Usually I steer clear of restaurants that have a drive-thru, but nowadays, a lot of fast food joints are offering healthier options, so if you do your homework, you can find keto fast food options that won’t derail your diet just about anywhere you go.
For anyone who has been following a low-carb diet, you may already know the tricks to cut carbs, such as removing the bun from your burger, taking away one or both pieces of bread from your sandwich, or asking for a lettuce wrap instead. Many places now make it easy to opt for a side salad in lieu of French fries. Keto lovers everywhere are rejoicing the extra bacon or extra cheese and have become accustomed to full-fat dairy and condiments.
With the growing popularity of low-carb and keto diets, it’s not surprising that a variety of restaurants have picked up on this trend and have adopted some keto-friendly menu options. The following is my list of who is on the bandwagon in terms of keto fast food or fast casual options.
Our 6 Favorite Keto Fast Food Options
1. Blaze Pizza
Although this isn’t your typical fast-food restaurant, the artisanal style pizza is served very quickly, and you can order ahead of time on their app. Yes, there is an app for just about everything. Blaze Pizza recently made headlines in Business Insider for adopting a keto-friendly menu, which includes a cauliflower crust, as well as a more traditional style crust with 6 grams of net carbs, swapping flour for ingredients like flaxseeds, eggs, and cheese.
Their signature keto pizza includes a keto crust, spicy red sauce, mozzarella, ovalini mozzarella, bacon, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach. But you can always create your own from their wide variety of ingredients.
Everybody loves Chipotle, and why wouldn’t they? You can walk through the glass-cased buffet and tell the person behind the counter exactly what to throw into your customized burrito, including a delicious variety of meats and salsas. When it comes to Chipole keto options, you can omit the tortilla, rice, and beans and have everything served in a bowl or salad to stay within your macros.
I love healthy options like this because you can customize your burrito bowl with double of anything—double protein, double cheese, double guac. I have put together the following caloric breakdown for those of you who are looking to put together your own keto-friendly burrito bowl:
- Steak – 0 g Net Carbs; 6 g Fat
- Chicken – 0 g Net Carbs; 7 g Fat
- Carnitas – 0 g Net Carbs; 12 g Fat
- Barbacoa – 1 g Net Carbs; 7 g Fat
- Fajita Peppers – 4 g Net Carbs
- Romaine Lettuce – 1 g Net Carbs
- Queso – 3.5 g Net Carbs; 8 g Fat
- Sour Cream – 2 g Net Carbs; 9 g Fat
- Cheese – 1 g Net Carbs; 8 g Fat
Salsas and Guacamole
- Fresh Tomato Salsa – 3 g Net Carbs
- Tomato Red-Chili Salsa – 3 g Net Carbs
- Guacamole – 2 g Net Carbs; 22 g Fat
3. Jimmy Johns
Jimmy Johns is a franchise that knows how to appease their customers. They have coined the term “Unwich®” to create any of their popular sandwiches in a giant iceberg lettuce leaf as opposed to bread (making Jimmy Johns a great keto fast food option). And keto lovers rejoice! You can get a giant kosher pickle without getting kicked out of ketosis.
There unfortunately aren’t too many “food” items at Starbucks, and what they do have is generally carb-heavy. If you are looking for the best option to go with your favorite cup-o-joe, you should give the bacon and gruyere egg bites a try. I have tried all their egg bites, and these are not only the tastiest ones, they are also the most keto Starbucks option. I have even been working on my own homemade version and am pretty darn close to replicating them.
In terms of beverages, my suggestion is to steer clear of the syrups and creamers, and don’t let names like “skinny” fool you into thinking the beverage is low carb or even keto. Follow a few of my simple rules to make your beverage keto-friendly.
I am pretty fond of the blonde roast, which I drink “black”… or would that be “blonde”? You get the point.
If you can’t take your coffee and/or tea black, order it with heavy cream or half & half. Options like soy milk, coconut milk, whole milk, nonfat milk, and 2% milk are all going to tip you over the top in the carb department. These options add roughly 10 – 20 grams of carbs per serving as opposed to less than 5 grams with heavy cream or half & half.
Also ask for no whipped cream, which will add unnecessary carbs. I know it seems like a fancy topping and adds creaminess to your drink, but trust me on this.
If you need something with a little more get up and go, try the Americano, which you can get either hot and cold. Starbucks also offers espresso shots, which get the job done well.
The original customizable sandwich. One may not think of a meal including a foot-long loaf of bread as being keto fast food friendly, but once you ditch the vehicle transporting the meats and cheeses, it’s smooth sailing.
Subway has caught on that if they want to stay in the game, they must have “healthier options”. So, Subway has created chopped salads to avoid dishing out “just toppings” to their keto customers.
The following are the keto-friendly Subway chopped salads and their macros:
- Black Forest Ham – 120 calories, 13 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g fat
- Oven Roasted Chicken – 130 calories, 12 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2.5 g fat
- Roast Beef – 140 calories – 12 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3.5 g fat
- Rotisserie-Style Chicken – 170 calories, 11 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 5 g fat
- Subway Club – 140 calories, 12 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g fat
- Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (includes Sweet Onion) – 220 calories, 32 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g fat
- Turkey Breast – 110 calories, 12 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 2 g fat
- Veggie Delite – 60 calories, 11 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 1 g fat
- Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt (includes Ranch) – 460 calories, 15 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 32 g fat
- Cold Cut Combo – 180 calories, 13 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 10 g fat
- Italian B.M.T. – 240 calories, 13 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 15 g fat
- Meatball Marinara – 300 calories, 25 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 17 g fat
- Spicy Italian – 310 calories, 13 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 23 g fat
- Steak & Cheese – 210 calories, 15 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 9 g fat
- Tuna – 310 calories, 11 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 24 g fat
Wendy’s has always been one of my keto fast food go-tos, especially now with the invention of the Baconator®, which is half a pound of beef, cheese, and six slices of bacon (eaten without the bun of course). If you are questioning if that was a typo, it was not. There truly are six delicious slices of bacon on this thing. The Baconator® without bun truly makes Wendy’s keto fast food heaven.
If burgers aren’t really your thing, then you can always opt for one of their chicken sandwiches sans bun, or try one of their figure-friendly salads.
Other Keto Fast Food Options
McDonalds, Arby’s, and Chick Fil-A can all omit the bun and add extra cheese and/or bacon as well. And speaking of keto Chick-Fil A options, they have an avocado ranch dressing that is out of this world!
Just because your favorite restaurant isn’t listed as a top contender doesn’t mean it doesn’t have favorable options. Let me know where your favorite keto-friendly restaurant is and what you like to order in the comments below.