This guide is provided to you by KetoKindreds. You can eat out while living a low-carb or keto lifestyle.
One of my biggest challenges at a Mexican restaurant is to skip the chips! You can bring a small bag of pork rinds with you if you want the queso, salsa, or guacamole as an appetizer. If you don’t feel like that is an option; skip the chips, and drink the water or other low calorie/low carb beverage option to pacify you until your meal is delivered to the table. One of our favorite options on the menu have been fajitas. Skip the restaurant tortilla altogether or bring some of your own low carb tortillas for the whole Mexican dining experience.
There are other items on the menu that are sensible and Low carb such as seasoned vegetables, Huevos Con Chorizo which is eggs and Mexican chorizo, carnitas, seafood dishes (depending on how prepared) and even some salads. Ceviche is also another great option, it’s seafood that many times has been marinated in a lemon or lime sauce.
It’s a good idea to skip the rice and beans, but a nice Mexican dinner can be accomplished and is rewarding to me occasionally as this is one of my favorite ethnic food choices.
Meat and vegetable stir-fry could be a good option. Miso soup makes for a good appetizer although too much tofu is not the greatest on a low-carb diet. Pay attention to the sauce. Stay away from sweet and starchy sauces.
Sashimi is a tasty option and if you have to have sushi many Japanese restaurants or sushi houses offer sushi wrapped in cucumber instead of the traditional rice.
Season your meal to taste with wasabi and soy sauce without fear.
Get your favorite cut of protein and indulge. Many steak houses have not only beef but also have great pork and chicken options. Some steak houses even have delicious seafood such as salmon, shrimp, crab, lobster or a combination of all of the above.
Stay away from the bread baskets they set on your table. Pick a side salad or often steakhouses have asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, green beans or other delicious seasoned veggies that compliment your choice of protein. Pass on the starches such as fries, mashed or baked potatoes.
A couple appetizers I have found to be ok at some Italian restaurants include stuffed mushrooms. Pay attention to the menu and what they include in the sauce. One of my favorite sauces for stuffed mushrooms is the gorgonzola sauce. The mushrooms are stuffed with artichoke hearts & Italian cheeses & baked.
Another favorite is a delightful Caprese salad. Caprese salad is a simple Italian salad, made of sliced fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and sweet basil, seasoned with salt and olive oil.
Obviously stay away from the pasta or noodles but many Italian restaurants I’ve have been to have selections similar to the steakhouse previously discussed. Seafood to at times include shrimp scampi, Tilapia, Mahi Mahi, ahi Tuna, Flounder and salmon. Some of the sauces can be tricky. Stay away from the sweet or tangy sauces and go for a dry seasoning depending on your options or a blackened. Often times they also have a selection of lamb, pork, beef, chicken.
One of my favorite salads is the Cesar salad. Generally, there are multiple salads you can choose from or make your own by adding your protein of choice. After dinner indulge in a hot cup of java as dessert.
One Italian dish with American roots that is worth mentioning is Cioppino soup– a delicious and visually extravagant fish or seafood stew.
Eggs and bacon are a staple in our household however, don’t be afraid to try a little steak or other pork cuts for your breakfast meal. Eggs can be prepared in many ways to make your dining a pleasure. Add vegetables and meat to your eggs for a delicious omelet. A small bowel of cottage cheese topped with a few berries isn’t taboo.
Stay away from the breads Biscuits, pancakes, waffles and toast.
Tip IHOP has been known to put pancake batter in their omelets in the past. You think you are doing well by eating an omelet and unknowingly you consumed about 30 grams of carbs. Just ask questions of the server if you aren’t sure.
This is a favorite choice of mine on a low carb dining day. All of the following are good choices: fish, oysters, clams, mussels, crab, lobster, eel, salmon, scallops, shrimp, crawfish, calamari and more. A light breading is ok if your carb intake for the day is light. Just avoid heavily breaded seafood such as beer-battered fish that is normally served with chips or fries. As usual stay away from the starches such as fries, and hushpuppies.
Many times, seafood restaurants have great salad options also. You can top a salad with your favorite seafood protein.
If you haven’t, try a burger from your favorite burger joint wrapped in lettuce. You can add or top your burger with avocado, bacon, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, blue cheese, or a fried egg. Order your burger the way you want but don’t forget the ketchup, relish, sweet pickles, sweet sauces (thousand island, miracle whip) can add unwanted carbs. As usual, stay away from the fries, hash browns or other starchy menu items.
Wings are one of our low carb restaurant favorites. Ranch, blue cheese, or hot sauces are generally okay. Often times dry rubs are a safe bet, but I have also found that buffalo mild, or hot sauce are fairly low carb. Stay away from sweet sauces and heavily breaded wings. My preference is to order them “naked” or without breading.
Wine bars can offer some tasty options that are low carb friendly. An artisan cheese flight or charcuterie plate are two options. Some wine bars have full menus. Salads, and many choices of protein are possible; just be mindful of the menu and ask how the dish you desire is prepared. Have a glass of wine, just know reds are generally have a lower carb count. Don’t over indulge on wine if you are counting carbs but also don’t be afraid to reward yourself with a glass of your favorite Cabernet either. If wine isn’t in your plan, but you want to enjoy good conversation with friends; order a sparkling water instead.
Salads are an amazing choice. Dark leafy vegetables are great for you and offer nutrients needed during low-carb dining. Remember there are many things on the “healthy” salad bar that are not low carb. Croutons, fruit, candied nuts, pasta, noodles and sweet dressing will surly increase the carb count. When you get to the salad bar, pile on the leafy greens. Add some non-starchy vegetables, meats, cheese, eggs, bacon and choose your dressing wisely or sparingly. Don’t be afraid to add a little cottage cheese and a few berries for added flavor.
Convenience stores in my area have a few “Keto” snacks like Lenny and Larry’s Keto cookies. Although not my favorite, it is an option. Most stores have pork rinds in assorted flavors. The stores in my area have cheese, hot dogs, bratwurst (without buns) nuts (almonds) packaged boiled eggs, protein packs containing lunch meat, nuts, and cheese.
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