The Kale Salad has come a long way—some have kept it simple, others have added more filling toppings to go along with the greens, and others have adapted classic salads to fit the kale base (the Kale Ceasar is popular, for example). You can't really do a kale salad wrong, but some have done them very right—tip: usually it involves massaging the kale and putting an egg on it. Below, some of our favorite kale salads in NYC.
THE KALE CAESAR @ CAMPBELL CHEESE & GROCERY, $10.95
The Kale Caesar at Campbell Cheese & Grocery may seem unassuming, but it is hands down the best kale salad I have ever consumed. It is, in fact, the inspiration for this list. The salad features just a few ingredients: parmigiano-reggiano, tomatoes, lemon zest, housemade crostini and housemade caesar dressing. However, to kick it up a notch, definitely put an egg on it—you can add a perfectly soft-boiled one for like a buck-fifty. Co-owner Erin Campbell told me this week, "It is definitely our most popular salad." They are very addictive.
Campbell Cheese & Grocery is located at 502 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg
THE KALE CAESAR @ BY CHLOE, $10.95
This one is good for basically one ingredient alone: shiitake bacon. The mushroom "bacon" comes in a tiny little pile on top of the salad and you need to devour it quickly before it turns from crispy to soggy. After that, you're left with kale (though often there seems to be more romaine lettuce leaves in there), avocado, almond parm, maple-wheat croutons, and caesar dressing (sometimes not enough to cover your leaves, so ask for extra). To get some more flavor and sustenance in there, add a topping—you'll have a choice of green hummus, tempeh, more avocado, or herbed tofu feta. Definitely get the herbed tofu feta, as it is amazing.
KALE GREEK SALAD @ JACK'S WIFE FREDA, $13
Finally, a non-Caesar kale salad. Jack's Wife Freda brings the green leaf into a classic Greek, with shredded kale, cucumber, tomato, pickled red onions, salt-cured olives and a slab of feta. You can even add a chicken skewer for an extra 7 bucks. Bonus: everything is very finely chopped, the way a salad like this should be.
Jack's Wife Freda has two locations: 50 Carmine Street and 224 Lafayette Street, both in Manhattan
My favorite/most eaten meal in NYC. The @westvillenyc kale salad with chicken & avocado. The dressing is bomb, the onions are ridiculous, the pecans are to die for and the teeniest bit of blue cheese finishes off the flavors. It's healthy, it's filling, and it's so damn good. Try asap. 🥗💕 #westville#westvillenyc#kale#salad#lunch#healthy#newforkcity#eatingnyc#buzzfeast#dailyfoodfeed#spoonfeed#foodbeast#grubshotnyc#nycfood#feastagram#yougottaeatthis#thehealthfoodedition
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KALE SALAD @ WESTVILLE, $12
I'm not much of a salad-for-lunch type, as I'm usually still hungry after tossing the container in the trash, wondering what possessed me to ignore my sandwich desires in the first place. But for this particular bowl of goodness, I'll cave. (Mostly because it's actually filling.) At $12, it isn't cheap, but it's generous with its raw greens and crumbled blue cheese, while the red onions add a bit of sweetness and crunch. It's all topped off with cranberries, pumpkin seeds, walnuts and some bright lemon and olive oil dressing—yum. But if you really want to go big, get a side of their mac and cheese and mix everything together... that still counts as salad, right?— Fraylie Nord
INSALATA DI CAVOLO @ BARBUTO, $12
Some people don't like the big leaves, ribs and all, in their kale salads. So if you're looking for a precious, finely chopped salad drenched with flavor, well... I regret to inform you Crossroads in Los Angeles serves up the best one. But you can get a close second in New York. Barbuto delivers on the chopped up, massaged kale, featuring breadcrumbs instead of croutons (for some reason, this is the thing to do with micro-chopped kale salads), and a kick of anchovy dressing.
Barbuto is located at 775 Washington Street in Manhattan