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Top Fast-Food Restaurants that are Keto-Friendly

A keto diet is one of the most popular diets if you want to lose weight fast, and be able to see the results quickly. But following a keto diet is by no means easy. Especially if you live a busy and stress-filled lifestyle.

man ordering keto food at a fast food restaurant

If your lifestyle is like this, then you might find yourself struggling to keep on track with your diet, especially if you prepare all your meals yourself. 

Likewise, you could simply find yourself growing bored with having to prepare your meals, bored with eating the same food day in and day out, and bored with missing out on the delicious fast food that your friends are enjoying. 

But what if we told you that you can still enjoy fast food? As long as you choose your meals carefully, of course.

There are actually quite a few different fast food restaurants that offer keto fast food options on their main menu. So, if you want to find out where you can get these, keep on reading. 

In-N-Out

Up first, we have In-n-Out.

in n out protein style burgers with lettuce buns

In-n-Out is one of the best fast food joints to visit if you are following a low carb meal plan, and that is because ordering keto-friendly food at In-n-Out is simple.

In other restaurants, you will have to go through the individual ingredients of a meal, and ask for all the ingredients which aren’t suitable for keto to be removed. 

But, if you are visiting In-n-Out, you simply have to order any item on the menu “protein-style”. This is a common order at the restaurant even though it’s technically a part of their secret menu, and the restaurant will modify your meal accordingly.

Protein style will include replacing the bun with a lettuce wrap, and removing any ingredients that aren’t suitable for this diet. So, In-n-Out is one of the best places to visit if you are eating low carb. 


Chipotle

Another great fast food joint to make a trip to when you are following keto is Chipotle.

chipotle bowl

Chipotle is a great choice because you design your own meal, so you can simply not order any menu items that aren’t suitable for your diet. 

On a low carb diet, a burrito will not be suitable because it is a carbohydrate. But, the burrito bowl is perfectly fine for a keto-diet because this option skips the carb exterior.

Pack your burrito bowl with proteins and greens, and you are guaranteed to enjoy it. One of the hardest parts when you are following a diet is giving up control, but at Chipotle you don’t need to do this, which is why it’s such a great place to visit. 

Chipotle also offers cauliflower rice in some locations, for even fewer carbs and extra vegetables.


Jack in the Box

If you want to get yourself a good burger, then look no further than Jack in the Box.

Of course, you won’t be able to have a bun with your burger if you are following a keto-diet, but Jack in the Box has found a way around this. This way is bunless burgers. 

Jack in the Box has a vast menu when it comes to burgers, so this means that you have a wide range of options to choose from. Whether you want a chicken burger, a hamburger, or a breakfast sandwich,

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Jack in the Box offers a huge range of bunless burgers, and that is why they are such a great place to visit. So, if you fancy a burger that won’t damage your keto-diet, head on down to Jack in the Box. 


Popeye’s

Unfortunately for Popeye’s lovers, fried chicken and biscuits are not included in the ketogenic diet.

popeyes blackened chicken tenders

Luckily, Popeye’s blackened chicken tenders are a great keto fast food option, and they’re spectacularly seasoned.

You can still get a tasty chicken fix with these chicken tenders, or with the blackened chicken sandwich, minus the bun.


Burger King

Alternatively, if you aren’t a big fan of the burgers at Jack in the Box, then you can get a variety of keto-friendly burgers down at Burger King.

Of course, to order these burgers, you will need to modify existing options, and a lot of the time, this means removing the best bits. 

One of the best burgers to make keto-friendly at Burger King is their classic ‘Whopper’. Thankfully, the Whopper is full of enough flavor that this doesn’t get lost when you order it without its best bits.

By the best bits, we clearly mean the bun and the tomato sauce. When you remove this, something special is lost from the Whopper, but it still makes an excellent treat if you want to switch up your low carb diet. 

You could also order the grilled chicken club salad for a keto friendly meal from BK.


Panera

Despite the “Bread” in Panera Bread, this chain actually does have great low carb options.

Panera Bread Retail Location. Panera is a Chain of Fast Casual Restaurants

At Panera, there’s a number of salads you can order that are keto, or would be with minor substitutions. I love their Green Goddess Salad with Chicken, or the Greek salad.

You can also try some of Panera’s sandwiches and remove the bread. Their ham, egg, and cheese sandwich without the bread, or their grilled chicken sandwich both have enough heft without the bread to hold up as a good keto meal.

Some of Panera’s soups are also keto, depending on which are available based on the season.


Taco Bell 

Another place which is outstanding if you are following a low carb diet is Taco Bell.

Taco Bell specializes in options, and because of this, it is incredibly easy to modify your order to suit your low carb diet. A lot of their menu options also do not require much modification to make them low carb and keto approved. 

If you want a delicious keto meal from Taco Bell, you should opt for the veggie power menu bowl.

This bowl meal can be easily modified to remove the rice (which isn’t keto-friendly) with lettuce and guacamole to make it healthier and better suited to your low carb diet.

The veggie power menu bowl is a great choice because it is full of flavor, and it tastes so good that you will forget that you are even following a keto lifestyle. That’s what fast food is for, right?

Taco Bell also has a keto-friendly naked taco, where a fried egg serves as the shell instead of a tortilla. This is a cheap Taco Bell breakfast that’s also keto!


Wendy’s 

Wendy’s is also the perfect place to visit if you are on keto or eating low carb.

This restaurant is great because they offer food that is specifically designed for those on a keto diet. This includes a range of keto salads at Wendy’s, but by far the best item on their menu that is suitable for this diet is the Baconator. 

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The Baconator is a firm favorite among fans of Wendy’s, and it is an excellent choice if you are following a keto diet too. You will have to remove the bun and the ketchup from this burger, but with these out of the way, you still have access to the best ingredients in the burger.

With 6 strips of bacon and a yummy cheeseburger, this option will taste so good that you will forget all about the missing bun and ketchup. So, if you are visiting Wendy’s, and are on a keto diet, the Baconator is the item to order. I also recommend the spicy chicken salad!


Five Guys

Speaking of burgers, Five Guys is another great place to visit if you are on a keto diet.

Just like Chipotle, Five Guys allows you to design your own meal. So, you can simply design a burger that doesn’t contain any carbohydrates to make a keto-friendly burger. 

While Five Guys does not offer a carbohydrate-free alternative to the bun, they do deliver burgers that are ordered without a bun in a tray. This makes eating your bun-free burger a lot easier.

You can simply order your burger, add whatever keto-friendly toppings that you want on top, then get stuck in with a knife and fork and enjoy! 


McDonald’s 

There are lots of items at McDonald’s which are keto-friendly, you simply have to make the modifications yourself.

Just like Burger King and Jack in the Box, you can easily adapt your meal to ensure that it suits your diet. 

On the main menu at McDonald’s, the majority of the keto-friendly options do consist of cheeseburgers. But, there are chicken sandwiches which can be modified to be keto-friendly too. As well as this, the majority of the breakfast options can be made keto-friendly by removing the bun.

So, while McDonald’s might not be the best choice for those on a keto diet, there are actually quite a few options to choose from. But, most of them will include removing the bun from your meal. 

Keto dieters can also try for a keto McDonald’s breakfast by removing the muffin from an egg McMuffin or the bread from any other sandwich.


KFC

If you are in the mood for chicken, then you have probably considered heading on down to KFC.

A lot of the chicken on the menu at KFC is breaded, and these options will not be keto-friendly. But, thankfully, KFC offers another type of chicken which is. 

If you are on a keto diet, and you visit KFC, then you should avoid all the breaded chicken options, and instead choose the Kentucky grilled chicken.

A lot of people don’t speak about this option, and that is simply because the fried chicken at KFC is so good. But, if you still want the flavor of KFC, without messing up your diet, this is the best option to order. 


Arby’s

Even though Arby’s specializes in sandwiches, they are still a great place to visit if you are on a keto diet, and that’s because they are all pretty healthy. 

Of course, the bun that houses the sandwich will not be keto friendly, but almost all the fillings inside are. So, as long as you order your sandwich without the bun, this will be a low carb meal.

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This might come as a surprise to a lot of people, because you might have immediately assumed that a sandwich shop will not be keto-friendly. But as we have said, with a few small modifications, this meal will be suitable for you if you are on a keto diet. 


Chick-fil-A

Some of Chick-fil-A’s menu, including breaded and fried nuggets and french fries, are not a good example of keto fast food.

chick-fil-a grilled chicken sandwich

The grilled nuggets work, however, and their grilled chicken sandwich is an excellent keto fast food option, sans the bun.

You could also get Chick-fil-A’s cobb salad with grilled chicken – a great healthy meal option. I prefer the grilled chicken sandwich, and I ask for extra lettuce to substitute the bun.


Starbucks

Starbucks has a solid food menu, and they have keto options as well as the usual coffee shop baked goods.

copycat starbucks egg bites

I love the sous vide egg bites at Starbucks, and they make a solid keto fast food option, but they do add some starch to the mix. They are still low enough on carbs to fit in the keto diet, but they’re not perfect.

You can learn how to recreate the egg bites yourself and make them keto if you love them as much as I do.

Some of Starbucks sandwiches can be ordered without the bread for a good keto meal as well.

Starbucks also has keto snacks like string cheese, bags of almonds and other nuts, and pre-packaged meat and cheese platters you could snack on. They also offer an egg and cheese protein box that’s full of protein for a low carb dieter.


Carl’s Jr

Another burger joint that you can find some low carb options at is Carl’s Jr.

I love Carl’s Jr for breakfast, and they have some truly loaded breakfast sandwiches so it’s still filling without the bread. Their Monster Biscuit, sans biscuit, is a great choice.

As far as burgers, their double cheeseburger without the bun is a great low carb choice. Carl’s Jr uses grass-fed beef, which is preferred by the keto diet.

Another great burger to order without a bun is their Guacamole Bacon Thickburger, which comes with bacon and guacamole for plenty of healthy fat. You won’t even miss the bun!



What Makes Fast Food Keto-Friendly?

Before you head out for some keto friendly fast food, let’s take a look at what makes fast food keto-friendly. That is simple, for food to be considered keto-friendly, it has to be low in carbs and high in protein and fat.

assortment of keto friendly foods

The majority of diets focus on you eating a balanced diet, but a keto diet is not a normal diet. A keto diet recognizes that eating too many carbs is not good for you, and so this food category is limited.

A lot of people think that fats and proteins are bad for you, but this isn’t necessarily the case. It is all about planning your diet carefully, and a low carb diet is definitely planned with care. 

Most of the time, eating a low carb diet in a fast food restaurant will include modifying the regular meals that they have on offer.

This is because a lot of fast food meals are heavy in carbs, and as we have said, this is something that is limited in a keto diet. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best restaurants to visit if you are on a keto diet. 


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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

Follow him on LinkedIn, Instagram, Quora, Google Guide and Facebook.