Eating Out On Keto [Without Going Crazy]

  • Author: admin
  • Date: August 21, 2023
  • Time to Read: 18 min.
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Eating out on a keto diet can be tricky. With so many tempting options, it can be difficult to stay on track and stick to your low-carb lifestyle. But don’t worry – with a few simple tips and tricks, you can enjoy eating out without going crazy. From choosing the right restaurant to ordering the right dishes, this guide will help you make smart choices when dining out on a keto diet.

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Top Tips for Eating Out on a Keto Diet

Eating out while on a keto diet can be tricky, especially if you’re dating, but with careful planning it is possible.

Restaurants are becoming more aware of the keto diet and some even offer menu options specifically catered to it.

A well-rounded ketogenic diet should consist mainly of whole, nutritious foods, with plenty of nonstarchy veggies and some fruits.

The Basics

It’s important to understand the basics of this diet in order to make sure you are getting the most out of it.

One of the main components of the keto diet is reducing sugar intake, so it’s important to swap high sugar sauces for high fat condiments such as mayonnaise or olive oil.

Full fat salad dressings can also be used, but be sure to check the sugar content first.

Don’t miss out on tasty low-carb options while doing keto – explore this comprehensive list of keto-approved salads

For quick snacks when out, opt for whole foods like boiled eggs, olives, avocado, cheese, and nuts.

When looking for keto-friendly restaurants it’s essential to do some research first. Google or Yelp are good sources to check out restaurant ratings and menus.

Look for places that offer big salads, steak, and even better if they specifically offer keto options.

Plan ahead

Planning ahead is essential for those on a keto or low carb diet. Before heading to a restaurant, it’s important to take the time to research the menu online and find options that fit your dietary needs.

Most restaurants now have their menus available online, making it easier than ever to plan ahead.

Searching the menu for keto-friendly options can help you identify dishes that are likely to be sugar-free and delicious. 

If you are unsure and don’t want to ask what ingredients they use, you can always contact the restaurant first to check their ingredients.

Also, by planning ahead like this you can stop yourself from making poor decisions when you are under pressure to decide.

With careful ordering, you can customize the dish so it is perfect for your keto or low carb regimen.

For example, if you’re looking for a salad, make sure to ask about dressings and toppings that may contain hidden sugars or carbs.

If you’re ordering an entree, ask if they can prepare it without certain ingredients like breading or sauces that could add unwanted carbs.

Planning ahead will ensure that you don’t end up with an unappetizing meal or one that doesn’t fit your macros.

Check out our guide to eating out at Thai restaurants, whilst staying keto.

Avoid Carbohydrates / Sugar

When ordering meals without starchy sides, it’s important to ask the waiter to get the chef to prepare the meal without it, or discard it in the trash before it is served to you.

You can also substitute salads or extra veggies instead of starchy sides. If necessary, explain dietary restrictions but always trust your judgment about a dish over pressure from dinner companions.

Starch is a complex carb that plants use as their energy storage so eliminating it completely from your diet can help you reach your keto goals faster.

When in doubt about a food item’s carbohydrate content or sugar content it is best to skip it altogether.

It can be hard to stick to the keto diet but with careful planning and preparation, it is possible to maintain a healthy lifestyle while still enjoying delicious meals.

You may be surprised that you can even eat keto at a Chinese restaurant with a few savvy choices.

Add healthy fats

Adding healthy fat to your meals can be a great way to increase the nutritional value of what you eat.

Healthy fats are essential for proper bodily function and can help keep you feeling full longer.

One way to add healthy fat to restaurant meals is by asking for extra butter and melting it on veggies or meat. I love asking for extra butter to go with my steak, this is my food heaven.

You can also ask for extra butter when having veggies as a side dish, or enjoy steak by dipping it in sour cream for added healthy fat.

Olive oil and vinegar dressing is another great option, as you can drizzle the oil liberally on salads and your meal.

High-fat dressings and heavy cream in coffee are also excellent options if you’re looking to add more healthy fat into your diet. With these simple tips, adding healthy fat to your meals doesn’t have to be difficult!

If you’re having coffee or tea, ask for heavy cream instead of milk or sugar-filled creamer to increase the fat content.

Mexican can be a great option if you are eating out on keto.

Beware of sauces and condiments

When it comes to sauces and condiments, it is important to keep an eye on what you are consuming.

Many sauces and condiments contain a high amount of fat or carbs, which can quickly add up and derail your diet.

It is important to ask about the ingredients in sauces before consuming them, as some may contain sugar, flour or other starchy thickeners that can significantly increase the carb content.

Requesting sauces on the side is also a great way to control how much is added to your meal.

It is also beneficial to research restaurants before leaving home so you know which sauces are low carb and keto-friendly.

Opt for condiments like mustard and mayo, but make sure it is yellow mustard and not sweet mustard.

Ketchup and barbecue sauce should be avoided as they are typically high in sugar.

There is nothing to stop you from sneaking in your own low carb ones.

By being aware of the ingredients in sauces and condiments, you can ensure that you stay on track with your diet goals while still enjoying flavorful meals.

This is also something to bare in mind if you are going to take sauces with you when you’re camping.

Watch What You Drink

When choosing drinks, it is important to be mindful of the ingredients and their nutritional content.

Water, sparkling water, tea, and coffee are all excellent options for those looking to stay hydrated without adding any unnecessary calories or sugar.

Low-carb alcoholic beverages such as champagne, dry wine, light beer, and spirits can also be enjoyed in moderation.

For more information on low-carb and keto alcohol options, refer to our guides.

It is important to note that sugar-free drinks may still contain carbs in the form of non keto friendly sugars.

Coffeehouse chains like Starbucks offer non-nutritive sweeteners, nut milks, and sugar-free syrups to customize drinks so that you can enjoy a delicious beverage without compromising your health goals.

Dessert [ooch]

Rethinking dessert can be a great way to make healthier choices and still enjoy something sweet.

Instead of reaching for the traditional sugary treats, try having a cup of coffee or tea instead. If it’s late in the evening, opt for decaf coffee or herbal tea to avoid any caffeine-related issues.

For those who are looking for something more substantial than just a beverage, consider a cheese plate with some fresh fruit or berries with heavy cream as an alternative to traditional desserts.

Frozen yogurt may be an option too, just check for added sugars.

When dining out, you can also choose to opt out of dessert altogether.

You could even prepare a homemade keto-friendly dessert at home that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth without all the added sugar and calories. Rethinking dessert is an easy

Get creative

When it comes to dining out, sometimes the menu just doesn’t have what you’re looking for.

In these cases, don’t be afraid to get creative and ask the restaurant to customize a meal for you.

If nothing on the menu appeals to you, consider ordering two or three appetizers as an alternative to a full entree.

You can also create a cheese board for a delicious keto-friendly dessert. Berries in heavy cream or dark chocolate make for a sweet treat that won’t break your diet. 

Getting creative when it comes to dining out can be fun and rewarding! Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want – customers should get the meal they desire, and some chefs will enjoy the challenge of keeping the customer happy.

With some creativity and imagination, you can create meals that are both delicious and nutritious. Whether it’s customizing an entree or creating something unique from appetizers, there are plenty of ways

Eating Keto At A Buffet/All You Can Eat

Buffet restaurants offer a great way to enjoy a variety of dishes without having to commit to one particular dish.

With the wide selection of food available, it is possible to find low carb and keto options that are both healthy and enjoyable.

When eating at a buffet restaurant, it is important to remember not to eat for the sake of getting your money’s worth.

Instead, focus on enjoying the food you are eating and making sure it fits into your dietary needs.

In addition to buffet restaurants, fast-food restaurants can also provide low carb and keto options.

This means that grabbing lunch or dinner quickly can still be done in a healthy way. It is important to remember that you are in charge of your own eating habits, so choose wisely when deciding what foods will fit into your diet plan.

Be Strict

It is important to set rules before leaving the table in order to maintain a healthy diet.

By setting rules for yourself before you leave the table, you are being deliberate and intentional about your food choices.

This will help you stay on track with your diet goals and ensure that you are making the best decisions for your health.

Focus on fats, vegetables, and protein

Focusing on healthy fats, vegetables, and protein is key to maintaining a balanced diet. 

Salad bars are an excellent choice for those looking for low carb options. Carving stations offer meats such as turkey, chicken, pork, and beef, that can be paired with fresh vegetables and healthy fats like olive oil or butter.

Eating at a carvery is always one of my go-to places as it makes eating keto simple.

Seafood spreads provide a variety of fish and shellfish that are high in protein and low in carbs.

Vegetable platters are also a great way to get your daily servings of veggies without the added sugar or carbs found in other dishes.

Speak To Your Host

When ordering food, it is important to ask questions of your host. This will ensure that you are getting the meal that best fits your dietary needs and preferences.

For instance, if you are following a ketogenic diet, it is important to ask if the mayonnaise is sugar-free or if croutons come with a salad. Asking these questions can help you stay in ketosis and avoid any unwanted surprises when your meal arrives.

It can be intimidating to ask questions of your host, but it is important to remember that they are there to help you have the best dining experience possible.

Most hosts will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about the menu items or ingredients used in preparation.

Don’t be afraid to speak up and make sure that your meal meets all of your dietary requirements and preferences.

Don’t Feel Pressured

It is important to remember that striving for perfection on the keto diet is not realistic and can be detrimental to health goals.

Perfectionism can lead to feelings of guilt and frustration when mistakes are made, which can ultimately lead to giving up on the diet altogether.

By allowing yourself some flexibility in your diet, you will be able to enjoy life more while still achieving your health goals.

It is important to remember that no one is perfect and that it is okay to make mistakes.

If you find yourself straying too far from your keto goals, take a step back and reassess what you need to do differently in order to get back on track. 

Bring Your Own Dish

Bringing your own dish to a meal (obviously at a friend’s and not a restaurant) is a great way to ensure that you can stay on track with your low carb diet.

By calling ahead and arranging to bring a keto-friendly dish, you can make sure that there will be something for you to eat at the meal.

Your host or hostess will also appreciate the contribution, as it takes some of the burdens off them in terms of providing food for everyone.

See our guide on dealing with friends and family who may not support your keto goals if you worry this may be an issue.


We’ve looked at some top tips for eating out, now let’s look at specific places you may choose to eat, and how to make good, keto friendly choices. 

Delis, sub shops and bakery cafés

Delis, sub shops, and bakery cafés are great places to find low carb meals.

A Chef’s salad or Chicken Caesar salad with low carb toppings such as chicken, ham, shrimp, cheese, hard boiled eggs, olives, and avocado is a great option.

Be sure to avoid dressings that may contain sugar such as raspberry or balsamic vinaigrette, poppy seed, French or honey mustard.

Accompany your meal with coffee or tea and add fat with whipping cream or butter.

Burger or chicken joint

When it comes to choosing between a burger or chicken joint, there are plenty of options.

For those looking for a healthier option, opting for a burger with a lettuce wrap instead of the bun is an excellent choice.

Load up on toppings like bacon, cheese, lettuce, tomato, avocado, and sprouts to make it even more nutritious.

Fast-food chicken grilled instead of breaded fried is also a great alternative and can be enjoyed with a salad or sandwich (ditch the bun) and veggie sides.

To keep things low-carb, avoid ketchup, barbecue sauce, and higher-carb veggies like baked beans and corn.


Mexican food is a great option for those looking to enjoy a low-carb meal.

Instead of ordering a burrito with beans and rice, opt for a burrito bowl with meat, cheese, guacamole, sour cream, and salsa instead. Again, food heaven for me.

Keto bowls are also available at some Mexican restaurants with lettuce as the base instead of beans and rice.

Fajitas, carne asada, chili verde, and chicken mole are all good low carb options if you skip the tortillas and ask for extra cheese, sour cream or guacamole.


Asian cuisine is a popular choice for many diners, but it can be difficult to navigate the menu and make healthy choices.

When ordering at Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese restaurants, it is important to proceed with caution.

Opt for dishes made with brown sauce or stir-fries/curries with meat, seafood, and low carb vegetables.

Ask for coconut oil, butter, or other fats to add to your meal.

Consider crispy duck (without sweet sauce) or chop suey (without thickeners in the sauce).

Pho is a Vietnamese dish that typically consists of a protein (such as rare beef) and no noodles.

Accompaniments such as sprouts, jalapeño, and fresh basil are often served with Pho.

Some restaurants may offer vegetables instead of noodles as an alternative. By following these tips when ordering Asian food, you can enjoy delicious meals without compromising on nutrition.


Pizza is a beloved food around the world, but it can be difficult to enjoy on a low-carb diet.

The crust is usually the highest source of carbs in pizza, so look for a crust less option or ask if your pizza can be made without it. I have even heard of stores making the base out of cheese for customers (I haven’t found one yet!)

You can also double up on toppings and use a knife and fork to avoid eating most of the crust.

If you’re looking for more creative options, try making pizza at home with cauliflower crust, Fat Head pizza, or egg and cheese pizza.

Most Keto-Friendly Chains In America

Researching restaurants with keto-friendly options is a good way to stay on track. Subway salads, McDonald’s bunless burgers, and Jimmy Johns subs served as salads are all great choices.

Burger Fuel lettuce burgers or In-n-Out burgers served protein style are also excellent options. Wendy’s low-carb burger requires no substitutions and Chipotle burrito bowls without the rice and beans plus Buffalo Wild Wings buffalo wings (without added sauces) are also good choices.

When in doubt, order a dish with non-starchy veggies, protein, and healthy fats for a satisfying meal that won’t derail your diet goals.


Applebee’s is a great option for those following the keto diet. Their grilled chicken breast and fire-grilled veggies meal contains 15.5 g fat, 6 g net carbs, and 41 g protein, making it an ideal choice for those looking to stay within their macros.

To add even more healthy fats to the meal, order a side of guacamole. Other dishes such as the cobb salad which is a standout dish.

Bunless burgers are available so you can still enjoy your favorite meal without all the carbs. 

Ruby Tuesday

Ruby Tuesday is a great choice for those following a keto diet. The menu offers a variety of dishes that are low in carbs and rely on herbs and spices instead of breaded or fried ingredients.

For example, the New Orleans Seafood Platter is made with grilled shrimp, scallops, and fish served over sautéed vegetables.

The Asiago Bacon Chicken is another delicious option that features grilled chicken breast topped with bacon, asiago cheese, and tomatoes.

Even the higher-carb options like the Hickory Bourbon Chicken can fit into a keto diet.

The restaurant also offers an array of salads that can be customized to fit your dietary needs.

You can choose from various proteins such as grilled chicken or steak, then add fresh vegetables like spinach or tomatoes for extra flavor and nutrition.

With so many delicious options available, Ruby Tuesday makes it easy to stay on track with your keto diet while still enjoying flavorful meals.

Shake Shack

Shake Shack is a popular burger chain located in the Northeastern United States and other locations around the country. #

They offer a keto-friendly option of their ShackBurger on a lettuce wrap. The ShackBurger comes with lettuce, tomato, and ShackSauce, adding an additional 12 g of fat.

 Shake Shack also offers salads and bunless hot dogs as keto options for those looking to stay within their dietary restrictions.

If you’re looking for a delicious meal that won’t break your diet plan, Shake Shack is definitely worth checking out. #

Their keto-friendly options are tasty and satisfying while still being low in carbs and high in protein.


Smashburger is a fast-casual burger restaurant that offers keto-friendly bunless options.

The Smoked Bacon Brisket Burger (sans bun) is a delicious option, featuring brisket, smoked aged cheddar cheese, bacon, and pickles.

Double Bacon Smash Burgers and veggie sides are also available for a low-carb meal.

Smoothie King

Smoothie King has recently released a Keto Champ Smoothie that is perfect for those following a keto diet.

This smoothie comes in three delicious flavors: Berry, Coffee, and Chocolate. 

The quality ingredients used to make the smoothies make them a great takeout option for those who are looking to stay on track with their keto diet.


Starbucks is a popular coffee shop that has recently started offering Keto-friendly snacks and drinks. The Creminelli Sopressata Monterey Jack snack tray is a great option for those following the keto diet, as it contains zero net carbs and provides 15g of protein.

However, it is high in fat with 17g per serving, so make sure to get in some veggies elsewhere during the day.

In addition to snacks, Starbucks also offers a variety of keto-friendly drinks. Popular options include the Keto Frappucino, Keto Pink Drink, Keto Friendly Mocha, and Keto Chai Tea Latte.

All of these drinks can be made low carb by using sugar free syrups or almond milk instead of regular milk. For more information on how to make these drinks low carb, read our full post on keto at Starbucks.


Subway is a great option for those looking to eat a keto-friendly meal. With the ability to customize almost any sandwich into a chopped salad, Subway makes it easy to stay on track with your diet.

To make sure your meal is low in carbs, avoid toppings with sweet sauces and instead add more fat with cheese, guacamole, or low carb dressings. 

If you’re looking for an easy way to stick to your keto diet while eating out, Subway can be a great option. 

Steak ‘n Shake

Steak ‘n Shake offers customizable high-protein steakburgers, grilled chicken salads, and sausage, egg n’ cheese breakfast bowls that are all low in carbs.

However, their shakes are off-limits as they contain too much sugar. To make sure your meal is truly keto-friendly, skip the rice and ask for extra veggies such as mushrooms, zucchini, and onion. Additionally, avoid the orange (“yum yum”) sauce as it contains too many carbs; instead opt for brown ginger sauce or use a little soy sauce.

Be aware that the ginger dressing on the salad has 2 grams of carbs per tablespoon so you may want to avoid it altogether. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy a delicious meal at Steak ‘n Shake without guilt!

Taco Bell

Taco Bell is a great place to go for low carb options. They offer meals such as the Mini Skillet Bowl, Fiesta Taco Salad with Chicken, and Power Menu Bowl that are all keto-friendly. To make these meals even healthier, ask for no shell and in a bowl instead, and customize by adding healthy fats like guacamole. 

Another great option at Taco Bell is the burrito bowl. This meal is packed with delicious ingredients like guacamole, spiced meat, sour cream, grilled onions, bell peppers and cilantro.

It’s also super filling and provides plenty of protein and anti-inflammatory spices. Mexican restaurants offer a variety of burrito bowl options for customers to enjoy so you can always find something new to try!

Texas Roadhouse

Texas Roadhouse is a popular steakhouse chain that offers quality steaks, chicken, and seafood at reasonable prices.

For those following a low carb diet, there are plenty of options available. The herb crusted chicken is an excellent choice.

Another great option is the portobello mushroom chicken.

Texas Roadhouse also provides detailed nutritional information on their website to make ordering easier.

TGI Fridays

TGI Fridays is a great place to go for low-carb meals. The “green style” cheeseburger is a great option, with only 7 g net carbs.

The Million Dollar Cobb Salad With Grilled Chicken is another good choice.

Ranch dressing is the best choice for dressings, as it has only 2 g of net carbs – avoid the balsamic vinaigrette which has 11 g of net carbs.

To make the burger even healthier, you can add healthy fats like avocado and olive oil. Other low-carb options include Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken, Million Dollar Cobb Salad with Grilled Chicken (lunch portion), and wings. 

True Food Kitchen

True Food Kitchen is a restaurant chain that caters to those following a keto diet. They offer a dedicated menu with seasonal produce, as well as add-ons like olive oil, lemon ricotta, cheese, avocado, and pesto to increase the healthy fat content.

Start your meal off with Charred Cauliflower or Roasted Brussel Sprouts topped with kale salad dressing. Entrée options include Poke Bowl, Grilled Chicken Parmesan, Grilled Salmon, and Spaghetti Squash Casserole.

The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory is a popular restaurant chain known for its delicious cheesecakes and other menu items.

Unfortunately, these desserts are high in fat and sugar, making them unsuitable for those on the keto diet. However, there are still plenty of options available at The Cheesecake Factory that are suitable for the keto diet. For example, Pan-Seared Branzino With Lemon Butter is a great option for those following the keto diet.

In addition to this dish, The Cheesecake Factory also offers several other low-carb options such as California Omelet. These dishes provide a tasty alternative to the traditional high-fat


For those on a keto diet, there are several options available such as Jumbo Wings with sauces like Atomic, Cajun, Original Hot, Mild, Garlic Parmesan, Lemon Pepper, and Louisiana Rub.

Yard House

Yard House is a fast-casual restaurant chain that offers an extensive menu of keto-friendly dishes. The company website provides detailed nutritional information to make ordering easier, and popular keto-friendly dishes include the Shrimp Zoodle Bowl and Cobb Salad with Salmon. With these options, you can enjoy delicious meals without compromising your diet.

Wrapping Up: Eating Out On A Keto Diet

Eating out on a keto diet doesn’t have to be difficult. With the right choices, you can enjoy delicious meals without compromising your diet. From herb-crusted chicken and portobello mushroom chicken at Texas Roadhouse to Pan-Seared Branzino with Lemon Butter at The Cheesecake Factory, there are plenty of options available for those following a low-carb lifestyle. Additionally, restaurants like True Food Kitchen and Yard House offer dedicated menus with seasonal produce and other keto-friendly dishes. With these tips in mind, you can enjoy eating out while still staying on track with your keto diet.

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