Chiquito restaurants are a United Kingdom–based chain specializing in "sizzling street food, hot fajitas and Mexican favourites," according to their website. When you're eating Mexican food at Chiquitos, calories may not be the first thing on your mind, and that's probably a good thing.
Video of the Day
Chiquito's menu doesn't list any calorie or nutrition facts and this information is largely unavailable online. While they do claim to offer some healthier options, they don't tell you what those options are, so figuring out Chiquitos nutrition is nearly impossible.
Chiquito's Nutrition Information
Chiquito's restaurant doesn't reveal a nutritional analysis for their food, nor do they share the calorie content for any of the dishes on the menu. This fact is actually addressed in their FAQ (or frequently asked questions) section on their website where they state that they don't list nutrition facts, but if you want a healthier option, your server would be happy to recommend one for you.
Since they don't share nutritional content, this leaves you grossly unaware of the calories, fat, carbohydrate, protein, sodium and cholesterol content of every meal. Of course, these characteristics are important for those who are trying to maintain a healthy diet; and since the exact ingredients of Chiquito's restaurant's dishes aren't shared, this makes it nearly impossible to analyze the nutrition facts on your own.
A similar restaurant, On the Border, however, does list the nutrition facts for items on their menu. While these numbers won't match up exactly with Chiquito's nutrition facts, it may be able to give you a little bit of an idea of what you're looking at with different types of meals.
According to On the Border's website, if you get the The Ultimate Fajita served with tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, cheese, pico de gallo, rice, and beans, (which is also a menu option at Chiquito's) calories clock in at 1,680. If you order two chicken tacos the calories add up to 1,090 calories. Of course many of these calories are coming from the sides and toppings. The Mexican rice side is 220 calories, while refried beans are 220. If you opt for black beans instead, you'll get slightly less at just 200 calories. Adding a side of guacamole (which is also on both menus) is another 45 calories.
If you're trying to lose weight, this puts you well over the recommended calorie intake for the entire day, which is 1,200 to 1,500 per day for women and 1,500 to 1,800 per day for men, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. If you're not trying to lose weight, this calorie intake may be lower than you need.
Read more: How to Eat Healthy at Mexican Restaurants
Healthy Options at Chiquito Restaurants
Because the nutrition facts for their meals aren't listed, it's difficult to decide what constitutes a healthy meal when you're trying to add up Chiquito's calories or determine overall Chiquito's nutrition. The menu does have identifications for vegan and vegetarian dishes, as well as a dedicated gluten-free section, but that doesn't necessarily mean those meals are healthier, according to the Mayo Clinic. Especially when it comes to things like calories, fat and sodium.
Chiquito's does have some options, like Roasted Sea Bass, a Roasted Salmon Chopped N Topped Salad and Chili and Coriander Salmon that seem like they would be a lighter fare than a lot of the other choices on their menu, but again, without the nutritional facts, it's difficult to say for sure.
Making Healthy Choices
Since Chiquito's restaurants are vague in the nutritional content of their dishes, it is best to follow some general rules of thumb when eating out at one of their restaurants. The University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority provides some healthy tips for eating out, like no matter where you're eating or what you're eating, it is best to eat smaller portions.
It's also a good idea to ask the restaurant staff to wrap up half the entrée before it is even served. If dining out with a friend, split the meal or order an appetizer as a meal instead. In addition, skip parts of the meal that seem like a filler, like additional bread or tortilla chips. Or, instead of tortilla chips, ask for a side salad.
Eating a low-calorie snack, like a a piece of fruit, about 30 minutes before the meal can help curb excessive hunger, which can prevent you from snacking on tortilla chips and overeating later on.
- University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority: "Healthy Tips for Eating Out"
- On the Border: "Menu"
- Chiquito's: "Main Menu"
- Chiquito: "FAQ"
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute: "Healthy Eating Plan"
- Mayo Clinic: "Is a Gluten-Free Diet Healthy for Someone Who Doesn't Have Celiac Disease or Gluten-Sensitivity?"