The Best Restaurants for People with Diabetes

Ready for a night off from cooking duty? Enjoy lighter fare and bursting flavors at the best restaurants for diabetics.

Noodles Kitchen Restaurant Lifestyle 022COURTESY NOODLES & COMPANY

Whether you’re out running errands and need a quick bite or have dinner plans with friends, dining out can pose concerns for people with diabetes. Will you be able to find something on the menu that fits your dietary needs? Thankfully, many popular chain restaurants offer plenty of options that will satisfy both diabetics and those simply looking for a healthier option while they’re out on the town. Follow our guide, and be sure to look out for the menu words to avoid when dining out with diabetes.

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Noodles Kitchen Restaurant Lifestyle 001
Courtesy Noodles & Company

Noodles & Company

There are so many reasons why people with diabetes love dining at Noodles & Company. First, choose your healthy noodle option like zoodles or caulifloodles (say that three times fast). Next, choose your protein like shrimp or grilled chicken and add a side salad. We’re already dreaming of the creamy zucchini shrimp scampi.

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California Pizza Kitchen

Sneak a bite of your friend’s cheesy pizza while enjoying one of CPK’s healthier options. In addition to lighter pizza choices, check out the power bowls. The banh mi bowl is a party of flavors from fresh cilantro, mint, serrano peppers and chili lime vinaigrette over a bed of veggies and quinoa.

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Chili's restaurant
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Meet friends for lunch and stick to your diabetic meal plan with Chili’s Guiltless Grill menu. Every dish is filling, healthy and has 650 calories or less. Try the ancho salmon with Mexican rice and steamed broccoli for lunch or the Margarita grilled chicken with black beans for dinner.

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The Cheesecake Factory

Instead of combing through pages and pages of menu items, skip right to Cheesecake Factory’s Skinnylicious menu next time you’re out to dinner. It has more than 50 dishes with 590 calories or less. Try the Skinnylicious turkey and avocado sandwich with a side salad or creamy white chicken chili.

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Entrance to Applebee's restaurant
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You’ll be eating good in the neighborhood with Applebee’s diabetic-friendly dinner recipes like the juicy grilled chicken breast meal. Load up on lean protein and fresh veggies by adding side dishes like steamed broccoli and garlicky green beans.

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PF Chang’s

Indulge in the ultimate Netflix night with your favorite show and PF Chang’s takeout. Opt for one of the vegetarian options like Buddha’s Feast with spicy tofu and steamed veggies for just 260 calories and 32 grams of carbs. In a rush? We have a list of the best fast-food for people with diabetes, too.

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Red Robin restaurant entrance
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Red Robin

Pass on the over-the-top burgers (or make your own at home with our Red Robin copycat recipes) and go for a crisp bite and juicy flavor with the Avo-Cobb-O salad. Each bite packs grilled chicken, bacon, blue cheese, hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and creamy avocado for under 600 calories.

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Panera Bread
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With its fresh ingredients and endless pairing options, Panera is a smart and yummy choice for anyone looking to eat healthier. Try the You-Pick-2 menu for more variety. Choose the vegetable soup and a half turkey sandwich for a filling lunch or quick dinner.

Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.