Best Keto Options to Order at Your Favorite Chain Restaurants

Pork sausage on blue plate with side of mustard

Whether you’ve recently started the keto diet or have been doing it for years, you might find it challenging to order food when you’re out. Luckily, more and more restaurant chains are adapting their menus to include keto-friendly choices. Let’s dive into the best keto options you can order from your favorite chain restaurants! 

eating out

Just because you’re following the keto diet doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy Olive Garden anymore! Although you won’t be digging into a big plate of pasta, there are still plenty of options that work on a keto diet. Their chicken piccata could use a little extra fat but it fits within the ratio you’d be looking for. 
In the mood for seafood? When Red Lobster is calling your name, there are a few options that could work for you. You could go with salmon with a side caesar salad or perhaps try their garlic shrimp scampi with extra olive oil to get to the right ratio of protein to fat. 

Buffalo Wild Wings

Bring on wing night! While most wings are high in carbs, you have the option of getting a small portion of wings with garlic parmesan, Thai curry or hot sauce. Their chopped grilled chicken salad also has a keto-friendly ratio, making it a great choice if you’re not feeling the wings. 

The Cheesecake Factory 
When you’re really craving a night out at the Cheesecake Factory, you might have trouble finding low-carb options. Don’t fall for their “low-licious” cheesecake which is deceiving and actually has 30g of carbs! Instead, try their California Omelette and get a keto-friendly dessert elsewhere. 

Not sure what to order next time you’re at Applebee’s? Go for a sirloin steak with vegetables on the side. You can always as your server for two tablespoons of butter or olive oil on the side to up your fats!

Outback Steakhouse
You might not get your hands on their famous bloomin’ onion anytime soon but you can still enjoy any of their steak or seafood options with a side of veggies! 

Papa John’s 
Although keto-friendly pizzas are few and far between, don’t count out Papa John’s quite yet. Go for roasted wings and save your pizza craving for the day they introduce a low-carb pizza! 

Chili’s has more to offer you than their baby back ribs. Try their grilled steak fajitas, fresco salad and sunrise burgers that will hit you with the right amount of protein, carbs and fats. 

Texas Roadhouse
Texas Roadhouse has some of the best keto options you can get when it comes to chain restaurants. Their chicken, steak and seafood dishes are low carb and tasty! Their herb-crusted chicken and portobello mushroom chicken are a great place to start. 

If you live in or visit California frequently, you can’t give up In-N-Out entirely! To keep it keto-friendly, order it protein style, animal style or up the number of cheese slices you get. You can order a 2x4 for example, meaning 2 patties and 4 slices of cheese. 

Who doesn’t love having breakfast or brunch out?! If you loved going to IHOP before you started your keto journey, don’t worry. You can still enjoy their food, although you’ll need to stay away from their pancakes and waffles. One of the best keto options at IHOP are their egg white vegetable omelets. It’s packed with the healthy fats and protein that you need, without any additional carbs or sugars. 

TGI Friday’s
It wouldn’t be a trip to TGI Friday’s without chowing down on their bacon cheeseburger! Order it green style (a lettuce wrap instead of the bun) and you can have the best of both worlds. Add extra avocado on top to up the fats and you’re good to go. 

Panda Express
When Asian takeout is calling your name, you can still enjoy some options at Panda Express. The kung pao chicken, broccoli beef bowl and string bean chicken are some of the best keto options they’ve got! 

If you love Mexican food, you don’t need to give it up entirely! Chipotle might have the best keto options because their menu is extremely customizable. Try ordering one of their bowls, asking for lettuce as the base, your choice of protein, salsa, sour cream and guac. You can’t go wrong! 

With so many options to choose from at Sonic, you’ll need to go in with a game plan. Any of their sandwiches, burgers or burritos with no bun or tortilla is the way to go. Their grilled chicken sandwich is always a win in our books. 

Tips for Ordering

When it comes to cutting carbs, most restaurants have options available. You can always opt for a lettuce wrap instead of a bun, for example. Aside from the carbs, it’s important to keep tabs on your sugar intake. Sauces and condiments often have lots of sugar so keep that in mind when you’re ordering! 

You should also plan ahead of time. Check out the menu before you choose a restaurant to dine at but when in doubt, meat and veggie options are your best bet. Most mains will come with a starchy side such as fries or a baked potato but you can always substitute it for a salad or more vegetables instead. 

If you’re worried about staying in ketosis, you can always bring along  MCT oil powder that you can toss into any drink when you’re out. It contains the digestible fats you need and is easy to take with you when you’re on the go!

A Few Takeaways

While it’s great to treat yourself to eating out at your favorite restaurants every once in a while, remember that they won’t be the healthiest option. When you make your own meals at home, you know exactly what’s going into each meal. If you don’t know where to begin, check out our keto grocery list!

Eating at restaurants can also disturb your digestion if you’re eating foods you don’t typically eat at home. Taking digestive enzymes or a daily probiotic will continue to keep your gut health in check, aiding in proper digestion and avoiding stomach aches and pains. 

No one’s keto journey is perfect so allow yourself to indulge every once in a while! Keeping these tips in mind will help you navigate eating at restaurants while not blowing your diet altogether.

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