Navigating Restaurant Menus on Keto, Paleo, and Carnivore Diets

Your Ultimate Guide

square brown wooden table and chairs
square brown wooden table and chairs


Dining out can be a culinary adventure, but when you're committed to a Keto, Paleo, or Carnivore lifestyle, it can also be a minefield. This guide aims to arm you with strategies to enjoy your restaurant experience without compromising your dietary integrity.

Do Your Homework

Before you step out, research the restaurant's menu online. Many places now offer gluten-free or low-carb options and are willing to customize dishes to meet dietary needs.

Open Communication is Key

Always communicate openly with the restaurant staff about your dietary restrictions. Most establishments are more than willing to accommodate special requests.

Keto-Friendly Choices

  • Appetizers: Go for stuffed avocados, shrimp cocktail, or a cheese platter.

  • Main Course: Grilled meats and fish are your best bet. Ask for a side of steamed vegetables or a salad instead of fries or rice.

  • Modifications: Order a cheeseburger without the bun, or a Caesar salad without croutons.

Paleo-Friendly Choices

  • Appetizers: Opt for a vegetable platter, a fruit bowl, or a simple salad without dairy or legumes.

  • Main Course: Grilled or baked meats and fish are excellent. Request sauces on the side and opt for fresh fruit as a side.

  • Modifications: Get a stir-fry without the sauce, or fajitas without the tortillas.

Carnivore-Friendly Choices

  • Appetizers: Beef tartare, sashimi, or a simple meat platter are great starters.

  • Main Course: Steak, grilled fish, or rotisserie chicken are ideal. Specify that you don't want any plant-based sides.

  • Modifications: Order a steak salad but ask for only the steak, or a seafood platter without the accompanying vegetables.

Beware of Hidden Carbs, Sugars, and Seed Oils

  • Sauces and Dressings: Many contain hidden sugars and seed oils. Always ask for these on the side and inquire about the ingredients.

  • Sides: Stick to fresh fruit or simple salads instead of starchy or breaded items.

Alcohol and Beverages

If you choose to drink, go for dry wines or spirits. For non-alcoholic options, stick to water or herbal teas. Avoid diet sodas and "sugar-free" beverages, as they often contain artificial sweeteners.

Handling Social Pressure

You might face social pressure to deviate from your diet. Prepare polite responses in advance and remember that you're not obligated to eat something just because it's offered.


Dining out on a specialized diet doesn't have to be a daunting task. With a bit of preparation and savvy communication, you can enjoy a meal that's both delicious and compliant with your Keto, Paleo, or Carnivore lifestyle. So go ahead, make that reservation, and dine out in confidence!