Dining out when eating Paleo is hard. The point of the diet is to eat as humans did in the Paleolithic Era, 10,000 to 200,000 years ago. This means avoiding anything with artificial ingredients, grains, dairy, processed foods, legumes including peanuts, potatoes — basically anything man-made or altered. So, what can Paleo eaters order? The Paleo Diet website says to consume grass-produced meats, fish and other seafood, fresh fruits and veggies, eggs, nuts and seeds, and healthy oils like olive and flaxseed oil. Yes, that seems a little tricky. But it’s getting easier for Paleo folks to eat out around Boston now that restaurants are offering Paleo options. Here are 10 places where Paleo eaters can go.
Piperi Mediterranean Grill, Boston
This place is considered semi-Paleo but it still makes the cut. It serves up Mediterranean-inspired food bursting with flavor. It uses only lean meats and fresh vegetables. Toppings and sauces are made from scratch and do not contain artificial ingredients. Foods are cooked with olive oil only, so Paleo diners can avoid the hydrogenated oils used in most restaurants today. For around $8, you choose your protein (chicken, steak, or veggies) and four toppings and sauces from tomato relish to Moroccan carrots.
Try: Chicken Gozi (nix the feta) or the veggie plate (no hummus and swap the yogurt sauce for the red cabbage slaw).
One Beacon Street, Boston. 617-227-7471. piperi.com
What’s especially important when dining out with a dietary restriction (or two) is friendly, knowledgable staff. Sonsie staff is incredibly helpful and can point Paleo diners in the right direction. Offering international cuisine, this restaurant serves up fresh flavors and unique food combinations with its signature dishes and seasonal options. Order from the gluten-free menu to make it easier and don’t be afraid to customize your order — ask for foods to be cooked in olive oil, ask for sauces to be left off, etc. You’ll find a variety of fresh seafood and lean meats with organic fruits and veggies.
Try: Grilled salmon with yellow tomato salsa, guacamole, and shaved radish
327 Nebury St. Boston, 617-351-2500,
Boston Burger Co., Boston
Nothing says Paleo like a big, juicy burger — as long as its grass fed. Thankfully, Boston Burger Company serves up tasty 8-ounce certified Angus beef burgers dressed with a variety of innovative and tasty toppings. There burgers are creative, and the attentive staff doesn’t mind customizing menu items. Just remember to leave off the bun and cheese.
Plain burger with a fried egg, sauteed veggies, and avacado.
37 Davis Sq, Somerville, 617-440-7361, bostonburgerco.com
Paleo dieters can’t deny that the bulk of what they can eat is lean protein and veggies. Good thing the bulk of what Sweetgreen serves is veggie-centered. Its menu is always changing and dishes are made on the spot. Its ingredients highlight sustainable, local, organic products that are hormone-free and all natural. The make-your-own salad option is perfect because diners can leave off the cheese and legumes and create a delicious, Paleo-friendly dish.
Try: A make-your-own with a mix of two two greens, a mix of seasonal fruits and veggies (no potatoes!), pecans, and raw seeds.
659 Boylston St, Boston. 617-936-3464. sweetgreen.com
This South End gem serves up Barcelona-style tapas with Spanish-inspired small plates made from locally sourced, sustainable ingredients. They have menu options for just about any allergy or restriction and staff are attentive and knowledgeable about the dishes and ingredients.
Try: Almendras Marcona, Jamon de Pato, and Gambas al Ajillo.
1704 Wahington St., Boston. 617-536-4300, toro-restaurant.com
P.F. Chang’s, Throughout Massachusetts
Who doesn’t love Chinese food? With a huge selection and attentive staff, P.F. Chang’s is a perfect place to eat for Paleo diners. Focus on their gluten-free menu but don’t be afraid to request changes to some of their other dishes. The chefs are known for their flexibility, sometimes stopping by the table to make sure your dietary needs are followed and even creating custom dishes.
Try: Chicken lettuce wraps, lemon scallops, ginger chicken with broccoli, shaking beef.
8 Park Plaza, Boston. 617-573-0821, pfchangs.com
B.W.’s Grill, Revere
This is a fantastic place for brunch Paleo-style. Mostly everyone knows that the diet is famous for its inclusion of bacon and eggs. While you can’t indulge in home fries or pancakes, order one of the hearty omelets filled to the brim with veggies, meat, and a side (or two) of bacon. Don’t forget to ask for eggs and toppings to be fried in olive oil or another Paleo-friendly alternative.
Try: A steak omelet with no cheese, caramelized peppers and onion, and bacon. Ask for greens or fruit in place of toast and home fries.
843 Broadway, Revere. 781-629-3778.
Believe it or not, this tiny family joint has an actual Paleo menu. Diners can choose between five hearty, specially-made breakfasts, burgers, and salads without the hassle of customizing a dish. Just make sure the wait staff knows your restrictions so they can mark your order.
Try: The sky is the limit! Choose from the Paleo hamburg platter, the Paleo grilled chicken breakfast, the Paleo breakfast special, the Paleo poached eggs, or the Paleo tuna salad.
743 Washington St, Newton. 617-964-9200. cabots.com
Neptune Oyster, Boston
Plenty of Paleo diners can indulge in the delicious seafood at this North End hotspot. Its specialty is seafood, which, alone, is Paleo-friendly. The staff is friendly and will point you in the right direction if you mention your restrictions. Most of the dishes can be customized. They also use fresh ingredients from local vendors.
Try: Maine lobster salad, yellowfin tuna (ask for no bread), and seared Georges Bank scallops.
63 Salem St. Boston, 617-742-3474. neptuneoyster.com
Brown Sugar Cafe, Boston
Thai food is a great option because it is vegetable-centered and uses fresh, quality meats and ingredients. Brown Sugar Cafe is the epitome of this concept, offering local, fresh ingredients and authentic, quality dishes. The menu is extensive, meaning there are plenty of options for diners with any type of restriction. The staff is known for giving guests personal attention and is happy to accommodate different diets and customize dishes. But watch out for peanuts — they’re in a lot of the dishes and are not Paleo-friendly.
Try: Brown Sugar Spareribs, Steamed Mussels, Soft Shell Crab Tempura, and Shumai.
1033 Commonwealth Ave. Boston. 617-787-4242. brownsugarcafe.com