What Fuels the NHFF Team? Here Are Our 11 Favorite Salad Spots in Portsmouth
When you think of the Portsmouth food scene, you likely envision flowing taps of chilled craft beer and a dozen fresh Great Bay oysters served on ice. What you might not know, is that Portsmouth eateries have stepped up their salad game. You read that correctly, I said salad.
Salad fuels the team behind the New Hampshire Film Festival. From brainstorming sessions to quick on-the-go meals, Portsmouth offers a ton of great healthy and satisfying salad options. Our many years (this is our 18th!) of working on the Film Festival has given us a ton of time to explore the best options out there. So, without further ado, here are some of the team’s favorite salad spots!
Locals know Popovers is good for so much more than a tasty breakfast pastry and freshly brewed coffee. During the lunch hour, our go-to is the Tinios Greek salad with chicken. It’s the classic Greek salad taken up a notch with olive tapenade and tomato confit. It’s filling, refreshing, and perfect for a summertime meal.
A mediocre salad can be rescued by a phenomenal dressing. While the salads at flatbread are far from mediocre, their homemade ginger-tamari vinaigrette would make cardboard appetizing. They drizzle it over their mixed organic greens, local veggies, Maine sea kelp, and Flying Goat Farm cheese to create the most mouth-watering concoction. To top it off, they even offer a DIY salad, where you can mix and match toppings from sundried tomatoes to North Country bacon.
Absolutely nothing tops a perfectly grilled burger. BRGR Bar, located on the corner of Deer Street and Portwalk Place, boasts some of the best burgers in the area. Sneakily, they also have some of the best salads around.
Three staples on the menu are their house salad, the wedge, and the grilled chicken Caesar – all of which can be topped with a patty of your choice. We are particularly fond of the shaved brussel sprout salad, which is so much more than you would bargain for. It has arugula, carrots, scallions, onions, almonds, pineapple, feta cheese, and a fresh ginger-soy dressing. Delish!
The menu at Fat Belly’s boasts classic comfort foods like build-your-own mac and cheese, wings by the pound, and nachos topped with everything under the sun. Their salads are equally delicious, offering “salad enhancements” such as buffalo or Cajun chicken and grilled steak tips. The salads here even take a turn down “naughty” food lane, as they serve a chili taco salad that is more party food than it is a healthy alternative. Mix and match the salads and enhancements, you won’t be disappointed.
Chefs have gotten more creative with their salads of late, and Surf has two prime examples on their menu. First is the Fried Tomato and Bacon salad – a healthy serving of fried tomatoes and freshly fried bacon on a bed of local greens, topped with a creamy cracked pepper-parmesan dressing. The tuna cobb salad is a Seacoast twist on the classic salad entrée. Herb-seared Ahi tuna is served on mixed greens with avocado, Cherrywood smoked bacon, hard-boiled egg, artichoke hearts, tomato, and gorgonzola cheese, all dressed with red wine vinaigrette. Now that sounds like a meal.
Rudi’s Portsmouth is an upscale treat in the downtown area and features the only piano lounge in town. Their menu rotates regularly and serves the freshest ingredients, so always be on the lookout for a new offering. Rudi’s Caprese salad is made with Maine tomatoes and fresh mozzarella cheese, and is garnished with Kalamata olive dust, basil pesto, olive oil, and of course a balsamic reduction. Their take on the Caesar and Greek salad are equally delicious, and all salads can include chicken, salmon, grilled shrimp, or scallops.
The Juicery is famous for their healthy, quick-service, all-natural smoothies and organic juices, but they have a fantastic menu of organic and vegan food options to complement their liquid offerings. All eight of their menu items are available as a wrap, salad, or brown rice bowl, with three dressing options to boot. We love the Big Fresh Salad – crisp romaine, carrots, tomatoes, red onion, red cabbage, cucumber, sprouts, with optional avocado, hummus or tempeh.
Fun fact: When we’re not snacking on scrumptious salads, we’re likely juicing with their fresh, organic juices.
Houston, we have a salad you have to try. The Kitchen, located on Islington Street, has been featured on Phantom Gourmet and Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, and it’s easy to see why. Their Rocket salad is a bowl full of goodness, and you can add chicken salad, curry turkey, Italian tuna, classic tuna, grilled chicken, or roasted turkey breast to make it your own. The Rocket is baby arugula, with goat cheese, sunflower seeds, cherry tomatoes, carrots, pickled red onion, shallot vinaigrette, crostini, and balsamic reduction. It’s absolutely out of this world.
Instagram foodies should consider flocking to Street, an eclectic eatery serving up hometown takes on international street food classics. Their salads look like something out of Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook, and they taste even better. Try the Singapore salad, made with daikon, cucumber, cabbage, carrots, scallions, cilantro, mint, Thai basil, and peanuts, covered in their homemade sesame-ginger dressing. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add Korean BBQ beef, Vietnamese chicken, seared Whitefish, and more to your dish.
The name of this restaurant, which translates to ‘family,’ is apropos, as their menu is comprised of poke bowls, all of which can be served on artisan greens. Aside from their nine staple offerings, Ohana has a DIY bowl so you can experiment with all your favorite toppings and flavors. Since it’s the summertime, we usually opt for the Illusion salad bowl – Ahi tuna, apples, melon, chili sauce, cucumber, jalapeno, with a wasabi vinaigrette.
Located within the Wentworth by the Sea hotel, Latitudes is a great place to grab a delicious meal on the waterfront. After you’ve sampled fresh local seafood for appetizers, we recommend sticking with that trend and ordering the Maine lobster salad. You can’t beat fresh, Maine lobster, complimented by marinated French beans, rustic potatoes, olives, local goat cheese, heirloom tomatoes, and house vinaigrette on a bed of baby greens. If a smaller salad is all you’re looking for, the heirloom tomato and watermelon salad is a refreshing summer treat.
What are some of your favorite salads? Please let us know! We are always looking for something new to snack on while we plan the festival.