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Whoever said salads are boring has clearly never had crab with pink pepper. Chicago restaurants have mastered the art of the crisp, refreshing dish--and the plates they’re serving up are as pretty as they are palate pleasing. Here are nine local salads we’ll be craving (and, let’s face it, snapping for social media) all spring.

Courtesy of the Peninsula Chicago

The Baby Iceberg Salad at the Lobby at The Peninsula Chicago

The Peninsula Chicago dresses its dainty wedge salad with blue cheese, bacon, oven-dried cherry tomatoes and ranch dressing. And the fancy setting--with sunlight spilling in through floor-to-ceiling windows--adds to the refined vibe. Two pinkies up.

108 E. Superior St.; 312-337-2888 or

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Courtesy of Fig & Olive

The Crab Salad at Fig & Olive

Fig & Olive’s spring menu is full of fresh, flavorful dishes--and the crab salad is a major standout. The pretty dish mixes jumbo lump crab with green apple, lime, cilantro, horseradish mayo and pink pepper. Go ahead and get a glass of bubbly--it’ll bring out the salad’s effervescent flavors.

104 E. Oak St.; 312-445-0060 or

Courtesy of Americano 2211

The Chickpea Salad at Americano 2211

At Wicker Park’s European-style café, the fiber-rich salad is tossed in roasted-garlic tahini sauce and studded with cucumbers and roasted fennel. Save some room for dessert: You’ll be powerless against the banana-yogurt-cardamom teacake.

2211 W. North Ave.; 773-360-8757 or

Kailley Lindman

The Brussels Sprout Salad at MAD Social

This salad is something of a celebrity among local foodies, and we’re attributing that to its yuzu-soy vinaigrette. Also in the mix: red cabbage, carrots, cilantro, toasted garlic chips, wonton strips and sesame seeds.

1140 W. Madison St.; 312-243-2097  or

Courtesy of La Sirena Clandestina

The Kale Salad at La Sirena Clandestina

Inspired by a beachside spot in Brazil, the Fulton Market restaurant has a kale salad with a near cult following. The dish is tossed with cotija cheese, pepitas, and roasted-poblano dressing; we hear it pairs beautifully with the expertly made caipirinhas.

954 W. Fulton Market; 312-226-5300 or

Courtesy of Tortoise Club

The Kale & Quinoa Salad at Tortoise Club

If you like a supper-club vibe with your kale salad, Tortoise Club is your best bet. The River North restaurant serves a version made with red quinoa, candied pumpkin seeds, roasted butternut squash and white-balsamic vinaigrette.


350 N. State St.; 312-755-1700 or

Courtesy of Hampton Social

The Cobb Salad at Hampton Social

No summer is complete without a perfect Cobb salad, and Hampton House’s version comes pretty darn close. The hearty dish tops mixed greens with blue cheese, bacon, hard-boiled eggs, cucumbers, avocado and house dressing. Don’t forget to take a post-salad swing in the restaurant’s indoor hammock.

353 W. Hubbard St.; 312-464-0500 or

Courtesy of Latinicity

The Chipotle BBQ Chicken Salad at Latinicity

It’s lunchtime in the Loop and no ordinary salad will do. Here’s an easy fix: Head over to Block 37’s Latin-themed food hall and order the filling salad. It’s topped with BBQ chicken, queso fresco, roasted corn and--wait for it--avocado ranch.

108 N. State St.; 312-795-4444 or

Courtesy of Fremont

The Jumbo Lump Crab Salad at Fremont

Sure, Fremont’s a bit of a party spot. But if you head there right after work--or for an early Saturday lunch--you’ll find a perfectly tame atmosphere and an insanely good salad. Along with meaty crab, the dish’s star ingredients are almonds, toasted chickpeas, smoked Gorgonzola cheese and a bright, feta-dill vinaigrette.

15 W. Illinois St.; 312-874-7270 or

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