Steakhouse Salads Ranked Worst To Best, According To Customers

Devoted carnivores may find it sacrilegious that anyone in a steakhouse setting would ever consider ordering a salad, much less make it the centerpiece of their dining experience. But even the best steak restaurants in the U.S. know there's a market for lush, leafy options designed to please a broader clientele. Having a solid salad selection can even help a steakhouse stand out as a more desirable destination for diners of diverse tastes. Looking on the greener side of the menu, you'll find salad selections that range from simple plates of iceberg lettuce and tomatoes to full-blown entrée style dishes topped with chicken, steak, and seafood. It's quite a difference from the days when salad was considered just a starter course for a bigger meal.

It can be tricky deciding what to order and what to skip when it comes to choosing steakhouse salads. We're here to help you select the top of the crops while leaving the garden-variety greens in the compost heap. We've used a combination of online reviews, restaurant descriptions, and personal preferences to determine our ranking. Whatever your stirrings for refreshing greens might be, our steakhouse salad round-up will clue you into your ripest picks.

12. Mastro's – Spicy Mambo Salad

Mastro's is a mess when it comes to offering a proper salad. The salad section of the menu sneaks in between sushi and steaks, which gives you an idea of how important this course isn't. There are a few filler options like a chopped iceberg wedge, a Caesar salad, and a Mastro's house salad, all seemingly included to guide you toward the salad with the grooviest name. What you won't find on the menu is a description of what something called Spicy Mambo Salad is all about. Thankfully, the internet clues you in with photos that confirm the obvious: salad isn't where Mastro's makes its money.

Yelp reviews don't exactly sing the praises of this mushy plate, though there are better descriptions of Spicy Mambo as a fiery take on Caesar salad. While most are kind enough to praise the salad itself, our confusion over what the name means is echoed. One reviewer even asks, "What the hell is a spicy mambo salad?" before affirming her love for the flavor. As a premier steakhouse offering a salad with a jazzy name, Mastro's should present something more than lettuce and dressing — and for $17.00, no less.

11. Morton's - Beefsteak Tomato Salad

Morton's may have mastered steak and such, but one look at the restaurant's beefsteak tomato salad, and you'll know it has a lot of catching up to do in the field of sweet salads. The plate features sliced tomatoes, red onions, and dressing if you're lucky. That's it. It's listed with a few other regular schmegular salads you could find at almost any restaurant anywhere in the world. In other words, it's not worthy of a top-tier steak joint like Morton's. It makes sense that Morton's came to be known for its meat dishes, considering its salad game is struggling.

We're not the only ones unimpressed by Morton's meager offering on the salad front. This cold plate doesn't generate much heat with customers, either. A Trip Advisor reviewer raves more about the blue cheese dressing than the salad itself, omitting any mention of the tomatoes ... which are the whole salad. A few seriously unappetizing photos on Yelp make matters worse, serving as a warning against choosing this sadly secondary menu space filler. Maybe that's the point: if you're daring enough to order this Morton's misstep, you should see exactly what you're in for.

10. Bonanza – Build Your Own Salad Bar

In the world of steakhouses, Bonanza is a long-time contender that keeps staking its claim. The meat-and-potatoes chain offers a salad bar as part of its buffet spread. All the usual suspects are present, from average greens and expected veggies to typical toppings and passable dressings. You can also add fresh fruit or cottage cheese and pick up fresh bread as a side piece for your main salad. The salad bar is packaged with a hot bar that includes buffet-style hot dishes, if that helps you visualize your options.

As expected with such an average salad spread, word online from Bonanza diners is equally average. The expanded selections have created a buzz with Trip Advisor reviewers at the chain's location in Saint Cloud, Minnesota, and a visitor to the Skagway, Alaska location, titled their review "Best Salad in Skagway." Not knowing the salad scene in Skagway, it's difficult to know if this is a compliment or simply a statement of fact. Knowing that steakhouses have figured out a stronger way to salad overall keeps Bonanza lower on the list than it might have been if this list had been compiled in the mid-1980s.

9. Del Frisco's Double Eagle – Prime Steak Salad

Del Frisco's doesn't mess around when it comes to serving up a salad with real steakhouse muscle. The Prime Steak Salad is literally a prime option, a platter of mixed greens studded with tomatoes and avocado. But it's the slices of the restaurant's prized steak resting on top decorated with crumbles of blue cheese that brings this dish into the realm of high dining. It may feel like you're combining two courses into one spectacular special, but so what? There's no harm in getting your meat in the same dish as your greens.

Considering that this steakhouse offers sides that rival entrees for quality and satisfaction, it's no surprise that Del Frisco's takes a big swing with this salad. But as deluxe as the dish may sound, some customers have found it to be less than satisfactory. One Trip Advisor reviewer calls out, "The steak salad has meat that was totally uncuttable with a steak knife." Yikes. With prices at Del Frisco's in the premium range, you would expect a tender filet topping every leaf. Not cool to discover the restaurant may not hold to its high standard in the salad realm.

8. Fleming's – Fleming's Salad

To be brave enough to name a signature salad after your restaurant, you probably need to bring something pretty special to the table. Fleming's gives it a proper go with its Fleming's Salad. To see the photos shared online, there's no discernable excitement for how the ingredients decorate the plate. It's a laudable mix of greens, tomato slices, and candied walnuts, topped with a sprinkling of dried cranberries under the lemon vinaigrette to bring in the tangy tingle. As a selection, you'll taste with your eyes first; it's unassuming at worst and uninspiring at best.

And yet ... customers seem to love what a Fleming's Salad adds to their steakhouse experience. It works as a starter with a larger meal, though a standalone version can be had for a whopping $16.00. One Yelp reviewer avows, "I would come back just for this ... plus if I did, I would be saving a ton of bucks!" Considering how much the rest of a Fleming's meal costs, that sounds like the right approach. It might not be much to look at, but Fleming's salad seems suited for diners who may not know what superior steakhouse salads await elsewhere.

7. Ruth's Chris – Ruth's Chopped Salad

Good luck finding a steakhouse salad with a more artful presentation than a Ruth's Chris Chopped Salad. Whoever in the kitchen finds themselves on salad duty should have a steady hand to craft this Jenga tower of tasty morsels. It may appear at first glance to be a cylinder of coleslaw, no different than you'd get at a family cookout or backyard barbecue. But this shredded sensation is actually a blend of radicchio, spinach, and iceberg, a trio that sings sweet salad harmony. Look closer, and you'll find bits of eggs, olives, hearts of palm, and mushrooms peppering the piece like garden-grown glitter. And that's not to mention the glossy lemon basil dressing or the crown of crispy fried onions resting on top. Dazzled yet? You should be.

Pop-art salad may be one of the reasons why dining at Ruth's Chris is so expensive. This creation alone rings up at just under $20.00, and it barely occupies the center of the plate. Lighter eaters with a taste for upscale greenery and an open dining budget will adore this crafty creation. Salad purists will likely take a pass in favor of a more familiar-looking dish.

6. Outback – Strawberry Salad

The Strawberry Salad at Outback Steakhouse might just be the refreshing field option that steak lovers didn't see coming. Sure, salad fans are in for a treat with this pairing of romaine and arugula, loaded with slices of crispy or grilled chicken. But the real magic comes from the sliced strawberries, creamy goat cheese crumbles, and cinnamon pecans that dance across the top of the plate like a bountiful ballet. The resulting flavor profile balances sweet with fresh, creamy with sweet, tangy with umami — a shake-up of all the best things a salad can be.

For all its stellar flavors, Outback's choice to top its Strawberry Salad with raspberry vinaigrette feels like an odd direction to take. With "strawberry" in the name, it would make more sense to ramp up that berry with its own dressing rather than bringing in a second sweet element. Maybe it makes more sense on the salad lover's palate, where magical things happen when you least expect it. The pricing of this sweet salad is also a bit perplexing. In a YouTube video review, Mostly Healthy Food Reviews lauds the quality but decrees that the $15.00 price is a bit much. We agree.

5. Wolfgang's Steakhouse - Wolfgang's Salad

At Wolfgang's Steakhouse, the restaurant's namesake salad is an artful event. Rather than boring its high-stakes guests with a run-of-the-mill meal starter, Wolfgang's puts together a thoughtful salad that feels simultaneously familiar and fresh. Order one, and you'll find generous cubes of tomatoes, green beans, onions, bacon, and shrimp — yes, shrimp — all tossed together like edible confetti adrift in an iceberg boat. It's an explosion of color and flavor that begs to be eaten, even if it's simply an introduction to more indulgent dishes to come.

While looks may count at the beginning of a meal, what really matters is how the initial beauty translates into taste. Yelp reviewers are eager to share just how tasty this mélange really is. Diner Christopher C. declares, "That's right, this is not one of those healthy salads full of veggies, but just an appetizer to prepare you for the main course!" And Tiffany M. says, "The salad has shrimp and that beautiful bacon unique to Wolfgang's." For a dish that's largely overlooked as a gateway plate, it seems that Wolfgang's salad stands on its own as an order you don't want to leave off the table.

4. LongHorn – 7-Pepper Sirloin Salad

LongHorn nudges its way into the salad spectrum with a 7-Pepper Sirloin Salad, a celebration of farm and field that practically spills over the margins of the plate it occupies. This audacious display is a photogenic mix of greens, tomatoes, and croutons — nothing too special, as salads go. Where this steakhouse makes up for the missing enchantment is in the 7-pepper steak element, a signature seasoning that apparently features seven pepper flavors on six ounces of sirloin that lays gently upon the greens like it's napping in a meadow.

The mystery arises when seeking a breakdown of the 7-pepper seasoning. The closest may be a listing of ingredients from Sauers, which offers its own seven-pepper blend that includes bell pepper, paprika, and capsicum in its formulation. A copycat recipe shared on "The Today Show" gives a different pepper postulation. But there seems to be no confusion about the taste. A Yelp reviewer seemed satisfied but added even more pepper for extra flavor. At Trip Advisor, reviewer Barbara L. raves, proclaiming, "Love the 7-pepper steak salad" in her review title. So a spicy dash of mystery doesn't appear to damage LongHorn's entry in the steakhouse salad sweepstakes.

3. Fogo de Chao – Market Table

Brazilian steakhouse Fogo de Chao doesn't leave salad eaters out of its "meat + meat + more meat = delicious steakhouse dining" equation, even if it seems like such an omnivorous idea would be nothing more than a subscript. Foliage fans will find the Fogo de Chao Market Table to be a supreme salad bar brimming with bases, toppings, and dressings suitable for a sumptuous green feast. Beyond the garden walls of basic fixings, the spread includes aged cheeses, sun-dried tomatoes, broccoli, and artichokes, among other notable nibbles. There's also a selection of decadent sides, where polenta and potatoes flow like delicious carbohydrate rivers.

Can a steakhouse that serves endless slices of flanks and filets really do right by salad aficionados? A small galaxy of five-star reviews on OpenTable says yes. One visitor explains, "I am vegan but love the salad bar because it is outstanding." Judging by the imaginative offerings listed on the company website, there's enough at the Market Table to make vegans and vegetarians very happy as they dine with their more meat-oriented counterparts. When a steakhouse goes to such measures to provide its plant-forward diners with a happy experience, everything flourishes.

2. Texas Roadhouse – Chicken Critter Salad

Maybe we're just fickle, but naming a salad "Chicken Critter" doesn't seem like the smartest marketing strategy. Critters definitely don't belong in the world of steakhouse dining. That territory is reserved for larger animals with hooves and horns. But Texas Roadhouse takes a playfully Southern approach to its salad stylings with its Chicken Critter Salad, which tops a green salad with fried chicken tenders for an order that's crispy in so many ways. The toppings are filled out with bits of boiled egg, bacon, tomatoes, and cheese, all of which make sensible partners for chopped chicken of the crispy persuasion.

A Texas Roadhouse visitor in Yorktown, Virginia was duly impressed with the size and quality of the Chicken Critter salad and said as much in a Trip Advisor review. Another diner in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee shared on the site that the combination was to her liking. For us, the blend feels like a fresh take on the fillings found in a crispy chicken sandwich, which are always welcome no matter which restaurant you find them in. So, maybe the name isn't a dealbreaker when selecting superior steakhouse salads — critter on, Texas Roadhouse.

1. Firebirds - Seared Tuna Superfoods Salad

Talk about a powerful take on what a steakhouse salad can be! Firebirds gets its Seared Tuna Superfoods Salad utterly right, offering diners a meal disguised as greens, beans, grains, and fish. Check the menu's Signature Salad section, and you'll discover a veritable jungle of vibrant fixings, including edamame, ancient grains, and radishes. On top of that, there are slices of tuna primed for sushi, yet seared to perfection and fanned out like a poker hand where every card is an ace. Did we mention the bed of spinach upon which all of this goodness rests? The chef-supported avocado and lime vinaigrette dresses this vibrant wonder dish in an even more healthful flavor.

If a mindful meal is what you're looking for in your steakhouse salad, this gem from Firebirds delivers there, too. It's a 510-calorie salad with more than twice as much protein as fat, delivering 260% of your daily allotment of vitamin A and 120% of your vitamin C requirement. While other steakhouse salads are designed for flash or flavor, Firebirds' chart-topping take on superfoods is designed for fitness — but it comes through in the other two categories as well.