or gloriously golden fried chicken. If you need a break from indulgence or are looking for healthy eating in a city full of decadence, a salad is the perfect meal for you. Because even in New Orleans, we know how to make them tastier than average. Check out the best salads in New Orleans below and enjoy a healthy bite. 

St. James Cheese Company’s Manchego Salad

St. James is a cheese-lover’s heaven - and your dreams of healthy eating can come to life with their Manchego Salad. A bed of arugula is topped with apple slices, slivered almonds, and a quince vinaigrette before being blessed by a heaping pile of shaved Manchego cheese. Have the best of both worlds with this divine salad from St. James. 

The Daily Beet’s Mexicali Blues

Another healthy dining option is pretty much anything from The Daily Beet, known for their grain bowls, juices, and smoothies. Dive into the Mexicali Blues salad with romaine, spring mix, avocado, black bean, corn, tomato, red onion, cilantro, corn chips, cotija, and a jalapeño lime vinaigrette. Or opt for the Wellness Bowl, which isn’t technically a salad but does contain arugula, so it’s close enough. 

Addis NOLA’s Shrimp Salad

Enjoy Ethiopian cuisine at Addis NOLA, which has many healthy dishes already on its menu. Take it one step further with the shrimp salad: Gulf shrimp sautéed with berbere and onions, tomatoes, and jalapeños with the house salad and lemon vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy a version with fish, chicken, or plain house.  

The Ralph Brennan Restaurant Group

Cafe NOMA’s Five-Spice Chicken Salad

They’re called “Big Salads” on the menu for a reason - the Five-Spice Chicken Salad is a flavorful favorite. Texture is king with this salad; one forkful might hit you with romaine, mandarin orange, and edamame, and another with seared chicken, almonds, and red cabbage. Scallions, cilantro, and a miso-sesame vinaigrette ties it all together.

The Munch Factory’s Buffalo Salad

Indulge a little while getting your greens in at The Munch Factory. Mixed greens are topped with bacon, tomatoes, and large fried shrimp or oysters with buffalo sauce and ranch dressing. Who said salads were boring?

Carmo’s Carmo Salad

The Carmo Salad may be simple, but boy, is it delicious. Rice, pineapple, avocado, and almonds are just a few of the ingredients you’ll find in this dish. Regular smoked or vegan ham adds a savory bite. The citrus mango vinaigrette ties it all together for a taste of Brazil.

Meril’s Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad

The Roasted Beet & Arugula Salad from Meril is the perfect starter dish to a meal maybe not so healthy. I mean, you could very well go for the fried chicken salad, but we thought that a little too indulgent. Roasted beets, whipped goat cheese, Kalamata olives, and toasted walnuts top a bed of arugula dressed in a blueberry vinaigrette. It’s a whole different kind of indulgent.

Sam Hanna, Image Courtesy of Birdy’s

Birdy’s Miso Salmon Salad

Birdy’s entire atmosphere gives off “good salad vibes,” so it’s no wonder that Miso Salmon Salad made the list. It’s light, crunchy, and packs a perfectly salty punch thanks to the miso and cashews. It feels healthy, but still interesting. Those in the market for something meatier should also take note of the Steak Salad - a classic wedge served alongside a petite filet. 

Marjie’s Grill’s Som Tam

At Marjie’s Grill, the menu is ever-evolving, but you can expect to find some interesting cut of meat, a whole lot of seafood, and a selection of salads like the som tam. For instance, the autumnal som tam has root vegetables & Alabama apples pounded in a funky chili vinaigrette with lime, herbs and dried shrimp with toasted pecan lagniappe. Go ahead and ask for it “double spicy.”

See here for more ideas on healthy living in New Orleans.