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Raleigh’s Best Chunky Chicken Salads

Ahhhh – good old chicken salad, a true comfort food. Whenever I can’t decide what to order for lunch, it is one of my go-to meals. I see chicken salad falling into two categories: chunky and creamy. I love both of them. I prefer chunky chicken salad on a bed of fresh salad greens, with crackers or even on its own, although I occasionally will have it on bread. On the other hand, creamy chicken salad belongs on some sort of good, artisan bread or else maybe as a dip for celery and carrot sticks.


This post is about my favorite chunky chicken salads in Raleigh. Three are from restaurants, one from a specialized grocery store and one is my own recipe. All are wonderful – it’s like chicken “salad” for the soul.

Neomonde Bakery and Deli (3817 Beryl Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27607)

I recently blogged about Neomonde, and one of my favorites offerings is its chicken salad ($6.99 per pound.) I’ve been enjoying this chicken salad for years – it has nice chunks of chicken with celery, golden raisins, walnuts, low-fat mayonnaise, parsley and spices. It is great on its own or stuffed inside of Neomonde’s sesame pita bread.

Sunflowers Café (8 West Peace Street, Raleigh, N.C. 27603)

The first time I had this delicious chicken salad ($6.95) was when Sunflowers was located at its old location on Glenwood South, and I have been hooked ever since. It consists of chunky morsels of house-roasted chicken breast, pecans, grapes and mayo on your choice of bread. It’s listed as a favorite of one of the owners, Clay, and I understand why – it’s been consistently great over the years. Try it on Sunflower’s sunflower bread, or by itself – either way, you’ll be going back for more!

Winston’s Grille (6401 Falls of Neuse Road, Raleigh, N.C. 27615)

While this is somewhat pricy at $10.50, you do get quite a bit of food, all of which is fresh and yummy. This chicken salad is made with big chunks of chicken, sliced grapes, onions, pecans, celery and mayonnaise, and it is delicious. It comes with seasonal fruit and some tasty rolls. The fruit was extremely fresh and the rolls were nice and hot. Paired with a glass of white wine, this makes a great dinner on a hot summer evening.

The Fresh Market’s Waldorf Chicken Salad (various locations)

If I need to take a dish to a luncheon or party and run out of time to make something myself, I often turn to this chunky chicken salad from Fresh Market ($7.99 per pound). In addition to big pieces of chicken, it has celery, sweet red grapes, pecans, mayo, spices and poppy seeds. I bring some small cocktail bread or crackers to serve it with and I’m usually asked for my recipe (I do give The Fresh Market all the credit, of course!)

Kel’s Curried Chicken Salad on Kel’s Cafe of All Things Food

I recently blogged about my own chunky curried chicken salad, and love the sweetness of the raisins and grapes, the crunchiness of the nuts and the spiciness of the curry. It is well worth making if you want a different spin on chicken salad, especially since this is something you won’t find on most restaurant menus.

So there you have it – my favorite chunky chicken salads in Raleigh. I will be posting about Raleigh’s best creamy chicken salads soon, so please stay tuned, and let me know what your favorites are.

Bon appétit!

Eat, drink and be merry!

Kel’s Cafe of All Things Food

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