Healthy Eats

These are the best Whole30-friendly restaurants in Austin

These are the best Whole30-friendly restaurants in Austin

Picnik Paleo Whole30 beef stew
It's easier to eat out and stick to your Whole30 program than you think. Picnik Austin/Facebook

So you decided to do the Whole30 program, you brave soul. The 30-day reset focuses on "whole" foods such as veggies, proteins, and fruit, while eliminating problematic groups like sugar, dairy, grains, and legumes. The trendy diet promises more than just weight loss — it aims to change your relationship with food entirely and promises benefits like better sleep, more energy, and pain relief.

There's a hearty list of things to avoid, so eating out can be challenging, but it's not impossible, as Austin tends to be accommodating for those with dietary restrictions. Whether you're looking for a break from cooking or need a night out with friends, you've got Whole30-friendly options.

24 Diner
Even though you're not drinking during Whole30, your friends might be, and they insist on going to 24 Diner for a late-night snack. The all-hours diner is accommodating for specific diets. While you may have to opt out of the chicken and waffles, you can have an equally hearty burger with no bun. If you're in the breakfast mood, go for the vegan hash or ask for a non-dairy veggie frittata. When in doubt, ask your waiter about ways to customize your order.

Casa de Luz
This vegan restaurant and community center offers daily set menus with a focus on organic, plant-based foods. From sweet potato entrees to stacked salads to veggie soups, there's plenty to pick from. The self-service dining room makes it easy to skip out on anything non-compliant, and the staff is happy to answer any questions about items on the oil-free menu.

There are more similarities than differences between the Paleo diet and Whole30, which makes this Paleo-centric restaurant a great go-to for both. Picnik commits to a menu that is gluten, corn, peanut, and soy free. At the Burnet restaurant, ask for the special diets menu; highlights include breakfast bowls loaded with egg and chorizo and dinner dishes like beef stew and pesto chicken. The smaller South Lamar location, which focuses on coffee and pastries, has a daily soup that is always Whole30-compliant.

This fast-casual salad chain is a staple for Whole30-ers due to its sheer variety of fresh ingredients. Build your own salad by choosing a bed of greens and adding an unlimited number of toppings, including fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Add in a protein and top it off with the lemon vinaigrette dressing or oil and vinegar. A perfect, customizable salad.

Snap Kitchen
This local grab-and-go store is a lifesaver for those looking for quick, fresh meals. A slew of pre-made meals, snacks, and drinks have been approved by the Whole30 founder herself, meaning no guesswork. Go for the beef sweet potato scramble for breakfast, the Tex-Mex chicken bowl for lunch, and the crispy chicken for dinner. Snap Kitchen's list of Whole30-compliant meals continues to grow, so ask staff for the latest list.

The Soup Peddler Real Food & Juice Bar
Although the program discourages drinking your calories, sometimes you need a little refresher to escape the heat. This local quick-service outpost has a variety of simple fruit and vegetable juices to do the trick. It's hard to go wrong, but for a fruity green combo, opt for the Righteous Brother with cucumber, pineapple, cilantro, and lime. For a quick bite, grab a California chicken salad and the vegan and gluten-free tomato basil soup.

Whole Foods Market
Whole Foods is a great place to stock up on delicious meals and groceries. Head straight for the fresh salad bar to build your own meal, but be sure to check the specific ingredients list as you go for any sneaky no-nos. Just don't stare too hard at the baked goods as you walk by.