Keto Knees and Joint Pain on Keto while Adapting to Keto

woman holding her knee in pain

Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor or medical professional of any kind, I just wanted to share an issue I had and how I fixed it for myself. 

The Problem

So this isn’t an issue that will affect everyone, but some folks will get sore joints during keto flu. It’s more likely if you’re already prone to sore joints like I am with my RSI in my hands + people with a history of gout, but there’s probably no knowing ahead of time if it will affect you specifically.

Early on in my keto journey, I could tell it was already making an impact on my energy levels and I was losing weight. Which was great. But then it wasn’t long before I started having horrible knee pain. I had a very long flight of stairs to get up to my room each day and it was extremely painful.

Recently I had gone off keto for a really long time and the issue came back. I’ve gone off and on keto quite a bit so it’s not something that happens every time with keto flu, this is actually the only time this has happened since I first started keto years ago. But I had gotten quite lazy with my diet in the past year or so with all the travel and wanting to try new foods. But this time my knees and my ankles were sore and my RSI in my hands which is normally very well managed by keto came back with a vengeance. It actually hurt worse than it did when I was OFF keto a few weeks prior. So this can cause some joint pain in general. I also feel some tightness/muscle soreness in my lower back and soreness around my kidneys. This is what tipped me off to this being potentially a uric acid issue.

Why It’s Happening 

When you’re adapting to keto your body has to shift from burning primarily carbohydrates to primarily fat. While this is what the human body generally is made for– if you’ve not been doing it already sometimes things get worse before they get better. One of the things that can happen early on is it your body can have issues with uric acid. You aren’t producing more, but when your body raises keto production ketones and uric acid may fight for excretion a bit til your body adjusts. (Or at least this is my understanding of it)

Thankfully it’s a temporary issue and the fix is fairly easy. It’s not a very common issue and likely people are just writing it off as part of the keto flu. But I was definitely getting enough electrolytes and apple cider vinegar wasn’t helping.

P.S. This isn’t the same as gout but there are some similarities. More in relevant links.

How to Fix It

Now you can definitely just wait it out and the pain will go away once your body is fully adapted. Unfortunately, this can take anywhere from 1-3 months from my reading into anecdotes of people with similar pain. It was about 2 months for me. Since I didn’t want to just struggle to walk for several months I decided to take a supplement. Again, it’s not this severe for most folks so I don’t want to scare anyone away from keto. Once I adapt keto is a vital part of how I manage the RSI joint pain in my hands.

The supplement that helped me with this increase in uric acid is Tart Cherry Extract capsules . I don’t recommend drinking the actual juice itself because it’s pretty carby– the unsweetened one I checked out was 14g of carbs in just 2 tablespoons. Which is a lot when you’re only supposed to have 20g in a day! I just bought 1 bottle and that was enough for me, once that ran out I stopped taking it and the pain didn’t come back. It made a difference very quickly for me, within a day or two. I was still sore but it was much better. I gave it to a friend of mine who was also doing keto and she said it helped her a lot too.

There are lists of foods that help lower uric acid too if you just Google it, but the capsules were more convenient. Dr. Eric Berg mentions having some lemon to help so that might be worth trying too. He also mentioned getting some electrolytes. In the book “The Salt Fix” Dr. James DiNicolantonio also mentions that salt can help with the kidneys. For me I had some Lemon Spindrift Sparkling Water with a Raw Unflavored LMNT Electrolyte Powder mixed in. 

Temporary Kidney Pain Relief: Dr. Eric Berg mentions in his video to press on the front of your stomach on the opposite side of where you feel the pain on your back. This can provide temporary pain relief until you fix the root issue.

Back Massage with Heat: I have a Zyllion Back and neck Massager with Heat that helped provide some pain relief. If you don’t have one you can also get some washcloths and warm them with hot water and lay them on your back. If you get someone to massage you be careful, too much pressure when your kidneys are already having problems can hurt–so start gentle and up the pressure.

Relevant Links – Study shows uric acid goes up temporarily but goes down after about 6 weeks.  – Diet Doctor has a good article on Uric Acid & Gout  – Dr. Ken Berry talks about how meat doesn’t cause gout – Dr. Eric Berg on Kidney Pain with keto. He also mentions some other things it could be if uric acid isn’t the problem. Oxalates is a common one. – another common reason is oxalates, this video by Loving it on keto talks about it

Starbucks Keto Menu: What to Order at Starbucks

How to Order

By far the easiest way to order is via the Starbucks phone app. You can customize your drink and save it to your favorites without having to remember it for next time. You can also see how many pumps /shots of espresso are in things. It will also tell you the nutrition information for the drinks as they normally come, so you can check the carb count. Starbucks prints things out on a label so they get your drink right far more often than some of the smaller shops. You can earn points towards free drinks. And of course, Starbucks is just about everywhere! 

Don’t get

Almond Milk or Coconut Milk – Both are sweetened.

Soy Milk – Soy isn’t great for you. Dr. Ken Berry and Dr. Anthony Jay discuss that in their talk on estrogen here.

Frappes – Sorry Frappe fans, the base for the frappes itself is made with a fair amount of sugar! And sadly, it’s also got the thickener that gives frappes that unique almost milkshake-like texture. So you can’t really blend an iced coffee to get the same experience. 

Whipped Cream – This is heavy cream + sugar. It’s gonna melt anyways a lot of the time. So just save the carbs and get heavy cream.


Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup – This is dirty keto so you may wish to avoid it. Starbucks uses sucralose as the main sweetener for its sugar-free vanilla syrup, however, it is still also bulked with maltodextrin so it’s not the best SF syrup. It’s about 1g carb per pump. This is low carb, but personally, it makes me VERY hungry, so I have trouble losing weight when I have it. Your body may be different. If you really want some, get some and maybe try using fewer pumps over time to wean off of sweet coffee. 

Stevia Packets – Seems to vary on the location. Where I am it’s erythritol, stevia, and monkfruit, which is great for keto. But some people have reported that where they are it’s bulked with dextrose and/or maltodextrin, which isn’t OK. Read the label.

Splenda Packets – Avoid these. Liquid Splenda is mostly just sucralose, but the packets are bulked with maltodextrin, which has a fairly high glycemic index(raises blood sugar in most folks). I’d opt for the vanilla syrup over this.

Bring your own sweetener – If you’re not ready to skip sweetener you could also bring your own. For a plain sweetener I’d recommend Monk Drops, it’s a small bottle and easy to keep in your purse. If you really want the full fancy coffee experience, Jordan’s Skinny syrups has a lot of great options. Their regular syrups are sweetened with sucralose, and their keto line is stevia, monkfruit, and erythritol. I’d generally recommend the keto line over their regular line, but their regular sucralose syrups are great for keto too. 

Keto Starbucks Menu

I’m putting all of these down as Venti (the large size) for ease of ordering, but you can get a tall (small) or a grande (medium).  

The idea is in bold, you say what is in “Quotes”.

Hot Coffee

Americanos are made with espresso, which is generally bolder and more bitter than drip coffee. Lighter roasts are less bitter and have more caffeine. Darker roasts are more “bold”. 

Don’t Drink Coffee Often? = “Grande Americano with Heavy Cream, Decaf. 3 Pumps of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”

For an espresso-based hot coffee =”Venti Americano” (“with Heavy Cream”)(“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”) (“Decaf/Half Decaf”)  

For a light roast drip hot coffee = “Venti Blonde Roast Coffee” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

For a medium roast drip hot coffee = “Venti Pike Place Coffee” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”) (“Decaf/Half Decaf”)  

For a dark roast drip coffee = “Venti Dark Roast Coffee” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Cold Coffee

Don’t Drink Coffee Often? = “Grande Iced Americano with Heavy Cream, Decaf. 3 Pumps of Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”

Espresso Iced Coffee = “Venti Iced Americano” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with light ice”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”) (“Decaf/Half Decaf”) 

Drip Iced Coffee = “Venti Iced Coffee” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with light ice”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”) 

Cold Brew (Higher Caffeine, lower bitterness than drip so it’s easier to get black) = “Venti Cold Brew” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Nitro Cold Brew (Smoother, least bitter, higher caffeine) = “Venti Nitro Cold Brew” (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)


{Peach Cobbler Tea} = “Venti Hot Peach Tranquility Tea with Heavy Cream, Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup, and Cinnamon Powder”

{Strawberries and Cream Iced Tea} = “Venti Iced Passion Tango Tea sweetened with sugar-free vanilla syrup. With a Splash of Heavy Cream and dried strawberries.”

{Berries and Cream Iced Tea} = “Venti Iced Passion Tango Tea sweetened with sugar-free vanilla syrup. With a Splash of Heavy cream. Scoop of dried strawberries, scoop of blackberries. “

Chai Tea = “Venti Chai Tea” (“Iced”)(“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Earl Grey Tea = “Venti Earl Grey Tea” (“Iced”)(“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Royal English Breakfast Tea = “Venti Royal English Breakfast Tea” (“Iced”) (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Emporer’s Clouds & Mist = “Venti Emporer’s Clouds and Mist Tea” (“Iced”) (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Jade Citrus Mint Brewed Tea = “Venti Jade Citrus Mint Tea” (“Iced”) (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Mint Majesty = “Venti Mint Majesty” (“Iced”) (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”)

Peach Tranquility Tea = “Venti Peach Tranquility Tea” (“Iced”) (“with Heavy Cream”) (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”) 

Tangy Fruity Iced Tea = “Venti Iced Passion Tango Tea” (“with Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup”) –this one is kinda fruity and doesn’t need sweetener as much

Bottled Teavana Sparkling Unsweetened Peach Nectarine Green Tea


Classic Almonds

Moon Cheese

String Cheese

Babybel Mini Cheese Snack

Creminelli Snack Tray – Sopressata Salami & Monterey Jack Cheese

Breakfast sandwiches with no bread. (Avoid the impossible meat, it’s unhealthy ingredients.)

Sous Vide Bites – (Bacon and Gruyere) They are still pretty carby for what they are and I would rather eat somewhere else with more filling food. Still, you can work them in if you’d like with the lowest carb option being bacon and gruyere which comes in at 9 net carbs.


Is the Low Carb Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory Keto? (aka low-licious)

Is the Low Carb Cheesecake at The Cheesecake Factory Keto?

Answer: Dirty Keto. Don’t eat the whole slice.

I emailed The Cheesecake Factory to ask them about nutrition information for their Low-Licious Cheesecake and here it is: the whole slice rings in at 20g net carbs. Whipped cream is an extra 1 net carb, and the strawberries are an extra 2 net carbs so with both toppings it’s 23 net carbs.

I think if you’re looking for a rare treat and you’re okay with less-than-perfect ingredients(in that they don’t tell us what they are), eating half of the cheesecake slice might be pretty reasonable for you.  They mention it’s sweetened with Zusto, which is “a unique and healthy combination of prebiotic and plant-based fibers (among which polydextrose, fibers from chicory and corn) and sweeteners (erythritol, isomalt and sucralose).” per the Zusto website. Seems like it’s a low glycemic/low carb sweetener, but I wouldn’t call it clean keto.

Taste wise it’s definitely one of the better lower-carb cheesecakes out there–this is the Cheesecake factory after all! The texture and taste is extremely similar to their plain regular cheesecake. I can personally tell that it’s not made with sugar, but I don’t think that alternate sweetener taste is very strong.

That said it’s not too hard to make your own cheesecake with keto ingredients so you may just want to make your own so you can enjoy more of it. I even have a microwave cheesecake recipe if you don’t want to spend too much effort on one. You can also order cheesecakes from keto bakeries such as Zambawango and have them delivered straight to your front door. Enlightened even sells keto cheesecake you can buy at the grocery store. With so many keto products on the market now I’d rather just eat something that I can read the ingredients on for dessert like Choczero or High Key Cookies.

PS– If you’re finding different information somewhere else, I think they may have changed the recipe at some point. It used to be called the Low Carb cheesecake and I think I recall the menu saying it was sweetened with Splenda in the past. Not sure so I contacted them.

The Email: (May 21st, 2021)
“Thank you very much for taking the time to contact us here at The Cheesecake Factory. We are extremely flattered to hear you are interested in the recipe for our Low-licious Cheesecake. Unfortunately, our recipes are trademarked and considered proprietary, so we are unable to share the ingredient listings or preparation techniques for requested current or retired menu items. If you have any other specific questions regarding ingredients or dietary restrictions, I would be happy to answer your questions. 

It has only 20 net carbs! We also offer it with whipped cream (1 additional net carb) and strawberries (2 additional net carbs), both sweetened with Zùsto. A slice of our Low-Licious Cheesecake has:
480 Calories, 35g of Fat, 450mg of Sodium, 6g of fiber, 5g of Sugar, and 9g of Protein.

35g total carbs – 6g dietary fiber – 9g sugar alcohol = 20 net carbs. 

**Although there is no refined sugar added, this is not considered a sugar-free or keto dessert, as there are naturally occurring sugars in the crust and the cream cheese. ”

10 Minute Guide to Keto — Quickstart guide!

Keto is about ketosis:

Keto is a way of eating. The main part of keto you need to worry about is getting into ketosis–this is done primarily by limiting carbs. When you’re in ketosis your body is primarily using fat for fuel instead of the glucose you get from eating carbs. Many studies point to this being more efficient for your body– with people reporting weight loss, more energy, and more mental clarity. To learn more about the science and benefits check out the What I’ve Learned youtube channel
There’s varying levels of strictness that people follow, and you have to figure out for yourself what works for you. I’m going to focus on the main things that have worked for me personally: Macros, Electrolytes, and Avoiding High Glycemic Index Foods.

1.) Macros

Download the Carb Manager app. Most people customize it and set the carbs to 20g/day, which is low enough to get most people into ketosis but gives you some room for more variety in your diet. You need to track EVERYTHING you eat at least at the beginning. Eventually, you’ll learn what is high carb and it’ll get easier and you may not even need the app. Premium will give you the ability to also track electrolytes, which is important but if you can’t afford it just use pencil and paper for that part.

Net Carbs are a Limit — Don’t eat more than 20g per day. This is the biggest part.

Total Carbohydrates -minus- (Fiber) -minus- (certain sugar alcohols) = Net Carbs

Read which sweeteners are OK for keto and can be subtracted on Keto Connect: (The 3 favorites are usually Erythritol, Stevia, and Monkfruit) (Maltitol is BAD)

Moderate Protein — is a Goal — You need to try to reach the amount it tells you every day. Try not to go over too much, you need to be focusing on getting fats in your diet.
Fat is a Lever — Eat to be full — You eat UP TO the amount listed, as needed to feel full. This is your primary source of energy on a keto diet, so don’t skimp! Fat is fuel! (A lot of people take the approach of not limiting fat intake the first 2 weeks though, which I do recommend.)
Calories — Some people count calories, some just go by how full they feel.

2.) Electrolytes

If you don’t get enough electrolytes within a few days you may end up with what’s known as the keto flu– feeling tired, achy, and sick. Yes they are higher than what you might find on a regular diet. You can read about that more on RuledMe if you’re interested.

A.) 200mg of Magnesium Pills every day. This is what I use but you can look into others, just be aware of absorption rates. You can get magnesium from food, but due to overfarming there tends to not be enough in the food alone.

B.) Salt your food heavily and eat lots of meat.

C.) If you want to be extra careful and make things easy you can get a drink like LMNT Drink Mix. These flavored drinks are loaded with the electrolytes you need for your day and are very useful early on while you’re getting used to keto. Just one less thing to think about.

3.) Avoid High Glycemic Index Foods

When something has a high glycemic index it simply means it has a high impact on your blood sugar. This contributes to insulin resistance and often racks up the carbs. I did eat these initially in things like Halo Top or Protein Bars with reduced sugar — but even though it fit in my carbs limit my weight loss was slow and I still felt tired. You can just google the glycemic index of foods, but the main ones I avoid are:

– Sugar/High Glycemic Index Sweeteners like Maltitol, High Fructose Sweeteners, Coconut Sugar, Agave, Honey, etc.
– Grains of all kinds: Wheat, Rice, Oats, Quinoa, most breads/cereals, etc.
– Potatoes
– Most fruits, but small amount of berries OK

4.) Optional: Weigh Yourself and Take Pictures

Pictures tell you a much clearer story on body composition, skin clarity, and inches lost. Try to find a somewhere you can always take a picture in the same place. Make sure your whole body can fit into the picture. Tie up your hair, and pick an outfit that will let you see the progress (swimsuit/swim trunks). You may also want to do a second set of photos in a less revealing outfit so it’s something you’re comfortable with posting online later. My set of poses is like this:
– Front
– Front Flexing Biceps
– Side with hands on back of head
– Back
– Back Flexing Biceps
For most people you want to weigh yourself once a week — put it on your calendar so you don’t forget! In the first week of keto you may lose more (because you’re also loosing water weight). But the scale isn’t always the best way to measure — as your body adjusts/gains muscle sometimes your weight goes up. Increased electrolytes often mean temporary bloating, increased muscle mass sometimes means an increase on the scale, sometimes you just drank more water that day. What you’re looking for is a decrease in weight over a long period of time — my chart goes up and down a LOT, but overall it’s going down.

I’ve created a Google Sheet with things you may be interested in tracking. The 2nd tab shows a chart with Weight Over Time. Feel free to add or delete columns depending on what you’re interested in tracking. Some people may find they get obsessive if they track too often, some people (myself) like to see things generally improving because it keeps them motivated. Pay attention to your thoughts and do what is right for you.

Health Tracking Spreadsheet:

What do I eat?:

There are many options of what to eat, but some favorites are: fatty cuts of meat, vegetables, cheeses, almond/coconut flour, and a small amount of berries. You’ll generally avoid things like bread, sugar, grains, potatoes, and most fruit.

Don’t feel limited, if you can think of it there’s probably a keto version of it. Including Mac&Cheese, mashed “potatoes”, pancakes, and even pizza! If you are craving something just Google “keto pizza” for example.

Main suggestions:
1.) Create a board on Pinterest for Keto — start pinning anything that looks good. Put your meal ideas into Carb Manager BEFORE you eat.
2.) Look at Keto Grocery Haul videos
3.) Google Free Keto Meal Plan. There’s many options.4.) If you run into problems or have questions, google it! You’re not alone! The keto reddit is a fantastic resource.
Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, I am just sharing some info about how I eat. There’s no one diet for everyone so you need to keep your medical history in mind.

San Francisco / Bay Area Keto Restaurants


Visting San Francisco or the Bay Area in California? Looking for something delicious and keto? You’re in the right place! If you’re visiting the city and don’t have easy transport most of these restaurants will deliver so you can stay on track. Know of some other keto places? Share the keto love and let us all know in the comments!

Aura Tea and Coffee

Location: 121 Spear St Suite B05, San Francisco, CA 94105

The Bay Area is known for having loads of tea shops and there’s finally an option for keto folks with Aura Tea. They have sugar-free tea (including keto boba!) and boast all of their drinks being 5g net carbs or less. Their drinks are made with PureCane (a blend of erythritol and sugarcane fiber) to keep them low carb. Keto Boba pearls are made with agar agar and fruit jelly. Just be sure to opt for their almond milk instead of oat milk.

They also have a large case of different keto pastries, I recently had the chocolate bunt cake and it was a great dessert.

The location is very close to the Ferry Building in downtown SF so it’s a great stop for tourists. You can get a lettuce wrapped burger from Super Duper Burger or Gott’s Roadside and head here for dessert, it’s all pretty close together.

Healthyish Republic

Location: 2990 24th St San Francisco, CA 94110

Healthyish republic has a fairly large keto menu as part of their offerings with things like zoodles, korean bowls, and burrito bowls as well as desserts and keto drinks. They even have some keto options for brunch on weekends.

Note: I found their sweets to be VERY sweet, so just a heads up to people who have been on keto a long time it may be too much for you. 

Some of the Menu:

  • Keto Creamy Garlic Shrimp Alfredo Zoodle Bowl
  • Keto Korean Ground Beef Bowl
  • Keto Bun Egg and Beef Sausage sandwich
  • Keto Bun Burger

Misfits Bakery

Location: 2706 Middlefield Road Palo Alto, CA 94306

With a focus on keto and paleo baking misfits bakery brings real bread back into the life of keto folks. They’ve got you covered for crusty baguettes, bagels, and soft pillowy hot dog buns. Their primary sweetener is coconut sugar, which can be low carb in small amounts. This is my all-time favorite bakery largely because they nail the texture of the bread. A lot of keto bakeries will end up giving you very cakey bread with no crust. Not the case here. 

They do now have the ability to go inside and sit down to eat, check their site for the hours and check their Instagram if it’s a holiday. However, as of this writing, the walk-up menu is limited. If you want something specific, order ahead. (Currently, 1 day ahead is all that’s needed)

Bonus: Every so often they offer up special limited-time items (usually Fridays or around holidays)

Some of the Menu:

  • Donuts. Proper fried donuts that aren’t the cakey kind you’re probably used to on keto. Just note not all flavors are keto. 
  • Bagels with a proper crust.
  • Cinnamon Rolls
  • Hamburger Buns
  • Hotdog buns (reminds me of the texture of Hawaiian bread)
  • Pizza
  • Burritos

Kodiak Keto Cafe

Location:  Concord, CA

This cafe and market is loaded with keto goodies. They offer far more than the usual cafe options with flavors like peppermint mocha freeze, pink tea lattes, and matcha. For their drinks, you can also pick your sweetener, which is amazing for people like me who are sensitive to certain ones (Stevia, Monkfruit, Erythritol).  They carry baked goods from two low-carb bakeries and have many keto treats in the market if you’re looking to try something new. They also serve protein bowls if you’re looking for a more filling lunch. Owned by a couple that is on keto themselves these folks know firsthand what it is our crowd wants. Be sure to check the actual order page for the full options.

Some of the Menu:

  • Teas, Coffees, espresso, freezes with your choice of sweetener
  • Keto Chili
  • Keto Chicken Cordon Bleau bowl
  • Keto Jalapeno Chicken bowl
  • Keto bakery items like cookies and cakes
  • Keto Market of various keto goods


Location: San Francisco & Oakland

This paleo restaurant offers multiple keto options without any of the junk. Build your own bowl with cauliflower rice and your choice of protein and vegetables. We like to get cauliflower rice, grilled chicken, broccoli, and ginger ponzu sauce. They also carry some keto cookies and chocolate for dessert.


Location: Palo Alto & San Carlos

  • Keto Chocolate Gelato made with almond and coconut milk, heavy cream and sweetened with xylitol
  • Keto Chocolate Peanut Butter Gelato

Curry Up Now

Location: Chain with multiple

It’s a pretty solid and filling option if you’re in the mood for Indian food. I thought it was all made pretty well.

  • Keto Bowl – riced cauliflower, wok tossed chicken or paneer, saag spinach paneer, pico kachumber, cucumber, & cotija

Papa Johns

  • Papa Bowls. A big box of baked pizza toppings without the crust. It’s a pretty solid deal and there are plenty of locations. (Limited time?)

Rubios Coastal Grill

Location: Chain with multiple

Rubios offers various tacos like shrimp, lobster, fish, steak, and chicken all available on their cheese tortillas. Be sure to avoid the high carb toppings like corn, but they’ve got extensive options for keto folks. One of the best things about these tortillas is they hold together really well so you can eat it like you would a regular taco. That might seem insignificant but as someone used to ordering things that have to be thrown into a bowl if I’m eating out it’s a nice change of pace.

  • Keto style Cheese Tortilla can be substituted for any of their flour or corn tortillas. 2grams carb per tortilla. Look for the Tacos A la carte section to avoid the high carb side of chips.
  • Cauliflower Rice Bowls


Blaze Pizza

Location: Chain with multiple

Blaze pizza is a large chain that offers a keto crust pizza that rings in at 15netcarbs for the entire 11 inch pizza. Be careful to not choose high carb toppings. I personally like to get all of the real meats on my pizza to get the most bang for my buck. It helps to get full too since if you eat the entire pizza that can easily take up most of your daily carbs. Not my favorite keto crust, but it’s an option.

  • Option: 11 Inch Keto Crust


Location: Chain with multiple

BurgerIM is a large chain that offers a keto bun for any of their burgers. Their grain-free gluten-free buns are from Unbun foods and ring in at 5g net carbs. Be careful to avoid carby toppings like ketchup, pineapples, and bbq sauce. 

  • Option: Keto Bun (5g net carb)



Location: Chain with multiple

A keto fan favorite, Chipotle now carries Keto Lifestyle bowls. But Chipotle is build-your-own so you could really modify your bowl to be whatever you’d like. That said in my experience like most fast food they can be very hit or miss on quality.

  • Keto Lifestyle bowl 

Papa Murphy’s

Location: Chain with multiple

Take-N-Bake pizza now caters directly to the keto crowd Papa Murphys now offers what is essentially a bowl of pizza toppings. They make it easier on us by marking which toppings are keto friendly on their menu with a “KF”. It’s cool, but you may want to consider Papa Johns since they actually cook their tray of toppings.

  • Build your own Crustless Pizzas

Fogo de Chão

Location: Chain with multiple. You can also just google Brazillian BBQ to find other brands of similar.

With a San Jose and a San Francisco branch, this Brazillian BBQ is a popular all-you-can-eat-meat fine dining option. If you’ve never had Brazillian BBQ, the simple explanation is that staff brings around different cuts of meat such as ribeye, bacon-wrapped chicken, and pork for you to try. They also have a buffet bar of different sides, often with many kinds of cheese and vegetables. Show up hungry for this one. I suggest telling them you don’t want the bread/starters when you sit down.

  • Meats of all kinds! Be careful to avoid anything with sugary sauces(like bbq).
  • Buffet Bar with cheese and vegetables

 Buckhorn Grill

Location: Small Chain. San Francisco, Pleasanton, Walnut Creek, and more.

Not aimed at keto but most of the BBQ places I’ve found are slathered in sauce and you don’t get much meat because the price is with a side. But Buckhorn sells meats by the pound. They don’t list their ingredients but I will say these items didn’t *taste* sweet and are at least not in a heavy/thick BBQ sauce. If there is sugar in the rub I’d guess it’s not much. If you’d like a BBQ sauce I recommend G Hughes Sugar Free BBQ sauce(tastes like real proper southern bbq sauce) or Primal Kitchen Golden BBQ Sauce. (Which reminds me of 57 sauce). 

  • Whole Tri-Tip Sliced Thin (by the lb.)
  • Whole Tri-Tip Sliced Thick (by the lb.)
  • Char-Roasted Tri-Tip Sliced Thin (by the lb.)
  • Char-Roasted Tri-Tip Sliced Thick (by the lb.)
  • Grilled Chicken Breasts (It’s a dry rub for seasoning) (by the lb.) (don’t mix up with BBQ chicken which looks like a sugar sauce)
  • Smoked Sausage (by the lb.)
  • Smokey Garlic Pulled Pork (by the lb.)
  • Tri-tip bites (no sides)
  • Char-broiled Salmon with lemon pepper dill (but requires 2 sides, basically stuck with salad)

Buffalo Wild Wings

Location: Chain with multiple

Although they aren’t focused on keto specifically I want to mention them because they use beef tallow to fry their wings. Most restaurants use unhealthy vegetable oils.


  • Bone-in wings naked and add your own sauce (I love the Primal Kitchen Buffalo Sauce) 
  • Naked tenders (I like them with mustard or a low carb Primal Kitchen sauce)

Location: Chain with multiple

The Cheesecake Factory themselves told me they don’t consider their low-carb cheesecake to be keto. That said check out my blog post about what they told me–I’d say you could eat half a slice if you’re on Dirty Keto. That aside Cheesecake factory is known for its massive menu so it’s worth considering if you’re looking to go out to eat.

Some of the Menu:

Super Duper Burger

I wouldn’t normally take the time to mention a burger place offering lettuce wraps– that’s actually very common in the Bay area. However, I feel like Super Duper Burger has very meaty and fatty burgers, especially for the price. They also wrap the burgers tightly with a wrapper so you can still eat your burger with your hands.

  •   Ask for your burger in a lettuce wrap. Avoid the Super Sauce because it contains gluten. Mustard is your friend. Help yourself to all the pickles you’d like from their condiments bar.