UK Restaurant Chains – all the calorie counts you’ll ever need

This is Day 45 of the Weight Loss Challenge

As regular readers of this blog will know, I eat out A LOT and the fact that it’s virtually impossible to determine the calorie counts of anything on a restaurant menu – except, possibly, a plain grilled steak with a plain salad – drives me insane. Well this week I’ve been working on an article that requires me to get the calorie information from as many of the big chain restaurants as I can. And, in most cases, everything you need to know is actually on their website – if you know where to look for it. Well, now I do. Below is a link to all the calorie count charts I can find for the main eat in chains. Admittedly, some companies just don’t have them – namely Giraffe, Chiquito, La Tasca, and, as I type Wagamama (though this is going to change soon). Pubs are also generally very unwilling to tell you what’s in their food – Harvester being the exception here, they actually print their calories on the menu.

My normal Strada order: Spaghetti Ragu – 627 calories

I find it a bit daft really – I suppose they think people might think twice about ordering the pasty, chips and beans (ahem) if they see it has over 1200 calories a portion, but looking at it from the opposite angle, wouldn’t you be more keen to eat out if you knew that at Zizzi you could have a Funghi Risotto and a Rocket salad for just 563 calories, or that at Strada, the Panzerotti Porcini – which sounds fattening as it’s ravioli stuffed with mushrooms and ricotta – has just 399 per serving and that you can the ‘avoid like the plague it says butter’ side dish of broccoli with chilli butter for just 88 calories (less than the mixed salad). Sweet toothed folks can also discover that the Creme Brulee at Cafe Rouge has just 259 calories.

So, my advice is bookmark this post on your smartphone, so, next time you’re out you can click back here and click on the page of your chosen restaurant and make the right choice. If you don’t trust your willpower I’ve also pinpointed THE lowest calorie main course for each restaurant below.

Prezzo – Pollo Siciliana – Chargrilled chicken with prosciutto and plum tomatoes baked with cheese –  355 calories, maybe with a tomato and onion salad, 87 calories

Strada – head down to the red type at the bottom where it says ‘download data’ – Teggamaccio (fish stew) – 385 calories

Zizzi – Funghi Risotto, 507 calories

Pizza Express – all Leggara Pizzas are 500 calories, but a Pollo Pancetta salad without dressing or doughballs is 303

Pizza Hut – Veggie Supreme Regular 9″ Pan Pizza is 145 calories a slice (that’s 435 if you share it). If you don’t trust your willpower, Lasagne at 624 cals is the best option

Frankie and Benny’s – don’t list all calories, but they do list individual calories of their lower calorie options. Spaghetti Oceana at 310 calories is the lowest of these.

Cafe Rouge – Sole Provencal is 348 calories

Wetherspoons you need good eyes for this one, and ability to rotate your head sideways. Mind you it does make pretty scary reading! Lowest cal choice is Sweet Chilli Noodles (without chicken ) at 346 calories

8 Comments

  1. Zoe Fischer

    Nandos – burgers have the fewest calories, followed by pittas and wraps are far higher! Chicken breast burgers (333) are the lowest, vegetarians could go for veggie burgers (433). Sides-wise – ratatouille is your best bet (108) and if you’re looking for something sweet a passionfruit gelato is great (122).
    Yo sushi do calorie menus online – very healthy – as do Carluccio’s – less healthy – but pan fried sea bass is good (518) and all the salads are under 600 except for the primavera.
    Hope that helps 🙂

    Reply
  2. Catherine taylor

    Fantastic,
    Thank you.
    Any idea where I could get grams of fat per 100g or per serving?
    Indicative is fine

    Reply
    1. healthehelen

      In theory, if you click on the links they should also offer grams of fat as well. Those that merely have ‘dishes under 500 calories’ won’t, but the others should.

      Reply
  3. alex brooke

    hey helen! awesome post! i’m searching for the calorie counts for strada as I am going there tomorrow, and am on a calorie cut – on the strada allergens page they seem to have gotten rid of the link to download the calorie info! i don’t suppose you had a copy of the calorie info downloaded by any chance?

    thanks so much!

    Reply
    1. healthehelen

      I don’t I’m afraid – and I’ve hunted round the site (they often like to hide these things in odd places) and you’re right it looks like they’ve removed all their nutritional information which is annoying. Thanks for letting me know.

      Reply
  4. Jen Wilson

    Wagamama now have their calorie counter online! This is actually quite frightening..!

    Reply
  5. Irmani

    Hi Helen, Cafe Rouge have also removed all theirs, too.

    Reply
    1. healthehelen

      Thanks for letting me know – I do need to update this post. It was done a long time ago and I’m guessing a lot has changed.

      Reply

Hello...hello...is this thing on? Talk to me, it's lonely down here

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