Skip Nav
Healthy Recipes
This Creamy Banana Cashew Overnight Oatmeal Offers 15 Grams of Protein
Try These Overnight Oats Recipes — All Under 400 Calories
Healthy Recipes
20 Hearty, Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes Full of Protein, Fiber, and Everything in Between

Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Restaurants

Top 10 Healthiest Fast Food Joints

When you're out and about, sometimes your only dining option is to pick up some food to go. So if you're faced with a few food chains to choose from, here are the top 10 healthiest fast food restaurants recommended by Health magazine.

  1. Panera Bread
  2. Jason's Deli
  3. Au Bon Pain
  4. Noodles and Company
  5. Corner Bakery Cafe

To see the last five,


  1. Chipotle
  2. Atlanta Bread
  3. McDonald's (yes, this one really did make the list)
  4. Einstein Bros. Bagels
  5. Taco Del Mar

For more details on why these restaurants scored high, check out

Tell me, which of these 10 food chains would you most likely grab a quick meal from?

Join The Conversation
Lo-Lo291303 Lo-Lo291303 7 years
Panera just opened two locations in Toronto (well, a little north of the city), and I'm obsessed. That apple salad is AMAZING! We also got a Chipotle about a year ago, and while I enjoyed splitting a chicken burrito with my fiance, I can honestly say it's a once a year kind of meal!
lulu88 lulu88 7 years
yeah i thought panera really wasn't that healthy? even though they come across as it.. but their sandwiches have like 1,000 calories in them. i guess it's just the ingredients maybe, like if everything is fresh? chipotle is my fave, though i know a burrito is over 1,000 calories. but i don't care! i could eat chipotle everyday =)
wednesday816 wednesday816 8 years
How did McDonalds make this list
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
I try not to eat at any of these places but good to know Panera is pretty healthy. :)
pinchbuggies pinchbuggies 8 years
I love Panera Bread! It's so fantastic! Although I've gone in there for a nice warm cup of soup & ended up coming out with a wonderful orange sconce! but we've gone in for their awesome sandwiches & cups of soup & were well fed for a really great price! I just hope they can get thru this recession!
Emi263 Emi263 8 years
i heart noodles n co!
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 8 years
totally not surprised by McDonald's on the list...on a recent road trip i ate there, and you can get a great salad and yogurt. panera bread is healthy, just like everyone said, depending on their choices. for example, their mediterranean veggie sandwich is great, but when I get it I order it with whole wheat bread, and usually nix the cheese and avocado spread, and an apple on the side.
Antioxidant Antioxidant 8 years
Hell yes to Panera Bread! <33
soul-bypass soul-bypass 8 years
McDonald's really?
leb357 leb357 8 years
chipotle, though you have to be careful of what you get and how much you eat--those burritos are easily enough for 2 meals.
SnufaLuffaGus143 SnufaLuffaGus143 8 years
Um...excuse me... where is subway?? I work there & i know people tend to make it unhealthy (adding bacon, extra cheese, pounds of mayo) but it is soo easy to make something healthy & under 6 grams of fat!
creando creando 8 years
Panera's not actually that healthy. David Zinczenko addresses it in the Eat This, Not That section of Men's Health. You can see it on their website. I used to go there all the time and think I was eating healthily, but they've got sneaky calories.
crayolasky crayolasky 8 years
There are only a few options at Panera that are pretty healthy. I don't think Einstein's is healthy at all, unless you get a whole wheat bagel, no schmear (sp?) etc. I have one near me, and I've been there a few times, but it's really not that great. Also...Mcdonald's?! Subway isn't on the list even, and although I don't think Subway is that healthy either (like their meatball subs...gross, plus there is no real option for wheat bread - all they do is dye white bread a 'wheat' color, when it really is refined flour, and try to sell it off as wheat). :(
aehunter86 aehunter86 8 years
I love Panera! But lately I've really been in to Roly Poly!
syako syako 8 years
All the calories and nutrition info is available on their Web site, it's easy to look it up before you go.
jelibeann jelibeann 8 years
you took the words out of my mouth, jessr...i also worked there, during college, and while there are ways to make healthy choices, not much on the menu is healthy as is...i must say the fact that i worked there for so long and still love their food is a testament to the taste factor, though :)
ckeller825 ckeller825 8 years
The thing I like about Panera is the fact that they list their calories ON the menu board.
BeautyQueen20 BeautyQueen20 8 years
The "Eat This, Not That" books have Panera on the "Not That" list... so be careful what you order. Be safe and break down the menu items by every ingredient... focaccia bread alone packs tons of calories!
jessr1214 jessr1214 8 years
i am shocked that panera is #1. dont get me wrong, it is delicious. but i worked there for 4 years in high school and the first 2 years of college and when i was bored i would look over the nutrition info...yikes. everything from the bakery side is evil (not so surprising). but a LOT of their soups, sandwiches, and even salads are really bad too. sierra turkey has 1000 calories! i mean, there ARE healthy choices. but it tends not to be anything on the menu. and not anything i order when i'm there :-)
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I love panera. Their bread is heaven. I've only ever been to 3 places on this list, so it doesn't really apply
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I'm not much of a fast food person, but I usually navigate around the menus at most places pretty well and there's usually at least one or two acceptable things on the menu. Likewise, you can get totally unhealthy things from a lot of the "healthy" places. So this ranking system doesn't mean a whole lot to me.
miss-malone miss-malone 8 years
I don't eat at any of these places...
weffie weffie 8 years
i don't think we have any of these in canada... i remember there was a chipotle across from my hotel last time i was in chicago and i ate there like ten times :)
divinedebris divinedebris 8 years
I just want to point out, you don't have to stay away from breads or pastas or bagels to have a healthy meal. Carbs are not the enemy. But I do agree, it's about your choices. Just don't be boring constantly, enjoy eating- it's just easier to eat healthy and enjoy it at home.
Modus-Vivendi Modus-Vivendi 8 years
Agreed, laella. Pretty much every fast food place has something healthy on the menu, it depends on what you order, not where you go. I loooove Panera, but when I am out and unexpectedly famished I usually go to McDonalds and get a grilled chicken snack wrap with barbecue sauce.
Best Dressed at Emmys 2016
$5 Meals
Best Golden Globe Awards Dresses Worn by Latinas
In-N-Out Secrets Revealed
From Our Partners
Latest Fitness
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds