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A salad bowl can be so much more than a salad bowl. Depending on the style, it can hold a wide variety of dishes (pasta, mashed potatoes, stir-fried veggies) or double as a gorgeous statement piece for your kitchen or dining room. So, it’s worthwhile to look carefully at your options before you decide which bowl you want to add to your registry or kitchen.
And let us tell you, you definitely have options—there are all kinds of materials, shapes, and sizes to choose from. Does your tabletop style call for a handmade ceramic bowl or modern stainless steel? An extra-durable bamboo bowl or a delicate crystal one? Something neutral to blend in with your dinnerware or a bold piece that will stand out from the crowd? To help you decide, we’ve gathered some of our favorites to help you select the bowl that's perfect for your table. We’re determined to help you make the most of all your salad days.
Read on for the best salad bowls.
Best Overall: Crate and Barrel Marin Serving Bowl
What’s not to love about this ceramic serving bowl? It’s simple, elegant, and affordable; and it comes in a variety of colors that will go perfectly with any dinnerware palette. The Marin serving bowl has lovely hand-antiqued, freeform rims and can be dressed up or down, depending on the occasion.
The bowl’s depth makes it easy to toss and serve salads without making a mess, and you can throw it in the dishwasher when you’re done. If you love this look, it's also available in an entire dinnerware set.
Best Budget: Bruntmor Geometric Modern Matte Large Salad Serving Bowl Set
These wallet-friendly salad bowls are a fantastic deal and will definitely make a bold statement on your table. They’re made of thick, durable porcelain that is microwave-, oven-, and dishwasher-safe. Accordingly, they’re ideal not just for serving salad but any large dish you like. The modern geometric design will complement and spice up your current plates and serving dishes, too.
Best Splurge: Christian Lacroix Sol Y Sombra Serving Bowl
If you’re looking for something luxurious—and a piece that's simultaneously classic and out-of-the-ordinary—this porcelain serving bowl by Christian Lacroix deserves your attention. The famous French designer’s signature mix-and-match style comes through beautifully in the bowl’s watercolor stripes and patterns, which are hand-painted with platinum and 24k-gold detailing. It's chic, bold, and sure to impress.
Best Wood: Nambé Luna Salad Bowl & Servers
In search of a truly extraordinary wooden salad bowl? Look no further. This elegant acacia wood bowl and serving utensil set features a tilt-design that gives it a sleek silhouette and makes serving ultra-easy. The utensils’ metal handles add an exciting modern contrast to the overall rustic feel of the set.
Best Set: HM-tech Large Salad Bowl Set with Lid and Servers
This functional, stylish serving set has everything you need for a casual meal with friends or family. The eight stackable bowls are made of sustainable and durable bamboo that's both freezer and dishwasher safe, and the largest bowl has a matching lid that doubles as a cutting board and serving tray. There's also a notch to accommodate the serving fork and spoon handles, making it easy to cover your salad and carry it to the table.
Best Modern: MoMA Raawii Strom Bowl
If you’re a fan of modern art, these sculptural, ceramic bowls will surely strike your fancy. Their design is based on the work of Danish modern artist Vilhelm Lundstrom, and they’re handmade in Portugal, using a slip-cast technique. The bowls are designed to be functional, but refined—and the vibrant colors add a touch of fun to your table or sideboard.
Best Nesting: Godinger Dublin Crystal Collection Bowl Set
These crystal bowls look like a million bucks, but they are, thankfully, significantly more affordable. They have a fun, vintage feel, and nest together to save you cabinet space. With matching bowls in three useful sizes, you’ll be able to set a classy, cohesive table full of whatever type of salads (fruit, potato, pasta) you like.
Best Classic: Bernardaud Jardin Indien Salad Bowl
Inspired by Indian art and culture, this porcelain salad bowl is adorned with a stunning floral design adapted from drawings of gardens in Mumbai. It’s also edged with a rattan trompe l'oeil pattern that echoes popular Indian furniture. The bowl is part of a larger dinnerware collection, but it also stands out beautifully amidst plain white or cream plates and serving dishes.
Best Stoneware: Heath Ceramic Shallow Salad Bowl
If you’ve ever wondered why Heath Ceramics has such a solid reputation, just glance at this handcrafted, shallow salad bowl. Its minimalist design is timeless and sophisticated, and it comes in both understated grays and whites and vibrant blues and yellows. When you’re not using it, fill it with fruit and use it as a tabletop centerpiece. You’re not going to want to hide this beauty away.
What to look for in a salad bowl
First, you want to determine how you plan to use your salad bowl. Do you want to be able to use it for al fresco meals on cool summer evenings? Do you expect it to serve all of your guests during the holidays? Will you use it for formal events, casual events, or both? Once you know how you want to use your bowl, you’re one step closer to figuring out what you need.
Before selecting a bowl, consider how many servings, on average, you’ll expect it to hold. You don’t want a massive bowl that occupies way more table space than necessary, but you also don’t want to be running back to the kitchen for refills every 5 minutes if you have a lot of mouths to feed.
When choosing a bowl, you definitely want to consider what material best fits your lifestyle. If you want to avoid fragile serveware, a more durable choice like melamine, plastic, or bamboo might be right for you.
Make sure you like the design of the bowl on a functional and aesthetic level. A pedestal bowl has a great modern look, but, if you have small children (or butterfingers), it might also get knocked over quite often. A salad bowl with a lid may not be your favorite look, but it does make it easy to keep your food covered for picnics or eating on the patio. Balance your needs and tastes to find a bowl that you truly enjoy using.
How it fits with your dinnerware
Finally, you want to make sure that the salad bowl you choose fits with the dinnerware you currently have or plan to buy. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to match perfectly, but you want to consider how it will look with the other pieces on your table.
Should I register for a salad bowl set or individual pieces?
Buying sets can save you time and effort. It ensures that the pieces will match and can reduce your overall costs. On the other hand, if you prefer a slightly more eclectic look, a matching set may feel like it's stifling your creativity. If that’s the case, we’d just suggest that you make sure the bowl you select goes with the utensils and dinnerware you already have or plan to add to your registry.
What is the average salad bowl size?
The standard size for a salad bowl is about 12” in diameter. A bowl this size typically serves 3-4 people. If you’re just looking for you and your partner, a 10” bowl would do nicely, and it would take up less space on the table. If you’re looking for something for larger gatherings and events, you can find bowls as big as 15” (serves 6-8), 17” (serves 10-12), or even 20” (serves up to 18).
Why Trust Brides
Mckenzie Eggers is a foodie and aesthete who believes that form and function are equally important when choosing serveware. Her favorite salad bowl for home use is a medium-sized shallow ceramic bowl. Its low sides make it easy for everyone to serve themselves from their seats and also make it ideal for displaying apples or citrus fruits when a salad isn’t on the menu.