Never Order A Bread Bowl At Panera. Here's Why

Love bread and can't resist fast food? In that case, you're probably familiar with Panera Bread and its delicious menu options, ranging from delicious salads to iconic bread bowls. But you might not be as familiar with the ways chain has tried to be good to and for its patrons. As per Delish, Panera Bread is something of a community stalwart in the sense that some of its outlets in areas that have economically disadvantaged residents follow a "pay-what-you-can model." Panera Community Cafes have menus with the suggested donations but customers are asked to offer what is within reach for them. 

Moreover, if you're trying to be healthier, you'd be happy to know that Panera Bread was the first national brand in the country to make calorie counts available to its customers and has taken additional measures to make its menu items healthier. For example, artificial trans fats have been removed from the dishes coupled with artificial additives. However, if you love the brand's bread bowls, we have bad news for you.

You're looking at too many calories

So, what's the lowdown? Basically, while you're safe ordering a bowl of fresh vegetable soup at Panera, you can't say the same if you convert that into a bread bowl. You'll be looking at major calories. According to Panera's nutritional guide, a Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Bread Bowl clocks in at 900 calories while a cup of the creamy tomato soup alone only packs 230 calories. A Panera Ten Vegetable Soup Bread Bowl has a whopping number of calories (730) versus a simple, wholesome cup of veggie soup that just has 60 calories. The bowl, by itself, has 200 calories. As lovely as sourdough bread is, it's not too great for your waistline and health. Welp, that's disappointing.

What's the best way out? Experiment, innovate, and eat your way through the menu. For instance, you can get a slice of bread on the side with your hearty bowl of soup and save a lot of calories instead of having to worry about overindulgence when you dig into a bread bowl with veggies. Best of both worlds, right? Or take the advice of Reddit commenters who suggest getting a salad or customizing things a little by getting half a sandwich made with low-calorie bread and half a salad.