If you’re craving a nutritious and light summer lunch, you’re probably in need of a refreshing salad. While there is an abundance of chain restaurants that can fulfill this craving, venture out to one of these local spots in NoVA, where you can get a delicious salad based on your preferences all while supporting a local business.
With Loco, short for Loudoun County, in the name, you are sure to find the most authentic local food at this new salad restaurant. Lettuce Be Loco opened in late 2021 with the intention of serving fast-casual, healthy salads and grain bowls using locally-sourced ingredients. The restaurant partners with various local farms, such as Lydia’s Fields and Chilly Hollow, to bring its customers an assortment of salads that change seasonally. 208 Church St. SE, Leesburg
CAVA became the sensation that it is because sometimes, all you need is a refreshing Greek salad to keep your day going. However, if you want to support a small, local business that brings you even more Mediterranean authenticity, Plaka Grill is the place to go. Established in 2007, this friendly spot offers a variety of salads and rice and greens-based bowls that are crowned with authentic Greek delicacies. Better yet, Peter Drosos, who is the chef and owner, was raised in Vienna, Virginia, but attended culinary school in Athens, Greece, making his restaurant the perfect place for NoVA residents craving a local Mediterranean salad. 110 Lawyers Rd. NW, Vienna; 1216 W. Broad St., Falls Church
Gluten-free, vegetarian, or vegan? You won’t have to worry here. Poppyseed Rye is a craft sandwich and fresh flower café that also offers notable salads made for any diet. With four of their salads gluten-free, two of them vegetarian and even one vegan, you are surely to find one that will match your preference. Plus, you can enjoy your delicious salad while sitting among ornate floral arrangements lining the walls of the café. 818 N Quincy St., Ste. 102, Arlington
Nowadays, it seems like there are an endless supply of chain restaurants that are based around the “make your own bowl” approach. While most of these restaurants veer in the direction of Mediterranean and Mexican cuisines, one local DC restaurant chose to introduce a new cuisine into the mix: Indian. RASA is a DMV-based restaurant owned by two best friends who hope to make Indian cuisine more accessible to those unfamiliar. They have a “You Got This” section of their menu that allows you to create your own bowl, with four different lettuce bases and eight different dressing options. And for those often indecisive, there is also a “We Got You” section of pre-built bowls. 2200 Crystal Dr., Ste. F, Arlington; 1247 First St. SE, Washington, DC; 485 K St. NW, Washington DC
If you have a busy work day ahead of you, you probably don’t have the time to wait for a slowly and intricately prepared salad. But that doesn’t mean you have to settle for a salad from a fast-food spot. South Street Under, a cozy deli right in the middle of Downtown Leesburg, offers a wide variety of comfort foods akin to what you might find at Panera Bread. Instead of your typical deli that carries a limited selection of set salads, South Street Under allows you to pick what toppings, dressings and sides you want for that day. With a quick turnaround and the ability to try a new type of salad each day, a salad from South Street Under will quickly become your work day essential. 203 Harrison St., Leesburg
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