Restaurants You'll Almost Always Regret

You know how it goes. You haven't been to a particular restaurant in a while, and suddenly, you just have a craving for your favorite dish from that chain. It's been just long enough for you to forget the deep, deep hole of guilt you crawl into after eating there, and you've definitely forgotten how vaguely sick you felt after the last time this seemed like a great idea. But your stomach hasn't forgotten. It even does a little churning flip at the thought. You know better than your stomach, though, right? Why would you listen to that particular organ?


If you're craving a trip to Arby's, chances are good it might not even be their weirdly textured roast beef sandwiches that you're thinking about. It's the curly fries, isn't it? With a large Jamocha shake? Just those two items alone will mean chowing down on 57 grams of total fat and around 1,470 calories, and that's most of your daily allotment. And you didn't even have a sandwich yet! You're going to have to pick up at least one or two roast beef sandwiches while you're there, (you know, for the protein), and just a single small sandwich will be another 360 calories and 14 grams of fat. Even their salads and healthy-looking deli sandwiches are loaded with enough fat and calories that it's pretty much a guarantee you'll be in a Jamocha coma after eating there.


Applebee's is the perfect go-to guilty pleasure, especially if you're planning a night out with friends. The appetizers are amazing, there's always something good on the drink specials, and there's something for even the pickiest eater in your group. And that's a huge part of the problem. A look through the nutritional information that Applebee's provides shows something surprising. Their "Lighter Fare" items really are lighter, and they even taste good.

The problem with Applebee's happens when you start adding things onto your meal. You're always going to split an appetizer or two before you even think about a main course. Don't forget the incredibly tempting dessert menu that's always staring you in the face. After all, dessert is one of the best perks of being an adult. Tack on some more extras like a side, cheese, and various dressings and sauces, and you'll be staggering out to your car in no time.

Long John Silver's

Fish might not be a guilty pleasure, but fried fish definitely is. Long John Silver's usually tempts you when you get a whiff. Unfortunately, you'll probably walk out feeling like you took a bath in the fryer oil instead of just eating the food that came out of it.

At a glance, it might not seem too bad ... until you look at the serving sizes. They're not giving you numbers based on how many pieces of fish are in a dish, but for each individual piece. That means the fat and calories add up fast, even in things like the fish tacos. Then add on some hushpuppies (because no one goes to Long John Silver's without having the hushpuppies) and you're looking at an extra 160 calories and 13 grams of fat for just two.

Looking for the slimmed-down menu? There isn't one. Just go to another restaurant.

White Castle

You know those tiny, tasty burgers are going to come back to get you, but there's just something about a bag full of White Castle sliders that makes them irresistible. Don't worry, no one's judging.

Each slider on its own isn't terrible for you, and a look at the nutritional information suggests that most problems at White Castle start with quantity. For their original slider, a single burger only has 140 calories and 6 grams of fat, which isn't terrible. The terrible part happens when you eat half a dozen of them, because who goes to White Castle for a single slider? That gets compounded when you start looking at some of their other options, and each one of them sounds better than the last. How can you say no to a bacon jalapeno cheese slider (210 calories, 14 grams of fat) or a surf and turf slider (540 calories and 38 grams of fat)? And that's the catch. It's so easy to go in and order one of everything that sounds good, rationalizing it by telling yourself that they're only small burgers.


KFC is one of those places that seems like a great idea at first. How can you not love fried chicken? Not to mention the sides. Do you get extra cornbread every time like a normal person? Unfortunately, that cornbread muffin is the worst of KFC's sides, weighing in at 210 calories and 9 grams of fat.

Sorry. Things go downhill from there, and you probably don't need to hear the actual numbers. You already know they're bad. Each piece of fried chicken contains hundreds of calories and plenty of fat. It's no wonder that you usually don't even get through your meal before you're regretting this one, and chances are you're inwardly crying even as you're licking off the last bit of oily, fried goodness.


Sonic's real draw is their drink menu. Whether you're in the mood for some amazingly decadent coffee drink, a Sonic Blast or a Master Blast, shakes, floats, or their infamous slushies, the drinks are probably why you get the occasional craving for Sonic. And, of course, you hate yourself after. Look at their nutritional information and it's no secret as to why you feel so bloated and uncomfortable after eating there.

Say you're on your lunch break, and you pull in to pick up a quick something that'll keep you going all day and a drink that'll keep going through the afternoon. You order a SuperSONIC double cheeseburger with mayo, a large order of onion rings, and a pineapple upside down Master Blast to take back to the office with you. Congratulations, you just ordered 2,590 calories and an insane 150 grams of fat.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen is hard to resist, especially a Blizzard. If it's been a long day, you might even opt for the largest size, but you'll probably wish you hadn't.

Order a large, double-fudge cookie dough Blizzard, and you'll be downing 1,180 calories and 47 grams of fat. If you spring for extras, that's going to rise quickly, and it won't be long before you're taking on a few hundred extra calories. Even the pecan pieces will add another 200 calories and 21 grams of fat. If you think getting a frozen coffee MooLatte is any better, you're only a little bit correct. Those check in between 450 and 830 calories each and can contain up to 30 grams of fat. Oh, and any large MooLatte has more than 100 grams of sugar. Yum. Even the mini-Blizzards are packed with as much fat, calories and sugar as they are goodness, so feeding that ice cream craving at Dairy Queen is probably never going to make you feel good.

Bob Evans

Bob Evans is a staple of interstate travel, which is kind of surprising, because the last place you want to be feeling so horrible is on the road. It seems as though there's a Bob Evans just off every interstate exit east of Chicago, and that feeling you get after you eat there? That's what vacation feels like.

It's no wonder you feel a little queasy after stopping, and it's not just car sickness. A look at the nutritional information for this breakfast joint shows that any of the big favorites, like their farmers' choice breakfast, the sirloin steak and eggs breakfast, or the homestead breakfast are all well over 1,000 calories. The lowest fat content of those choices is found in the farmers' choice breakfast, with an almost unfathomable 79 grams of fat.


The sandwich and sub shop chain might be the most diabolical on this list, because at a glance it's easy to think you're doing the right thing. It's easy to believe you're being healthy when you head here, picking up a turkey sub with plenty of veggies for lunch. Their ingredients look healthy. So why is it you always feel like you've eaten a brick after lunch here?

Restaurants, like every retail store, count on the up-sell to make a huge profit. Once they've gotten you in the door, it's easy to convince you to upgrade your sub to a foot-long, add a bag of chips, a soda, and a cookie for dessert. By the time you walk out with your armful of food, you'll be packing on the calories despite your best intentions to save some for later.

Let's take a look at the calorie and fat content in some of their foot-long subs. The Italian meatball? Around 1,630 calories and 85 grams of fat. The chipotle steak and cheddar? About 1,270 calories and 70 grams of fat. What about turkey? Turkey's always healthy, right? The ultimate turkey club runs about 1,120 calories and 50 grams of fat.

Buffalo Wild Wings

At Buffalo Wild Wings, you go for the atmosphere, the sports, the friendship, and the sharing, but that's also a drawback. You can be so focused on catching the game or catching up over a few drinks that you don't even realize just how many wings you've been snacking on. Since there are so many different kinds, it's easy to order a table full of wings to share and, before you know it, you're wondering if you'll ever get the grease off your fingers.

Let's get this out of the way early: buffalo wings just aren't good for you. But take a large order of, say, Thai curry wings. You're looking at 1,720 calories and 113 grams of fat for the whole order. (Pro tip: the boneless wings usually have even more calories than the traditional wings.) Even if you're sharing, chances are good that you're going to be sharing a few different kinds and following them up with some liquid carbs. Even their salads are pretty terrible for you, and the biggest offender is the Mediterranean salad. At more than 1,300 calories and 104 grams of fat, there's no point in getting a salad!

Taco Bell

Taco Bell lures you in with imagery that looks delicious, fresh, and sometimes even healthy. You might even go there with the best intentions, but suddenly you're ordering 12 Double Decker Tacos, two trays of nachos, and a drink as big as your head. The regret is so real there's even a term for it: the Taco Bell Curve. That's the 20 minutes between thinking you had a brilliant idea to go there, and the moment where "Run For the Border" takes on a whole new — although no less urgent — meaning.

A quick peek at Taco Bell's nutritional information is enough to make your arteries start clogging before you even get near the food. Just take one of their Breakfast Crunchwraps. Who wants to start their day with a mind-numbing 670 calories, 42 grams of fat, and 1,300 mg of sodium?


IHOP is one of those places that really only seems like a good idea at two times: when you're on a road trip, and when it's super-late at night. Alcohol is possibly involved, but you can't blame the alcohol for the feeling you get when you leave. You know the one, that feeling you've overdosed on sweetness but you're somehow, inexplicably, still hungry.

It's the sweetness that gets you, with choices like Red Velvet Pancakes and crepes, waffles, and French toast that are loaded with sugar, sweet toppings, more powdered sugar, and the inevitable maple syrup. Just try getting back into the car and on the road after that! They've also been given the Xtreme Eating Award in 2017, taking home a win for their cheeseburger omelette (and its 45 grams of saturated fat). Sift through their nutritional information, and you'll find their 2x2x2 combo can be a not-horrible option, and you might be able to get away with minimal regret if you stick with eggs. Otherwise, there's some carsickness on the road ahead of you.

Cheesecake Factory

It has "cheesecake" right in the name, so no one's expecting any meal here to be light or healthy... but this is beyond unhealthy. As we've talked about before, the Cheesecake Factory stubbornly refused to release nutritional information until mandated by law, and it's no wonder. The Center for Science in the Public Interest featured the chain front and center in their Xtreme Eating Awards of 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014... you get the idea. The "awards" focus on dishes that go above and beyond unhealthy, and they're not even picking on a single dish — those awards are all for different ones!

This one's no joke, and considering there are a whole bunch of dinner entrees that'll leave you scarfing down way more than a day's worth of calories and a whole week's worth of fat (even before you even get to the cheesecake),  it's easy to see why you walk out the door regretting your ability to make good life choices. Maybe you should just opt for a piece of cheesecake and leave it at that.

Five Guys

Five Guys has grown in leaps and bounds since opening their first restaurant and making the big decision to franchise. The very specific way they do their burgers and fries — along with their strange buns — means once you get the craving for Five Guys, there's no other burger joint that's going to satisfy it. You might leave regretting it, though, and there are a couple different reasons for that.

A single burger patty on a bun is going to set you back almost 500 calories and 26 grams of fat. Add fries, and you can easily max out your daily recommended intake of everything before you even think about toppings.

Cracker Barrel

Cracker Barrel made their reputation on being the place to go when you didn't have time to fix a hearty, wholesome meal at home, and that's some impressive marketing. When's the last time you had to take a deep breath before getting up from your dining room table, then broke out in a sweat from the sheer effort of standing up? It's no wonder. There are a ton of things you can order off the menu to get enough fat, calories, and sodium for a whole family of four. Sometimes, a family of six.

Even things with "apple" in the name are heart-stoppingly bad for you, like the 3,200-calorie Baked Apple Dumplin Men's Health tested (so you don't have to). Heck, even their "Lighter Twist" menu has words on it like "fried" and "buttermilk", and that's not a good sign. Cracker Barrel has a whole other level of unsettling it serves up with its plated heart attacks, and it might just be these terrifying secrets helping drive your feeling of regret. Their nutritional information guide is set up so you need a calculator to figure out what you're getting, so finding a healthy option is tricky. Maybe some yogurt.