Looking for a Cheap or Low-Calorie Salad for Lunch? We Made a Tool to Help You

Looking for a Cheap or Low-Calorie Salad for Lunch? We Made a Tool to Help You
Photo by Allison Zaucha.

Lots of office workers choose salad as their lunch because of its convenience and healthiness. Comparing to a sandwich, salad usually has a higher price but lower calories.

We collected price and calorie data on salads from five popular restaurants. Pick your favorite protein the finder will show you where you can get either the cheapest salad or the one with the fewest calories. The prices and calorie counts listed below are based on orders with no alterations substitutions. Figures may vary with different customizations.

Click a protein and see the result below:


Beef, Bacon, Turkey


Only Vegetables

Tofu, Falafel



The Least Calories:

Find the nearest store.

Vegetable-only salads are not always the healthiest options. Many chicken salads, Caesar salads, and seafood salads often contain fewer calories than their vegetarian counterparts. The lowest-calorie salad on the list is, surprisingly, Chop’t’s California Steakhouse salad, with 230 calories, followed by Corner Bakery’s Spinach Sweet Crisp Salad and Chop’t Palm Beach shrimp salad, each with 240. The highest-calorie salad is Chop’t’s Texas Po’Boy chicken salad, which clocks in at 680.

For money-savers, a Caesar salad—even one with chicken—is often an affordable choice, though you might want to avoid seafood-based salads as much as possible. The cheapest seafood salad is Pret a Manger’s Salmon and Pickled Veggies Power Lunch, which at $9.29 is still more expensive than the most expensive Caesar, Sweetgreen’s Kale Caesar ($8.75). In fact, the three cheapest salads on the list are all Caesar salads: Chop’t’s Kale Caesar ($6.29) and Mexican Caesar ($6.49), and Corner Bakery’s Classic Caesar ($6.49).

Want to find more about your favorite salad? Check the full list below. Click the header to sort the column:

Salad Protein Price Calories
Pret Chicken Avocado Salad Chicken $8.99 370
Pret Harvest Salad Chicken $9.99 320
Pret Kale Chicken Caesar Salad Caesar $7.99 400
Pret’s Chef Salad Turkey, Bacon $8.99 280
Pret’s Cobb Salad Chicken $8.99 400
Pret’s Grains & Greens Salad Vege $6.99 330
Pret Salmon & Pickled Veggies Power Lunch Seafood $9.29 590
Pret Southwestern Chicken & Avocado Power Lunch Chicken $8.99 640
Pret Falafel Mezze Salad Falafel $8.99 540
Chop’t Crunchy Vietnamese Salad Chicken $10.49 350
Chop’t Beekeeper’s Quinoa Bowl Vege $9.99 410
Chop’t Wild Smokehouse Salmon Plate Seafood $13.49 250
Chop’t Mexican Caesar Salad Caesar $6.79 410
Chop’t Mexican Vegan Vege $9.19 360
Chop’t Kebab Cobb Chicken $8.19 530
Chop’t Kale Caesar Caesar $6.29 290
Chop’t Santa Fe Vege $8.59 510
Chop’t Classic Cobb Chicken $10.29 670
Chop’t California Steakhouse Beef $9.79 230
Chop’t Texas Po’Boy Chicken $9.19 680
Chop’t Palm Beach Chicken $9.69 320
Chop’t Palm Beach Seafood $10.49 240
Sweetgreen Spicy Sabzi Tofu $8.60 440
Sweetgreen Kale Caesar Caesar $8.75 420
Sweetgreen Guacamole Greens Chicken $9.35 530
Sweetgreen Hummus Tahina Vege $10.85 495
Sweetgreen Rad Thai Seafood $11.35 365
SweetGreen OMG Omega Seafood $12.60 555
Corner Bakery Chopped Salad Chicken $9.29 420
Corner Bakery Harvest Salad Chicken $8.99 390
Corner Bakery Santa Fe Ranch Chicken $8.49 360
Corner Bakery Asian Wonton Chicken $8.49 360
Corner Bakery Spinach Sweet Crisp Vege $8.29 240
Corner Bakery Classic Caesar Caesar $6.49 310
Au Bon Pain Chicken Caesar Asiago Caesar $7.49 530
Au Bon Pain Chicken Cobb with Avocado Chicken $8.19 630
Au Bon Pain Harvest Turkey Salad Turkey $7.99 510
Au Bon Pain Southwest Chicken Chicken $7.79 510
Au Bon Pain Thai Peanut Chicken Chicken $7.59 410
Au Bon Pain Vegetarian Deluxe Vege $7.19 390
Web Fellow

Mandy is a web fellow at Washingtonian. She is a senior at Missouri School of Journalism. She focuses on reporting and visualizing news stories, in an effort to tell data-heavy stories in a more interesting and interactive way. Feel free to shoot Mandy an email or @ her at Twitter for ideas and thoughts.