From market-fresh salads to cold-pressed juices — Downtown Phoenix has it all. So the next time you’re headed out for lunch or grabbing dinner with friends, skip the burger and fries, and opt for one of our favorite downtown dishes. They’re so good you’ll almost forget they’re good for you. Kaleidoscope Juice – 1 E. First St.
Photo by Brandi Porter
Kaleidoscope Juice is making a comeback. The juice bar’s original location at CityScape closed in November of last year, but they’re back and loving their new digs. Joining Cartel Coffee Lab at 1 E. Washington Street, Kaleidoscope specializes in organic cold-pressed juices and other specialty items. The thai tiger salad is a vitamin-packed dish with a high toppings-to-lettuce ratio. Shredded beets, carrots, cucumber and a crunchy seed topping reign over a bed of romaine and cabbage. Cilantro and goji berries add depth to the dish, but it’s the thai style dressing that truly shines. The creamy vegan dressing is sweet and savory, and so good we’d eat it on toast. Hours: Monday-Friday, 7am-4pm Welcome Diner – 924 E. Roosevelt St.
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Welcome Diner is a local, and national, favorite that really can do it all. First-timers should splurge for the fried green tomato sandwich, but returning customers have to try their seasonal salads. Right now, watermelon and tomatoes serve as the base complemented by sharp flavors of arugula and subtle hints of mint and basil. The pickled watermelon rind and herb cashew puree take the dish to a whole new level. (Be warned, though, that their menu is seasonal and subject to change.) Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 5pm-2am and Saturday-Sunday, 10am-3pm for brunch
This Mediterranean-style restaurant tenanted in the Walter Cronkite building on ASU campus may seem best-suited for students but looks can be deceiving. This fast-casual restaurant has an awesome build-your-own salad option, which they toss in your favorite dressing right in front of you. Choose from one of several veggies, fruits or beans, add chicken or fish if you’d like, then garnish with your favorite cheese. Hours: Monday-Friday, 7am-8pm
Before the Phoenix Public Market Cafe, finding a kale-based salad on-the-quick was like finding snow in Phoenix — impossible. But fret no more! Their kale salad is like detox-candy with carrots, radishes, beets and pomegranate seeds complemented by tangy goat cheese and crunchy pecans. The sweet, citrus vinaigrette rounds out the dish and is simplicity at its finest. Take note, however, that ingredients change with season as the market sources locally when it can. Hours: Monday-Sunday, 7am-10pm
This healthy, fast-food restaurant has dozens of options – from greens to grains. Our favorite is the “On the Border” spinach salad, which is filling, and most importantly, doesn’t taste like your everyday health food. Chicken, avocado, black beans, red peppers, tomatoes and cheddar jack make up this southwestern-style meal, and the yogurt agave BBQ dressing is the perfect finish. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 7am-8pm and Sunday 9am-3pm