Are you convinced that dining out and keto don’t go well together? Think again! Keto dining out is easier than you might expect. Apply these 5 simple practical tips and enjoy eating keto in restaurants!
#1 First things first: pick wisely!
The first, and most important step is to pick a restaurant that serves several types of cuisines. Dining out on keto is not going to work when you go to a restaurant that only serves 1 specific cuisine which is naturally high in carbs. Therefore, you can of course better skip a pizzeria or sushi restaurant.
Keto dining out is especially easy in one of the following restaurants:
- A bistro
- A steakhouse
- A fish restaurant
- A mediterranean restaurant
- A Greek
- A salad bar
- A buffet restaurant
If you really want to prepare yourself, check the restaurant menu beforehand to do some pre-research on what you can eat.
#2 Best dishes to choose from
After picking a restaurant, it’s time to decide on what dish you want to order. If you follow the keto food basics of eating a lot of leafy veggies, healthy fats such as real butter & olive oil, and fatty fitsh & meats, there are mostly lots of options.
Eating keto in restaurants is simple if you order one of the following dishes:
- A salad such as a salmon salad, mozzarella salad or caesar salad.
Pay attention to: dressings, croutons, starchy vegetables, and fruits. Always ask the waiter / waitress to leave out the dressing, and serve olive oil in a separate bowl.
- Fresh meat or fish with vegetables.
Pay attention to: potatoes, pasta, breads, fries, rice, starchy vegetables, and non-keto proof sauces such as ketchup, and sweet sour sauce. Ask the waiter / waitress to replace pasta / rice / bread / potatoes with vegetables, and sauce with grass fed butter or olive oil. If they don’t substitute, then order for some extra meat, fish or vegetables.
- Separate starters or several small dishes. Why not order several starters, and try different dishes? In some restaurants it’s way easier to pick keto-friendly starters compared to main dishes.
Pay attention to: breads, sauces, and croutons. Some starters come automatically with one of these ingredients, so ask your waiter / waitress about this.
#3 Add extra healthy fats & veggies
When you found your perfect keto-friendly dish, make sure to ask for some extra fats, and veggies! Extra olive oil, butter, and leafy vegetables make your dish even more keto proof.
#4 Be careful with sauces, and additional ingredients
I can’t mention this enough. Lots of sauces, and condiments contain hidden sugars or additives. Therefore, always ask the waiter about the ingredients of the meal / dish you want to order, and with what kind of sauce the dish comes. You will be surprised how quick carbs can add up, if you eat sauces that are pre-made.
Of course there are also keto proof sauces! These sauces / condiments are the best keto friendly options, especially when homemade:
- Homemade mayonnaise
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Hot sauce
- Apple cider vinegar
- (Herbed) butters
- Cheese sauce
- Cream cheese
- Sour cream
#5 Non-alcoholic keto drinks, and keto alcohol
Dining out is not complete without a nice drink of course. Unfortunately, most drinks on the menu will not be keto proof. The best non-alcoholic keto drinks, are: (sparkling) water, and tea. If you feel like drinking alcohol, try to stick to one glass of dry wine or a glass of a clear spirit such as vodka with sparkling water, a gin tonic (do check which tonic they serve, some tonics contain way more carbs than others), a shot of rum, tequila or whiskey. Cheers!
Do you feel like eating a dessert? Order a cheese platter! Nothing more keto than that 🙂 Another option would be a cappuccino with unsweetened almond milk, and a piece of extra dark chocolate.
The most important tip: enjoy your keto dinner!
Dining out should be about having fun, being relaxed, and enjoying good foods with good company. Therefore, the most important thing is to fully enjoy your experience. We all know you have the best intentions, and are trying the best you can. Sometimes making a ‘mistake’ is not even your own fault, when a dish was not clearly presented on the menu for example.
Be gentle with yourself. Let go of mistakes, and learn from them. We’re all a work in progress, and finding your keto lifestyle is all about trial & error.
What are your tips / recommendations on dining out on keto?
How do you succeed in keto dining out? What are your best tips? Or maybe you have great recommendations on keto friendly restaurants in places in The Netherlands or in other places / countries? Leave your comment! 🙂
Looking for tips on how to travel keto friendly?
Do you have a trip coming up? Stay keto by following these 5 practical tips!