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Ranking Of The Best Salad Spots In DC

As the clock strikes noon everyone in the work force has the same instantaneous reaction... LUNCH TIME! Obviously all anyone really wants is to go down the food trucks and load up on greasy delicious kabob, but in true America style we are all on a mission to lose five pounds. This results in most people begrudgingly picking a salad for their lunch fare over any kind of carbo-loaded sandwich. While a salad may not always be our first choice for lunch food I have made this choice a little easier for everyone by ranking the best salads in the DC area. Now next time you can actually look forward to your healthy lunch option.

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1. sweetgreen

One Word Review: Mouth-Watering

Sweetgreen is newer on the scene then its competitor Chop’t (see below), but it has quickly become known as the best salad place in DC. Their restaurants, as well as the staff, are bright and welcoming. Their toppings like spicy quinoa, seasonal veggies (i.e. asparagus), fresh fruit, and lemon shrimp really can make you forget that you are eating a salad! They also have grain bowls which are essentially salads with extra grains if you’re feel extra hungry one day. In my opinion the best part about Sweetgreen however is their mission. Unlike other restaurants, that say that they want all of their produce to be far-to-table fresh, sweetgree means it. They write on the chalkboards in their store exactly where they get all of their ingredients from including the name of the farms. Their menu changes based on geographic location to make sure that none of their produce has to travel to far.

2. Chop't

One Word Review: Stuffed

Chop’t started like all great business ideas do. Someone recognized a basic need and said “hey I can fill this”. In Chop’t’s case it was peoples desire to have their salads properly chopped up and mixed before getting served to them. I am sure I’m not the only one guilty of asking for a to-go box in a restaurant for the pure purpose of being able to shake up my salad with minimal mess. Chop’t took the idea of properly missing a salad above and beyond because after mixing it up their also chop the entire contents of the salad into minuscule bits. This is great because it ensures that you get a little taste of everything with every bite. Lets be honest, no one gets tomatoes added to a salad simply so they can fall to the bottom and be eaten alone after the rest of your meal is gone. Chop’t also has a great variety of topping options. While not as expansive as Sweetgreen’s options, I can always find things I want.

3. Whole Foods

One Word Review: Seductive

WholeFoods salad bar is amazing simply because of the vast array of different topping they have. You can get spicy tempeh with a said or garlic mashed potatoes if your heart so desires. There are two major things that knock WholeFoods down on this list however. Reason 1) While they have all of the exotic accouterments and un-pronounceable produce you're little heart desires they always are lacking some of he simple classic salad toppings. One time they didn’t have cherry tomatoes at the salad bar. Like, EXCUSE ME who doesn’t have cherry tomatoes at a salad bar... nobody, that's who. Reason 2) WholeFoods prices are as astronomically high as you think they are. They have recently been hit with a lawsuit over the fact that they over charge people who get food at the salad bar. Get the deets here: http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-whole-foods-20140624-story.html

4. Potbelly's

One Word Review: Pleasing

Don’t let the name fool you. Potbelly's actually has salads along with their famous sandwiches and they aren't measly side salads either. Potbelly's salads are awesome because you can get any of the toppings you normally get on your favorite sandwich without having to eat those pesky carbs *gasp*. For anyone who has ever had a potbelly's salad before you know the true reason they made it onto this list... THEIR DRESSING. Potbelly's has the most amazing dressing I have ever had. And its fat free *crying tears of joy*. Potbelly's salads are also just as big as any salad you would get at a chain salad store. Not only big, but there also super affordable. A salad at Potbelly's will cost you closer to $7.00 as opposed to $13.00 at some of the nicer places.

5. Pret a Manger

One Word Review: Pretentious

Pret a Manger is great for the girl (or guy) who wants to feel like their lunch salad is just a little bit fancier then everyone else’s. I mean you have to sound like a douche just to pronounce the name of this place correctly. While Pret has a similar mission as Sweetgreen (farm fresh food) you simply don't get enough food for the prices they charge. Yes they’re salads can be healthy and delicious but I need more then a fist size serving of salad to get me through the workday. Normally when I go here I have to get something like a salad and a side of quinoa to satiate my hungry belly, but once I’ve added a drink to that meal it can end up being close to $20.00 bucks. If you are reading this and thinking, “hey that's not too bad” then you are obviously a Persian oil tycoon (or something along those lines) because for most young working people $20.00 is just too much to be spending every day.

6. Chipotle

One Word Review: Manageable-Mexican

Hear me out people! Don't just assume because some things on the menu here are over 1000 calories that everything. Chipotle actually has really great salads if you are ever in the mood for a Mexican salad. You can get all of the grilled veggies, protein, and sides you would get on your normal burrito all over a bowl of nice finely chopped lettuce. The best part about Chipotle salads is the bang for your buck. Generally you get a very big salad for under $7.00 which simply can't be beat. The one obvious downside of Chipotle however is you pretty much stuck with getting some variation of Mexican fare. Don't expect them to be able to throw some kalamata olives on there for you. Tip: get salsa for dressing here since their dressing is pretty fattening.

7. Cosi

One Word Review: Medicore

Cosi is an easy lunch spot for most people. Its quick, has everything, close to the office, etc. Their salads aren’t the best in town but sometimes factors like these can really bump a place up on your list of go-to salad places. While Cosi’s salads are very tasty and filling you don't have the ability to personalize them as much as other restaurants on this list. You order of the menu board and that is about it. They also have a terrible habit of adding fattening ingredients to all of their salads that are hard to avoid when you aren't custom ordering.

8. Saladworks

One Word Review: Offensive

Um, does anyone else think their salads taste like chemicals? Whenever I go here I have to get an absurd amount of wild toppings just to mask the taste of the preserved lettuce I am eating. Yes, it is set up the same way as some of its competitors, with a line where you get to completely customize your salad, but don't let that fool you. The ingredients here aren't even on the same level as some of these other places. Oh and if you are someone who likes to get bread with your salad don't let them fool you. The wheat bread here has more calories then the white bread... WHO DOES THAT?! This is America for gods sake! Saladworks is the McDonalds of salad companies only not as good.

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