Tender Greens is a fast casual chain that urges customers to linger in their clean, modern restaurants with comfort food cuisine. For the most part, their menu is the same from location to location. It’s a build-your-own style of restaurant with proteins, greens, and sides. But there is always at least one specialty dish created by the chef at each location.
Special Diet Options at Tender Greens
Vegan and “contains gluten” items are clearly labeled on the menu at Tender Greens. And they have nutrition cards that cross-reference each menu item for gluten, top allergens, and vegan.
Dairy-free customers have quite a few options to choose from in the plates category, with some good beef, chicken, and seafood choices. The beef they source is grass-fed antibiotic- and hormone-free, the chicken is California free-range and vegetarian fed, and the fish is sustainably sourced. Their most popular menu item is the Backyard Marinated Steak Plate, which is listed as dairy-free. So are the Salt & Pepper Chicken, Chipotle Barbecue Chicken, Grilled Salmon, and Herb Brushed Tuna Plates.
Most of their soups, sides, and dressings are dairy-free. In fact, the only ones listed as containing dairy on the menu that I viewed were the mashed potatoes, horseradish vinaigrette, and cilantro lime dressing. But the greens options are surprisingly limited. Only the Tender Greens Salad and Butter Lettuce were listed as dairy-free on the menu that I viewed. And they don’t offer any dairy-free sandwiches.
Be sure to check the nutrition card carefully since the menu can change or vary slightly at locations. And speak with a manager before ordering if potential cross-contamination is a concern for you.
For vegans, the options are more limited. But Tender Greens has created a couple items specifically for their herbivorous clientele. They have a Happy Vegan salad (pictured above) with a healthy blend of grains, vegetables, and hummus. And they have Vegan Chocolate Brownies for dessert! As a heads up, the falafel is not dairy-free or vegan. But they often have another vegan dish or dessert on special.
To wash down your meal, or dessert, Tender Greens serves beer, wine, coffee, tea, kombucha, and several refreshing house-made drinks.
Where to Find Tender Greens
At last count, they had about 30 locations throughout California, with new spots opening in Boston and New York. See the website below for addresses, hours, and menus.