No matter how seriously you feel like taking your diet, you will want to enjoy eating out once in a while.
Even the most die-hard dieter deserves to treat themselves to a night out on the town, and all the delicacies that fine dining has to offer.
There seem to be many specialty restaurants popping up that actually cater to some of the healthiest dietary preferences. From vegan to gluten-free, there seems to be something for everyone.
Why Eating Out Is A Challenge On Keto
While many different health and wellness plans can easily be served by the burgeoning number of specialist eateries, keto seems to be a tough one to crack.
That’s because of the structure of meals on most modern menus features starchy foods quite significantly.
A lot of our favorite foods also rely on carbs and starch in order to achieve authenticity in flavor and texture.
While low carb is definitely possible, with some restaurants being complete “Banting Friendly” for example, the idea of going full keto hasn’t caught on quite yet in the restaurant world.
But just because there aren’t many restaurants with a specific push for keto, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy keto if you know where to look and which types of restaurants to look for.
What To Look For When Eating Out
So instead of trying to find a restaurant with “KETO” plastered on the front in neon letters, your best bet is to find a restaurant that does the following with its menu.
Includes menu items that are naturally or purposefully low in carbs
Limited use of processed ingredients
Includes foods that are naturally or purposefully high in healthy fats
Doesn’t require special preparation for menu items to be keto-friendly
Conversely, you will also want to keep an eye out for foods that won’t serve your keto style.
In this article, we’re going to look at some restaurant types that have an inherently keto-friendly menu as well as those you won’t find much luck with.
We hope this guide helps you figure out what to go for and what to avoid for a keto-adapted night of dining.
6 Keto-Friendly and Unfriendly Restaurant Types
1. Friendly: Seafood
Seafood menus are typically low carb, with most forms of carbs usually coming as an optional side.
Go for grilled and not fried of course, since grilled seafood doesn’t come with all the barb-loaded batter that forms that oh-so-familiar crispy coating.
Sushi can be a bit trickier due to the inclusion of rice in many instances. Try to avoid the pieces that normally come with rice and opt for sashimi for example.
2. Unfriendly: Italian
Italian cuisine is incomplete without two things, olive oil and carbs, lots and lots of carbs.
While you can opt-out of traditional pasta, pastries and pizza bases, you’ll have to do it at the expense of an authentic Italian eating experience.
3. Friendly: Steak House or Grill
Steak houses are similar to seafood restaurants in that they are inherently keto-friendly off the bat, with any carbs or starches coming as optional extras or sides.
When you order your steak, simply go for the side salad as your extra.
Avid fries, rice, bread and some roast vegetables such as potato and sweet potato.
4. Unfriendly: Vegan Restaurant
Vegan living is all the rage. It’s good for you, the environment and the wellbeing of farmed animals.
But what if you’re strictly following a keto lifestyle? That’s where the catch is because if there’s one thing a sustainable, purely plant-based diet provides is exposure to an abundance of carbs.
Many vegan menu items are based on being substitutes to meatier, eggier or more dairy-based traditional foods.
To this end, they often compensate for taste and texture with a high concentration of carbs in the form of starchy foods.
5. Friendly: Burger Joint
You might be thinking “burgers come with buns, buns are carbs!”
Well duh…but have you ever heard of the “bunless burger”?
We, it is actually possible to remove the bun from a burger and enjoy the main attraction in a keto-friendly way.
You can also opt for a salad instead of fries.
6. Unfriendly: Bakery
Well…do we really need to explain this one?
Let’s go right ahead anyway and say that a bakery is the last place you’ll be able to adapt your lifestyle to one that favors keto living.
Even if it says stuff like “gluten-free” because gluten is actually a protein. If you already know that, please respect that there are millions out there who still have no clue what gluten actually is.
Eating out on a keto plan is very possible, even if there are not many keto-specific restaurants out there.
But rest assured, these types of eateries are just around the corner.