Nutritionists Recommended Keto Friendly Restaurants

September 10, 2018

Once you’ve got a cooking routine down to a keto-high-fat, low-carb plan that limits your carbohydrate intake to only 5-10% of your daily calories, it can feel like you’re finally in the groove. That is until a friend or spouse asks if you want to go out to eat. Then the panic begins. What will I eat? Will I annoy everyone? Is it even possible to keep keto in a restaurant?

First, take a deep breath. It’s tough, but it’s totally doable to do ketogenic while you eat out.” It’s a common misconception that a person can’t adhere to a ketogenic lifestyle if he or she is a frequent restaurant goer,” Aimee Aristotelous, RD, tells Health. You just need to be a little more mindful of your choices – and that means educating yourself on all the hidden carbs on restaurant menus and going for carb-heavy ingredients instead.

First things first. Substitute as many starches as you possibly can.” Be sure to substitute green vegetables or salads for pasta, potatoes and rice sides,” says Aristarchus – and that goes for lettuce wraps instead of hamburgers, too. It’s also wise to add avocado or other healthy fats to any meal whenever possible.” For your extra healthy fat content, avocado tastes great on almost anything, and many restaurants have avocados on hand to add to your meals,” she says.

You should definitely also be aware of the secret places where carbohydrates hide in your meals. For example, most restaurant sauces, glazes and salad dressings contain sugar, says Naomi Whittel, author of the forthcoming book “High Fiber Ketones. She suggests asking for dishes to be served plain or with condiments on the side.” You can always order olive oil instead,” she says. Bread is another thing to avoid if you’re watching your carb intake, Whittel says; your best bet is to stick to fried, grilled or baked foods.

Last (and perhaps most important). Before you set foot in a restaurant, do your homework.” Not only can you check out the ingredients in the dish you want, but you can check the carb count to make sure it’s on point,” says Whittel. Bonus: Deciding on your order before you arrive can help you avoid impulsive decisions or bad choices when you’re hungry.

Still a little daunted by the thought of eating on keto? No problem: Here, 14 keto-friendly restaurants – and samples of keto-compliant meals at each – to get you started.

1 Real Food Kitchen.
When it comes to getting the healthiest keto-friendly dishes, True Food Kitchen is Aristotelous’ number one choice.” They even have a keto meal category on the menu, so it takes all the guesswork out of it,” she explains. She also points out that the beef they use is grass-fed, “so that changes the fat composition to give it a character more akin to salmon, and most of their entrees consist of a lot of fresh vegetables.” Also, it’s best to ask for a side of seasoning when eating this dish.

Keto-Friendly pick: grass-fed beef seasonal ingredient salad.

Per serving. 750 calories, 48 grams of fat, 59 grams of carbohydrates, 31 grams of protein.

2.P.F. Chang’s.

At first glance, Chinese food doesn’t seem to fit into the keto diet (hi, rice and noodles!) . But Aristotelous points out that P.F. Chang’s does offer a number of dishes that fit into your keto nutrition plan. This Asian Caesar Salad with Salmon is a great low-carb, high-fat option, just be sure to leave out the croutons.

Keto-Friendly Pick: Asian Caesar Salad with Croutons and Salmon.

Per serving. 650 calories, 46 grams of fat, 20 grams of carbs, 37 grams of protein.

3. Denny’s
Yes, you can still go out to brunch while you’re making keto – Denny’s makes it so easy with their custom omelet menu. Depending on what you get in your omelet, and whether you choose egg white or whole egg (keto calls for the whole thing!) Your nutritional information will vary. But Aristotelous recommends trying three whole eggs, cheese and avocado. Other fillings suitable for keto include cheese, spinach, bell peppers, bacon and sausage.

The keto-friendly option: a custom omelet with cheese and avocado.

Per serving. 465 calories, 4 grams of carbs, 27 grams of protein

4. BurgerFi

Aristotelous points out that of the 25 burger chains in the U.S., Burgerfi is one of only two companies to receive an ‘A’ rating for the cleanest beef they have.” Their burgers contain no antibiotics, steroids or growth hormones, and since the keto lifestyle can get a little high on animal products, choosing the highest quality burgers is key to avoiding environmental toxins.”

Keto-Friendly Pick: BurgerFi’s “Green Style” cheeseburger.

Per serving. 425 calories, 29 grams of fat, 4 grams of net carbs, 37 grams of protein.

5. In-N-Out BurgerFi’s.
This So-Cal burger joint is known for its savory burgers and fries – but take away the bun and you’re golden, suggests Whittel.” Be sure to order your burger ‘protein style’ on a lettuce roll instead of a bun,” she advises. If you want even lower carbs, ditch their special sauce and opt for mayonnaise and mustard instead.

The keto-friendly option. Cheeseburger with Onion Protein Style

Per serving. 330 calories, 25 grams of fat, 11 grams of carbohydrates, 18 grams of protein.

6 Chipotle Mexican Grill.
This fast food Mexican joint is more keto-friendly than ever.” Chipotle is now sporting a lifestyle menu to make it easier to order on special diets and has Paleo Bowl, Veggie Bowl and even Keto Salad Bowl with carnitas, Romaine lettuce, salsa, cheese and of course plenty of avocados,” says Whittel. Be sure to skip the beans, rice, tortillas, and chips, but mix and match with your favorite proteins and veggies with this protein-packed bowl. An added bonus? She notes that toppings like sour cream, cheese, salad dressing and avocado are all keto-friendly.

Keto-friendly options.Keto Salad Bowl

Per serving. 550 calories, 42 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, and 32 grams of protein.

7. Subway
When you think of Subway, you think of bread, right?” As long as you skip the bread, the salad offers some low-carb options,” notes Whittel. While the chicken and bacon ranch chopped salad is higher in fat than some of the other options, it will help you feel full, she explains.

Keto-friendly option. Chicken and Bacon Ranch Salad

Per serving. 460 calories, 32 grams of fat, 15 grams of carbohydrates, 32 grams of protein.

8. Panera Bread.
Just because bread is in the name, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. There are plenty of keto-friendly options at Panera, including their delicious salads.” Many of Panera’s salads fit the keto template, but I like this one because of the good fats in the eggs and avocado,” says Whittel. To cut down on carbs, she suggests skipping the salad dressing and using olive oil and vinegar instead.

Keto-friendly option. Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken

Per serving. 550 calories, 32 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 43 grams of protein.

9. ground meat burger.
Another family-friendly burger joint with unlimited bunless opportunities.” Choose a single or double beef patty, skip the bun, add your favorite cheese, and top with Smash Sauce, avocado, lettuce, pickles, onions, and mushrooms,” suggests Whittel. As for sides, add a side salad or Brussels sprouts instead of fries.

The keto-friendly option: make your own burgers.

Per serving. Nutritional information will vary.

10. Bonefish Grill
This seafood-focused joint has so many fishy keto options.” There’s a lot of low-carb seafood and meat options, and then you can add lemon butter or chimichurri sauce for extra flavor and get some veggies on the side,” says Whittel. Salmon and shrimp are great high-fat protein options.

Keto-friendly options. Atlantic salmon with lemon butter and house salad.

Per serving (Atlantic salmon): 430 calories, 25 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbohydrates, 50 grams of protein.

Per serving (lemon butter): 60 calories, 6 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, and 0 grams of protein.

Per serving (house salad): 240 calories, 19 grams of fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of protein.

11. yard house.

You can get all the keto-friendly food you want at Yard House, with their extensive menu featuring bunless burgers, salads, fish of the day, and even veggie noodles.Whittel says the Shrimp Zoodle Bowl is a perfect example.

Keto-Friendly Choice: Shrimp Zoodle Bowl (Shrimp Noodle Bowl)

Per serving. 470 calories, 31 grams of fat, 19 grams of carbohydrates, 28 grams of protein.

12. inland steakhouse.
Any steakhouse is a good choice for the keto diet, “just make sure to swap out the potatoes or other starchy side dishes for steamed vegetables or a side salad,” suggests Whittel. Plus, you can add extra butter or olive oil to keep it high in fat.

Keto-friendly option. Filet Mignon (6 oz.) and Grilled Lobster Tail + Steamed Meat

Per serving (Philly and Lobster): 660 calories, 42 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbohydrates, 66 grams of protein.

13. Olive groves
An Italian restaurant might seem like a bad place due to the abundance of bread and pasta, but Whittel reveals that they’re surprisingly friendly.” Look for grilled meats and fish, as well as antipasto salads,” she suggests.” Olive oil is an incredibly healthy fat!”

Keto friendly option. Chicken Margherita + Zucchini with Parmesan Crust.

Per serving (chicken meatballs): 550 calories, 29 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, 63 grams of protein.

Per serving (Parmesan-skinned zucchini): 80 calories, 5 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbohydrates, 3 grams of protein.

14.Season 52.
Seasons 52 is a great place with lots of tasty keto-friendly finds – don’t overlook their extensive appetizer menu.” By adding shrimp and avocado, the meal adds a bit more fat to help balance the high protein of the steak,” notes Whittel.” It’s an option where adding some extra olive oil dressing may help bring the fat up to keto levels.”

Keto-friendly options. Grilled shrimp and avocado cocktail (appetizer) + steak salad.