The Winner Of The Healthiest Fast Food Is......

October 18, 2011   40 Comments

While the economy withers, there is a fast food company that GREW by 23% in the last year. And, crazily, it features raw and sometimes local produce.

Chipotle Review

That photo up there was taken of the lunch that I had to drive 30 minutes to try because, alas, there isn't one of these restaurants near my house. BUT, one sprouted up close enough to visit just 2 months ago, and I just had to try it.

Yes, Chipotle has arrived in a place called Chicopee (try saying that fast - "Chipotle Chicopee, Chipotle Chicopee, Chipotle Chicopee").

You know what is kinda crazy about Chipotle? Their profit margins are among the highest in the fast food industry - AND they spend more on their food and more time preparing it.

What are the others doing wrong? Is it possible the model of manufacturing food at a central headquarters and then reheating it isn't as profitable as just cooking on site? Here we are needing FRESH food and Chipotle starts actually serving it.

This place is a mecca for those of us who:

  • have no time to cook
  • want to eat healthy
  • are watching our weight

Why? Because the food is cooked fresh and there are a whole bunch of vegetables! Check out their menu:


Here is my ordering advice:

You should AVOID the burrito. The calories in just one tortilla is going to set you back 290 calories and that is before you add anything else.

The "Bowl" has rice and no tortilla as it's base - and I didn't try it. Three ounces of rice is 130 calories but it looks like they use a lot more than that for the bowl.

They give you THREE tacos and the taco shells are 60 calories each (unless you go for the flour tortilla which is 90) so if you like tortillas the tacos are a much better choice than the burrito.

Of course, the best option for Snack Girl readers is the SALAD. I put brown rice, black beans, fajita vegetables, grilled chicken, fresh salsa, and a spicy salsa on my Romaine lettuce. I skipped the cheese, sour cream guacamole, and chips. Also, I asked for a light amount of chicken - as 4 ounces seemed like too much to me.

It set me back $7 and this is my best guess about its nutrition information:

405 calories, 8.0 g fat, 58 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, 15 g fiber, 1540 mg sodium, 10 Points+

Now, we can complain about the sodium in this food. I don't know why but 2 ounces of their red tomatillo salsa which I poured all over my salad instead of their salad dressing was a whopping 510 mg of sodium per serving. oops.

Their vinaigrette has 700 mg of sodium, 260 calories, and 24.5 grams of fat per serving - so don't you dare order that!

It is best to consult their nutrition facts BEFORE you go to the store - see Chipotle Nutrition Facts.

Chipotle should have the nutrition facts posted - but I didn't see them. And, their website should be interactive so us calorie counter types can easily figure out our meal.

If I went back, I would just have the salad with beans, light amount of chicken, vegetables, and fresh salsa and I would add some Tabasco that they have supplied for us heat lovers.

Leaving out the rice saves me 130 calories and leaving out the red tomatillo salsa - 510 mg of sodium.

Okay, enough about the numbers. The food here tastes good and fresh. And, they don't shove cookies in your face like Subway for dessert. There was no dessert offered. Hurray!

If you are out and about and need some lunch - give it a try. Here is a link to their Location Finder.

Have you tried Chipotle? What do you think?

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Love chipotle! They definitely Have the best fast food. Wish I had One around Me: (

on October 18, 2011

I also love Chipotle! I used to love Moe's more (they had the best tofu!!!) and their menu is virtually identical. But I don't have a Moe's near me anymore :(

on October 18, 2011

Chipotle's would be nearly perfect if they offered whole wheat tortillas (in a much smaller size!).

on October 18, 2011

We recently got a Chipotle and I love it! Like every other restaurant you definitely have to watch the portions, but I thrilled with the healthier choices.

on October 18, 2011

I am not a fan of change and hate to say it but they were caught for hiring illegal aliens.

on October 18, 2011

Chipotle nutrition calculator.

Hopefully this works.

on October 18, 2011

I live in Denver and have been eating Chipotle for years, regularly going to the original! I love the fact that they're everywhere now. Also, we're gluten free and, aside from the flour tortillas, most everything is gluten free! Look at the website for more information on that, but it's great for those of us with food allergies!

on October 18, 2011

I love Chipotle!!!

They just started serving brown rice,in my area (WI).

Hopefully whole wheat tortillas, are soon to come.

on October 18, 2011

I absolutely love Chipotle.

I like the tortilla so I get a vegetarian burrito and split the burrito in half...saving the second half for a second meal. Works for me!

on October 18, 2011

We have several close to work and one about ten minutes from home. I've eaten there once, had the burrito, long before I was even thinking about weight loss, and it wasn't that great, but that may have been due to my choices. Have to try them again. Thanks for the suggestion!

on October 18, 2011

Glad to see Chipotle getting such a good rec from Snack Girl! It is the most healthy choice out there. and so fresh. My boyfriend and I get the bowl with NO rice. And it's enough for the two of us to split. That's an awesome deal.

on October 18, 2011

I absolutely love them! It really is ridiculously FRESH! The first time I went I got the burrito but it lasted me 3 meals. So now I get the bowl (I've gone like once a week) and it lasts me two meals. It's so good!! And I love looking forward to the tasty leftovers in the fridge!

on October 18, 2011

Just be careful if you're thinking this is great for weightloss--look on the website for nutrition information because the ingredients add up quickly!

on October 18, 2011

Yes, Chipotle is our go to stop after soccer practice at 7pm! The kids love it and it is an "aware" company doing good things. Have you read a book called "Eat This Not That" Great resource for the family. It also lays out what to order in these types of restaurants if you are looking for a less fat/ calorie alternative. It also says in the book (my family was shocked!) that eating a donut is probably better than a bagel! Well, I digress...but check out this book! Thanks Snack Girl!!

on October 18, 2011

I too prefer Moe's but Chipotle will do when I'm someplace where there aren't any Moe's. I can't eat the pinto beans at Chipotle because of the pork but I can at Moe's.

on October 18, 2011

I have a chipotle at my local mall that's only 5 min away, so on days i want to treat myself or just have a more enjoyable time (in front of my laptop watching stuff while i eat usually), i head to chipotle. I almost always get the Chicken bowl with everything except the sour cream. a lot of times i get all 3 kinds of salsa too though :x Still not the healthiest for sure (compared to what you got) but it's hugely satisfying when I got the craving!

my Chipotle doesn't have brown rice yet but hopefully they will. also they've had this sign saying something about local farm raised chicken...but then they also had a sign that says "their usual provider has been unable to provide so they have been using a different provider with similar quality" so who knows if they're just making it sound good lol

on October 18, 2011

I love chipotle! Try making your burrito bowl with a half rice / half lettuce and you can save some calories

on October 18, 2011

I love Chipotle too, but I also love Moe's adn Willy's two other burrito places all within one square mile of each other that serve exactly the same thing.

on October 18, 2011

The choice of brown rice instead of only white rice is a great start. Maybe we could inundate their website with a request for smaller whole wheat tortillas as an option. My nearest Chipotle is 36 miles away, sadly, but it's near my Costco and Trader Joe's, where I trek every three months. I'll stop by next time. Thanks for doing all the work for us - you help to make staying on WW so much easier this time around and will help me to eat wiser to keep it off.

on October 18, 2011

YES!!! is an amazing fast food restaurant!!! I wanna them here in CANADA!!!! :(

on October 18, 2011

Love Chipotle too. it's real food, fast, and yummy. Can't wait to get back to Florida where we have one nearby.

on October 18, 2011

I love chipotle! such a good restaurant. Snack girl, I was wondering what your thoughts were on Panera Bread? Healthy, or no?

on October 18, 2011

Try the steak instead of chicken. It's spicy and lean and it's delicious! Their guacamole is delicious as well.

on October 18, 2011

I love Chipotle! Thankfully, I have been lucky to live within 5 or 10 minutes of one for the last couple of years. It is our go-to take out. I also use the Chipotle Fan website for calorie info. My salad is "Lettuce, Fajita Veggies, Chicken, Double Pico de Gallo" according to the Fan page it is 6 Points Plus. If I add Guac it goes to 10 Points. and with the double salsa you don't even need dressing! Love it!

on October 18, 2011

My county - Montgomery County in Maryland - requires that all eating establishments located here (if they are part of a chain with at least 20 stores nationwide) clearly post their nutritional information on the menu or menu board. So, that little case at Starbucks, that big board at Chipotle and that plastic menu at TGI Fridays all have the calorie counts and other nutritional info listed right there. It's SUCH an eye-opener and a really welcome guide while ordering. I work over the border in Washington DC and miss it when I pop into a Starbucks there.

on October 19, 2011

My husband and I like Chipotle a lot. I could never finish a burrito from there, I usually get the chicken burrito bowl and load up on beans and veggies. It's a better alternative to typical fast food.

Question: do you have a Noodles & Company restaurant near you? If so, would like your take on their menu. Thanks!

on October 19, 2011

I went a tried this today and it was DELISH!! I got the chicken salad with pinto beans, pica de gallo, a little cheese, and the dressing on the side. I only needed half the dressing and it was SO good. I looked up the pointsplus value and it was 14 which isn't that bad considering you get more points with the new program. It was WORTH it! You can save a lot of pointsplus by not having any dressing. And really, you don't need it!

on October 20, 2011

I would eat at chipolte all the time if it wasn't for so much nasty cilantro in their rice. I've never been a fan of that spice, but can tolerate it in moderation(but they use faaaaaaaaar too much).

Guess I'll have to try a salad next time.

And what's the deal with no android app? o.0

on October 29, 2011

I've only eaten at Chipotle about 3 times and I love it. I've had a craving for it recently but haven't gotten to one yet.

I don't live near one but there is one a few blocks away from my college. I've only had their burrito, easy to eat on the way back to class. For dessert? I grab some of the lemon wedges they offer for free. <3

Don't need dinner after a trip to Chipotle.

My friends, the ones who introduced me to it, one of them gets the vegetarian burrito, double everything. It has to use 2 wraps. Needless to say, they aren't very concerned about their calorie intake. It's amusing to watch though.

on November 5, 2011

I have never eaten at Chipotle but I love Quedoba and Moe's. Moe's uses hormone free meat, cheese etc. You should check them out. They DO offer cookies as a SIDE OPTION which is awful. I e-mailed the company too because I took my (@ the time 15 mo. old) child there and there was NO MILK offered for kids AND no fruit offerings! They have since gotten milk but that's all of the change I have seen so far. They also sent me $10 in gift cards so I would go back to try it again.

on December 14, 2011

They don't openly offer it, but you can ask for soft corn tortillas, lower in calorie than the flour and lower in fat than the fried hard shell!

on February 14, 2013

I love Chilpotle.. I recently went vegetarian, and the salad with light brown rice and double black beans, veggies, and a few drops of the vinaigrette, is all I need. Yum!

on February 14, 2013

Yes , have eaten at Chipotle lots of time....only thing is, we have to drive approx, 45-60 mins. to get to one.....wish we had one close....

Their food is really good and FRESH.....nothing is daughter who has lost a lot of weight eats there every chance she gets.... I like everything except black beans, so I ask for more pinto beans instead.....they give you a lot....I always end up bringing enough home for the next day's lunch or dinner.....

on February 14, 2013

Hi Lisa, thanks for writing about the fish bits at McDonald' I won't have to try them.....

Their fish sandwich is ok, but a bit greasy tho and really not worth the price...

Just heard ARBY'S has a special right now, 2 fish sandwiches for $4.00 no coupon needed.....may go get one.....Not sure if I have had theirs or not, but they sure do look good :)

Wendy's has a pretty good fish sandwich too, also greasy, and a bit pricey too......

I have been looking for frozen fish in the stores in my area and they all come from either Vietnam, China, etc.....countries where I am not sure about eating the fish that comes from there....

I contacted TRIDENT (Fish Co.) and they are in the USA and their fish comes from the Alaskan seas.....they have their big ships docked in the water and the catches of the day are all processed on that ship and then sent out to the stores and restaurants.....they also sell canned salmon, and it too is processed on the ship, I did buy a can at WALMART, and now KROGER SELLS IT isn't cheap, but at least it comes from the USA.....

Check out their's very interesting....

Now I need to write Kroger and Walmart and get them to start stocking their fresh fish for their freezers....I refuse to buy any fish that doesn't come from the USA.....

Just sayin................

on February 14, 2013

I LOVE CHIPOTLE! It is my go to meal after I've had a hard work out! I love that you now have a choice of Brown rice over white rice and I always get an extra half cup of cilantro.

on February 27, 2013

Fell in love with Chipotle when my son was in college in Denver. I will drive out of my way to go there. I love that I can choose what I want in my meal and no dessert to tempt the grandkids, who also love eating there. Best fast food every.

on March 22, 2013

I love me some Chipotle! Especially after my workouts. I always get a bowl. I'm too messy when its in the burrito form. I also get an extra little container oc cilantro. I love cilantro one of my favorite herbs.

on April 30, 2013

Chipootle is TERRIBLE!!! Never eat there again!!!

on June 9, 2013

I usually get the burrito bowl and ask them to hold the rice. Chicken, black beans, extra fajita vegies, fresh salsa, and put the lettuce on the top so it doesn't get soggy. I ask them to put just a little chees so I don't feel deprived. There is a calculator on their website that I used to figure the nutritional info so I could log it into my fitbit. I always feel satisfied for the rest of the afternoon when I have lunch at Chipotle. I love it.

on August 27, 2014

Chipotle~~ it's funny you got this article here, as the other day I posted a funny conversation I heard at chipotle, and a friend was like "are you ALWAYS at chipotle???" at me. I didn't realize until then how often chipotle invades my craving list...*coughs* I seriously have a thing for burritos so sadly I can't just go for the burrito bowl. I tried for a while, but it just wasn't as filling for me, and ends up making me crave more food. What i DO do though, is skipping the rice and beans.

What i normally get is a chicken burrito, no beans no rice, with fajita grilled veggies, mild and the spicy salsa (because I love spicy), corn, cheese, and lettuce. On days I really want to reward myself and get more nutrients, I add avocado for a special treat. It's still a LOT of calories but I don't actually go as often as it seems. Generally it's my go to for comfort food and celebration food. Out of all of the fast food places, chipotle has the best tasting and probably healthiest ingreds, which is why when I really don't have the time to cook, i go there.

by the way chipotle has a calorie calculator…

and someone else also posted the chipotlefan calculator. both of these i have used extensively when I was figuring out what i should keep and what i should drop out of my burrito. Sadly what i normally get is still a whoopin 730 calories, but it actually just motivates me to work out more that day in order to have enough calories to have a proper dinner and also drink my daily wine LOL usually if i eat according to my diet calories, i'd be too tired/hungry to work out. :\

on September 2, 2014

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