If you love whole grains, and want to see more of them served in restaurants, you need to vote with your forks – and your wallets. We get excited when restaurants add new whole grain options to their menus. And we get even more excited when we check back later, and find those choices still on the menu – because this means people bought them, and liked them, and told their friends.

That’s why, every few months, we dedicate this blog to highlighting a few delicious new restaurant dishes featuring whole grains. We hope, when you’re eating away from home, you’ll show these restaurants that we, the dining public, appreciate having whole grain choices!

Tell us about your favorite whole grain choices in chain restaurants (in the Comments below) or use our list to find restaurants serving whole grain options.


Panera Salad with Quinoa

Panera: Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken

Quinoa continues to be the most widely-available whole grain in many restaurants. This lively summer salad features smoked chicken on a bed of greens, corn and organic red and golden quinoa, topped with feta and avocado.


Zoe's Quinoa Salad

Zoe’s Kitchen: Quinoa Salad

While the quinoa in Panera’s salad shares the stage with a large cast of fellow actors, Zoe’s Kitchen puts quinoa front and center in this crunchy and colorful vegetarian dish.


Protein Bowls from Starbucks

Starbucks: Protein Bowls

Lots of folks are unaware that whole grains make a significant contribution to our protein needs. Starbucks knows this, though – that’s why they’ve made sure to include whole grains in their two new protein bowls. Choose from the Chicken & Quinoa Protein Bowl with Black Beans & Greens or the Lentils & Vegetable Protein Bowl with Brown Rice.


CPK Power Bowls

California Pizza Kitchen: Power Bowls

CPK has been a strong advocate of whole grains since way back before it was hip. This time, they’re going super-creative with Power Bowls. There’s a Bahn Mi Bowl with kale, chicken, radishes, bean sprouts and other crunchy bits on a bed of quinoa, and a Santa Fe Bowl with southwest flavors – lime chicken, tomatoes, corn, avocado and more – on a bed of cilantro farro.


Papa John's Ancient Grains Crust

Papa John’s: Ancient Grains Crust

Speaking of pizza chains, Papa John’s has a new Ancient Grains crust that’s made with sorghum, teff, amaranth and quinoa. We think It’s cool that the company is using some very special whole grains as part of their clean label push – which has also seen the elimination of BHA, BHT, MSG, artificial flavors and synthetic colors. (The new crust may not be available in every part of the U.S.)

What new and interesting whole grains have you come across lately? (Cynthia)


All photos courtesy of the restaurants cited.

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