May 18, 2022

go health

Salata salad bar restaurant opens in uptown Charlotte, NC

If you’re looking for a little more excitement in your lunch — or dinner — salad experience, you’re in luck, because Salata will open its first Charlotte location later this week in the Ally Charlotte Center uptown.

While Charlotte already has its fair share of places to get a delicious salad, it’s a bit more interesting when you go to similar places like Just Salad or Chopt where you’re able to create your own salad from scratch and become a chef right before your own eyes.

Salata’s built-to-order concept takes customizable to a new level, offering endless combinations of salad bases, toppings and dressings. The experience puts you in the driver’s seat as you create your perfect meal from a plethora of options.

How it works

When you walk in, the fun — and choices — begin.

  • First, choose whether you want a salad or wrap.

  • Then, choose your size — regular or small. The small is similar to a side salad serving.

  • Choose your salad base. Leafy greens include kale, spinach, romaine, Arcadian mix, and arugula.

  • Select your protein. Lean proteins come with an additional cost and include salmon, chicken, crab, turkey, avocado, quinoa, and more.

  • Choose from more than 50 fresh toppings. Fruit and veggie options include beets, corn, chickpeas, pineapples, grapes, Parmesan cheese, and more.

  • Pick from 11 house-made, gluten-free dressings. A few dressings offered are balsamic vinaigrette, classic Caesar, and fat-free sun-dried tomato.

  • All salads are served with your choice of bread and wraps are served with pita chips.

  • Additional offerings include soups, organic teas, and fresh-baked cookies.

Vegetables and bean options at Salata in uptown Charlotte. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

“One of the really cool things about Salata is that we really don’t have a menu,” Brad Thomas, Salata’s general manager, told CharlotteFive last week. “Basically your food is what you make it. We don’t have any set recipes or anything — your choices are unlimited.”

Salata has a variety of protein options including falafel, crab, shrimp, salmon and chicken. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

When you enter the restaurant, you’ll find an open, airy space, high ceilings with expansive lighting and green, blue and natural hues that all create an atmosphere that makes you want to stay for a while.

Salata allows customers to choose their base, protein, toppings and dressing for their wraps, salads and bowls. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

“We are excited to bring one of the nation’s top healthy and customizable concepts to the Charlotte market and believe the residents living and working in and around uptown will gravitate toward the fresh quality and endless options of the product,” Ann Sheahan, president of the franchise group behind Salata, said in a press release.

Beverage options at Salata include flavored lemonades and teas. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

As more workers return to offices in uptown and foot traffic increases, Thomas and Sheahan are ready to serve customers in the area. Some passersby have already been popping in, eager for the grand opening.

“This is a great location because we have a captive lunchtime audience,” Thomas said. “We’re surrounded by so many office towers, and in the immediate area, within a few blocks, there aren’t tons of choices.”

There are no pre-set salad options at Salata. But this Greek salad was put together with feta cheese, banana peppers, black olives, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, red onions and fresh herb vinaigrette on the side. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Salata’s grand opening event begins Thursday, Sept. 30, with a host of festivities that include a build-your-own-succulent bar, small bites and giveaways that include an uptown Charlotte Salata shirt for the first 100 customers.

Each salad is tossed at Salata, even when the dressing is on the side. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Because community engagement is also a priority, Salata is partnering with Childress Klein YMCA in uptown. Ten percent of grand opening day sales will help benefit healthy living initiatives at the YMCA.

Salata was founded in 2005 and now has more than 80 locations in California, Texas, Georgia and Louisiana. A second Charlotte location will open in early 2022 in Rea Farms.

Salata has a variety of cookies. Alex Cason Photography CharlotteFive

Pro tips: With Salata’s Tastemaker Rewards program, you earn rewards with each purchase. Once you earn 100 points, you’ll get $7 toward a future purchase. Salata has online ordering and contactless pickup. Catering options are also available.


Location: 601 S. Tryon St., Suite 13, Charlotte, NC 28202

Neighborhood: Uptown


Hours: Monday through Friday from 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m., closed Sunday (except for select Panthers games starting Oct. 10 from 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.)

Instagram: @salatasalads

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Ebony Morman is a freelance writer. In her free time, she loves to travel, read, write and develop Charlotte’s youth through her nonprofit. Follow her on Instagram @chitoclt.