The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.
With rising inflation prices, cheap fast-food meals are more convenient than ever. However, french fries or chicken sandwiches from popular restaurant chains are not always the only options out there.
Some popular American convenience-food joints do offer greener options, but some are more worth your time than others.
I sampled the salad options from five of America's most popular fast-food chains to determine which ones are actually worth trying and which establishments should just stick to what they know best — burgers and fries.
Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad is one of my favorite things on their menu, surprisingly. They blend romaine lettuce with both red and green apples, tart cranberries, tangy blue cheese, and savory grilled chicken.
The entrée is topped off with a pomegranate dressing, which balances the whole meal perfectly. Where Wendy's lacks in the french fry department, they make up for it with the freshness and flavor of their salads.
When it comes to healthy fast food options, this is one that I have vouched for years.
For many fast food chains, salads are an afterthought, but I feel like Zaxby's actually puts effort into the quality of their famous "Zalads."
The portions are large, the texture of the vegetables is consistently fresh, and the fried chicken provides a perfect contrast to the crisp greens.
Though my favorite Buffalo Blue Zalad has since been discontinued, their cobb option is still up to standard as it is served with hard-boiled eggs, fried or grilled chicken, tomato, shredded cheese, and fried onion on a bed of greens.
If you're looking to get your green fix without sacrificing the convenience of a drive-thru, Zaxby's is also a viable option.
Even though Chick-fil-A has consistently ranked as one of the best restaurants in the country for eight consecutive years, the chain is lacking in the salad department.
When it comes to Chick-fil-A, their grilled chicken is always subpar compared to their traditional fried nuggets. Their market salad is similar to Wendy's, consisting of fresh fruit and blue cheese on a bed of mixed greens.
However, the flavor profile and texture of the vegetables and fruit always miss the mark, even though it will cost you a couple of dollars more than their competitors.
To me, their best healthy option is actually their Kale Crunch Salad, a simple combination of kale, cabbage, and toasted almonds, which is only offered as a side option.
If you're making your rounds through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, stick to what the chain does best, which is its Classic chicken sandwich and nuggets.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has gained popularity over the years for being a fast-food chain where you can indulge in filling bowls under the rouse of being "healthy."
Their salad option is a build-your-own ordeal where you select a protein of your choice and add whatever toppings you desire.
There is a lot of room for both success and error in this method, but the downside for me is the overall price of the food. Chipotle is notoriously expensive for a fast-food chain, and when you add guacamole, and extra protein, among other ingredients, your salad could easily cost more than $15.
Chipotle’s food, in my opinion, is subpar, and with all the added fillings, it makes me think of a deconstructed burrito more than an actual salad. However, it can be a good option if you’re in a hurry.
Subway has more than 37,000 locations across the globe, making it a familiar option in even the most remote corners of the world. Their salads, however, are nothing to write home about.
The blandness of Subway's less-than-fresh vegetable selection is disguised much easier in their sandwiches. When left on their own, the lettuce and toppings are lacking.
Despite being one of the cheaper options on this list, the Subway salad lacks in both the flavor and texture departments. You'll have to drown it in an obscene amount of sauce or dressing to enjoy it, which in my opinion, defeats the purpose of a salad.
In a nutshell, it's best to stick with subs when frequenting this chain.