When looking for a salad bar in New York, one is somewhat spoilt for choice. Dotted all over Manhattan, salad bars can be found everywhere – from upscale, industrial-sized spreads at Whole Foods, to smaller and less known bars in the local bodegas.
New on the salad bar scene is Sweet Green. Originating in Washington DC, Sweet Green offers all the usual salad essentials. The difference here? All food is sourced from local and organic farmers. Sweet Green approach is to ride the wave of consumer awareness demanding food be ethically sourced and local communities be supported. It is, intelligently, giving consumers what they want, by providing healthy, fast and delicious food in a sustainably designed store with a hint of hipster cool.
The flagship New York store sits at 28th and Broadway in the up-and-coming neighbourhood of Nomad. Finding itself next to heavy hitters such as the Nomad Hotel and the Ace Hotel was clearly no mistake for the savvy young and passionate owners of Sweet Green. In keeping with the vibe of the area, the outfit of the space inside is also aligned with the business’s core values. The large space is fitted out with natural looking materials, with a large wooden stacked arena seating arrangement at the back, nestled below a dominant blackboard that inspires customers with quotes, healthy information and other generally uplifting mantras.
To the food: being a salad bar, the usual options avail. In the salad department customers are given the choice of a pre-determined seasonal salad from the menu (which varies from store to store), or can construct their own from a wide range of ingredients, including raw seeds (flax, sunflower and sesame) warm grains (organic quinoa and farro) and organic spicy broccoli. “Premium” ingredients feature options such as local goat cheese, citrus shrimp and baked falafel. The dressings are as varied as they are delightful – truffle oil, lemon tahini, miso sesame ginger and carrot chilli vinaigrette are but a few.
Pressed juices also feature on the menu here. Along with all other items at Sweet Green, these are private label, and feature the usual super green options and other healthy-sounding delights.
In an attempt to follow on with the healthy spin, Sweet Press offers a frozen yogurt bar too. Again, the point of difference here is that the yoghurt is made from organic Stonyfield yoghurt, which is fat free and “all-natural”. It seems an odd addition to such a clean and pure eatery, but again, Sweet Press is clearly just giving their people what they want.
Lines at lunch can be long and out the door, so come prepared to wait a while before you receive your green delight. Worth it though for a salad with a healthier difference.
Recommended: “Make your own” salad with any number of combinations
Best for: Lunch
1164 Broadway, New York, NY 10001 (Nomad)