One of my long-time favorite restaurants is Red Robin. It has a fun atmosphere, is affordable and their burgers are amazing! We love eating there and it’s a place we frequent a lot with friend groups, family, or for date nights. Like my other posts in my “healthy eating at…” series, I want to show that you can still make healthier choices, even when eating out at places we love like Buffalo Wild Wings, Panera, or Qdoba. You can find healthy meal options at Red Robin, you just have to be selective and undistracted by the assortment of fried foods, drink specials, and giant burgers.
Disclaimer: I recognize that eating out is what it is—lots of sodium, processed food, non-organic, perhaps questionable animal farming practices—my point is NOT to laud this at all, but with the understanding that MOST Americans eat out frequently, to help you discover some of the healthiest food options out there at your favorite restaurants. Also, there are times when you are indulging and treating yourself and that’s okay too.
Get my Healthy Restaurant Cheat Sheets with the top healthy choices at all my favorite fast food and casual dining places!!
Okay, I’m going to get real with you and share my absolute favorite Red Robin meal in all it’s totally unhealthy glory. It’s the Whiskey River Barbecue Burger (coming in at 1392 calories & 89 fat grams), with a side of sweet potato fries (569 calories & 806 mg of sodium), followed by
a couple several bottomless freckled lemonades which each contain 37 grams of sugar (about 8 sugar cubes per glass).
Ack! Definitely an amazing treat or cheat meal, but if it’s not my birthday, I really shouldn’t be eating this….the grease kind of hurts my stomach thinking about it…and thinking about all that sugar, sodium, and fat is convicting. Most of their burgers and sides fall into similar statistics…they’re frankly loaded with not-good-for-you stuff! So what are some healthier choices?
Bunless Whiskey River Grilled Chicken
Since I love the whiskey river burger here is a ligher version that still carries the classic flavors. First, ask your server for a lettuce wrapped whiskey river grilled chicken burger and ask for no mayo (you won’t notice it’s missing, I promise). It will be 746 calories, saving you 646 calories (if you’re counting) without sacrificing the feel of the meal, aka the fried onion straws!
Grilled Teriaki Chicken Burger
This is a good choice too! Or at least a decent one…with the bun and all the toppings it is 860 calories. But you can nix the toasted bun and mayo and do the lettuce wrap or just eat in with a fork and knife for 346 calories and a significantly “cleaner” meal.
Spicy Sombrero Salad
A great choice coming in at 622 calories, and while it seems a little silly to put fried jalapenos on your greens, it’s not a bad way to eat enjoy them! If you skip the fried jalapenos you have a very clean salad loaded with great protein and healthy fats!
Keep It Simple Burger
This classic burger is not a bad choice coming in at 624 calories, plus you can stack it high with lettuce, tomatoes, and onion. You can also ask them to skip grilling the bun with margarine and just, you know, eat it without extra fake butter. (Gasp! How un-American!)
Side & Drink Ideas:
- Both the House and Insane Romaine side salads are good side options, but go light on the dressing or forgo it all together.
- If you’re craving something sweet Red Robin has two great side options: the freckled fruit salad or mandarin oranges.
- Skinny frozen strawberry maragarita
- Skinny strawberry lemonade
- Unsweet Iced Tea
Normally by the end of a Red Robin meal I am so stuffed I can’t even think about dessert! If you do decide to have dessert try to split with someone else and just have a few bites. The first taste is always the best anyways.
So there you have some great healthier options for eating at Red Robin. Pin or bookmark this post so it’s close by when you are heading out to eat. Another all-around tip for eating out would be to write down on a small notecard (or the notes of your smartphone) healthier choices at your favorite restaurants that you can reference when you go out. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in awhile, but there is also healthy food at most restuarants, including Red Robin!
Do you eat at Red Robin? Which of these healthier choices sounds good to you? Do you splurge at restaurants or try to stick to better-for-you choices?
P.S. Red Robin doesn’t know me and is certainly not paying me for this post. Although, if they offered to pay me in Freckled Strawberry Lemonades I would have a hard time saying no.