Making friends in the a.m.

EC: Breakfast Salad Is Happening, Just Go with It
Credit: Photo by Dorling Kindersley via Getty Images

Chalk the sudden upswing in breakfast salads up to vegetable-forward cooking working its way into to every meal of the day. Or perhaps it’s because of a strange breed of diners who don’t want to bathe in a pool of grease or down a sugar-dusted doughnut first thing (who are those people?). Either way, restaurants across the country are embracing and elevating the breakfast salad as a delicious way to start the day. Eating salad for breakfast certainly isn’t necessarily new: Serving a variety of salads, along with spreads like hummus and baba ghanoush, is a common practice in many Middle Eastern countries. These days, with the proliferation of all-day cafes, breakfast salads are being spun, tossed, and dressed in more ways than ever.

Here are some spots where you can get your salad fix before the clock strikes noon.

Rice Salad at Sqirl (Los Angeles, CA)

Not every salad has to be leafy. Case in point: Sqirl’s rice salad bowl, which combines toasted kokuho rose brown rice interlaced with lemongrass, mint, cilantro, and ginger. You can stay sanctimonious, er, vegan, and top it with avocado and mixed greens, or meat things up with sausage.

Breakfast Salad at Carthage Must Be Destroyed (Brooklyn, NY)

The dining room at this hidden Bushwick cafe may be doused in Millennial Pink, but its breakfast salad is mostly green: organic avocado, romaine, sprouts, cucumber, herbs, and lemon doused in olive oil. Top it with either an heirloom boiled egg with chives, or some marinated feta, and let your Millennial flag fly.

Roots & Fruits at Botanica (Los Angeles, CA)

Leave it to a new Silver Lake restaurant that serves a vegetable tower to offer some fantastic veg-heavy options in the a.m. This particular dish combines candy-colored shaved root vegetables with thinly sliced apples, manouri, and alliade. The extremely fun-to-say-sauce is a combination of toasted nuts and seeds, citrus, garlic, and parsley. If this doesn’t float your boat, there’s also a “fattoush-y” salad, as well as a rice noodle salad, on the daytime menu.

Breakfast Frisee Salad at Jane (San Francisco, CA)

A take on one of our favorite classic French brasserie salads, this mess of frisee and arugula is topped with chives, lardons, radish, rainbow carrots and a soft-boiled egg. It's served with toasted baguette to sop up all the yolky goodness.

Turkish-ish Breakfast at Kismet (Los Angeles, CA)

The spread at Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson’s nontraditional yet Middle Eastern-inspired Little Armenia restaurant cheekily offers “all of the things,” which includes a seven-minute egg, sourdough Barbari, house-made labneh, and a variety of sweet, pickled, and salad-y things, like a puntarelle salad with nigella seeds and fresh mint.

Brassicas Bowl at Two Hands (New York, NY)

This bowl has everything to satisfy anyone who’s crazy for cruciferous vegetables. The beautifully presented bowl (hello, hummus swoop) combines charred broccolini, Brussels sprouts, kale, hummus, soft-boiled egg, pickled shallots, and seeds.

Hangover Salad at Bite Cafe (Chicago, IL)

If you kicked back a few too many the night before, there are a couple of ingredients in here that will ease you back into the world of the living—namely bacon, croutons, Parmesan, and a poached egg. But there’s also romaine and arugula, so you can pretend like you’re getting actual vitamins too.