Keto doesn’t have to mean a burger veto…

If you’re a card-carrying member of the carb-dodging ketorati, or you’ve been considering a switch to see if it might work for you, it’s likely you’ve already written off the idea of splurging on burgers any time soon.

But it doesn’t have to be that way, with a few substitutions it’s possible to turn this poster boy for complex carbohydrates into a lean, mean, ketosis pedaling machine.

nav left 3 of 12 nav right

These are just six UAE burger chains where you can keep those keto gains.

Where to get keto food in the UAE

Black Tap

It’s not just their sugar-jitter-inducing CrazyShakes that bring all habibis to the yard, Black Tap has ‘turnt up’ the UAE burger scene with human-face-sized NYC portions and crafty bun-filling twists. The problem is both of those things are going to illuminate some serious warning lights on your ketosis dashboard. Thankfully, and because this hip-hop sirloin chop shop comes from the spiritual heartland of comfort food, the US burger joint has been on the keto trend since the jump, offering their classic burger in tossed salad form. Hungry for more? Slide into a portion of their Mexican hot sauce-slathered wings for a Mariachi party on your tongue. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from Dhs45. @blacktapdubai

Burger Fuel

This New Zealand export was one of the first to spot and celebrate the cut carb craze — offering a stripped back ‘Low Carbinator’ version for each of their 100 per cent grass-fed, antiobiotic-free beef, and chicken burgers (we recommend the American Muscle — cheddar, pickles and mustard). It’s basically a lettuce wrap, which full disclosure, can make the eating ritual an order of magnitude messier — though we’d argue, that’s how burgers are supposed to be enjoyed. And they do also offer crafty burger holders, which mitigate some of the slop ‘n’ drop. If you’re looking to sub out the French fries, there are sweet potato alternatives, but we’re championing their banging breadless garlic and rosmary ‘chicken fenders” that come with a lush little lemon aioli dip. They’re goujons without the dinner jacket. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from Dhs32. @burgerfuel_uae

Five Guys

The American burger chain claims to offer more than 250,000 burger combinations thanks to the heavily customisable menu. Why? Because we humans are a famously picky bunch. For every person whose eyes roll back in bliss when they eat mushrooms, there’s another that will be crying about ‘the texture’. Some of the quarter-million options allow you to enjoy your patties absolutely bunless. And bunless doesn’t have to mean funless, you can top your meat with salad, jalapenos, pickles, mushrooms, perppers and hot sauce. Looking for a pairing partner? You can also enjoy their beef and cheese hotdogs without bun too. Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from Dhs38. @fiveguysuae


One of our favourite homegrown smashed pattie burger joints, Pickl understands the assignment… not all of us are, ‘about that bread’. They offer the option, on delivery and dine-in, to replace their *sighs in keto* lush potato buns with a lettuce wrap. Their gnarley chicken sandos are going to require a hefty slab of lettuce though, those fillets are absolute beasts. In Dubai (coming to Abu Dhabi soon), from Dhs30. @eatpickl

The Cheesecake Factory

Warning sirens normally go off for us when we see a restaurant menu with the range of this particular dining chain. The imaginary little Gordan Ramsay that sits on our shoulder for food critiquing scenarios, screws up his brow with measured cynicism, ‘how can they do all that?’ he asks “and do it well”. But it is a hugely successful brand with a collection of outlets spread across the globe (including four in Dubai and two in Abu Dhabi), so our wee Gordan ought wind his neck in. Our pro tip here is, head straight to the ‘Skinnylicious’ section — and ask for the Skinnylicious hamburger sans bun (sans sauce too if you’re feeling extra brave), it already comes with a side salad. In Dubai and Abu Dhabi, from Dhs55. @thecheesecakefactoryme

The Keto Fix


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by The Keto Fix (@ketofixdxb)

This low-carb specialist restaurant, lets you keep the buns on hun. Yep, for real. They have seven different options all with their own homemade keto-friendly baps (around 5g of carbs per burger). Go continental with the mushroom and swiss, snack on a stack with the double cheeseburger, there’s also a bacon and egg burger if you want to give your arteries a proper workout, and through some carb-subbing wizardry — even a fried chicken burger. In Dubai, from Dhs32.

Images: Provided