Eat your greens: Where to find salad bars in Calgary

In the past, salads were often labelled “diet food” and served as an afterthought on restaurant menus. For better or worse, restaurant salads are now often sizeable meals, and can sometimes contain more calories than a burger and fries! For those trying to eat healthier, salad bars can help take back some of that control – making your salad as green or as calorie-laden as you’d like. Image credit: iStock/MelanieMaya.

Smuggler's Inn

6920 MacLeod Trail SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0L3

Established more than 40 years ago, Smuggler’s Inn is a classic steakhouse serving traditional cuts of beef like prime rib and filet mignon, with tried and true appetizers such as garlic escargot and stuffed mushrooms. The restaurant’s salad bar is known for its fresh and plentiful selections. For lunch, you can hit the salad bar and order a nicely priced side from a selection of grilled meats including salmon, chicken and sirloin steak or even a grilled cheese sandwich.

Cravings Market Restaurant

7207 Fairmount Dr SE, Calgary, AB T2H 0X6

Cravings Market Restaurant is built around a unique concept that sees patrons visit food stations where they order the components of their meal. Each is prepared fresh before your eyes. The salad bar serves up a variety of freshly prepared salads, from traditional Caesar, garden and spinach salads to roasted beet and mandarin orange, chickpea broccoli slaw and Thai noodle salad.

Pampa Brazilian Steak House

521 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2R 0A8

A trip to a Brazilian churrascaria is usually about the meat, but save room for the salad bar at Pampa. Set in the middle of the bright, airy dining room, the one at Pampa in Beltline offers a variety of greens-toppings that includes vegetables, meats, cheeses and olives, so that you can build your own, as well as opting for pre-made salads.

Hot Million Indian Cuisine Inc

2125 36 St NE, Calgary, AB T1Y 5S3

Located just south of the Rundle CTrain station, Hot Million offers an inexpensive lunch buffet stocked with a variety of Indian classics like butter chicken, pakoras and tikka masala as well as a salad bar featuring plenty of vegetables, fruit and cold pastas, with raita (a creamy side dish made with yogurt, cucumber and spices) to dress it all.

Community Natural Foods

1304 10 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T3C 0J2

The Sunflower Café is a popular in-house stop for shoppers at Community Natural Foods. In addition to the eatery’s often vegetarian- and vegan-friendly as well as gluten-free hot dishes, Sunflower Café boasts an extensive salad bar. Included is a variety of toppings from fresh organic vegetables to quinoa and tofu. Shoppers can also pick up pre-packaged salads in the main store's coolers.

Sunterra Market

200 12 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0Z7

Located on the main grocery level of Sunterra Market Keynote on the west end of Beltline, the salad bar features more than 30 toppings for a seemingly infinite number of combinations. Take your custom-made salad back to the office, or snag a table in the bright and busy seating area on the main floor or at the casual seating area up on the third level adjacent to MARKETbar.

Five Rivers Indian Cuisine

11 Castleridge Blvd NE, Calgary, AB T3J 3J8

Housed in a former Pizza Hut, this vegetarian Indian restaurant boasts an inexpensive all-day buffet featuring a mix of classic Indian dishes as well as pizza and a salad bar. You can load up on lettuce and cucumber to help temper the heat of some of the spicy dishes, or try one of the prepared salads for a little more Indian flair.

Calgary Co-op

6520 Falconridge Blvd NE, Calgary, AB T3J 3W6

They say you should never go grocery shopping hungry, so perhaps it’s a good idea to stop off at the salad bar at the Calgary Co-op and grab a quick bite to eat before you start looking for the items on your list. So you don’t have to eat your salad in the car, city locations featuring seating include Midtown Market, Crowfoot Centre and Beddington Centre. Craving something hot? Try the curry bar, where you can choose between a handful of curries with rice and naan.

Game meats, such as venison, bison and elk, are gaining popularity, partly due to their unique taste, and the fact that they are generally leaner than farmed meats such as beef and pork. You don’t need to dress in camp or carry a gun to sample wild game – just head down to one of these local restaurants. Image credit:
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