Whole30 Restaurants: Where to Eat, What to Order

A guide to help you eat out during your Whole30! These are the Whole30 Approved Restaurants, their compliant menu options, what other restaurants are Whole30 and Paleo friendly, and what you can order at major restaurants all across the US. Yes, you can even eat Whole30 fast food (although your options are limited).

You know I love to create Whole30 recipes, but sometimes, I just need to eat out. I used to panic at the thought of eating at a restaurant on Whole30 because oh my goodness WHAT DO I ORDER!? But now, I just take a deep breath and make a plan.

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An empty restaurant with brick walls and wooden tables.

Eating Out

Of course, eating out at restaurants 100% of the time isn’t ideal, but you can’t always predict exactly what you’ll need to do during your Whole30. You might have long days of travel, work, social events, or just a day when you’re too busy or too tired to cook.

And eating out, even eating fast food or at other restaurants, can be Paleo friendly and Whole30 compliant. There are even Whole30 Approved restaurants now that take all the guess work out of it for us!

You might be wondering what exactly you can eat at different restaurants while you’re on Whole30. Here is a list of things you can order while you’re out and about!

And don’t be discouraged — The lists of compliant menu items at some restaurants might not be ideal, but if you’re out and need something to eat that’s Whole30 compliant, stay focused on your why, eat what you can eat, and move forward.

*Now remember, restaurants do make changes and can do things differently from location to location, so you’ll need to always double check on your own.

17 Whole30 Compliant / Paleo Friendly Restaurants, from Best to Worst

Okay, so here it is! The best and the worst of Whole30 approved and compliant restaurants and fast food joints, plus what you can order at each one!

Collage showing the dishes available at Zoes Kitchen with the Whole30 Approved logo.

1: Zoe’s Kitchen *Whole30 Approved*

Zoe’s is Whole30 Approved restaurant, meaning you can just go in and order a ready-to-go Whole30 compliant meal, no questions asked! And they’ve got a massive list of Whole30 compliant menu items below. What you can order:

  • Main Dishes: Chicken Kabobs, Shrimp Kabobs, Salmon Kabobs, Mediterranean Chicken, Moroccan Citrus Roasted Chicken (no turmeric rice), Cauliflower Rice Bowl (no feta or greek tzatziki) Greek Salad (no feta, cucumbers instead of pita).
  • Side Dishes: Roasted Vegetables, Fresh Fruit, Potato Salad
  • Sauces: Zoe’s Dressing, Israeli Skhug, Italian Salsa Verde, Moroccan Harissa
A graphic showing the ingredients in the Whole30 Approved Salad Bowl at Chipotle.

2: Chipotle *Whole30 Approved*

Chipotle is another awesome option that’s officially Whole30 Approved. They recently introduced Carne Asada and Chicken as compliant options in addition to the carnitas (they’ve been compliant for years!), so it’s exciting to have three protein options. What you can order:

  • Whole30 Salad Bowl (one touch on the app or online).
  • If you’re in person, order: Salad Bowl with romaine lettuce, carnitas, chicken, or carne asada, fajita veggies, tomato salsa (and/or tomatillo red salsa and tomatillo green salsa), and guacamole.

If you want to recreate it at home, you can always make my Chipotle Copycat Barbacoa recipe!

Note about Whole30 Approved Restaurants: There are other Whole30 Approved restaurants, but only a handful, and they’re mostly in large cities and only available regionally. You can check out the full Whole30 Approved list.

Cheesecake Factory, #3 best restaurant to eat at on Whole30.

3: Cheesecake Factory

For a restaurant named after what’s probably the least Paleo and Whole30 friendly food in the world, the Cheesecake Factory has several really decent OPTIONS for a full, delicious, compliant meal! Always double check with your server or call ahead to be sure accommodations can be made. What you can order:

  • Skinnylicious Grilled Salmon with no mayo and a side of vegetables
  • Skinnylicious Hamburger with no bun and no mayo, served with a side salad and olive oil and vinegar.
  • Grilled Branzino with mediterranean vegetables. Just ask that they’ll only use compliant oil during cooking.
In N Out Burger logo, the #4 ranked restaurant to eat at on Whole30.

4: In N Out Burger

A solid, delicious option for when you’re traveling or need to eat out for other reasons. It’s surprisingly simple to get a complete Paleo friendly/Whole30 compliant meal at In N Out Burger. What you can order:

  • Double meat, protein style, no sauce, add mustard, pickles, grilled onions, and no cheese.
Red Lobster logo

5: Red Lobster

Eating Whole30 at Red Lobster is surprisingly easy! Tell your server to leave the biscuits in the kitchen, and order some of their seafood! What you can order:

  • Wild Caught Snow Crab Legs but ask for no butter. You can bring your own ghee if you’d like something to dip them in.
  • Wild Caught Whitefish Dinner with a baked potato and steamed asparagus. Just confirm no butter or noncompliant oil will be used.
  • Garden Salad (no cheese or croutons + bring your own dressing).
Five Guys Logo, the #5 ranked restaurant to eat at on Whole30.

6: Five Guys

Five Guys is a fun burger chain known for their simple menu. They fry their French fries in peanut oil, so do not order the fries! That said, the burgers are an okay option for when you need to eat out. What you can order:

  • A burger or double burger patty with no bun, extra tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard, and onion. Confirm they won’t use noncompliant oil on the grill.
  • Note: The pickles are Mount Olive brand, and their mustard is French’s, which are both compliant! Just bring your own ketchup if you like that.
California Pizza Kitchen logo, the #6 ranked restaurant to eat at on Whole30.

7: California Pizza Kitchen

Here comes another restaurant named after one of the least Whole30 and Paleo friendly foods ever, but is totally delivering with some compliant options! Go figure. What you can order:

  • Cedar Plank Salmon with no succotash, and substitute steamed vegetables.
  • Fire Grilled Ribeye with no butter or wine salt, substitute oil for the dressing on the side salad. Confirm there’s no cheese or croutons added to the side salad.
Chili's Logo.

8: Chili’s

So now we’re getting into the section of the list that has some decent Whole30 compliant options also need to be specially ordered and carefully confirmed. You’ll need to call ahead to Chili’s to confirm they have another oil besides soybean oil– My local Chili’s did, but it had to be specially requested. What you can order:

  • Ribeye or Sirloin with steamed broccoli or grilled asparagus, with no marinade or butter.
  • I think you could try to special order fajitas without tortillas, rice or beans, and double check that it can be cooked in compliant oil. The guacamole and salsa were both compliant at my Chili’s!
Applebee's Logo

9: Applebee’s

I used to love Applebee’s when I was a teenager, but it’s been a long time since I’ve eaten there. As a restaurant with a huge menu, I would’ve thought there’d be more Paleo friendly options, but there weren’t too many. That said, you can still eat there! What you can order:

  • Sirloin or Ribeye dinner with a side of steamed broccoli and baked potato. Confirm they’ll only use compliant oil.
Olive Garden Logo, the #9 worst restaurant to eat at on Whole30.

10: Olive Garden

I was pleasantly surprised to see that with a few small accommodations, there are some solid Whole30 and Paleo friendly menu options at Olive Garden. What you can order:

  • Herb Grilled Salmon with NO BUTTER, and ask for the broccoli to be made without parmesan.
  • Zoodles Primavera with shrimp, no cream sauce, and oil only. Tell your server to leave the bread sticks in the kitchen. Please double and triple check ingredients at your location.
Burger King logo, the #10 best fast food restaurant to eat at on Whole30.

11: Burger King

Charbroiled burgers! The only ingredient in Burger King burger is beef, yay, so it’s Whole30 compliant. There are better options out there, but it’s definitely not the worst place in the world for Whole30 fast food. What you can order:

  • Burger patty with lettuce, onion, and tomatoes.
  • Side salad with no dressing, no cheese, and no croutons.
McDonald's logo, the #11 best fast food restaurant to eat Whole30 compliant.

12: McDonalds

I have yet to go on a road trip and not encounter at least one McDonald’s, so you can pretty much count on it as an option. Most of the menu is not compliant, but it’s nice to know their beef patties are 100% beef, which is refreshing. No additives, hurray! What you can order:

  • Beef patty with lettuce, onions, and mustard
  • Side salad with no dressing
  • Apple slices
Panera Bread logo, the #12 best restaurant to eat on Whole30.

13: Panera Bread

Panera doesn’t offer a ton of options, but when you’re living that Whole30 life, you do get used to patching together a meal with a side salad and some hard boiled eggs, if need be. That’s pretty much what you’ll need to do at Panera. What you can order:

  • Green Goddess Salad with no bacon, dressing, or pickled onions (I assume the pickled onions have sugar in them but I couldn’t get an answer on that). You can add roasted turkey!
  • Seasonal Greens Salad with no dressing, a fruit cup, and an apple. then just be sure to get plain olive oil and vinegar as your dressing.
  • Turkey Sandwich with no mayo and no bread, extra lettuce. Basically it’s just deli turkey on top of greens with some veggies and mustard (the mustard is compliant!)
  • They also have hard boiled eggs, compliant turkey, and avocado that can be ordered a la carte and added to meals.
Cracker Barrel logo.

14: Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel is one of those places that just makes me feel at home when I’m on a road trip. They’ve been absolutely wonderful making accommodations to make their meals Whole30 compliant in the past. One of the biggest things is to make sure compliant oil is used. What you can order:

  • Grilled Chicken Tenderloin dinner with no marinade with steamed vegetables.
  • Grilled Sirloin Steak with no butter, a baked potato and steamed vegetables.
  • Eggs with tomato slices and a side of fruit.
Wendy's logo

15: Wendy’s

I really like Wendy’s as a company, mostly because I love Dave Thomas– I used to love his commercials when I was a kid, and the Dave Thomas Foundation is pretty great. But for Whole30 fast food, there are only a few options. What you can order:

  • Burger Patty
  • Side salad with no dressing, no cheese, and no croutons
  • Baked potato
  • Apple bites
Round Starbucks logo

17: Starbucks

Starbucks has definitely made changes in recent years to bring more healthful options to their stores, BUT they’ve got a long way to go. Sadly, there still isn’t much that you can eat there during your Whole30. I was hopeful that maybe at least one of their salads or breakfast options would hold up, but NONE do. Not even close. But there are a few options that can tide you over or get you through a coffee date. Here’s what you can order:

  • That’s it! Fruit bars in Apple Mango and Apple Blueberry flavors. These fruit bars are made with just fruit so you’re good to go.
  • Squirrel Brand Classic Almonds. They’re dry roasted so no yuck oils included, yay!
  • Peter Rabbit Apple & Grape or Strawberry Banana squeeze purees. Yes, they’re meant for kids.. but just think of it as you would applesauce. Anybody can eat applesauce!
  • Seasonal Fruit Blend
  • A la carte fruit. My Starbucks always has bananas and apples, but I’ve also seen oranges there.
  • Avocado Spread. I honestly don’t know what you’d use this for unless you happened to have your own veggies handy, but it is compliant.
  • Eggs & Cheese Protein Box, but only eat the eggs and fruit. This seems like a stretch, but if I went to Starbucks with my kid and ordered this, it’d probably work out well. He’d be happy to eat only the cheese & peanut butter, and I’d be cool with the boiled egg and fruit.
Chick Fil A logo.

17: Chick Fil A

Okay, we’re officially at the part of the list that is way less than impressive. Chick Fil A has some so-so Whole30 options for a fast food restaurant, but not many. I still like to stop here on road trips though, because I can grab an unsweetened iced tea and my kids can burn some energy in their play place. You won’t starve, but you can definitely do better if you’re looking for a Whole30 or Paleo friendly restaurant. What you can order:

  • Apple sauce packet or a fruit cup without mandarins (they have sugar in the syrup).
  • A side salad without cheese, bell peppers, or dressing.
  • Warning: All of the chicken is made with non-compliant ingredients (even the grilled chicken and the grilled nuggets). Do not order the chicken!
Subway logo

18: Subway

I was completely grossed out to learn that Subway has ZERO compliant protein options. None. For a company that talks a whole lot about health in their marketing campaigns, they sure don’t seem too focused on whole foods. Basically all you can get:

  • A bowl of compliant vegetables you like (lettuce, tomato, onion), and unsweetened Applesauce. This might work out okay if you had a compliant meat stick or can of tuna handy.

19: PF Chang’s

PF Chang’s officially wins the award for least Whole30 and Paleo friendly. I couldn’t find one thing on the menu that can be easily adjusted! Every single protein option has soy and/or wheat included as an ingredient (WHAT?!). You can literally order nothing.

  • If you must eat at PF Chang’s, the best bet would be to call ahead to your local restaurant and see if they can accommodate you somehow. It’s possible the chicken lettuce wraps or beef and broccoli could be specially made, but I wouldn’t be too hopeful.

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Graphic with the words "Whole30 Best & Worst Restaurants" with logos for all the restaurants listed