If you’re trying to stay in ketosis or generally cut down on carbs, you’ll know that it can be tricky to dine in or take out while sticking to meals with lower sugar and starch. However, If you simplify your options by sticking to the basics of low carb—greens, meat, cheese, eggs—you will find an abundance of options across Victoria. Whether that means ordering straight off the menu or slightly modifying a meal to swap out a starch for greens, you’ll find that most places will be able to accommodate your preferences.
Here’s our list of local restaurants that will make the dine-in or take-out experience easier while sticking to a low-carb diet.
Superbaba’s Middle Eastern takeout is quick, consistently delicious and no-fuss low-carb. Their chicken bowl features tender shawarma-spiced chicken thighs, a smoky baba ganoush (arguably the best in the city), pickled cabbage, and a tomato cucumber salad. To lower the carbs, order the chicken bowl on all greens instead of half rice.
Hot tip: Their fried cauliflower is perhaps the only non-coated fried cauliflower in the city and a great snack option.
Pagliacci’s always delivers delicious, creative food. Try out a local favourite: the salmon chanted evening salad. This fresh, textured salad is packed full of standalone flavours, such as marinated artichokes and sweet roasted red peppers. While no keto-friendly modifications are necessary, those who prefer land proteins can swap in chicken.
It’s hard to choose just one salad from The Beach House Restaurant’s menu. But if you must limit yourself to trying just one, make it the Pacific Northwest seafood salad with sockeye, poached prawns, and seared scallop on greens. The portion is surprisingly generous given the price, and the charred lemon vinaigrette is flavourful but does not overpower the seafood’s delicate flavours.
Hot tip: All the buns on their burgers can be swapped for lettuce.
Lido Waterfront Bistro’s iceberg wedge salad is not your basic caesar. The crispy lettuce is topped with a generous portion of thick-cut bacon, finely shredded grana padano, fried capers, and a minty dressing. With a flavour profile this delectable, you won’t miss the croutons.
lidobistro.com @lidobistro 1234 Wharf St, Victoria Note: Don’t try to go through the hotel to get to Lido. Easier options to get to Lido include down the stairs across from Bastion Square at Finn’s, the ramp or stairs at the bottom of Fort Street, or using the David Foster Harbour Pathway.
Roast Meat & Sandwich Shop’s low-carb roasts-to-go are mouth-watering comfort food. Their lemon rosemary rotisserie chicken is perfectly spiced and juicy, and their herby porchetta has the ideal ratio of crispy skin to tender meat. Their lemony kale crouton-free caesar salad also makes a great side. If you’re looking for a more complex salad, you can also build your own superfood salad box with market greens or kale as a base, chilled proteins for meat, and a range of toppings for texture and taste.
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub’s house-smoked wings are flour-free, plump, and fall-off-the-bone tender. If you’re worried about the sugar content in BBQ sauces, stick with salt and pepper or ask about the hot sauce. But with wings this juicy, you won’t need much extra flavour.
If you still crave the crispy chicken wing, try out Leopold’s Tavern’s bone-in traditional wings.
These are deep fried, flour-free, and tossed in seasonings or sauce to serve. As some of the seasonings or sauces may contain sugar or starch, your best bet is to stick with a traditional buffalo wing, hot wing, or salt-and-pepper seasoning.
Hot tip: Visit on a Wednesday after 3pm to take advantage of their cheaper wing prices by the pound. The cheapest wings are from 3pm to 4pm—after that the price increases by the hour.
The Collective Wine Bar & Kitchen has an assortment of cheese and charcuterie boards perfect for snacking or sharing. The cheese and meat features are carefully chosen by the chef on a rotating basis, meaning you can try something new every visit.
Hot tip: Replace crackers with perfectly seasoned marcona almonds for a great crunchy snack. Both the board and almonds are available on their happy hour menu.
Eggs are the standby low-carb staple. Luckily, there’s no shortage of Village restaurants around town, all offering unique brunch menus. A favourite is the eggs Benedict, with a mound of seasoned braised greens in place of bread and a side of salad instead of potatoes.