Keto Restaurant Guide: Eat Out Worry-Free with 3 Simple Tips

​The Keto Restaurant Guide
How To Eat Out & Stay Within ​The Lifestyle

Keto Restaurant Guide

Want to enjoy a meal out but still stay keto? Any restaurant can be a keto restaurant if you know what to order and what to avoid. This guide contains:

  • ​Tips for ordering keto-friendly restaurant meals
  • ​Which foods to avoid so you can create a quick guide yourself (great for travelers and choosing restaurants in a pinch)
  • ​Suggestions on what to order at restaurants

This keto diet restaurant guide contains tips and strategies to help you enjoy your favorite restaurants without cheating on your diet.

dining utensils

Eating out on a low-carb diet isn’t hard. The hard part is resisting all of those delicious foods that you can’t have until cheat day (Chicken McNuggets...).

Eating low-carb at a Mexican restaurant is basically the same as eating keto at a Japanese restaurant (just cheaper). You just need to stay low-carb or high-fat.

Let’s quickly cover some dos and don’ts.

12 Basic Tips Before Looking For Keto Restaurant Options: 

No matter which place you find yourself in, you almost always CAN EAT:

  • ​Meat (Not Breaded): Steak, chicken, duck, beef, and pork are almost always OK as long as they are non-breaded.
  • ​Seafood: Fish, crab, lobster, shrimp, anchovies, etc. are all ​safe options.
  • Veggies: Onion, broccoli, asparagus, mushrooms, tomato, spinach, and avocado are all good.
  • Salads: A safe option. Just substitute dressings for olive oil. TIP: Pepper is a great seasoning for salads. If you are really adventurous, try hot sauce.

On the flip side, you MUST NOT EAT:

  • ​Rice
  • ​Noodles
  • ​Bread (including naan)
  • ​Breaded Meats
  • ​Sugary Sauces (ketchup, BBQ, etc.)
  • ​Tortillas
  • ​Root Veggies (potatoes, yams, etc.)
  • ​​​​​​​​Sweet/Starchy Veggies (corn, peas.)

3 Tips for Eating Out on Keto:
It's Not All About The Restaurants

We’ve found the following 3 tips to be the most successful in letting us go out to eat without cheating ​your hard-earned diet:

1. Avoid Temptation

People respond to choices. If the Chicken McNuggets are staring you in the face, you’ll most likely give in and indulge. If you don’t set foot in a McDonald’s, you won’t have this problem. Here are two ways that have proven to work for us:

  • Eat at Keto-Friendly Restaurants: Simple as that. Google “keto restaurants near me.” If you live in the Big Apple, try “keto restaurants NYC.” If you need a safe bet, stick to steakhouses, seafood spots, Mediterranean places, and a select few Italian joints (no pizza). Avoid fast food and carb-heavy restaurants.
  • Plan in Advance: Going somewhere you know will tempt you? Plan your order. Look on Yelp or check the menu on their site. If you know, you won’t be able to resist what’s on the menu either don’t go or prepare to change your cheat day.
eating temptation fast foods

​2. Eat Before You Go

Having a snack before you go will help you avoid overindulging. It will especially cut back on that ravenous empty-stomach temptation that usually does us all in.

Now you’ll be able to eat your burger without the bun and not worry about being hungry.

3. Question Everything

Don’t be afraid to ask. Everything that comes with your dish isn’t normally included on the menu. A few questions to keep in mind are: 

woman choosing on waht to eat
  • ​Is this breaded?
  • ​Does this come with sauce?
  • ​What are my side options (stick to salad or veggies is possible)
  • ​Can I switch my side for anything (a soup?)
  • ​Can the chef hold the dressing?

​​​​​Don’t worry about being annoying. It’s your food, and you deserve to get what you want if you’re paying.

Our Keto Restaurant Favorites
(Where to Go and What to Order)

We put together this quick keto diet restaurant guide to meals by cuisine so you don’t struggle to choose. Let’s start with our favorite:

1. Thai Food

Spicy, tasty, and full of rice and noodles, too much pad Thai will pad the waste. It’s hard but stay away from rice and any noodle (including wheat). Be sure to inquire what they make the sauce with. Stick to:

  • ​Coconut Curries (red or green)
  • ​Meat Dishes - chicken, Thai duck, basil chicken/beef/pork (ga pao), stir-fries
  • ​Soups - tom Yum, tom kha (coconut soup)
  • ​Some Thai Salads (no dressing)
thai foods

​​​​2. Mexican 

​Low carb at Mexican restaurants is surprisingly easy. Just avoid rice and ditch the tacos and tortillas (eat what’s inside instead).

  • ​Burrito Bowls
  • ​Guacamole
  • ​Ceviche
  • ​Carne Asada
  • ​Chili Verde
  • ​Grilled Seafood
  • ​Queso
  • ​Fajitas Without Tortillas (tell the server to not even bring them)
  • ​Salads
mexican specialty

​​​​​​​​​3. ​​​​Japanese

Every sushi restaurant is a keto sushi restaurant. Just avoid rice. Sounds difficult, but it isn’t.

  • ​Nigiri Sushi (do not eat the rice!)
  • ​Sashimi
  • ​Miso Soup
  • ​Sushi Rolls Without Rice (ask them to substitute cucumber)
  • ​Seaweed Salad With Avocado (be sure to ask about soy sauce and ginger)
japanese cuisine

​​​​​4. BBQ

Keto BBQ restaurants are a bit harder to come by. You’re going to have to get creative and have a lot of self-discipline. ORDER YOUR SAUCE ON THE SIDE.

  • ​Dry-Rubbed Ribs
  • ​Brisket
  • ​Smoked Turkey
  • ​Veggie-Only Sides

​​​​5. Indian

You have to be very vigilant at Indian restaurants. Even though their food can be incredibly healthy, most restaurants sugar their keto recipes to death. Ask about ingredients and try to eat the sauce portion sparingly. Say no to naan.

  • ​Tandoori (chicken, beef, or seafood)
  • Tikka
  • ​Chicken Korma
indian food

​​​6. Mediterranean (Lebanese, Greek, Turkish)

Is there anything better than coming home late from a night out and getting a kebab? Thankfully, this is one of the best options when you’re on a diet. Let's be honest; these are also the most delicious late night snacks among the rest. Just remember to check their keto recipes and eat the meat only. Also get your sauce on the side. No couscous or other starchy foods.

  • ​Kebab
  • ​Gyro
  • ​Grilled Seafood
  • ​Any Grilled Meat
  • ​Salads
Mediterranean meal

7. ​​​​​Italian

Pizza, pasta, and mouthwatering bread straight from a coal-fired oven? Bellissima. Too bad you have to skip it!

But that doesn't mean you can’t go at all. Just check before to make sure there’s something you can eat. Remember to stick to meat and salads and avoid, well, literally everything else. In our opinion, you should try to avoid going to most Italian joints at all times.

  • ​Veal
  • ​Chicken
  • ​Eggplant Lasagna
  • ​Steak
  • ​Seafood
  • ​Veggies
  • ​Clams
italian snacks

​​​​​​​Of course, make sure they aren’t breaded.

8. Pubs and Sports Bars

Almost every pub will have something for you. As long as you toss the bun, you should be good.

  • ​Burgers (no bun, no sauce)
  • ​Grilled Anything (chicken, chops, fish)
  • ​Steaks (Veggie sides)
  • ​Soups
grilled steak with veggie side dishes

​​​​9. Spanish Restaurants

Heading out to a Tapas bar for some wine? Here’s what to eat with it:

  • ​Gambas al Ajillo - garlic shrimp
  • ​Chorizo
  • ​Veggies (especially olives)
  • ​Anchovies
  • ​Beef Stews
  • ​Most Meats
spanish specialty

Just because you’re on the lifestyle doesn’t mean you are doomed to staying home while everyone enjoys a night out. Use this keto friendly restaurant guide to stay in ketosis no matter where you go to eat without compromising your goals to lose weight.

About the Author

Ryan is a personal trainer, athlete, health enthusiast, and entrepreneur. He is researching and expanding his knowledge about the ketogenic diet. He spends most of his time writing content about his new learnings of the ketogenic diet and shares it on Ketogenic Supplement Reviews. You can find me on: Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.