Lyfe Kitchen Reinvents Fast Food

By Maris Callahan for

If you’ve ever wanted to swing by a drive-thru to grab your favorite fast food without the side of “dieter’s remorse” that comes free with every double cheeseburger, then you’ll want a bite of this latest trend: fast food without grease, salt or guilt.

Lyfe Kitchen opened its first store outside of Chicago this week, in Palo Alto, Calif. with plans to open as many as 250 locations nationally over the next five years. Owned by two former McDonald’s executives, Lyfe Kitchen joins other health-focused quick-service restaurants, including Chicago’s Ful 2 Live and the California-based Native Foods Cafe.

“It’s going to be great tasting, satiating, familiar foods,” the company’s chief communications officer, Mike Donahue, told the LA Times, “with no [genetically modified foods], no additives, nothing processed and everything under 600 calories.”

Some have given it the moniker “healthy McDonalds,” as Lyfe’s first restaurant menu features the Classic Lyfe Burger, a grass-fed beef patty with pickles and agave-sweetened ketchup on a multigrain bun made with barley, corn and flax seeds. Vegetarians can substitute a Gardein brand veggie patty.

Running the kitchen are two chefs -  Oprah Winfrey’s former chef Art Smith, and vegan chef Tal Ronnen, who developed vegan menu options including Tal’s Ancient Grain Salad, Teriyaki Gardein Bowl, Sweet Corn Chowder with cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs and Chipotle Orange and Chayote Salad.

While all of the desserts will be dairy-free, you won’t find health trends or fad diet buzzwords like “gluten-free,” “vegan” or “dairy-free” plastered on everything.

Lyfe Kitchen, which stands for “Love Your Food Everyday” has implemented a wellness and health advisory panel to lend their recommendations to the new brand.

“In our ongoing mission to serve as a trusted lifestyle ally, Lyfe Kitchen will always explore ways to serve delicious, affordable food to active, taste-conscious families,” CEO Mike Roberts told “We value all of the voices in the wellness community and will always strive to learn from their experiences.”

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Treii W.
Treii H.4 years ago


Sheri P.
Sheri P.4 years ago

Interesting! I'd be curious to try one if I ever get the chance.

Emily S.
Emily S.4 years ago

Very cool! I'm hoping they come to Michigan!

Rucha H.
Rucha Harde4 years ago

I wish they would open up all over the world.
It Would be great ,Just Great.

ana p.
ana p.4 years ago


Jane R.
Jane R.4 years ago

This is great news. I hope one comes to my neighborhood. I'd love to try it!

Jennifer C.
Past Member 4 years ago

Thank you.

myra d.
myra d.4 years ago


William K.
William K.4 years ago

This is definitely a long overdue development!

Lynn C.
Lynn c.4 years ago

That's nice.