The Best Keto-Friendly Fast-Food Options

Updated: Apr. 20, 2021

Just because you're going keto doesn't mean you have to miss out on all the fun. Check out these top keto fast-food options.

Selection of healthy food sources - healthy eating concept. Ketogenic diet concept
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Dining out on keto

As a weight-loss plan, the keto diet looks like it’s here to stay. This extremely low-carb approach to eating forces the body to turn to fat stores for fuel—a process known as ketosis. One sign that the diet has hit the mainstream is that dining chains are putting Keto-friendly options on their menus, not only giving diners multiple options to enable them to keep up with their lifestyle change. Here’s the scoop on the array of keto fast-food options the big chains are offering. From soups to salads and steaks to salmon, these meals will help keep your body in ketosis and garner you optimal results. Learn what it’s really like to follow the Keto diet.

BLOOMINGTON, MN/USA - MAY 25, 2016: Red Lobster restaurant sign and logo. Red Lobster is an American casual dining seafood restaurant chain.
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Red Lobster

This chain offers plenty of keto-based meals, such as their wood-grilled Shrimp and Sirloin, the rock lobster tail, the classic live Maine lobster, a six-ounce filet or Atlantic salmon, and snow crab legs all conform to keto standards. For sides, try fresh unseasoned broccoli, asparagus, or roasted green beans (and swap out the rice and mashed potatoes). If only those cheddar biscuits were keto-approved, though, then life would be extra good.

BOSTON, USA - OCTOBER 21, 2014 : Chipotle Mexican Grill signboard on the wall in Boston. Chipotle is a chain of American restaurants serving mexican food
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This brand is one step ahead of the pack for keto fast food—its burrito-in-a-bowl options allows you to build the perfect keto meal, exactly to your tastes. Start with some salad greens, pick your meat selection from carnitas, free-range chicken, steak, or chorizo, add veggies and your keto lunch—or dinner—is served. Pro tip: Stay away from the delicious corn salsa—it’s not keto-approved. Check out 10 healthy options available at fast food restaurants.

MOORE, OK/USA - MAY 20, 2016: Olive Garden Restaurant sign and exterior. The Olive Garden is an American casual dining restaurant chain specializing in Italian-American cuisine.
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Olive Garden

Who knew that the home of the Never-Ending Pasta Bowl could accommodate keto eaters? To stick to the plan, start with the Zuppa Toscana or the house salad with the signature Italian dressing. Follow that up with Chicken Margherita or the Salmon or Chicken Piccata or the Herb-Grilled Salmon.

Ft. Wayne - Circa August 2017: Chili's Grill & Bar Casual Dining Restaurant. Chili's is known for its Baby Back Ribs VI
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The home of the baby back rib smothers on the BBQ sauce, which is a little too sugary for keto lovers. However, the Mix & Match Fajita Trio will work just fine: It includes steak, chicken, and seared shrimp along with bell peppers, onions, guacamole, sour cream, pico, salsa, and shredded cheese, without the rice, beans, and tortillas. The Ancho Salmon on the Guiltless Menu is a delicious option paired with sides of vegetables. However, if you can’t get the barbecue flavor out of your mind (and that jingle out of your head), then opt for the Smokehouse Combo with the jalapeño-cheddar smoked sausage and the smoked brisket, and replace the sides with vegetables.

Pasadena, California, USA - November 15, 2015: The Cheesecake Factory is a distributor of cheesecakes and restaurant in the United States.

Cheesecake Factory

With so many options on the menu, this chain should be able to meet your keto needs. Starter options include the house salad with oil and vinegar as well as crispy Brussels sprouts minus the maple butter glaze. The variety of burgers and sandwiches available offer great choices your main course: Consider the Old Fashioned Burger with no bun or the Grilled Chicken and Avocado Club (hold the bread and mayo). The casual chain also has an array of steak, chicken, pork, and seafood dishes on both the regular and SkinnyLicious menu. Make sure to order them without sauces and substitute vegetables for potatoes. Check out these 11 foods that successful keto dieters never eat.

Indianapolis - Circa February 2017: Applebee's Neighborhood Grill and Bar Casual Restaurant. Applebee's is a subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. IV
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Applebee’s points to several keto-approved options on its menu, such as the Shrimp ‘N Parmesan Sirloin and the Grilled Chicken Breast. The restaurant also has a variety of soup options for those looking for something lighter—Broccoli Cheddar and New England Clam Chowder. Pair it with a salad for a full keto meal. If you’re considering combining a vegetarian diet and keto—ketotarian—here are 10 things you need to know.

Indianapolis - Circa October 2016: Outback Steakhouse Restaurant Location. Outback offers an Australian themed experience III
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Outback Steakhouse

This will be one of the easier restaurants to stick to your keto guns: For starters, the Kookaburra Wings are Keto-friendly (as is the side salad with oil and vinegar, of course). Most of the steaks on the menu will be fine—just ask your server about the sauces and swap out any starchy sides for steamed vegetables or a blue cheese wedge salad. King crab, lobster tails, burgers with no bun, and the Pork Porterhouse are also good options.

CHICAGO - June 1, 2017: Panera Bread restaurant exterior sign. Panera Bread is a chain of bakery-cafe fast casual restaurants in the United States and Canada.
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Panera Bread

The name alone seems to indicate a keto danger zone, but you can still navigate the menu safely. Try ordering the Cuban and Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich minus the bread—you can get it served on some leafy greens. Another good option is the Green Goddess Salad—just stick to the oil-and-vinegar dressing.

KUWAIT - DEC 8: T.G.I's Friday sign in Kuwait City. TGI Fridays is an american themed restaurant chain which is popular in arabic countries. December 8, 2014 in Kuwait, Middle East
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TGI Friday’s

The chain‘s Million Dollar Club Salad is a safe keto go-to, and you have the option of adding grilled chicken, grilled salmon or grilled steak. Choose the Green Goddess dressing or opt for oil and vinegar to avoid sugar. Additionally, the Bacon Cheeseburger served “Green Style” (salad leaves substitute for the bun) with a side salad—hold the croutons—will meet your needs. Or just order the Frank’s Red Hot Buffalo Wings, which get the keto stamp of approval. Here are 12 things that happen to your body when you’re on the keto diet.