Photo by Caitlin Abrams
Just because it’s January and we are stuck in the Habitrail doesn’t mean we can’t seek the green. There’s a lovely little trend happening in the downtown Minneapolis skyways serving eaters looking for a fresher, healthier alternative to fast food. A spate of quick service salad- and veggie-focused shops has opened, and there are more on the way. These spots embrace your gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian, non-GMO needs.
THE SALAD BAR / City Center
Opened early last year, this kiosk in the high-traffic crossroads between Gaviidae and Macy’s allows you to pick the ingredients of your salad, which is then assembled, chopped, and tossed for you. Notably they have more than 50 toppings and dressings you can mix and match.
SPROUT SALAD CO. / RBC Plaza
Tucked over by the former Neiman Marcus, this airy and bright spot is another pick-and-chop salad destination. They also have fresh juices, daily soup, and tortilla wraps. Plus, they are a little more generous with the protein than some of the other salad spots.
SIMPLS / 6 Quebec
Just down the hall from MyBurger and Taco John’s is SIMPLS (“simples”), a new-fangled convenience store that focuses on locally made products and healthy, fresh foods. The deli cases have pre-made salads and sandwiches, there are a few kettles of hot soup, and it’s the only spot with locally brewed kombucha on tap! There are also a lot of snacky bites like granola bars, nuts, yogurt, and smoothies to help you stray from the cafeteria vending machines.
GREENFIELD NATURAL KITCHEN / Canadian Pacific Plaza
What used to be a D. Brian’s Deli morphed into this new concept from the same owners. Greenfield is an altogether more modern presentation than the former, with barn wood and white tile. Create your own bowls or wraps from greens, grains, and ethically sourced proteins, all for one price.
FRESHII / Gaviidae Common (Opening Soon)
Just down from Juut, this franchise plans an outpost similar to the ones already in Southdale and on the U of M campus. Their manifesto is “Eat. Energize.” They use responsible packaging for their healthy burritos, bowls, soups, salads, wraps, and frozen yogurt. Kale, quinoa, tofu, and falafel are all common ingredients found here.