Lyfe Kitchen is being called "a Healthy McDonalds" by some. Part of that reason is that Mike Roberts, the former CEO of McDonald’s, was part of the team that opened this healthier version of the restaurant in Palo Alto, CA. The name Lyfe stands for "Love Your Food Everyday." Lyfe Kitchen was made to cater to people who care about what they eat with environmentally sound practices. Roberts hopes to open 500 to 1,000 outposts of the restaurant across the country in the next several years. Roberts explained,
“There are 80 million people who have become much more aware of the food they eat, and that’s going to continue as far out as we can see.”
Lyfe Kitchen strives to use healthy ingredients. That have pledged to not use white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, and GMOs.
Lyfe is somewhere in between a high end restaurant and a fast-food restaurant. The atmosphere is more upscale than McDonalds. There are no plastic seats or tile floors. Instead, you will see wood grain floors and nicer tabletops. The decor is white and orange upholstery with live plants around the dining rooms.
How To Order
To order, you stand in line and choose from a menu of regular, vegan, or gluten free choices. Then you order at the counter much like you would at a fast food chain restaurant. You will receive a numbered GPS tracker that you take to your table. The GPS is innovative technology that employees will use to find your table and deliver your food. On the way to your table, you will need to pick up your silverware and water.
You can also order online so that your food is ready when you pick it up. However, you can not call in an order. All orders must be ordered online.
The menu is divided up into the following choices:
- Starters (Edamame Hummus, Cucumber Bites with Tuna, Turkey Meatball Martini, Margherita Flatbread, BBQ Chicken Flatbread, Roasted Vegetable Flatbread)
- Soups and Salads (Seasonal Market Salad, Bronzed Tuna Salad, Quinoa Crunch Bowl, Tortilla Crusted Chicken Salad, Arugula Salad, Power Greens Salad, Butternut Squash Soup, Chicken Kale & Sweet Potato, Corn Chowder)
- Proteins (Organic Tofu, Roasted Salmon, Grilled Wahoo, Grilled Chicken Breast, Sautéed Shrimp, Parmesan Chicken)
- Desserts (Chocolate Nut Crunch Parfait, Trio of Gelato, Trio of Sorbet, Chocolate Chip Cookie, Chocolate Banana Caramel Crunch)
- Handhelds (Wahoo Tacos, Tomatillo Shrimp Tacos, Sweet Chile Chicken Tacos, Roasted Vegetable Tacos, Chicken & Avocado Sandwich, Parmesan Chicken Sandwich, Turkey Meatloaf Sandwich, Farmhouse Burger, Turkey Burger, Black Bean Burger)
- Entrees (Crispy Chicken & Brussels, Turkey Meatloaf, Curried Rice Noodles, Parmesan Crusted Chicken, Penne Pomodoro, Herb Roasted Salmon)
- Roots and Veggies (Roasted Brussels & Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato Fries, Garlic Parmesan Sweet Potato Fries, Steamed Broccoli + Snap Peas, Sautéed Green Beans + Bacon, Roasted Potatoes + Spinach, Simple Salad, Roasted Cauliflower, Roasted Asparagus)
- Brunch (Bananas Foster French Toast, Blueberry Quinoa Pancakes, Brunch Scramble, Breakfast Tacos, The Chancellor, Breakfast Burrito, Morning Veggie Wrap, Frittata Primavera, Sunny Side Skillet, Yogurt + Berries, Muffin)
- No white sugar, white flour, high fructose corn syrup, or GMOS are served.
- The majority of the ingredients are organic
- Chicken is free range without growth hormones/antibiotics
- Grass Fed Meat is served up as burgers
- Only presently available at 8 locations (Henderson, NV - Palo Alto, CA - Lone Tree, CO - Plano, TX - 3 places in Chicago, IL - and Memphis, TN)
- Prices higher than average fast food
What Other People Are Saying
The majority of the reviews that I found on the Lyfe Kitchen were very positive. Here is one of the many positive reviews about Lyfe Kitchen:
"Got the ahi tuna quinoa bowl with avocado, which was fresh and flavorful. I rarely eat healthy when I go out because I feel like "healthy food" is just never as satisfying -- but this was really good and I would definitely order it again! Service: 5/5 - The ordering process was easy (order at counter, seat yourself, then the food is brought to you), the food came out quickly, and the staff was frequently clearing away emptied dishes from tables, keeping the place spotless. Atmosphere: 5/5 - Spacious, tons of tables and light. It was a nice place to get a little bit of work/studying done too. Value: 4/5 Overall: Will come back here next time I'm in town! Delicious, healthy food."
Lyfe Kitchen may be the healthier version of McDonalds, but unfortunately, you are going to have to pay just a bit more to eat healthy. In general, healthier food costs more to buy and prepare than junk food. The old saying of "Pay the farmer now, or the doctor later" applies also to the prices at Lyfe Kitchen.
Most meals are just 300 to 600 calories, and cost $8 to $15. This is only slightly more than what you would pay at McDonalds for a sandwich and fries. As far as health food is concerned, LYFE is a fairly inexpensive healthy alternative to fast food.
I've read conflicting reviews of the service at Lyfe Restaurants. The customer service factor may end up being highly dependent upon where you are and who brings your food. For the most part, you will be ordering and just having your food delivered to your table. So it's not a fine dining experience where you will need to tip your waiter or waitress.
Lyfe Kitchen is basically a healthy fast food restaurant chain. The concept of a healthy fast food chain is a great one. It will be interesting to see if this chain does expand according to plans. Overall, people rated it well. You will pay slightly more than you would at McDonalds, but you also will be served a higher quality food and in a slightly nicer setting. I would recommend giving Lyfe a try if it comes to your town, or if you visit a town that has a restaurant. Unfortunately, at the moment, there are only 8 Lyfe Kitchen Restaurants in the U.S. I hope that my review has helped you to discover some new options for healthy restaurants.
For more reviews and information, check out our list of the Top 10 Healthiest Restaurant Chains of 2018.