14 Keto-Friendly Restaurants, According to Nutritionists
For when you just can't cook another egg and cheese omelet.
Once you've got a cooking routine down on keto—the high-fat, low-carb plan that restricts your carb intake to just 5%-10% of your daily calories—it can feel like you're finally in the groove. That is until a friend or spouse asks you if you want to go out for dinner. Then, the panic sets in: What will I eat? Will I annoy everyone? Is keeping keto even possible at a restaurant?
First, take a breath: It's tough, but it's totally doable to do keto while you're dining out. "It is a common misconception that one cannot adhere to the ketogenic lifestyle if he or she is a frequent restaurant-goer," Aimee Aristotelous, RD, tells Health. You just have to be a little more mindful of your choice—and that means educating yourself on the hidden carbs on all restaurant menus, and go-to substitutions for carb-heavy ingredients.
First things first: Try to sub as many starches as you possibly can. "Always substitute green vegetables or salad in place of pasta, potatoes, and rice side dishes," says Aristotelous—that goes for subbing lettuce wraps for burger buns, too. It's also wise to add avocado or other healthy fats to any meal as much as possible. "For your extra healthy fat content, avocado tastes great on almost anything and many restaurants have it on hand to add to your meal," she says.
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You definitely need to be aware of the secret places carbs are hiding in your meals, too. Most restaurant sauces, glazes, and salad dressings, for example, are loaded with sugar, says Naomi Whittel, author of the upcoming book High Fiber Keto. She suggests asking for dishes to be served plain or with the dressing on the side. "You can always order olive oil to use instead," she says. Breading is something else to avoid if you're watching your carb intake, says Whittel; your best bet is sticking to foods that are sautéed, roasted, or grilled.
Lastly (and possibly most importantly): Do your homework before you step into a restaurant. "Not only can you check out the ingredients in your desired dish, 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 impulse decisions or poor choices when you're hungry.
Still, a little daunted as the thought of eating out on keto? No problem: Here, 14 keto-friendly restaurants—and a sample of a keto-compliant meal from each—to get you started.
1. True Food Kitchen
Keto-Friendly Pick: Seasonal Ingredient Salad with Grass-Fed Beef
Per serving: 750 calories, 48g fat, 59g carbs, 31g protein
2. P. F. Chang’s
Keto-Friendly Pick: The Asian Caesar Salad with Croutons with Salmon
Keto-Friendly Pick: Custom Omelet with Cheese and Avocado
Per serving: 465 calories, 4g carbs, 27g protein
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Keto-Friendly Pick: BurgerFi’s “Green Style” Cheeseburger
Per serving: 425 calories, 29g fat, 4g net carbs, 37g protein
5. In-N-Out Burger
Keto-Friendly Choice: Cheeseburger with Onion Protein Style
Per serving: 330 calories, 25g fat, 11g carbs, 18g protein
6. Chipotle Mexican Grill
Keto-Friendly Choice: Keto Salad Bowl
Per serving: 550 calories, 42g fat, 15g carbs, 32g protein
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Keto-Friendly Choice: Chicken and Bacon Ranch Chopped Salad
Per serving: 460 calories, 32g fat, 15g carbs, 32g protein
8. Panera Bread
Keto-Friendly Choice: Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken
Per serving: 550 calories, 32g fat, 25g carbs, 43g protein
Keto-Friendly Choice: Build Your Own Smashburger
Per serving: Nutrition info will vary.
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10. Bonefish Grill
Keto-Friendly Choice: Atlantic Salmon with Lemon Butter and House Side Salad
Per serving (Atlantic Salmon): 430 calories, 25g fat, 0g carbs, 50g protein
Per serving (Lemon Butter): 60 calories, 6g fat, 2g carbs, 0g protein
Per serving (House Side Salad): 240 calories, 19g fat, 13g carbs, 6g protein
11. Yard House
Keto-Friendly Choice: Shrimp Zoodle Bowl
Per serving: 470 calories, 31g fat, 19g carbs, 28g protein
12. Outback Steakhouse
Keto-Friendly Choice: Filet (6oz) and Grilled Lobster Tail + Steamed
Per serving (Filet and Lobster): 660 calories, 42g fat, 2g carbs, 66g protein
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13. Olive Garden
Keto-Friendly Choice: Chicken Margherita + Parmesan Crusted Zucchini
Per serving (Chicken Margherita): 550 calories 29g fat, 12g carbs, 63g protein
Per serving (Parmesan Crusted Zucchini): 80 calories, 5g fat, 1g carbs, 3g protein
14. Seasons 52
Keto-Friendly Choice: Grilled Shrimp and Avocado Cocktail (appetizer) + Steak Salad
Per serving (Grilled Shrimp and Avocado): 220 calories, 12g fat, 7g carbs, 22g protein
Per serving (Steak Salad): 580 calories, 12g fat, 15g carbs, 39g protein
Per serving: 650 calories, 46g fat, 20g carbs, 37g protein