Embark on a culinary adventure in Venice, Florida, where eating low carb doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor or satisfaction! Whether you’re a local health enthusiast or a visitor looking to maintain your eating habits while enjoying the coastal charm, this guide is your go-to resource for navigating the best low carb dining experiences Venice has to offer. From cozy breakfast spots to elegant dinner options, discover how to indulge healthfully in the local cuisine, making every meal a delightful and guilt-free adventure.

Eating Low Carb While Dining Out in Venice

Whipping up low-carb delights in your own kitchen is a breeze with a bit of meal prep magic, but venturing out? That’s where the real challenge kicks in. Fear not, my fellow carb counters! A dash of clever ordering can keep your meal plan on track—even at fast food joints. Thanks to the growing wave of low-carb lovers, most eateries are now happy to tweak their dishes to suit your needs. Just remember, the spot you pick can make or break your quest for that perfect, carb-smart plate.

Where to Eat and What to Order:

When you’re craving comfort food

Diners and cafes are an ideal choice since they generally serve breakfast all day. Eggs, meat, and veggies are a filling and tasty choice. Omelets are a wonderful menu item for low carb eating. Load them with cheese, peppers, mushrooms, onions, spinach, or any other vegetable you might like. Substitute pancakes or potatoes with sliced tomatoes and skip the toast.

Local Suggestion:
Blu Island Bistro
Check out their full menu of omelettes for protein packed goodness. You should also inquire about the Frittata of the day for a special treat.

For a Special Night Out at a Steakhouse

Steakhouses are another good place for low carb choices. Grilled steaks and chops are satisfying and delicious. Skip the bread and baked potato here, and choose a salad or steamed vegetable instead. Be sure to pick a low carb vegetable such as broccoli rather than something starchy like corn. Caesar, chef, or side salads are available at nearly all restaurants. Add chicken, meat or seafood, extra veggies, boiled eggs, cheese, and nuts or seeds to amp up your meal. Take care to avoid sweet dressings and dried fruits, as they will add unwanted sugar. Keep in mind, if you want a savory dressing such as ranch or bleu cheese, full-fat versions have fewer carbs than low fat.

Local Suggestion: Chaz 51 Steakhouse
The Blue Cheese Steak Salad is mouthwatering, skip the croutons, you won’t miss them anyway. There’s also the sizzling naked burger, served in an iron skillet topped with cherry peppers and onions.

When You Just Want a Big Cheeseburger

American restaurants and gastropubs are fabulous for the whole family. When ordering a hamburger, ask to replace the bun with a lettuce wrap, or thinly sliced cucumber. If this is not possible, just ask that the bun not be served. Make it more of a meal by loading the burger patty with lettuce, tomato, bacon, cheese, onion, or any other topping you like. If lettuce is available, request extra so you can wrap it yourself. Rather than fries, try a crunchy vegetable like carrots or celery as a tasty side with added texture.

Local Suggestion: Food + Beer
Grab the Kona Blue Cheeseburger and ask for lettuce instead of a bun. Add on a side of Brussels & Bacon or Buffalo Cauliflower to really have a good time.

When You Need to Order Takeout Chinese or Sushi

Asian food can be a bit of a challenge. The best bet is to order a stir fry with extra veggies, but skip the rice or noodles. Sushi is rice based, so opt for sashimi instead. Try to order steamed vegetables, because sauces are usually not added. Sauces are often loaded with sugar or flour for thickening. Don’t hesitate to ask if a dish has added sugar.

Local Suggestion: Star Thai and Sushi
Chef Mike goes above and beyond for his customers. Instead of rice, ask for your sushi with a cucumber wrap instead!

When You Want Hibachi

Similar to Chinese, be sure to inquire about sauces ahead of time. However, most hibachi style restaurants will give you an option for meat and veggies to skip the rice. Go for a side of edamame (boiled soybean pods) as an appetizer, a side salad and a miso soup with any of the grilled proteins that you prefer.

Local Suggestion: Fugu Hibachi
Large variety of grilled hibachi meats, along with salads and sides to satisfy your cravings without sacrificing your daily carbs.

Mexican can be the Ultimate Low Carb Indulgence

Eating Mexican is easier than you might initially think. A lot of places have bowl meals – basically the same ingredients as burritos or fajitas without the tortillas. If those aren’t available, simply make your own. Open up a fajita or tortilla and only eat the delicious ingredients inside. Deconstructed dishes are all the rage right now. Request extra sour cream, guacamole, olives, and cheese for extra flavor and to make it more filling. Taco salads will work the same way, as long as you can resist eating the bowl.

Local Suggestion:
Restaurante Chapin Vasquez
Try the Parrillada platter with steak, chicken, chorizo, shrimp, pineapple, green onion and chiles toreados. Skip the rice and potatoes… but ask for double veggies.

Fight the Challenge of the Carb Loaded Italian Cuisine

Italian restaurants can sometimes be the most for difficult low carb options. Certain chains have very limited options other than pasta and breaded dishes. Look for chicken breast meals or sandwiches here, and simply order them with no bread or bun. Request Alfredo sauce and cheeses as toppings since those have very few carbs, but add lots of flavor. Surprisingly, marinara sauce can be quite high in carb count, and so should be avoided if possible. If you simply must have marinara, ask for light sauce to cut down on added sugar.

Local Suggestion: Made in Italy

The chef is very accommodating of substitutions to allow meals to be as low carb as possible. In fact, if you give advance notice, he may even prepare a cauliflower crust pizza!

When You Want to Enjoy Local Seafood

Seafood restaurants are a great choice as long as you pick grilled or broiled fish or shrimp. Lemon juice and tartar sauce can add flavor, but try to avoid shrimp sauce, as it often has hidden sugars. Order a salad rather than coleslaw due to sugar content as well.

Local Suggestion: Pelican Alley

Newly renovated and reopened after the devastation of Hurricane Irma, this beautiful restaurant has delicious grouper dinners that will delight your tastebuds. Go for the vegetable medley as your side dish and you are all set for a low carb seafood meal.

When You Want A Great Deli Sandwich

It doesn’t get much healthier than a restaurant that serves all fresh meats, cheeses and produce. However, if you are trying to limit your carb intake, it can be hard to go in to a deli and not order a nice big sandwich. Most places will allow you to simply remove the bread and have it as a large salad instead!

Local Suggestion: Mad Salads

Small, family owned and operated on 41 next to the movie theater. It’s a great concept where you can build your own custom salad that they prepare fresh for you or you can choose one of their signature salads instead. Just watch the dressings for sugar content.

Think outside the box

Sometimes there just aren’t going to be many options on a menu and this is when you may have to get a bit creative.

  • You may be able to order a couple of appetizers rather than an entree to fill your needs.
  • Chicken wings are a great item, but take care to pick the right sauce or no sauce at all. Boneless wings are often breaded, so ask before ordering to make sure you know what you are getting.
  • Keep in mind not every meal must include meat. A vegetable plate can be delicious and filling.
  • Side dishes are sometimes the yummiest things on a menu and can fit your dietary needs better.
  • Don’t hesitate to ask about the ingredients used in dishes so you can make an informed decision.
  • Since so many sauces and dressings have more sugar than you want, try adding avocado, lemon juice, salsa, full-fat salad dressings, and oil and vinegar for more flavors.
  • Order raw veggies and ranch dressing as a dip rather than chips.
  • Fried meats are fine as long as they are not breaded. If you must choose a breaded option, simply pull the breading off and discard it.

With a little forethought and a trade-off here and there, you can eat out nearly anywhere without feeling too restricted. By taking a few minutes to check the menu online before heading out the door, you can be sure to get what you want without sacrificing your health.

About The Author
Raye Wiedner is an active widow, living in the Midwest. She has been a health care worker for most of her life, with a passion for trying new adventures.

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