Inside South Florida


How Giardino Salads serves up more than just salads

Posted at 5:25 PM, Jul 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-06 17:25:00-04

Since 2004, Giardino Salad's has been serving up delicious and healthy eats to the South Florida community.

Former educator turned founder of Giardino's Ody Lugo decided to open up a restaurant where she can offer fresh ingredients to South Florida.

"I was a pre K teacher and I asked my students where did juice come from? And they said a box and I'm like, I think I need to revolutionize the fast food industry where we knew it as then. And I need to open up a place that serves just great food, fresh vegetables, fruits, nuts and kind of, you know, educate people," says Lugo

18 years later, Giardino's which translates to garden in Italian, revolutionized the way we order salads today.

"it's funny, everybody asked me if my last name is Giardino. And second, of course, if I'm Italian. I found the name first. And two, there's something about Italy and Europe that they have a love for people and a love for food. And I wanted to that get conveyed into our concept. Just because we were doing at that time is fast food, which now we're known to be fast casual. We did not need to give up good food," says Lugo.

Something that makes Giardino's so special is that they don't commit to one specific type of cuisine.

"If you're feeling Mexican, if you're feeling Thai, if you feel in Mediterranean, we have it for you. If you are, you know, the one that needs to lose weight and the doctor puts you on a cholesterol diet, you do all your greens. We have oils and vinegars, if you just want to be Gourmet, and you want to have goat cheese, you know so we call it the levels of green and we accept every single person on the level that they're in this restaurant," says Lugo.

Giardino's has now evolved their menu to also serving grain bowls, wraps and soups. They've also added snacks and scrumptious desserts to end your meal.

With 14 locations all throughout South Florida. That company is now a franchise with many of its owners coming within the Giardino's family.

To visit your nearest Giardino's you can go to

Inside South Florida

10:49 AM, Jul 26, 2019

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