One of the most common questions we get is what can you eat when at a food court that is keto and low carb friendly? We have done all the research for you here and found the best keto food court options in Australia. The couple of food courts we visited had quite a few different low carb options if you know where to look.
Keto in a food court
Whenever we cover a topic like this we like to set some parameters around the options that get included on this type of list;
- Ingredients – Whilst researching this list, we were looking for the best low carb and keto options. Having said that, it can be very difficult to know all of the ingredients that have been used. We haven’t considered things like vegetable oils and other possible undesirable ingredients that could be used in some of these dishes.
- Macro tracking – When eating out, tracking your macros can be much more difficult. If you are a strict tracker, a food court may not be the best option for you. If you are visiting a chain fast food location they may have the nutrition details on their website.
- Tip – Don’t be afraid to ask the server to make alterations. We have found this is usually no issue and most people are happy to please.
This list is designed to help you out when you find yourself at a shopping centre, hungry and in need of a meal.
Fast food & burgers
I will start this section with some exciting news, Hungry Jacks have just started serving low carb buns! So both Grill’d and Hungry Jacks now have a low carb bun option. Grill’d will make any of their burgers with a low carb bun. Grill’d also have an ‘LC’ label on some of their burgers, that helps you determine the lowest carb burgers they have.
Another option at most burger places now are bunless burgers. So when ordering at Macca’s or Hungry Jacks you can request to have just the inside of the burger. You can also just order a normal burger and discard the bun.
Macca’s and Hungry Jacks also serve breakfast, so you can also order the egg and sausage muffins without the muffin.
This has long been one of our favourites, especially at an airport food court. Most kebab shops are going to be happy to put a kebab on a plate or do a kebab bowl or a salad bowl with kebab meat.
Our usual order would be chicken, cheese, tomato, lettuce and one of the sauces. The best sauces to choose would be garlic sauce and/or sour cream. We occasionally will also go with some hummus.
Many old school food courts are going to have some form of carvery option. Sometimes it’s also the sandwich shop as well. We would recommend choosing your favourite carved meat and add any low carb vegetables they have available. You may even be able to make it up as a salad.
HOT TIP – Keep an eye out for pork crackling. They may have them in a cup or in a separate section.
Subway now serve a range of salads. If you check out the salads on their website, they have the nutritional info for each of the salads, so you can make a good choice. The best Subway salad options under 10g of net carbs are;
- Buffalo chicken 7.9g
- Chicken and Bacon ranch melt 6.1g
- Chicken classic 9.4g
- Chicken strips 4.8g
- Steak melt 6.6g
- Italian BLT 6g
- Leg Ham 7.4g
- Pesto chicken 7.7g
- Pizza Melt 7.3g
- Tuna and Mayo 5.2g
- Tzatziki steak and Feta 8.1g
We really loved the freshness and look of the salads at Soul Origin. They also had some great low carb options. These are the ones under 10g of net carbs for a medium serve;
- Bocconcini 3.2g
- Greek salad 9.9g
- Chicken avocado 3.7g
- Chicken chorizo 5.8g
- Grilled chicken and steamed veg 9.1g
- Tuna and avocado 6g
Sumo Salad is a great option as you can mix and match your own salad. You know what the best low carb options are here. I would go with salad greens, grilled chicken, avocado, bacon and mayo or an olive oil based dressing.
Mexican is another favourite option of ours. It has been a go-to for us many times. By far the best option is a burrito bowl. All of the above Mexican fast food places offer some form of burrito bowl or salad.
Our favourite place is Guzman y Gomez. Our regular order is mild chicken burrito bowl, no beans, no rice, extra cheese, guacamole and sour cream.
When we lived outside of Melbourne, we lived in a town that didn’t offer many take away options, but it did have a Nandos. We fell in love with Nandos during this time. Some of the items we love are the chicken tenders, the flame-grilled chickens, the halloumi sticks and the crispy bacon & avocado salad with the chicken tenders.
In our pre-keto days, we LOVED Oporto. As we loved it so much, we haven’t yet braved the keto options here. The go-to options here would be the grilled chicken tenders and the flame-grilled chickens. The chicken salad is 8.1g of carbs. Just make sure you don’t get the pulled chicken salad bowl as that has rice and corn in it.
Red rooster wouldn’t be the best choice, but you can always get a roast chicken from them as well.
Now you may be thinking, Noodle Box, really? We never saw Noodle Box as an option until recently. When we were in an airport, we saw they would do the build your own adventure with greens as a base instead of the noodles.
Roll’d is a Vietnamese fast food chain here in Australia. A member of our Facebook group let us know that you can order the Pho without the noodles, so that would be an excellent option. They also had some great salad options called Goi where you can choose the protein on top of a mixed slaw base.
Also, keep an eye out for at some sushi places as you may be able to order some sashimi or a poke salad bowl.
Most food courts have an Indian place. If they are serving any sort of tandoori meats or vegetables that would be the best option. Otherwise, you could go with a savoury curry without the rice. Chicken tikka masala or beef vindaloo would be good options.
When looking at the Chinese shop in the food court you may be able to find some lower carb options. If they have some marinated and grilled meats, such as satay sticks, this could be a good option. Alternatively, look for stir-fried meat and vegetables that are not in a sweet or thick sauce and avoid the rice and noodles.
So as you can see, there are plenty of low carb and keto-friendly choices in Australian food courts. Knowing where to find them is the key and this list will make it very easy to find the best options in your local food court. We rely on this list of options when we are travelling, as we often find ourselves in an airport food court looking for a low carb meal.
The big takeaway for me is that most places are happy to accommodate your needs, so don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
Let us know your favourite keto-friendly food court options in the comments below!
I often order an Indian chicken curry without the rice. The first time I did it, it caused some confusion with the young waitress who took the order. As I have become more confident at ordering without starchy carbs, the response has been more positive. There’s probably more people requesting it now, too.
I also think places are more used to people asked for changes to the meal.