5 Fresh Salads That Will Cool You Down

These salads are ultra light or great with beer.

Here in Honolulu, where hot days outnumber the cool ones, there’s really never a bad time to choose a salad as your entrée instead of something warm and filling. But come high summer, salad is all we want. The thought of heavy, rib-sticking food when we can’t walk outside without wilting is pretty unappealing. So we turn to the fresh stuff to keep us satisfied, but not overstuffed. Here’s a quick list of our five favorite summer salads, from ultra light to one that goes great with beer.


1. The Paniolo Salad at Aloha Salads

The Paniolo Salad is Aloha Salad’s version of a southwestern salad. It’s a straightforward salad—plenty of fresh greens topped with avocado, corn, black beans, cilantro and white cheddar, with a side of barbecue ranch dressing. Upgrade it to a serious meal by adding grilled steak ($11.95). We’ve been getting (and loving) this salad since Aloha Salads‘ first opened in 2006, and we still keep going back for more.

$9.25, Five locations islandwide, alohasalads.com


2. Bacon Caesar Salad at Golden Pork

We thought we were obsessed with the ramen at Golden Pork (and we are)—and then we discovered the Caesar salad. Now, we go to GP just for the salad. Because, when someone takes a pretty classic Caesar and tops it with giant chunks of slab bacon and a soft-poached egg, we swear loyalty for life.

$8.50, 1279  S. King St., 888-5358


3. Chinese Chicken Salad at Kin Wah Chop Suey

A staple at any Windward family gathering, the chicken salad at Kin Wah Chop Suey in Kāne‘ohe has stood the test of time, and for good reason. We love the simplicity of the ultra-crisp iceberg lettuce, the shredded chicken and the wonton strips, but what makes the salad addicting (as in, we can grind a whole family-size order without the help of a family) is that Kin Wah ditches that watery, tasteless, sorry excuse for vinaigrette that usually tops Chinese chicken salad for a seriously delicious dressing that’s creamy and packed with nutty sesame flavor. Extra dressing is $1.25.

$8.25, 45-588 Kamehameha Highway, Kāne‘ohe, 247-4812


4. Grilled Seafood Salad at Café Julia 

This is where salad starts to become less salad-y and more like a serious meal. The Grilled Seafood Salad at Café Julia is a tortilla shell filled with perfectly grilled shrimp, scallops and calamari, topped with a scoop of pico de gallo and a scoop of guacamole, garnished with fresh basil. And, get this: The over-stuffed tortilla shell is anchored to the plate by a few scoops of creamy mashed potatoes. Totally weird. But totally awesome.

$19.50, 1040 Richards St. in the YWCA, 533-3334


5. Beer Man Salad at Side Street Inn


We’re not saying we picked this salad only because it was created to be a perfect pairing for beer. But we’re not saying we didn’t. Like everything else Side Street Inn does, this salad is big, filling and goes great with cold beer. It’s a Caesar, only a million times better than the best Caesar around because, in addition to being tossed in a great classic Caesar dressing, it’s topped with at least a couple of man-size handfuls of Parmesan cheese and strips of salami. And where the croutons usually are? Salted pretzel sticks. Genius.

$15, 1225 Hopaka St., 591-0253


SEE ALSO: Perfect Beer and Wine Pairings for 8 Popular Local Dishes


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