Wrestling with what you want to eat versus what you should eat is one of life’s least enjoyable activities. We know we should be devouring all the greens, but sometimes the idea of a salad pales in comparison to the delicious scent of fast food. But, if you do the latter, you’re filled with regret and empty diet promises.
Never fear, as salads do not have to be boring and tasteless, with some cafes and restaurants turning them into delicious and filling dishes of goodness. So, doing what we do best, we’ve come up with a list of Auckland’s best summer salads.
Green Leaf Organics
Well-known for its juice cleanses, Green Leaf Organics also has a cafe. A little off the beaten track on New North Road, you’ll find this health joint. And boy oh boy do they have delicious salads! They serve up the good stuff, including daily salads on rotation, think coconut-curried chickpea salad, and sundried tomato pesto quinoa pasta. This is one way to ease into eating salads, this’d be it!
This one’s for the Coasties. Hiding in Whangaparaoa is Two Spoons eatery. Known for its delicious, healthy food, you can choose from a selection of salads from the salad bar, and pre-packaged salads. All filled with nutritious goodness and are sure to fill the tummies.
Well + Good
Newmarket & Ponsonby
Recently renovated space Well + Good in Ponsonby and Newmarket has an array of fresh salads made daily. The café shows us how eating vegan can actually taste good. Our current fave is the Beach Bum Bowl—raw beet, carrot, kale and seed salad with sauerkraut, avo, sprouts and tahini and turmeric dressing. Need we say more?
Bird On A Wire
Takapuna & Ponsonby
We’re all for a classic salad bar where you can mix and match salads of your choice. We don’t know about you, but we love trying more than one item on the menu, and luckily we can do this at Bird On A Wire. The container looks small but can pack a lot in!
Introducing Ponsonby’s best salad bar—Pintu. If you’re a bit of a fusspot when it comes to getting your daily veg intake, Pintu is the place for you. Here you can create your very own salad, just the way you like it. But if you’d rather someone else do the work, there’s a set salad menu too.
Go the full nine yards at Wise Cicada in Newmarket which is a grocery store and salad spot! Get your salad fix from the salad bar, and then do your grocery shopping all at once. We’re all about hitting two birds with one stone, and this is sure to be the beginning of a healthy week.
Food Truck Garage
City Works Depo, Wynyard Quarter and Ponsonby
If you’re out with friends and they don’t fancy a fine salad, then the Food Truck Garage will be your saviour. With a ‘healthy’ take on burgers and fries, you can also get your salad. The Redergize Bowl serves up baby spinach, super grains, beetroot, carrot, almonds, flax seeds & miso dressing. Add chicken or salmon for your protein fix.
Raw Power Café
If you’re an inner-city dweller, Raw Power Café on Vulcan Lane will be your go-to. It offers delicious vegetarian cuisine, including a range of fresh salads. We recommend getting one of the fresh juices while you’re at it.
Misters’ slogan is, ‘real food’, so what more do you expect then delicious, wholesome food? It has a seasonal menu, ensuring you won’t get bored of the salads on offer. The current menu offers a Thai bowl, Chilean bowl, Japanese bowl, Turkish bowl and Danish bowl.
If you enjoy a bit of Asian fusion in your salads then head to Blind Basket in Takapuna. Order the soba noodle salad with seared tuna or tofu. We promise you won’t regret it.
Little Bird Unbakery
Ponsonby, Kingsland and Britomart
Love salads? Then you won’t want to miss the bird bowl from Little Bird Unbakery! The bowl changes seasonally, but we can always be guaranteed a hefty half of an avocado on the side—now where else can you get that?
We know that salads for lunch and dinner are a thing, but have you ever thought of eating a salad for breakfast? Well, Major Sprout has, and we’re totally digging it. Not your usual lean, green salad this one serves up haloumi and beetroot with house-cured salmon…scrumptious!
The fitness bowl from Catroux is probably one of our favourite salads. Satisfy your cravings with haloumi, smoked salmon, turmeric nuts & seeds, fresh orange, rocket, sprouts and a poached egg topped with Tahini dressing. If that doesn’t scream yum to you, then you may be reading the wrong list.
Elk Eatery on Graham Street looks the part with beautiful wooden furniture and greenery signage. Offering a range of delicious summer salads, served daily, you can’t go wrong. If you’re lucky, you may even get there on a day when they’re serving up their Nutella Cheesecake…it’s all about balance, right?
Mairangi Bay & Newmarket
A long time favourite for North Shore residents, Sip Kitchen is now open in Newmarket. Choose from fresh salads made daily and offered as an entire meal, or on the side. You know your insides will be thanking you when you eat here. We recommend getting a treat afterwards, if it’s made from wholefoods, it has to be healthy.
Image credit: Lauren Matilda Matthews