6 Best Restaurants for Bulking & Exactly What to Order (2023)

6 Best Restaurants for Bulking & Exactly What to Order (1)

Looking to bulk up and add muscle?

A lot of beginners don’t realize that a good bulk requires just as much disciplines and strategy as a cutting or fat loss phase.

It’s not a carte blanche to eat whatever you want at all times!

Eating out on a bulk can be tricky. Restaurant food is typically high in calories, which is good, but you still need to pay attention to the macros and overall nutrients in what you order… without going TOO high in calories.

You can eat out anywhere during a bulking phase if you know what to order, but here are some of the best restaurants for bulking to get you started:

  1. Muscle Maker Grill
  2. Chipotle
  3. Buffalo Wild Wings
  4. Subway
  5. Burger King
  6. McDonald’s

Let’s take a look at these choices, what to order, and some general guidelines for eating at restaurants while bulking.

How to Bulk Properly (Quick Guide)

When you’re on a quest to add lean muscle to your frame, you need to be on top of your food intake every day.

That means taking in 20-40 grams of protein at every meal, along with plenty of healthy fats and green and fibrous carbs.

Yeah, that’s right — you have to eat GOOD food and not just junk to pack on muscle. At least, if you don’t want to balloon up along the way!

Your food quantity per day also needs to be 250 to 500 calories higher than your caloric burn. This caloric surplus is the main driver of anabolic growth.

(Video) 8 Foods Every Skinny Guy Must Eat (BULK UP FAST!)

Some people find it difficult to get enough calories on a bulk, feeling full toward the end of the day and needing to “force feed” themselves an extra snack or two.

Others go way overboard, eating everything in sight and applying no discipline whatsoever to their meal plan. You can guess where that leads.

So while bulking sounds easy (and fun!), there are lots of ways to mess it up — especially if you find yourselves eating out a lot.

Let’s take a look at how to keep the meal plan on track at some popular restaurants.

Best Restaurants for Bulking & Muscle Gain

You can eat anywhere on the planet on a bulk as long as you:

  • Get enough calories
  • Eat a good amount of protein

But some restaurants are better than others for bulking.

Let’s take a look at some of the best options that are easily available for most people.

1. Muscle Maker Grill

6 Best Restaurants for Bulking & Exactly What to Order (2)

Muscle Maker Grill was founded in 1995 by bodybuilders for bodybuilders.

Unable to find a restaurant that provided healthy high quality protein meals, Rod Silver decided to make his own. The company now has more than 50 locations spread across the country. With annual sales in excess of 30 million, Muscle Maker Grill is seriously flexing its muscles on the healthy fast restaurant market.

Muscle Maker Grill provides the highest quality proteins with grass fed steak, and all-natural chicken. These guys specialize in making healthy, muscle building enhanced versions of favorite dishes.

A favorite menu item for bodybuilders in a bulking or mass building phase is the Muscle Maker Grilled Chicken Bowl, which includes grilled chicken breast, broccoli and brown rice. This meal delivers 480 calories, 60 grams of protein, 46 grams of carbs, 9 grams of fat and 7 grams of fiber.

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2. Chipotle

Chipotle is a Mexican fast food grill restaurant that offers some excellent meal options for those keen to pack on muscle mass.

Chipotle was one of the first national restaurant chains to commit to goals on local and organic produce. That means that you will never bite into chicken or beef from Chipotle that has hormones added to it!

One of the best menu options for adding muscle mass is the Burrito Bowl. This combination of chicken, brown rice, pinto beans and fajita veggies provides you with 515 calories, 42 grams of protein, 57 grams of carbs, and 15 grams of fat.

3. Buffalo Wild Wings

6 Best Restaurants for Bulking & Exactly What to Order (3)

Buffalo Wild Wings was born way back in 1982 when a couple of transplants from New York to Ohio were unable to satisfy their craving for buffalo wings. Rather than road tripping all the way back to New York, they decided to start their own business.

Today they are one of the most popular sports bar chains in the United States. Their specialty is, naturally, wings, beer, and sports. However, they’ve got some awesome high protein offerings that will definitely help you to pack on the muscle mass.

You’ll have to bring your discipline with you when you visit Buffalo Wild Wings. If you want to avoid piling on fat with muscle mass, you’d better steer clear of the tempting sauces and dips that Buffalo Wild Wings are so well known for.

Go easy on the beer while you’re at it!

Our favorite Buffalo Wild Wings muscle gain menu option is the chicken grilled sandwich with a side salad. That meal will deliver 57 grams of protein, 64 grams of carbs and 4 grams of fat for a total intake of 680 calories.

4. Subway

Subway is the go-to healthy eating option for most gym goers. There’s a good reason for that.

They offer a complete range of customizable healthy sandwich options. As well as being able to select healthy salad and vegetable ingredients, you also have complete control over the type of bread, though there are also quite a few breadless options, and the sauces that go into the sandwich.

Subway was founded in 1965 by 17-year old Fred DeLuca. Today, each of their 21,000 restaurants across the globe are owned by franchisees. Subway strives to source their ingredients from only the healthiest, most sustainable organic sources.

(Video) How To Eat To Build Muscle & Lose Fat (Lean Bulking Full Day Of Eating)

Subway offers a range of high protein sandwiches, including Chicken Teriyaki, Turkey Breast and Steak and Cheese. However, when it comes to muscle building potential our favorite is the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Protein Bowl.

This includes a whole Footlong’s worth of chicken teriyaki, along with drizzled sweet onion sauce. Each serving provides you with 394 calories, 34 grams of protein, 33 grams of carbs and 4.5 grams of fat.

If you are wanting to up the complex carb component of your meal, you can always opt for the regular footlong version of the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki sandwich. This version is a little lighter on the protein content with 25 grams and 52 grams of carbs, and a total of 265 calories.

5. Burger King

6 Best Restaurants for Bulking & Exactly What to Order (4)

Burger King is definitely one of those fast food restaurants where you need to steer clear of the greasy, fried offerings in order to avoid putting on fat bulk.

Still, for the discerning customer, there are some pretty good options for the guy who’s interested in putting on muscle bulk. Founded in 1954, Burger King is the second largest burger chain on the planet, behind McDonald’s.

While there is plenty of protein in Burger King’s range of burgers, we prefer going for a leaner protein filled sandwich.

That way you will get the protein without the greasy fat content.

Our favorite Burger King sandwich is the grilled chicken. Grilled chicken is far healthier than the crispy chicken that comes with many other Burger King offerings.

The sandwich version also reduces the carb and fat content. Just be sure to go easy on the dressings. The sandwich also has less sodium than either a salad or a burger.

The BK grilled chicken sandwich provides you with 470 calories and 37 grams of protein. Add a garden side salad to give you the carbs you need to fill out your muscle glycogen.

6. McDonald’s

We could hardly present a list of the best muscle building restaurants in the world without including the largest and most iconic restaurant chain of them all.

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There are a lot of bodybuilders out there who actually swear by McDonald’s as part of their lean bulking menu. Dave Palumbo, for one, claims that a post workout visit to McDonald’s after every workout for five years was instrumental in his gaining 100 pounds of quality mass.

We don’t go as far as Palumo by advocating a trip to McDonalds after every workout.

That being said, after your workout is the ideal time to get in a cheat meal. That’s because your glycogen levels are depleted by your training, meaning that those extra carbs will go directly into the muscle cell – not be stored on your body as fat.

What we do recommend is an occasional – that means no more than once per week – McDonalds meal to pack on muscular weight gain.

The meal that we recommend is the Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken and Fruit ‘n Yogurt Parfait. This tasty combination will provide you with 31 grams of protein, 58 grams of carbs and 10 grams of fat.

Wrapping Up

When packing on muscle, shoot for a “lean bulk” — that means eating just enough calories to grow muscle but not enough to gain unwanted fat. It also means keeping an eye on your health and avoiding too much junk.

When eating out on a bulk, the temptation is to go nuts and let yourself really indulge. Why not eat that 1500 calorie fat-bomb?! You’re bulking up, right?

Try to stay as disciplined on your bulk as you would while on a weight loss diet and you’ll see far better results.

You can eat anywhere on a bulk, but the list above should at least get you started.

Order the meals we’ve recommended and don’t let your eyes wander through the menu. If you do, you’re likely to end up ordering foods that will pack on fat bulk like fries, sodas and greasy burgers.

Your body deserves better than that – stick to our six options and you’ll be able to pack on nothing but lean muscle mass.

(Video) How To Bulk For Only £3 A Day (3500 Calories) | Budget Bulking Plan

For more guides like this, check out:

  • The best restaurants for cutting
  • When to start bulking?
  • The best bulking snacks

Hope this helps!


What should I order when bulking? ›

4. Best Foods for Bulking
  • Dairy products including milk, cottage cheese, yogurt, cheese.
  • Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, mustard greens, bok choy, arugula, Swiss chard.
  • Eggs (whole and egg whites)
  • Healthy fats such as avocado, nut butters, plant-based oils (such as olive oil, sunflower oil, etc)
Nov 17, 2022

What fast food can I eat to bulk up? ›

The 15 Best High-Protein Fast Food Meals You Can Eat
  • Mcdonald's Mcdouble. ...
  • Arby's Roast Chicken Entrée Salad. ...
  • Chick-fil-a Lemon Kale Caesar. ...
  • Wendy's Apple Pecan Salad. ...
  • Chipotle Salad With Chicken, Fajita Vegetables And Roasted Chili-corn Salsa. ...
  • Shake Shack Shackburger (lettuce Wrap) ...
  • Subway 6-inch Oven Roasted Chicken Sub.
May 6, 2021

How many meals should I eat to bulk up? ›

We recommend consuming 6-8 meals a day during your bulk. This will also give your body a constant supply of fuel throughout the day, which means there will be a constant supply of nutrients to feed your muscles and help them grow.

Is 5 meals a day good for bulking? ›

Eat More Meals More Often

If you're active and train hard, you likely burn a lot of calories each day. It's very difficult to eat clean foods that replace all the energy you've spent in just three meals. That's why bodybuilders—competitive and recreational alike—eat 5-8 meals per day to support mass-building.

What should I eat for dinner when bulking? ›

Key Proteins for Bulking
  • Chicken: A chicken breast is a great source of lean protein. ...
  • Seafood: Seafood is a good source of protein as it is usually low in fat. ...
  • Milk, cheese, and yogurt: Dairy foods are great sources of protein. ...
  • Lean beef: Beef has more fat in comparison to white poultry meat such as chicken.
Apr 7, 2022

When bulking Do you eat anything? ›

No. Bulking correctly takes planning and a firm understanding of how foods are used in the body to fuel hard training, recovery, and muscle accretion (building). Just like you wouldn't fill a sports car with low quality gas, you don't want to just eat anything while you bulk.

Which food is king of protein? ›

  • Top 10 Foods Highest in Protein.
  • #1: Turkey Breast (and Chicken Breast)
  • #2: Fish (Tuna, Salmon, Halibut)
  • #3: Cheese (Low-fat Mozzarella and Cottage Cheese)
  • Protein in 100g 1oz Slice (28g) Protein to Calorie Ratio. 32g. 9g. 1g protein per 4.7 calories. ...
  • #4: Pork Loin (Chops)
  • #5: Lean Beef and Veal (Low Fat)
  • #6: Tofu.

What is the dirty bulk? ›

A dirty bulk refers to a period of aggressive weight gain used to promote muscle and strength gains in strength sports and certain team sports.

Are tacos good for bulking? ›

Incorporate Mexican meals, such as enchiladas and tacos which contain meat (e.g., pork, fish, beef, chicken, and shrimp) to increase your protein intake. As a result, you keep your muscles and tissues in good condition.

What should you avoid when bulking? ›

When bulking, be sure to include a variety of nutrient-dense foods in your diet to support muscle growth and overall health. You should limit alcohol, added sugars, and fried foods, though certain supplements can be useful.

What times of the day should I eat to bulk? ›

In order to bulk up and gain lean muscle mass, you need to be in a state of positive nitrogen balance — this is when muscle synthesis (building) is greater than muscle breakdown. To do this, try to eat some protein (about 20 g) every 3-4 hours — key times are with breakfast, post-workout, and before bed.

How long should bulk be? ›

A bulking phase can last anywhere from 1 month to over 6 months or longer, depending on your goals. To start bulking, add a given number of calories to your typical daily calorie intake.

What do bodybuilders eat for dinner? ›

Bodybuilders typically have protein at every meal, some consisting of shakes. Full meals will usually consist of a lean animal protein such as a grilled chicken breast or piece of fish, vegetables, and perhaps a starch such as sweet potatoes or rice.

What food do bodybuilders eat? ›

Foods to Focus On
  • Meats, poultry, and fish: Sirloin steak, ground beef, pork tenderloin, venison, chicken breast, salmon, tilapia, and cod.
  • Dairy: Yogurt, cottage cheese, low fat milk, and cheese.
  • Grains: Bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, quinoa, popcorn, and rice.
Nov 19, 2018

What's the best breakfast for bodybuilders? ›

Here are 7 best bulking breakfast ideas to keep your muscles fueled and your taste buds stimulated:
  • Banana Pancakes.
  • Chicken Omelette.
  • Smashed Chickpea and Avocado Toast.
  • Greek Yogurt with Nuts, and Berries.
  • Eggs and Avocado Toast.
  • Coconut Coffee Buzz Smoothie.
  • Chocolate, PB and Berry Smoothie.

How should I eat 6 meals a day to gain muscle? ›

Eat a minimum of 6 meals daily at a frequency of one meal every 3-4 hours. Increase estimated daily calorie maintenance by 500 calories per day (3500 calories per week). Add liquid calories in the form of shakes and smoothies to assist with increased calorie intake.

What foods to eat on a clean bulk? ›

Clean Bulking

People doing clean bulks often consume rice, pasta, lean chicken breast, lean turkey, steak (with all the fat cut out), non fat milk, cottage cheese, fruits and many other healthy foods. This type of bulk is usually preferred by people with slower metabolisms.

Are burgers good for bulking? ›

You should all know by now – we tell you often enough – that if you want to make big gains, then you need to take your diet seriously. And burgers, ice cream and any other sugary, highly calorific fatty-foods won't cut it. If you want to pack on muscle, then you need to eat clean and ditch the dirty bulking.

What food is 100% protein? ›

High Protein Foods by Nutrient Density (Most Protein per 100 Grams)
1 Spirulina View (Source)100 grams115% DV (57.5g)
2 Dry-Roasted Soybeans View (Source)100 grams87% DV (43.3g)
3 Grated Parmesan Cheese View (Source)100 grams83% DV (41.6g)
4 Lean Veal Top Round View (Source)100 grams73% DV (36.7g)
6 more rows
Sep 26, 2022

What food has 100g of protein? ›

Plant-based food that contains high protein content are legumes, like peas, soy, and grains.
1. Protein from animal sources.
FoodProtein per 100 gCalories per 100g
Chicken32.8 g148 cal
Beef26.4 g163 cal
Pork (loin)22.2 g131 cal
Duck19.3 g133 cal
15 more rows
Mar 15, 2022

What are the 3 best protein foods? ›

Top 10 Protein Foods
  • Fish.
  • Seafood.
  • Skinless, white-meat poultry.
  • Lean beef (including tenderloin, sirloin, eye of round) ADVERTISEMENT.
  • Skim or low-fat milk.
  • Skim or low-fat yogurt.
  • Fat-free or low-fat cheese.
  • Eggs.

Is Peanut Butter good for a bulk? ›

This easy-to-use and easy-to-eat food can be used in a variety of recipes from smoothies to on-the-go snacks. Just one tablespoon of peanut butter has four grams of protein, making it a good source of protein for building muscle.

Do bananas help you bulk up? ›

Bananas are an excellent choice if you're looking to gain weight. They're not only nutritious but also a great source of carbs and calories.

How to eat 3,000 calories in a day? ›

The most logical way to take 3000 calories would be over three meals and two snacks (8).
You should have foods in the following measurements:
  1. Ten ounces of grains. ...
  2. Four cups of vegetables. ...
  3. Two and a half cups of fruits. ...
  4. Three cups of dairy. ...
  5. Seven ounces of protein foods.

What foods can you eat on a bulk? ›

Foods to eat
  • Lean proteins: chicken, fish, turkey, beef, pork, Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, reduced fat cheese, protein powders, tofu and tempeh, and eggs and egg whites.
  • Healthy fats: olive oil, avocado, nuts, nut butters, fatty fish, and seeds like chia, hemp, and flax seeds.
Oct 8, 2020

Is Mcdonald's good for bulking? ›

Hi there, I would not recommend that. Building lean muscle needs a protein-rich diet, and it's best when it comes from clean and healthy sources.

What foods are cheap to bulk? ›

Even with rising food costs, a can of tuna still costs well under a dollar and provides 25 grams of very lean protein.
10 Low Cost Foods to Help Gain Muscle
  • Eggs. ...
  • Ground Beef (and a tip to make it leaner) ...
  • Whole Milk. ...
  • Peanut Butter. ...
  • Potatoes. ...
  • Oats. ...
  • Whey Protein. ...
  • Bananas.
Jun 29, 2020

What snacks are dirty bulk? ›

In a “dirty" bulk, the athlete consumes processed, highly palatable foods: burgers, fries, pastries, ice cream, milkshakes, fried chicken, doughnuts, candy, and other calorie-dense foods.


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