Did you know that Potbelly was named after a stove?
In 1976, when the sandwich shop was officially opened, the owner decided to name it after the antique stove he had at the time. (1) Today, it’s one of the most prominent restaurants in the United States.
What we are trying to say is that with how popular the restaurant is, it won’t be weird to find yourself there 4-5 times a week. It can be with friends or you may even be alone?
So, what do you do if you’re on a low-carb diet and you want to eat at Potbelly?
The answer is simple!
You use the famous substitution method. But this means you need to know about Potbelly’s nutrition information, and that can be stressful. (2)
That’s why we are here!
To help you safely order a meal that suits your keto or low carb diet. By the time you’re done with this article, you should be able to confidently walk into a Potbelly restaurant to order a low-carb meal.
Let’s get started!
Tips to Order Low Carb at Potbelly
Let’s be honest.
Potbelly is not where you go if you want to have a satisfying meal on a keto or low carb diet.
It is, first and foremost, a fast-food restaurant. Their signature meal is a sandwich, and the amount of carbs for that is staggering. (3)
The best you can get is a low-carb fast food and for that, there are certain tips you need to pay attention to.
So, let’s go!
Beware of Hidden Carbs
Since Potbelly is a fast-food restaurant, they use specific techniques and ingredients to increase the carb count of your meal.
Breading is an example. If you’re trying hard to be on keto, not paying attention to these things can get you kicked out of ketosis. (4)
Like breading, one of the other things you need to watch out for is the condiments. Many of them are filled with sugar.
They may be insignificant when you’re taking a small portion, but adding them up little by little, your diet will end up badly.
To put it simply, it’s always safer to avoid these condiments. (5) Condiments you’ll find at Potbelly are ketchup. This is a sugar haven. Avoiding it will help you reduce the amount of carbs in your meal.
Another is the sauce. We understand that it is sweet, but that should tell you something. It contains sugar.
Some mayo brands don’t use sugar in their products, but there’s no way to tell what brand potbelly uses. So, we think avoiding it will save you a lot of trouble.
Watch Out for the Bread
Potbelly is a sandwich shop. It says so in the name. So, they have a lot of bread lying around, and bread contains loads of carbs that are not keto-friendly and, as a result, may affect your low carb or ketogenic diet.
Typically, chicken wings and other fried foods are likely to be coated in flour. If there’s no way to remove the breading from the meal, just don’t order it at all. You can also ask for your chicken to be grilled.
But that’s not all!
As far as the sandwich is concerned, you can always remove the bread and eat what remains inside. It may not be filling, but it sure is tasty. It’ll also help you remove the amount of carbs per serving.
Make Special Requests
Most of the meals on the menu are designed to be sweet and enjoyable. This means many of them have sugar and condiments that may contain carbs. It is up to you to specially request that those things be left out.
We advise that you think of it as having an allergy. If you are allergic to shrimp and a restaurant uses it as part of its ingredients, the best option would be to ask for it to be removed or not order it at all.
If you’re not sure of what ingredients the food has, then you should ask the waiter or not order it at all. Doing that may affect your ketogenic diet and stall your weight loss goal.
Check the Net Carbs in the Nutrition Information
Potbelly is one of those few restaurants that make their nutrition information available for the public.
Therefore, you can go to their website to check out the nutrition breakdown of the food served in the restaurant.
You can also use Nutritionix (6) to check out how much net carbs your food will have if you use the substitution and removal method. This tool will help you pinpoint what ingredient is likely to affect your ketogenic diet.
Is There Anything Low Carb at Potbelly?
Even though we said that the chain is a fast food restaurant and should not be relied on as a go-to keto dining joint, you can still get keto-friendly meals there.
Yes, you heard that right!
Potbelly is one of the few restaurants with meals that are perfectly keto-friendly.
Here are some of the meals.
This salad originally comes with fresh romaine, iceberg and spinach, grilled chicken breast blue, cucumbers, diced red onion, grape tomato, chopped bacon, and hard-boiled.
The dressing is the signature Potbelly vinaigrette, which even comes in low fat. The total carbs for this meal is 15g.
You should ask for the fresh romaine, iceberg, spinach, and Potbelly vinaigrette to be removed to make it keto compliant. This will reduce the carbs to 4g.
This salad contains virtually the same ingredients as the farmhouse salad. The only thing missing from this Potbelly’s most popular meal is the grilled chicken. In its stead, the Wreck meat is used. This totals to 17g.
Remove the same things we did in the farmhouse salad and you are left with just 6g and 400 calories. The fat content is great, and it makes the meal ketogenic.
Top 6 Low Carb Options with their Net Carbs at Potbelly Sandwich
If there’s anything Potbelly Sandwich shop is popular for, it’s its tasty sandwiches. (7) Some of them rely on vegetables and are great for vegetarians, while others contain non-vegetarian protein.
There are also different options depending on where you are.
A Wreck, Originals
This delicious Potbelly Sandwich original recipe contains multigrain bread, Wreck meat, Swiss cheese, lettuce, mayo and tomato.
The total calorie is 650, and the total carbs is 60g. Remove the multigrain bread and you get just 5g of carbs.
Bacon, Egg and Cheddar Originals
This Potbelly Sandwich is also one of the tastiest sandwiches in Potbelly Sandwich Works. It contains thin-cut multigrain bread, melted butter, egg patty and cheddar.
To make it ketogenic, you can remove the multigrain bread and the carb content comes down to 4g. You can eat it for breakfast and lunch.
With a huge 85g carb content, this meal comes with one of the highest carbs in the restaurant on the menu.
However, without the multigrain bread, it contains just 12g of carbohydrates. The total fat is 48g.
This amount will help your keto diet and improve you with your weight loss journey. To make it even more keto-friendly, take out the bacon and eat only the lettuce, mayo, tomato and avocado.
If you like it tasty and chewy though, and you’re on a low carb diet, you can still take it with the bacon. Grab this sandwich from Potbelly today.
Chicken Salad BIGS
It contains 77g with the bread. Without it, it’s just 4g, so don’t be afraid to take it out. All you’ll be left with is the chicken salads, you can ask for double, provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomato.
Salad is the healthiest meal you can find in a fast-food restaurant. Salads contain veggies that act as a supplement for your diet. They also have nutrients that can uplift your mood and improve your brain.
Net Carbs Farmhouse Salad
Farmhouse salads originally contain 760 calories with 410 from fat. That’s great as a keto diet, but the carbs is 15g and may not be good enough if you’re on a strict keto diet.
So, you can always remove the Potbelly vinaigrette, romaine, iceberg and spinach. This will bring it down to 4g and 520 calories.
It contains virtually the same ingredients as the farmhouse except for the removal of the romaine and iceberg. Get rid of the Potbelly vinaigrette and hummus to get the carbs level as low as 10g.
Grab this salad from Potbelly today to eat and add it to your ketogenic meal collection.
The ingredients in the original version are romaine, iceberg, spinach, grilled chicken, feta, cucumbers, diced red onion, grape tomato, Italian seasoning, artichoke hearts, garbanzo beans, roasted red peppers and potbelly vinaigrette.
These salads are very tasty but left alone, they contain 37g worth of carbs. You can leave out the romaine, iceberg, spinach, potbelly vinaigrette and garbanzo beans to lower the carbs to 13g.
A Wreck Salad
We are going to do the same thing here.
Remove the romaine, iceberg, spinach, and potbelly vinaigrette to lower the carbs to 6g. It’s light enough for dinner. It’s also very healthy.
Gonzo Bonzo Salad
You can still keep the romaine, iceberg, and spinach in this meal, but get rid of the garbanzo beans and potbelly vinaigrette and you’re left with 10g worth of carbs.
Soups at Potbelly also have lower carbs than their other meals. They are very tasty and you can order them alone or as a side to another dish.
There are many types of soups at Potbelly. They range from chicken noodle to pot pie. But those are not the ones we are concerned with. The ones we’re concerned with are;
Broccoli Cheddar Soup
The food chain serves this either in a bowl, cup or as aside. In a bowl, the total carbs is 17 grams with 12 grams of protein. This is great for low carb, but it can be lower. In a cup, it’s 11 grams and on aside, it’s 8 grams.
This is one of the tastiest soups served by the chain. For this, you’ll have to order a smaller portion. In a bowl, the carbs is 30g, and on aside, it’s 15g.
Garden Vegetable Soup
This is tasty and chewy. You can check the recipes online for more info. You’re not to order it in a large portion though, that’s too much carbs. So, what do you do? You can take it as a side to complement your order meals for just 11g.
Pantry Side of Mayo
Unlike other restaurants, Potbelly gives you the chance to order an oversized staple to use for your own home-cooked meal. The things you can order range from sliced meat to Italian sandwiches. You can also order hot peppers, but those with the least carb are the pantry side of mayo and mustard. They have zero carbs.
We’ve already mentioned some sides above. Salads come into the category of low carb sides. Soups do too.
Some cheeses are cool too, but stay away from the chips. Many of them have over 20g of carbs, and there’s no way you can work around them.
The chain offers many drinks but most of them contain sugar and you should stay away. For example, the banana smoothie includes 101g of carbs. That amount is too high. Our advice is that you stick with beverages like coke zero sugar, diet coke, diet Dr. Pepper and unsweetened iced tea. (8)
What Are the Healthiest Low Carb Options at Potbelly?
At this point, we think you already know the answer.
But in case you don’t, the answer is the salads, especially farmhouse and clubhouse. The vinaigrette dressing (9) is a problem, but you're good to go once you get rid of that.
Soups are also pretty healthy. They are very rich, tasty and creamy. Of course, they don’t beat homemade soups, but they have come really close.
What Foods to Avoid on Keto at Potbelly
We have already listed your keto options above, but what we have not done is to list out the options that are not keto-friendly. (10)
- Gallon of Hot Peppers: This contains 256g of carbs, 75,520 mg of sodium, 3200 calories, and 192g of fat.
- Shakes and smoothies: The short ones have as high as 50 net carbs. That’s the lowest amount of carbs.
The standard-sized ones, such as the oreo banana split shake having up to 137 net carbs.
Finally we are here, and what a great journey that was.
By now, you should be able to list out the best meals you can order at Potbelly chain on a low carb or keto diet. You can also mention what to avoid and what will add greatly to your diet.
If you can walk into a Potbelly restaurant confidently and order something after this, then we are happy.