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Keto Fast Food – Best Low-Carb Fast Foods to Have in a Pinch

author avatar Dr. Eric Berg 04/26/2024

Although fast food is often linked to unhealthy eating habits, that doesn't always have to be the case. 

With more people following a Healthy Keto® lifestyle, increasingly more fast food restaurants are starting to offer nutritious low-carb options.

Here's a list of the 22 best keto fast food choices that won’t kick you out of ketosis and keep your body in fat-burning mode. 

Lettuce-wrapped cheeseburger

Can you have fast food on keto? 

Yes, you can include fast food in your keto diet, but this should only be an occasional indulgence when you're in a pinch rather than your daily meal routine.

"Many fast foods contain hidden carbs that cause blood sugar spikes and trigger inflammation," explains Dr. Berg. "They also tend to be high in unhealthy trans fats, sodium, monosodium glutamate, and artificial ingredients."

This highlights the importance of understanding the difference between Healthy Keto® and dirty keto.

Dirty keto is a low-carb diet that only focuses on macronutrients and doesn’t consider the nutritional value of foods. While this may seem appealing, dirty keto fails to promote healthy eating habits and can lead to nutrient deficiencies, hormonal imbalances, and inflammation.

On the other hand, Healthy Keto encourages the consumption of nutritious foods by focusing on non-GMO vegetables, grass-fed beef, game meat, wild-caught fish, full-fat organic dairy, and pasture-raised eggs. 

A nutritious low-carb diet like Healthy Keto is an excellent strategy to achieve your weight-loss goals and offers plenty of essential nutrients to promote a healthy body.  

Watch the video below to discover what fast food you can eat on keto. 

What Fast Food Can you Eat on Keto?

22 best fast food options

It can be hard to maintain a keto-friendly diet with a busy schedule. Luckily, more fast food restaurants offer healthier options that suit a low-carb diet.

Here are 22 of the best keto fast food choices to consider when you don't have time to cook or need a quick on-the-go meal.

1. Chipotle's keto bowl

Chipotle is a popular fast-food chain that serves customizable keto bowls.

With wholesome ingredients such as chicken, super greens, and salsa, this keto bowl contains only 7 grams of carbs and packs a whopping 40 grams of protein and 24 grams of dietary fiber.

It's also grain-free, making it a safe choice for those with dietary restrictions due to gluten sensitivity or Celiac disease. 

2. McDonald's bunless burgers

Believe it or not, you can still enjoy your favorite burger on the ketogenic diet.

Many fast food chains, including McDonald's, offer a bunless burger option to reduce the carb count.

Just skip the special sauce and opt for Dijon mustard instead, which is sugar-free and has minimal carbs that won’t kick you out of ketosis.

3. In-N-Out protein-style burger

In-N-Out is a famous fast-food chain known for its delicious burgers and not-so-secret menu.

Order your burger protein style, and they'll replace the bun with lettuce wraps. You should also leave the sauce and add avocado for an extra boost of healthy fats.

This option reduces the carb count significantly but still gives you a satisfying burger taste.

Chick-fil-A food

4. Chick-fil-A grilled chicken nuggets

Chick-fil-A's grilled nuggets are the perfect keto-friendly alternative if you're in the mood for something other than a burger.

With only one gram of carbs per eight-count order, these crispy chicken nuggets make for a protein-packed and tasty treat. But steer clear of their signature dipping sauces, as they’re packed with sugar and preservatives.

5. Subway Club® salad

If you love Subway sandwiches, you'll be happy to know that they offer the Subway Club® salad, allowing you to turn any sandwich into a salad.

Simply ask for all your favorite low-carb ingredients on top of a bed of greens, and voila, you have a nutritious keto meal!

Swap out high-carb toppings for bacon and avocado to add extra protein and healthy fats. 

6. Taco Bell power menu bowl 

Taco Bell may not be the first place that comes to mind when considering keto dishes, but fortunately, they offer a few low-carb options.

Taco Bell’s power menu bowl without beans and rice is an excellent substitute for carb-heavy burritos and tacos.

For a well-rounded meal, personalize these bowls with chicken, steak, seasoned beef, cheese, or guacamole.

With just seven grams of net carbs and 21 grams of protein per serving, it's a filling and satisfying choice for carb-conscious diners.

Wendys restaurant

7. Wendy's parmesan Caesar chicken salad

If you're not a fan of fast-food salads, Wendy's may change your mind. Their parmesan Caesar chicken salad is delicious and keto-friendly if you skip the croutons.

Containing 13 grams of carbs and 31 grams of protein, it packs plenty of nutrients that can boost your energy levels and keep you satiated.

With tasty ingredients such as grilled chicken and an Italian cheese blend, you won't feel like you're missing out on the classic Caesar salad experience.

8. Jimmy John's unwich

Jimmy John's is famous for its sandwiches, but they also offer the "Unwich," which replaces the bread with lettuce wraps.

Customize your "Unwich" by selecting from a variety of meats, cheeses, and low-carb toppings to create a keto-friendly, high-protein lunch.

Avoid the high-sugar sauces and opt for Dijon mustard or olive oil and vinegar dressing instead.

9. Hardee's bacon, egg, and cheese

When it comes to breakfast, fast food tends to be loaded with carbs and sugars.

At Hardee's, you can order a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich without the biscuit or hash browns.

This will give you all the savory flavors of an ultimate breakfast sandwich without eating unnecessary carbs that may cause a spike in your insulin levels and interfere with fat burning.

Boost your protein and fat intake by adding extra bacon to ensure you stay full and satisfied until your next meal.

IHOP restaurant

10. IHOP omelets

IHOP may be known for its fluffy pancakes, but its keto-approved omelets, such as the bacon temptation and big steak omelet, shouldn’t be missed! 

Loaded with protein and healthy fats, these omelets will satisfy you all morning. 

You can also build your own omelet and select cheese, sausages, or bacon bits to make it a protein-packed dish. 

Ordering an omelet without the sides, such as hash browns or toast, helps you stay within your carb count and won’t kick you out of ketosis.  

11. Papa John's Papa Bowls

For pizza lovers following the keto diet, Papa John's offers a mouthwatering alternative called the Papa Bowl.

This dish has all the delectable pizza toppings minus the carb-loaded crust, and you can choose from many different combinations, including grilled chicken and veggies, sausage and pepperoni, or bacon and sausage.

Remember to skip starchy additions, such as corn, to stay within your daily net carb limit.

12. Sonic hot dog 

Sonic, renowned for its drive-in-style service, offers a guilt-free indulgence if you're craving a hot dog. 

Order your hot dog without the bun and sauce and, instead, opt for flavorful toppings such as cheese, bacon, and grilled onions, creating a delicious, high-fat, and protein-rich meal.

Steer clear of sugary condiments such as ketchup and barbecue sauce to avoid unnecessary carbs and empty calories.

Panera Bread restaurant

13. Panera Bread Greek salad with grilled chicken

For a healthy lunch, try Panera Bread's Greek salad with grilled chicken.

Packed with nutrient-dense ingredients such as romaine lettuce, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, red onions, and olives, this salad is both satisfying and delicious.

With only 16 grams of carbs per serving, it won’t interfere with fat-burning, but make sure to select a low-carb dressing, such as Greek dressing or oil and vinegar, to maintain the health benefits of this dish.

14. Five Guys bunless burgers

A juicy hamburger may seem like an impossible indulgence to have while following the keto diet, but Five Guys makes it possible.

Order any of their burgers wrapped in lettuce instead of a bun and customize it with toppings such as cheese, bacon, and mushrooms.

The key is substituting high-carb condiments, such as barbeque sauce, with a carb-light hot sauce. 

15. Smashburger avocado bacon club 

Smashburger's avocado bacon club with lettuce wrap is one of the best keto-friendly fast-food dishes. 

This burger is made with double-certified Angus beef, freshly smashed avocado, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomatoes.

The combination of healthy fats and protein makes this a scrumptious meal and an ideal option for keto dieters. 

Order crispy Brussels sprouts for added fiber and nutrients to make this dish extra special.

Burger King restaurant

16. Burger King's grilled chicken sandwich and salad

Burger King may be known for its burgers, but they also offer a grilled chicken sandwich and salad that are out-of-this-world. 

The sandwich is paired with grilled chicken, lettuce, and tomatoes, and instead of the sesame bun, choose a lettuce wrap or just don’t eat the bun.

Burger King’s chicken salad is another excellent low-carb option if ordered with a balsamic dressing for fewer carbs and calories.

17. Panda Express grilled teriyaki chicken

Chinese food is a popular cuisine for takeout, but finding keto-friendly substitutes that aren’t loaded with carbs can be challenging.

Panda Express's grilled teriyaki chicken is a tasty treat that contains only eight grams of carbohydrates and 36 grams of protein per serving and makes a nutritious meal if paired with veggies such as broccoli or mixed vegetables.

However, avoid high-carb and sugary additions such as fried rice or sweet and sour sauce to make it a keto-friendly dish.

18. Dairy Queen rotisserie-style chicken bites salad bowl

For a healthier twist on fast food, Dairy Queen has a rotisserie-style chicken bite salad bowl.

This bowl includes romaine lettuce, diced tomatoes, shredded carrots, 100 percent white chicken meat, crispy bacon, and shredded cheese.

With only ten grams of carbs and 37 grams of protein, this is a great choice for a quick keto-friendly lunch or dinner.

Jack in the box restaurant

19. Jack-in-the-box southwest salad with grilled chicken

If you're on the go and need a quick bite to eat, Jack in the Box's southwest salad is the best meal to order. 

It includes mixed greens, chopped tomatoes, grilled chicken strips, carrots, and savory cheddar cheese to satisfy your taste buds.

Ditch the carb-heavy roasted corn, black beans, tortilla strips, and southwest dressing, and instead, opt for a balsamic vinaigrette dressing that's low in carbs and sugar.

20. Moe's burrito bowl

If you’re craving Mexican-inspired flavors but on a carb restriction, Moe’s burrito bowl is the perfect solution.

Choose from a variety of proteins such as sirloin steak, natural white chicken meat, adobo chicken, or ground beef, and load up on cheese, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, and salsa.

It’s possible to keep this meal under 15 grams of carbs by carefully selecting your protein and side options.

21. Pret A Manger soups and salads 

Pret A Manger is a famous chain that offers fresh and healthy options such as soups and salads.

Their seasonal menu changes often, but some staple keto-friendly dishes include tomato and feta soup, egg and spinach pot, and chicken avocado salad.

From the tomato-based soup to the protein-packed salads, you can stay within your carb limit while getting the essential nutrients your body needs.

22. Starbucks egg bites 

Starbucks is a go-to destination for many coffee lovers, but it also offers savory breakfasts for the keto dieter. 

Treat yourself to their tasty bacon and Gruyère egg bites that contain only nine grams of total carbohydrates and 19 grams of protein.

These delectable bites feature a mouthwatering blend of aged Gruyère Monterey Jack cheeses, applewood-smoked bacon, and cage-free eggs.

Pair them with a black coffee or unsweetened black tea for a complete keto-friendly meal.

Woman rejecting junk food

How to avoid fast food 

Even though there are plenty of keto-friendly fast foods, it's crucial to limit your intake to avoid processed ingredients that may cause potential health issues such as inflammation and weight gain.

Here's how to avoid takeouts and stick to your keto diet:

  • Find healthier alternatives to satisfy your cravings

  • Eat whole and unprocessed foods

  • Keep nutritious snacks on hand to avoid giving in to temptation

  • Don't wait until you're starving to find food

Another effective strategy is planning your dishes ahead of time. Meal prepping is a simple keto hack that not only lets you control what you eat but also saves time and effort during busy weekdays.

Set aside a few hours each week to prepare your meals, ensuring they match your dietary goals.

Additionally, grocery stores usually have quick and easy low-carb food selections that you can grab on the go.

Fresh produce, such as carrot sticks, celery, or broccoli paired with protein-rich hummus, makes for a delicious and nutritious snack.

Pre-made salads, rotisserie chicken, grilled chicken breast, and hard-boiled eggs are widely available and can be a convenient option when you're short on time.

These replacements provide your body with essential nutrients and reduce the chances of relying on unhealthy carryout dishes as a quick fix. 

However, it’s important to carefully read nutrition labels to check for hidden carbs that could impact fat-burning and kick you out of ketosis. 

Packaged vegetable salads

Key takeaways

Some of the top keto fast food options include Panda Express’s chicken teriyaki, Burger King's grilled chicken salad, and Papa John's "Papa bowls".

When ordering at takeout restaurants, be mindful of high-carb ingredients such as buns, sauces, and French fries, and opt for low-carb substitutes such as lettuce wraps, bacon, and cheeses instead.


1. Can I eat fast food on keto?

Yes! While takeouts may not be the healthiest choice, it’s okay to have them on occasion. 

However, it’s important to choose low-carb options to stay within your daily net carb count and keep your body in fat-burning mode. 


2. What's the best fast-food place for keto?

The best fast-food place for keto can vary depending on individual preferences, but some popular chains that offer keto-friendly options include Pret A-Manger, Five Guys, and Panera Bread.

It's important to carefully check the ingredients and nutrition information before ordering to make sure your meal fits within your dietary goals.

3. What is dirty keto?

Dirty keto is a term used for a version of the ketogenic diet that focuses solely on carb intake and disregards the nutritional value of food.

Someone following dirty keto avoids carbs but still may consume highly processed and unhealthy foods, which can lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health issues. 

4. What are lazy keto foods?

Lazy keto refers to a form of keto that restricts carbs but doesn't strictly track other macronutrients, such as fats and proteins. 

Avocados, nuts, seeds, cheese, and non-starchy vegetables are common choices for a lazy keto diet since they perfectly complement the simplified approach of mainly reducing carbs. 

5. Is KFC keto-friendly?

KFC has some keto-friendly options, such as grilled chicken and green beans. However, it's essential to be mindful of high-carb side dishes and sauces.

6. How often should you eat fast food on keto?

Eating fast food should only be considered when absolutely necessary, regardless of whether you follow a keto diet or not. It's crucial to prioritize whole and nutritious foods as the foundation of your meals to promote a healthy body. 

It's also essential to monitor portion sizes and be mindful of high-carb ingredients in takeouts, which can interfere with fat-burning and kick you out of ketosis.

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