S.F.’s 10 Yummiest Salads — All Under $10!

You know the scenario: It's lunchtime and you're starving, but also trying desperately to be healthy. Therefore, a hearty salad is top of mind. Problem is, it's not always easy to find a delicious, anything-but-boring bowl of greens when the desire strikes.
But that's where we come in, with a roundup of the best so-fresh-and-so-green salads in 'hoods flung all around town. The best part: These 10 tasty options are as kind to your wallet as they are to your body, with nothing on our list topping $10. From a warm goat-cheese wonder to a Burmese specialty that'll have you making the trek to the Richmond (if you don't already live there), we promise, this foodie-approved fare is the stuff of dreams. Plus, it won't hurt your rockin'-bikini-bod goals, either. Grab a fork and let's go!
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1 of 10
Warm Goat Cheese Salad, La Boulange
Price: $9

Lucky for us, almost every neighborhood has a La Boulange. And while we know it’s hard to pass up the carbs when you walk through those blue and yellow doors, the Warm Goat Cheese Salad is every bit as indulgent as the open-faced sammies. A bed of greens topped with herbed goat cheese, candied pecans, and a grilled crouton. Damn, La Boulange — you had us at candied pecans.

La Boulange, 2325 Pine St (between Steiner and Fillmore streets); 415-440-0356.

Photo: Courtesy of La Boulange
2 of 10
Tea Leaf Salad, Burma Superstar
Price: $9.50 lunch, $9.95 dinner

This infamous, award-winning Tea Leaf Salad is made with peanuts, sunflower seeds, roasted sesame, fried garlic, fried yellow beans, jalapenos, tomatoes, dried shrimp, fish sauce, lemon, and fermented green tea from Burma. Wow, that was a mouthful, and a tasty, flavorful one at that! In order to accommodate all veg visitors, Burma Superstar is happy to take out the dried shrimp and fish sauce. To avoid crowds, hit up the line-out-the-door spot for lunch, or check out their newest Temescal location.

Burma Superstar, 309 Clement Street (between 5th and 4th avenues); 415-387-2147. 4721 Telegraph Avenue (between 47th and 48th Streets); 510-652-2900.

Photo: Courtesy of Burma Superstar
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Spinach Salad, Chow
Price: $6.75 small, $9.50 large

There is something to be said about simplicity, when it comes to a good salad. Staple neighborhood joint, Chow, has kept its basic Spinach Salad on the menu for quite some time. Maybe it’s the fresh spinach, or the apples? Perhaps it’s the perfect combination of the feta, currants, and candied walnuts — with help from the understated vinaigrette. Whatever it is, it’s working and we love it.

Chow 215 Church Street (between Market and 15th streets); 415-552-2469.

Photographed by Christine Ting
4 of 10
Mixed Greens Salad, Outerlands
Price: $7

It’s no secret that we’re obsessed with Outer Sunset’s star resto, Outerlands. While we know it’s super hard to just eat a salad there, the Mixed Greens Salad is an interesting and delicious combo of mixed greens with Asian pear, pumpkin seeds, and raisins finished with coriander-lemon vinaigrette (and, this makes us carb-lovers super happy — a slice of the delicious homemade toast!).

Outerlands, 4001 Judah Street (between 45th and 46th avenues); 415-661-6140.

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Tostada Salad, Blue Barn
Price: $9.25

Leave it to the Marina to house a stellar salad spot — it is the Marina after all. The folks behind Blue Barn Gourmet tapped into our love for greens with their artisan salad bar. Craving a fiesta in your mouth? Try the Tostada Salad, which is made up of romaine, chicory chop, toasted corn, black beans, cherry tomatoes, jicama, scallions, herbs, pumpkin seeds, tortilla strips, white cheddar, and chipotle agave vinaigrette.

Blue Barn Gourmet, 2105 Chestnut Street (between Mallorca Way and Pierce Street); 415-441-3232.

Photographed by Christine Ting
6 of 10
Nicoise Salad, Coffee Bar
Price: $10

While we know we said under $10 we absolutely had to include this Mission/Potrero Hill fan favorite. The Nicoise Salad at Coffee Bar is heavily loaded with tuna, egg, roasted red potatoes, green beans, cherry tomatoes, and Nicoise olives on romaine lettuce, and is adorned with citrus dressing. In case you’re a newbie to this salad, it is pronounced nee-suahz.

Coffee Bar, 1890 Bryant Street (between 17th and Mariposa streets); 415-551-8100.

Photographed by Christine Ting
7 of 10
Rooster Salad, Roostertail
Price: $9

Known for their delicious rotisserie chicken, Roostertail serves up a few standout salads that are worth trying. The Rooster Salad starts with romaine and radicchio, and is chock-full of apple wood smoked bacon, spiced walnuts, apple, beets, Laura Chenel goat cheese, and herb dressing. And if you also dare try the Cobb, be forewarned: It’s been known to cause addiction.

Roostertail, 1963 Sutter Street (between Cottage Row and Fillmore Street); 415-776-6783.

Photo: Courtesy of Roostertails
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8 of 10
Apple and Walnut Salad, Matching Half
Price: $8.50

Nestled in Nopa, the Matching Half may be the locals' favorite breakfast spot, but it is also a must-visit lunch destination for its Apple and Walnut Salad. Seated atop Bibb lettuce, you’ll find a perfect storm of apple, walnut, Point Reyes blue cheese, and honey dressing. Eating healthy has never tasted this good.

Matching Half, 1799 McAllister Street; 415-674-8699.

Photographed by Christine Ting
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Boxed Chicken Salad, Boxed Foods
Price: $8.25

Disclaimer, this salad is cray — and we don’t use that term lightly. When chef Kevin Best took it off the menu for a week, the downtown regulars were up in arms, and we totally understand why. The Boxed Chicken Salad is comprised of grilled chicken with lime and herbs, a hint of aioli, cherry tomatoes, shaved red onions, Granny Smith apple sticks, bacon, and Granny Smith apple vinaigrette. If you’re feeling extra frisky, go crazy and add some blue cheese!

Boxed Foods Company, 245 Kearny Street (between Sutter Street and Hardie Place); 415-981-9376.

Photographed by Christine Ting
10 of 10
Cowboy, Mixt Greens
Price: $8.95

A FiDi lunchtime favorite (and recent Mission addition), Mixt Greens has the art of make-your-own salad on lock. Their beloved Cowboy starts with crunchy romaine hearts, fresh grilled chicken, roasted red peppers, black beans, and sharp cheddar, then red onions are piled on, and the salad is finished with Point Reyes blue cheese dressing with a surprising chipotle honey drizzle. It makes you wonder why you never thought of this.

Mixt Greens, 120 Sansome Street (between Bush and Pine streets); 415-296-8009.

Photo: Courtesy of Mixt Greens
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