Let's face it—the best way to dress up a salad is with a healthy dose of bacon. And that's where the tasty Cobb salad comes into play. Created in the 1930s by Brown Derby restaurant owner Bob Cobb (what a name!), the Cobb salad was at first haphazardly thrown together using various ingredients from the refrigerator.
As it turns out, those ingredients—hard-boiled egg, bacon, cheese, tomatoes, avocado, and chives—go damn well together when tossed with salad greens and dressing. Over the years, many restauranteurs have experimented with the classic Cobb and come up with their own unique iterations of the popular salad—with and without bacon. With a satisfying combination of flavors and textures, this salty, crunchy, tangy salad is an underrated gem of a meal.
Read on to discover some of the best Cobb salads to order next time you dine out at one of these popular restaurant chains.
Au Bon Pain: Chicken Cobb Avocado
Au Bon Pain, the popular American café and bakery, is best known for its namesake breads and croissants, but it also dishes out some mean salads. Among those salads is the chicken Cobb avocado, which includes chicken, romaine, and field greens, fresh avocado, hardwood smoked bacon, gorgonzola, hard-boiled egg, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers. Customers can select their choice of dressing from balsamic vinaigrette, Caesar, and ranch. Bon appétit!
Great Harvest: Cobb Salad
With locations all over the country, this crowd-pleasing café chain serves up some delectable sandwich and salad options for diners. Its version of a Cobb salad includes mixed greens, chicken, cherry tomatoes, avocado, bacon, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese, and Great Harvest croutons. It is then topped with the restaurant's house-made roasted garlic-lemon vinaigrette. It's down-home delicious.
Le Pain Quotidien: Grilled Chicken Cobb
Le Pain Quotidien is a mainstay for busy workers and people on the go. Its healthy menu features tartines and soups, oatmeal, and yogurts. Among the salad options is the grilled chicken Cobb. It's served with chicken, bacon, Fourme d'Ambert cheese, avocado, hard-boiled egg, cucumber, mixed greens, and smoked tea vinaigrette. Your plentiful bowl also comes with a slice of the restaurant's fresh, artisanal bread.
Chopt: Classic Cobb Salad
For more than 20 years, Chopt has been sustaining Americans with its hearty salad bowls. In addition to its core salads, the salad conglomerate updates its menu offerings with seasonal salads. Of its core salads, Chopt offers a classic Cobb made with grilled chicken, avocado, cage-free egg, grape tomatoes, all-natural smoked bacon, and romaine lettuce, topped with buttermilk dressing. A true classic.
Just Salad: California Cobb
This fast-casual salad chain has more than 70 locations across the country and in Dubai. Launched in 2006, Just Salad is relatively new, but based on its popularity, it's made a name for itself. As any good salad chain should, the restaurant offers a California Cobb, which is comprised of extra crispy romaine lettuce, oven-roasted chicken, jammy egg, chopped almonds, Haas avocado, and sliced grape tomatoes. The salad is then covered with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette to finish it off.
Sweetgreen: Garden Cobb
Younger than Just Salad, Sweetgreen first launched in 2007 in Washington, D.C., and has since expanded to include more than 1,000 locations across the country. That's a lot of greens! Among those greens is the chain's Garden Cobb—in it, one can find spring mix and chopped romaine mixed with roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomatoes, roasted almonds, red onions, and blue cheese. The salad is topped with a balsamic vinaigrette. Who doesn't love an inventive spin on a classic?
Saladworks: Avocado Cobb Salad
Made-to-order sandwiches, wraps, and salads can all be found at Saladworks franchise locations in the United States. The chain suggests topping its avocado Cobb salad with Thousand Island dressing, but other options include everything from creamy bleu cheese to lemon olive oil vinaigrette. Before choosing your dressing, however, peep what's in the salad: iceberg and romaine lettuce, grilled chicken, fresh avocado, smoky bacon, sliced egg, diced tomatoes, and blue cheese. Then, take your pick!
Panera Bread: Green Goddess Cobb Salad With Chicken
Panera Bread's Duets Value Meal allows you to select two half portions of the chain's favorite dishes. It's one of the many nice things about Panera. Another is that the dishes come with a hefty hunk of delicious bread (but you can also substitute that for fruit or chips). Panera's green goddess Cobb salad starts with a base of mixed greens and romaine lettuce and is then topped with antibiotic-free chicken, fresh avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, cage-free hard-boiled egg, grape tomatoes, and pickled red onions. As the name implies, it is then dressed with green goddess dressing to finish it up.
Cosi: Cosi Cobb
Delicious sandwiches, gooey melts, hearty soup, and crispy flatbreads adorn the menu at Cosi restaurants, but that's not all. The Boston-born chain also has a selection of salads and the Cosi Cobb is one of many. Made with mixed greens, bacon, egg, grape tomatoes, blue cheese, and scallions, this salad hits all the right notes. Plus, it is drizzled with a sherry shallot vinaigrette to make it a salad to remember.
The Capital Grille: Cobb Salad With Sliced Tenderloin
As a top-notch steakhouse, Capital Grille ups the ante with its rendition of the Cobb salad. Not to be looked over for some of its heartier, iron-filled competitors on the menu, this salad comes with sliced tenderloin on top, so steak lovers won't miss out by ordering a salad. Avocado, hard-boiled egg, tomato, blue cheese, and bacon also adorn the salad, along with mustard dressing to round it all out.