Paleo-Friendly Restaurants

One of the problems I often face is doing business lunches during the day. I’ll want to meet with someone, or just feel like taking a break from the kitchen sometimes, and get overwhelmed with the prospect of eating Paleo at a restaurant. While it’s definitely possible, unless you go in knowing something in advance, it can often turn in to either a bunless burger or just another chef’s salad.

Not that these are bad, but sometimes the goal of going to a restaurant is to treat yourself to something tasty and unusual, and I can get tired of salads and ground beef.

While I’m making no promises, I’ve built location-finding websites in the past, and am interested in building an online tool to help people find places near them that are Paleo-friendly.

In order for that to happen though, I’ll need some restaurants to start the website with, and some certainty that people really want it, are willing to help populate it, and that’s it’s worth the effort.

If you know of some places, or have an existing list, let me know in the comments. If feedback is high-enough, I’ll see what I can do to get the site going.


  1. This place is in Seabrook, Texas. Near the Bay Area part of Houston, TX (which is about 35 minutes south of Downtown Houston and 30 minutes north of Galveston.)

    They have civeche as an appetizer which is shrimp, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions in a lime juice. It is served with chips, but they are on the side.

    Great salads and great chicken dinners if you ask to not include the cheese.

    Although drinking isn’t part of the paleo diet, there is an full bar. So although it is a pub that serves great beers, they also serve wine, hard liquor…

    This place is great and the service is wonderful. Also, it is more of a bar, kids are also welcome and usually there (more towards the day and early dinner). So it is great family place, relaxed and the food has always been great on Paleo or not. Check it out!

  2. Hi! I am a Paleo foodie Crossfitter!
    I stumbled upon your website and wanted to share some of my recent findings!
    I currently write a blog called
    I write reviews of restaurants in the Portland, OR area from a Paleo perspective. We rate the quality, quantity of meat and also how to order Paleo!
    Check it out!

  3. I love Boondoggles too! I once dated a personal trainer who made me eat just like the paleo diet. Boondoggles was a place he would take me for more choices. Ceviche was top on the list along with their Spinach Salad. The atmosphere is wonderful too! They also have certain nights which they serve other paleo type dinners.

  4. I actually work at a delicious seafood restaurant in North County San Diego and I find it really easy to follow my diet with the seafood we serve. I usually ask for it to be cooked with just oil and lemon and we serve a vegetable medley that is just oil and spices (I believe garlic, white pepper, salt). You can always get our veggies steamed as well, such as carrots, the medley, and the potatoes, or just sliced tomatoes. We have two fruit salsa’s that are paleo friendly (a pineapple mango chutney and a spicy papaya salsa.) We serve meat as well which can be grilled plain. The place is called Nugent’s Firegrille and it is a great option for eating out paleo style.

  5. I am happy to find this call for help with restaurant dining! I am a health and fitness blogger trying to help spread the information on healthy eating paleo-style. Here is what I have found:

    Mongolian BBQ joints are a godsend for paleo eaters. You can choose your meat and veggies and oil and have it cooked on a huge griddle. Of course, you aren’t likely to get organic or grassfed choices, so quality is still a concern, but at least you can choose to avoid sugar, beans, dairy, and grains pretty easily (except the grains feeding the animals from which the meat was taken..sigh).

    Falafel joints usually have a plate salad option, so those are a great go to for a salad meal (avoiding the actual falafel of course).

    Many steak houses are pretty good restaurant options with salad and veggies as sides to steak.

    For me, breakfast is a no-brainer for paleo eating. You can easily choose omelets and forgo the toast in exchange for fruit or salad. I guess this can still work for lunchtime since many places serve breakfast well into the afternoon.

    Anyway, let me know if you get a database of paleo-friendly restaurants up and going! I am interested in contributing and finding more options where I live and travel.

    Best wishes,

  6. Restaurant dining in general is not Paleo, in that there’s a highly likely possibility that the foor has been cross contaminated with gluten, hence rendering it now paleo anymore. Grow up and cook. ;)

    1. Oh come on now @Real Paleo. Most of the people on Paleo Plan DO cook pretty much every meal. However, there are times when you’re traveling, family gatherings, business dinners etc, that make you eat out, and having a plan on what you’ll do when you get there is a far better attitude than waiting and giving in to that piece of pizza, or bowl of pasta. :)

  7. I’m in Southern CA and we found a place in Brea that has a lot of options to choose from while eating on the Paleo Plan….or not. Food is great! Even the kids love it!

  8. I think this is a great idea!! I know a lot of people who struggle to find decent paleo dining out options (including me). I would be happy to contribute. Mari – I’m near Boulder, what are some of the restaurants there?

  9. I’m in the Boston area and Bertucci’s is very willing to cook things to order. They bake their eggplant and you can ask to skip the cheese. Same with chicken dishes — I did grilled chicken with their pomodoro sauce and oven roasted veggies. Mighty tasty! There are some family owned restaurants that buy local, organic veggies and are also willing to share how dishes are prepared and alter recipes if possible.

  10. Fantastic restaurant here is El Paso, TX! They have a paleo menu as well as their regular menu. I have never had a meal that I didn’t enjoy thoroughly.

  11. man if your from portland that would do the diet like no problem. i’m from seattle and spent a little while in portland that place has all those cool resturaunts and coffee shops. i’m sure a paleo resturaunt there would prevail rather quickly. well i’ve found that mongolian grill is a great place for paleo’ers. just fill the bowl up with everything besides the noodles and your good to go!

  12. Has anyone found a good resturaunt in Tennessee? I have just started the plan. Loving it so far. I have never been one to “eat-out” much, but if I did decide to venture out, it would be nice to feel comfortable with my decision about where I would go and what to order.

  13. What a great idea! Traveling while living the Paleo life is hard. It would be awesome to be able to perform a search the web (via smartphone) for a list of Paleo friendly restuarants.

    My boyfriend and I have found that The Cracker Barrel restaurant chain is a life line that keeps us sane in between stops at the local grocery store deli’s.

    Keep the principles of our lifestyle in mind when you order and you can’t get into too much trouble!! If in doubt they have a food allergy listing which also helps!

  14. These are great suggestions! Going out to eat is a very important if I want to regulary see my family/friends. Everything revolves around food, so I just have to learn to make good choices when out.

    @Jason G. – I couldn’t agree more! @real paleo – that’s just not how “real” life works.

  15. @ zach…good thinking. Mongolian BBQ would be a good option. I will scout some other options here on O’ahu and report back. This is a great idea you have. I’m not usually big on chain restaurants, but I did find that at Chili’s I can get the fajita trio MINUS the tortillas and MINUS the rice and I’ve got a great Paleo dinner. I usually add 3 extra shrimp to it, but that is always more than enough for me. :) Granted their menu is fairly limited in terms of Paleo, but there IS something there if you didn’t have another choice.

  16. I would recommend looking for restaurants that do gluten-free menus and then eliminating the grain from those selections. Lots of large chain restaurants are starting to offer gluten free options, just google it.

  17. I just started following the Paleo Diet for Athletes plan yesterday after several weeks of 1-2 Paleo meals each day and am excited to going at it 100%. I live in Orlando FL and would really appreciate any restaurant suggestions, particularly places that may have tasty but non-conventional options such as organ meats, marrow, etc.


  18. I’m really excited to try the Mongolian grill suggestion, I hadn’t thought of that one. I moved to Houston a little while ago, and with all of the seafood and steak I was expecting to be in paleo heaven. But what’s been killing me is all sorts of unexpected seasonings, including sugary substances. I was not expecting to have to ask what was put on the steak when I walked in a well-recommended Texas steak house, but three bites later I’m obviously going to be sick if I keep eating my sugary steak that I naively thought would just be grilled meat. Same problem with Chili’s fajitas if you don’t know to ask. And fish is a whole ‘nother disaster with sugary floury sauces, even at the Pappas chain. Most restaurants try to be accommodating if you ask, but I still feel like a pain when I’m going out with coworkers and take 5 minutes asking questions and ordering.

    And to 2nd the responses to “Real Paleo,” I can’t avoid business lunches and keep my job! And I do take plenty of snacks for before and after lunch so I’m not starving! But I still can’t go to a business lunch like a bump on a log and not order anything, and if I order something at a business lunch I have to take a few bites of it, and I have told my coworkers about my currently unconventional eating habits, but I cannot expect to be accommodated all of the time! And no, I’m not quitting my awesome job to open a paleo restaurant or stay home and make babies and paleo snacks all day long, so in the end of course it’s my choice to have a few lunch problems. Whew.

    It was nice to hear of other people having the eating out problems and know I’m not alone. :)

  19. Hi Everyone,

    I recently discovered this app that a woman named Kristin Jekielek created, called PaleoGoGo, and you can find it at It is a database of about 2,000 Paleo meals at all different restaurants across the country. Let us know how it goes!

    Neely Quinn, Nutrition Therapist
    Paleo Plan

  20. I’m so glad I found this. I’m a recent Paleo dieter, and have a trip coming up in June. I’ve been dreading it because I know the people I am with will want to eat at Mexican restaurants every day and other than Fajitas and salad, I didn’t know what I could eat.

  21. I live in the Florida Panhandle about 80 miles east of Pensacola. Is anyone aware of paleo-friendly restaurants in this area?

  22. I live in Columbia, MO and there is a local restaurant here called Flat Branch Brewery that offers a “Paleo Platter” – your choice of protein (chicken, steak, salmon, ahi tuna steak) with grilled vegetables. It’s pretty delicious!

  23. I know a ton of people who need a dedicated gluten free facility. I am one of them. I have hashimotos and celiac. I can tell you first hand that people with these diseases are desperate for a place to feel normal again and the money is worth it if it’s done right. I have a ton of ideas. I am not an investor nor do I have a business degree. This is huge though. It is very badly needed and especially here in colorado near boulder where I live- doing all organic gluten free facility would make huge money…. the people here WANT to eat and be healthy. I have amazing ideas for a sit down nice restaurant that offers great food that changes, atmosphere that is cool, and adding social networking for people who have to eat paleo and autoimmune paleo. People who can get this up and running have been sitting wasting their time and money… this is our future as many many more people show up with diseases against gluten and all the other junk that’s been added to our foods…. why would someone not want to eat REAL food

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