So, in previous posts we’ve covered off how to eat low carb at Italian and Japanese but something that I think we all probably encounter more often is, how to eat low carb at the Pub!

There’s going to be a lot of things that are just straight up out of the question, so prepare yourself. But if you’re a little bit clever, and opt for salad or veg instead of chips, there are plenty of delicious options to be had!

I’ve used my old local, Figtree Hotel, located around an hour south of Sydney, as the source for these food options because I think it’s quite reflective of the types of food on offer at many pubs all around Australia.

Let’s get stuck into it.

First, let’s start with what to avoid when you’re trying to eat low carb at the Pub

Hot Chips are NOT Low Carb

🚫 Chips #donteven

No surprises there. Chips are potato. Potato is not low carb.

If your pub is a super trendy one and they do kale chips then that’s a different story – although I question if you can even call kale chips a “chip”. Tasty as they can be, it’s more dried lettuce that chip.

Regular ol’ chips or french fries are around 40% carbs, so a 100g (small-ish) serve has around 40g of carbs ? That’s more than I eat in a day.

🚫 Mashed Potato

Again, potato.

I’m yet to see any pubs do a Cauliflower Mash, if they did it would be amazing. Probably your more trendy pubs and clubs in the city would have this one and that would be a great way to eat low carb at the Pub.

If your pub does cauliflower mash, please let me know!!!!


🚫 Pizza or Pasta

A pub staple, cheap and often delicious, but low carb it is not. Not to mention the pasta serves are at least 2 times larger than a ‘regular’ serve.

If you’re looking for low carb Italian options, then check out last week’s article on how to eat low carb at an Italian restaurant.

Ok, so how CAN I eat low carb at the Pub?

These 6 great options are just a few of the many ways you can eat low carb at the Pub. The trick is to read the menu properly and if you have any questions about the food, just ask! With the rise in all the food intolerance recently bistro staff are more knowledgable than ever about what’s in the meals.

Steak is No Carb

✅ Steak & Veg

Simple, available everywhere and definitely low carb!

Steak doesn’t have any carbs itself, being all protein and fats. It’s the sauce that’s you’ve gotta watch out for here!

Which classic Pub sauce is the lowest carb?

  • Diane Sauce: Approx. 5g of carbs per serve (60ml)
  • Mushroom Sauce: Varies, between 5-10g per serve
  • Gravy: 3-5g carbs per serve
  • Pepper Sauce: same as gravy usually, 3-5g per serve
  • Tomato Sauce: 3-5g per serve
  • Barbeque Sauce: 20g per serve

Lesson: If you’re full keto, just ask for butter, salt and pepper.

Crispy Skin Salmon is Low Carb

✅ Crispy Skin Salmon

A favourite of mine is crispy skin salmon, the salter and crunchier the skin the better ?

Salmon has around 20g of Protein and 13g of Fat per 100g and ZERO carbs! A deliciously healthy choice.

Opt for a salad or veg over chips or mash.

Chicken Boscaiola

✅ Chicken Boscaiola

Not the Pasta variety.

Chicken Boscaiola is often found as a stand alone dish and as a pasta dish so make sure you’re not looking in the pasta section when you order this one!

Creamy mushroom, bacon and wine sauce over grilled chicken breast. Sounds pretty damn divine.

A serve of Chicken Boscaiola only contains approx. 5-10g of carbs!

Crusted Lamb Rack is Low-ish Carb

✅ Crusted Lamb Rack

Mmmm. Lamb. For when you’re feeling a little bit fancy.

The Figtree Hotel has a Herb & Parmesan Crusted Lamb Rack which comes with sweet potato mash (ask for without), broccolini, julienne carrots & mint jus.

Hold the sweet potato mash and this is a delicious, healthy low carb main. The crusting on the lamb would add around 10g of carbs.

Chicken Wings are low carb

✅ Dry Rub Spicy Chicken Wings

You’ll need to be a bit careful with this one.

If the menu says something like “spiced chicken wings” or “hot wings” then you’ve got the green light but if the menu suggests “sticky barbeque wings” or similar then you’ll probably want to give these a miss.

✅ The dry spiced rub chicken wings have only a few grams of carbs per 500g serve.

🚫 Any sticky barbeque wings could have as many as 20g of carbs as barbeque sauce is mostly sugar.

Chicken Caesar Salad is Low Carb

✅ Chicken Caesar Salad

A favourite of mine and the token salad at most pubs around the country.

Chicken Caesar Salad is a great low carb dish when you make one small tweak… ask for it without the croutons.

I know, I know, that sounds really petty but croutons are bread and bread is carbs, so even a relatively small amount of croutons has a large amount of carbs.

Ask for this dish without croutons and you’ve got salad leaves, parmesan cheese, bacon, egg, creamy caesar sauce and grilled chicken, all super delicious and all super low carb.

One Chicken Caesar Salad without croutons, has only around 5g of carbs and a massive 40g of protein 👍

Let’s call these “sometimes” foods…

If you’re not being super strict, but don’t want to blow out into a full on carb coma then these options can be a lower carb food you can have at the pub.

Chicken Schnitzel is not particularly low carb

👉🏼 Chicken Schnitzel with Salad.

This is going to vary a lot between venues.

If you see “lightly crumbed” then its a good sign it’s probably going to be lower.

Best way is to eye ball a few other patron’s meals and see how crumbed it appears to be. Hang out for a couple of minutes out the bistro if you need.

I found various figures online but a good ballpark would be around 15-20g of carbs per serve of Chicken Schnitzel. As I said before, the trick here is to go for salad or veg, not chips or mash.

Chicken Parmigiana

👉🏼 Chicken Parmigiana with Veg.

Similar to the Chicken Schnitzel above, this is really going to vary from place to place.

The good news is if the Schnitzel is ok, the Parmi should be too as it’s generally the same, just with the added deliciousness of tomato, ham and cheese.

Parmigiana will be also be around 15-20g of carbs per serve if it say’s lightly crumbed.

If it’s not, it could be any where up to 50g of carbs so best check it out first.

Salt and Pepper Squid can be Low Carb

👉🏼 Salt & Pepper Squid

This can be fantastic and low carb, but more often than not, pubs and bistros use crumbed calamari for this one.

If your pub uses proper squid it’s often only very lightly coated, so this dish get’s the green light, having only around 5-10g carbs per serve.

However for most places, the crumbed calamari (as shown here) is used in which case this dish is moderately carb-heavy having around 20g of carbs per serve.

Friday night in? Why not whip up some pub style Burgers?

Low Carb Crispy Skin Salmon Burger

Check out this Recipe for a Low Carb Burger Bun ?

This one uses our 6 Aussie Seeds Protein Bread Mix and makes up 8 BIG Buns, each with almost 30g of Protein and only 3g of Carbs.

⏩ Check out our Low Carb Burger Bun recipe here.

What’s your favourite way to eat low carb at the Pub?

I’d love to hear from you and update this list with any great suggestions you guys have.

Just comment below. Have any questions, let me know ?


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Luke Hopkins
An avid barefoot trail runner, explorer, creator, and keen learner. I'm incredibly humbled by everyone who's helped The Protein Bread Co. to grow to where it is today – actively supporting our mission to help 5M Australians and 20M people globally to live fitter, healthier and happier lives. You can reach out to me via Twitter or Instagram @thelowcarbgiant, Facebook @lukehopkins, or shoot me an email at

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