Hey there, foodies!! It’s summertime, which means – it’s travel season. What’s one of the most difficult things about traveling & vacations? Well, for me… it’s not eating every delicious looking thing in sight & feeling like junk afterwards. I’m being real here, it’s often a struggle. I’m happy to say that this time during our CA trip it was much easier though. We were gone a week on vacation in CA, spending much of the time in airports, & our rental car. Brian & I flew into San Diego, then rented a car & drove up the coast, ending our trip in San Francisco & the Oakland/East Bay area.
Ok, so what did two keto-ers eat on vacation? Here’s a run-down of some of our eats. Please keep in mind that they are not always the most clean & optimal choices, but sometimes there were few options – & you gotta do what you gotta do! Plus, no one is perfect… & it was vacation after all.
Ok, so let’s just start with the first meal of the day, even though we arrived in CA pretty late, if I remember correctly. Anyway… it feels more natural to kick this off with some breakfast ideas, so let’s roll with that, shall we?
Bacon, scrambled eggs, salsa, butter, & black coffee.
Hotel breakfast day 2…
The above breakfasts were courtesy of our hotel in San Diego. They had a continental breakfast buffet that was included with our stay, so we were able to take advantage of that for the first two mornings. Thankfully, they had bacon & eggs the first day, then sausage & eggs the second (along with french toast). Of course they had tons of all the traditional carby breakfast fare: cereal, waffles, bagels, juice… you name it, they had it. I was just super happy there was something low-carb that we could eat. I’ve had experiences in the past where it was only crappy carb junk available (like in our last hotel).
Burger King’s Double Sausage King Croissan’whiches, minus the croissant
Our other hotels that we stayed in either didn’t offer a breakfast, or it was just junk. Two of the other mornings when we were staying in Novato (outskirts of San Francisco) we ended up going down the street to Burger King (slim pickings around there). They didn’t have many low-carb options, so I got creative & simply asked for the Double Sausage King Croissan’wiches (4) without the bread. The guy was so nice that he even offered to put them on platters for me, two on each. It was a nice, easy, filling keto breakfast, but did get a little pricey for what it was. It worked though.
And of course… what would a morning be without coffee?! I was thankful to be able to get my beloved coffee fix in each hotel we stayed at… plus, a couple Starbucks where they were kind enough to add heavy cream to my coffee without any weird looks or fuss. 😉
On one morning when we stayed near San Francisco, we drove into the city & went to eat at a little cafe on Haight Street, called The Pork Store Cafe.
Brian & I each had the same thing: The Denver Omelet with roasted tomatoes on the side. The dish normally comes with toast or some sort of biscuit, but they were nice & accommodating when we said we didn’t eat bread – they then offered to do a side of roasted tomatoes.
Lunch & dinner options were a bit more challenging, but doable. The most difficult thing was trying to find things that were familiar to us. Here are a few of the things we managed to find to stay keto…
In the airport (Las Vegas) we found a Jersey Mike’s, which is a sub shop that offers a “sub in a tub” option so you can basically get any sub w/out the bread, in a tub. I had a cheesesteak sub in a tub, & Brian had a roast beef one.
Jersey Mike’s Cheesesteak Sub in a Tub
On our first night in San Francisco we felt like some serious comfort food & something familiar… Chipotle to the rescue!
Chipotle salad with carnitas, cheese, veggies, sour cream, & guacamole.
On one of the nights we stayed outside of LA we found an Outback Steakhouse that was open late where we had a delicious steak dinner…
Salad w/ranch dressing (no croutons), 6 oz sirloin steak, & broccoli with cheese
We also indulged in some burgers (protein style) from In-N-Out!
In-N-Out Double Doubles protein style (lettuce wrapped)
Another night when we stayed in San Diego we arrived late at our hotel, but there was a Chilis nearby… so, we walked over & had some burgers for dinner.
Chilis Guacamole Burger in a lettuce wrap – not a standard option to lettuce wrap, but just simply ask & they’re usually happy to accommodate you
Another burger option that we tried out in downtown San Diego was Burger Lounge, which offers all grass-fed burgers! They also have a lettuce wrapped & paleo option.
Burger Lounge grass-fed lettuce wrapped burgers
Our second/last night in San Diego we had seen that they had a Seasons 52 nearby, which we had always loved that restaurant when we had lived in FL – so we decided to have a little dinner date there! It was so nice out, so we sat outside in their patio… candlelight, good company… good food. Brian ordered a steak with veggies, no starches, & I ordered the pork loin w/veggies, no starches. They were happy to add extra veggies in place of the potatoes. It was a delicious & such a relaxing dinner out.
Seasons 52… always fresh & seasonal – love this place!
Another option for a quick lunch or dinner is Hardees/Carls Jr. We went here one morning for a late breakfast/early lunch & I was able to try their new Mushroom & Swiss All-Natural Burger, which is a pretty tasty grass-fed burger. I of course had it in a lettuce wrap. I can’t wait until the Hardees around this area eventually get them – it seems Carls Jr. always gets everything first. Although, Hardees does have the original All-Natural Burger, which is grass-fed.
Carl’s Jr. Mushroom & Swiss All-Natural Burger
Brian & I decided to check out the little town of Mill Valley (just outside SF) one night & looked on Yelp for someplace to go for dinner. I came across a place called Avatar’s that was an Indian restaurant with great reviews… we had a bit of trouble finding it since they had no sign – only paper hand-written “open” signs. However, the place did have some pretty tasty food! Brian & I each got the Low-Carb Chicken Curry. It was a bit different than what I was expecting, but it was really delicious. I just chose to eat around the rice, beans, & pineapple.
Low-Carb Chicken Curry at Avatar’s in Mill Valley
Another airport meal… there was a Moe’s Southwest Grill in the Las Vegas airport where we had our layover, so we opted to have burrito bowls for breakfast/lunch before our noon flight home. We each got double meat (steak & chicken), no rice, no beans, cheese, lettuce, sour cream, & guacamole for me. Delicious, but these babies set us back out $34!!! Airport prices. Yikes.
Moe’s Southwest Grill – Burrito Bowl
I guess my goal of showing you some of our vacation meals is just to show that you CAN stick to your goals & your normal way of eating while traveling & on vacation. You just simply have to WANT to. You can do anything you really put your mind to, & sure, it can be a bit challenging sometimes, especially when you eat a bit different than the majority of typical Americans, but it CAN be done. Hopefully you got a few ideas for the next time you travel, or are just out & about, or wanting to dine out.
Do you have any low-carb/keto restaurants that you frequent that I didn’t mention? Please share!