What to Eat at Long John Silver's: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Long John Silver's

Verywell / Christian Alzate

Long John Silver's is the largest quick-serve seafood restaurant in the U.S. and is best known for its original wild-caught Alaskan whitefish hand-dipped in a signature batter. Other popular seafood staples such as a fish sandwich, battered shrimp, and crab cakes are also included on the menu, where most items are $15 or less. Served alongside the fish are traditional favorites such as fries ("chips"), hush puppies, coleslaw, green beans, and "Crumblies" (small nuggets of fried batter).

The Long John Silver's menu also offers healthier items such as wild-caught grilled salmon, grilled shrimp, and baked seafood. The menu, nutritional data, and information about ingredients and allergens are offered on the Long John Silver's website. However, checking the menu online and trying to determine nutritional values can be tricky. If you plan to visit the restaurant and have special dietary needs or nutritional goals, scan this information before your trip to make the best decisions about the menu.

"Long John Silver’s offers a variety of fish, but it does not cater to anyone who doesn’t eat seafood. Many of the options are battered and fried, which makes them high in calories, fat, and sodium. If you are eating here regularly, it’s best to choose baked fish options with a high fiber side dish such as a baked potato and broccoli."

Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

What to Order & Avoid at Long John Silver’s
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Battered Cod (Seafood) Breaded Clam Strips (Seafood)
Baked Alaskan Cod (Grilled Seafood) Sweet Chili Grilled Shrimp Rice Bowl (Grilled Seafood)
Seasoned Grilled Salmon Taco (Tacos & Sandwiches) Baja Fish Taco (Tacos & Sandwiches)
Green beans (Sides)  Battered Onion Rings (Sides)
Lemon Juice (Sauces & Condiments) Creamy Garlic Butter Sauce (Sauces & Condiments)
Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake (Desserts) Chocolate Creme Pie (Desserts)
Unsweetened Silver's Tea (Beverages) Tropicana Fruit Punch (Beverages)

Most Nutritious Option

If you're looking for the healthiest meal at Long John Silvers, stick with grilled or baked fish and veggies and get a serving of baked Alaskan cod and pair it with a side of green beans.

Seafood

If you are visiting Long John Silver's for its signature battered fish, you'll have a few options to choose from on the seafood menu. Of course, you'll find the traditional battered whitefish, but you'll also find battered shrimp and popcorn shrimp on the menu. In this category, you can also choose a lobster-stuffed crab cake.

In general, these choices are not the most nutritious items on the menu. They tend to be higher in fat calories, although the sodium levels are lower than some of the seasoned items. If you enjoy battered and fried fish, look for a single piece of fish (from the "Add-a-Piece" menu) and consider getting a side dish that is not fried, like green beans.

✓ Battered Cod

The battered cod and the wild Alaskan pollock are very close in nutritional value, but the cod edges out the pollock because it is lower in sodium, lower in carbohydrate, and higher in protein. It comes in at 190 calories, 11g fat, 1g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 15g protein, and 560mg sodium per piece.

✗ Breaded Clam Strips

One order of breaded clam strips is meant to serve more than one person, but if you consume this as an entree, you'll consume substantial fat and calories: 340 calories, 20g fat, 4g saturated fat, 35g carbohydrate, 10g protein, and 680mg sodium. If you love clams, a bowl of clam chowder might be a better bet as it is lower in calories. If you're watching your carb intake, it is also lower in carbs. But the soup is higher in sodium.

Grilled or Baked Seafood

The items available in this category may vary by location. For example, while the website says that grilled salmon is available, the most recent nutritional information only provides information for grilled salmon that is included in bowls and tacos. The website does state that it is not available in certain co-branded stores and nutritional data is provided in earlier nutrition fact sheets. You'll also notice that the website menu emphasizes meals and platters, but when ordering online you can "Add-a-Piece" and find a single piece of fish there.

✓ Baked Alaskan Cod

The baked Alaskan cod has 160 calories, 1g fat, 0g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 36g protein, and 390 mg sodium. It is one of the healthiest items on the menu providing a whopping 36 grams of protein, no saturated fat, very little total fat, and less sodium than many other menu items. It should be noted that (if available) the grilled salmon is another healthy option. It is higher in calories and (healthy) fat than the cod, but lower in sodium.

✗ Sweet Chili Grilled Shrimp Rice Bowl

The sweet chili grilled shrimp rice bowl, while a healthier option compared to the battered menu items, boasts the highest amount of sodium of all the grilled options. It comes in at 390 calories, 11g fat, 2g saturated fat, 51g carbohydrates, 21g protein, and 1,790mg sodium. If you're craving shrimp, consider ordering the seasoned grilled shrimp taco, which has 180 calories, 5g fat, 1g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrate, 12g protein, and 820mg sodium.

Tacos & Sandwiches

Grilled salmon and shrimp are available as bowls or tacos. A bowl includes eight shrimp or one piece of salmon on top of a bowl of rice and topped with sauce and a small bit of shredded veggies. A bowl (280 to 290 grams) is a larger portion size. All bowls are much higher in sodium than the tacos. A taco is smaller (120 to 130 grams) and includes a corn and flour blend tortilla and your choice of seasoned shrimp or salmon, topped with shredded cabbage and lime vinaigrette. There is only one sandwich included on the menu.

✓ Seasoned Grilled Salmon Taco

The seasoned grilled salmon taco includes 180 calories, 4g fat, 1g saturated fat, 21g carbohydrate, 580 mg sodium, 8g sugar, and 16g protein. You'll get a more moderate portion size if you get a taco instead of a bowl. It edges out the comparable seasoned grilled shrimp taco simply because it is lower in sodium and higher in protein.

✗ Baja Fish Taco

For the relatively small serving size, the Baja fish taco is higher in fat than other choices and high in sodium. It has 410 calories, 21g fat, 4g saturated fat, 40g carbohydrate, 13g protein, and 1290mg sodium. The fish sandwich comes in at a close second in this category providing 400 calories, 16g fat, 2g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrate, 14g protein, and 1230mg sodium.

The sandwich offers relatively little protein (compared to other menu items). It is also relatively high in fat and high in sodium. Since there is no other sandwich offered, you might consider sharing this sandwich with a friend if you're looking for a healthier option and supplementing your meal with a green beans or apple sauce.

Sides

There are many traditional and non-traditional side dishes at Long John Silver's so it is easy to find one that suits your dietary needs and preferences.

✓ Green Beans

Green beans are the perfect accompaniment for a seafood dish because they are low in calories and provide vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and vitamin K. They have 25 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 4g carbohydrate, 1g protein, and 600mg sodium.. Another option is a jalapeno pepper. The calories and sodium levels are lower per order but the serving size is also much smaller.

✗ Battered Onion Rings

Not surprisingly, the battered onion rings are the highest calorie side dish and also the highest in sodium. This side also provides more fat than other choices. They come in at 480 calories, 35g fat, 3g saturated fat, 39g carbohydrate, 3g protein, and 1330mg sodium. Another less nutritious is french fries. If you want to enjoy the taste of crunchy fried side, get an order of Crumblies and split it with a friend. These fried bits of batter offer no nutritional value but the serving size (and therefore fat, calories, and sodium) are lower.

Sauces

Condiments range from very simple (lemon juice) to quite decadent. You'll find traditional favorites such as tartar sauce and butter to more creative sauces such as sweet and zesty Asian sauce. Sodium and fat calories vary substantially.

✓ Lemon Juice

Lemon juice has 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 0g sodium. It is the easiest choice for a condiment or sauce, simply because it provides zero calories, fat, or sodium and provides a boost of vitamin C. Lemon juice is also a smart choice because it doesn't change the taste of your food—it just gives it a little zing.

✗ Creamy Garlic Butter Sauce

The creamy garlic butter sauce has 101 calories, 11g fat, 7g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 0g protein, and 213 mg sodium. Eleven grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat is fairly substantial when you consider that the serving size is just one ounce. If you really want to enjoy the taste of butter on your seafood, consider combining lemon juice and butter then splitting the lemon/butter sauce with a friend to cut the fat, calories, and sodium in half.

Dessert

There are only three dessert options on the menu at Long John Silver's. When you look at calories alone, the chocolate chip cookie is the easy favorite as the best choice. But when you consider serving size and nutrients, the cheesecake makes a better selection—but only if you eat half.

✓ Strawberry Swirl Cheesecake

A chocolate chip cookie provides fewer calories, less fat, less sodium, and sugar than the cheesecake, but it is less than half the size. If you split the strawberry swirl cheesecake—coming in at 160 calories, 8.5g fat, 5g saturated fat, 17.5g carbohydrate, 11.5g sugar, 3.5g protein, and 125mg sodium—with a friend (or take half home for later), you'll get a larger portion than the cookie and it makes a smarter option nutritionally. But if you want dessert all to yourself, opt for the cookie.

✗ Chocolate Cream Pie

The chocolate cream pie has 280 calories, 17g fat, 10g saturated fat, 28g carbohydrate, 230 mg sodium, 19g sugar, and 3g protein. Long John Silver's is not known for its sweet treats. If you're going to indulge, it's probably best to "spend" those calories on the food that the company is known for—fish and chips. Skipping dessert altogether may be the best option.

Beverages

Water is always the healthiest beverage choice to accompany any meal, but it can be particularly good for you when you’re dining out. Bottled water is not offered as an option, but you can generally get it from soda machines. Fast food tends to be high in sodium and the hydrating benefits of water can help reduce the bloating that can accompany a salty meal. If you want something other than water that won’t add extra calories, sugar, or sodium to your meal, you'll have several options to choose from at Long John Silver's.

✓ Unsweetened Silver's Tea

A small Silver's tea (unsweetened) has 0 calories, 0g fat, 0g carbohydrate, 0g sugar, 0g protein, and 23 mg sodium. If you are going to choose something other than water, this is your healthiest bet.

✗ Tropicana Fruit Punch

Tropicana Fruit Punch or Twister Orange has about 550 calories, 0g fat, 150g carbohydrate, 125 mg sodium, 150g sugar, and 0g protein. Both of them adds about as many calories to your meal as an extra battered piece of fish, but you don't get the benefit of any protein or healthy fats. If you really don't like water or unsweetened tea, consider a diet soda or a small size of a sweetened soda.

Diet-Specific Options

Long John Silver's menu is more limited than many fast-food restaurants and it does offer menu options for gluten-free, low-carb, low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, low-fat, and vegetarian diets, but does not have many options for low-sodium or vegan clients.

Gluten-Free

  • Baked cod
  • Baked shrimp
  • Coleslaw
  • Cut corn
  • Green beans
  • Rice

These menu items do not contain any gluten. Long John Silver's does not offer any certified gluten-free items, but the restaurant does provide an ingredients list on the website. The list indicates items on its menu that contain gluten and wheat. If you are sensitive to gluten or have Celiac disease, review this nutrition information carefully before you order. Even items that you might expect to be gluten-free (such as broccoli cheese soup or clam chowder) are listed as containing wheat as an ingredient.

Keep in mind that just because an item contains no gluten or wheat doesn't mean that it isn't subject to cross-contamination. The batter used to coat the fish contains wheat flour, so foods that are prepared nearby or with shared utensils may also contain wheat. Speak to the staff at your local Long John Silver's to see if there are any foods that may be safe for you to consume if you follow a gluten-free diet.

For the healthiest option, choose the baked cod and a side of green beans to create a full meal.

Low-Carb

  • Baked Alaskan cod (1 gram of carbohydrate)
  • Baked shrimp (0 grams of carbohydrates)
  • Green beans (2 grams of carbohydrates)
  • Jalapeno peppers (4 grams of carbohydrates)
  • Unsweetened Silver’s Tea (0 grams of carbohydrates)
  • Diet sodas (0 grams of carbohydrates)

If you follow a low-carb diet, the grilled or baked seafood items will be the best choices for your meal. But you'll have to order the grilled shrimp or grilled salmon without the rice or tortilla. If you like battered seafood, the battered shrimp is the lowest carb choice, providing about 5 grams of carbs per serving or about 20% of the calories from carbs. Battered Alaskan pollock provides 16 grams of carbohydrate or about 32% of calories from carbs.

Also, be mindful of the sauces you choose. Some are sweetened and contain added sugars. Lemon juice is your best bet. Cocktail sauce, marinara, sweet and zesty Asian sauce, and sweet and sour sauce will add between 4 and 12 grams of carbs to your meal.

Low-FODMAP

  • Baked Alaskan cod
  • Baked shrimp
  • Green beans
  • Baked potato
  • Corn
  • Rice
  • Fries

If you follow a low-FODMAP diet, it can be difficult to know what to order when dining out. At Long John Silver's your options may be limited. Wheat is generally not tolerated well on a low-FODMAP eating plan, so battered fish may not be suitable for you. Consider the baked or grilled fish, instead.

Diabetes-Friendly

  • Baked Alaskan cod
  • Baked shrimp
  • Broccoli cheese soup
  • Green beans
  • Jalapeno peppers

Consider the foods that are lower in carbohydrates if you are managing diabetes and you visit Long John Silver's. Battered fish may be tolerable if you consume a half portion, otherwise choose the baked Alaskan cod dinner.

Low-Fat

  • Baked Alaskan cod
  • Baked shrimp
  • Seasoned grilled salmon taco
  • Seasoned grilled shrimp taco
  • Baked potato (plain)

Foods on the Long John's Silver menu tend to be lower in fat and lower in saturated fat than menu items that you might find at other fast food restaurants, such as hamburgers, fried chicken, or Tex-Mex fare. For example, battered Alaskan pollock (which is a higher fat menu item providing 45% of calories from fat) contains 10 grams of fat. A typical fast food burger provides 20 to 30 grams of fat or more.

Low-Sodium

  • Baked shrimp
  • Apple sauce

If you follow a low-sodium diet, you'll want to look for menu items that provide 140 grams of sodium or less. At Long John Silver's, most of the menu items are well over that limit. However, order the baked shrimp to keep your sodium intake count low.

Vegetarian & Vegan

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Green beans
  • Onion rings
  • French fries

Those who follow a vegetarian diet that includes seafood will find plenty to eat at Long John Silver's. But most vegetarians and vegans avoid fish, so the options will be limited here. There are no salads on the menu and both of the soups include dairy. Your best bet is to fill up on side dishes.

Food Allergies and Safety

Long John Silver's provides an ingredients statement that identifies major allergens, including egg, milk, fish, shellfish, soy, eggs, and wheat. But not all menu items are included on this list. Be sure to ask staff at your local restaurant if you have an allergy. In some cases, your food can be prepared with certain ingredients left out.

A Word From Verywell

Seafood, such as salmon, is often considered a "healthy" food. In fact, the American Heart Association recommends that we consume at least two servings of non-fried fish or shellfish per week to maintain heart health. At Long John Silver's you'll find baked and grilled menu items that can help you reach that goal. The most popular items, however, don't fit into that guideline. But enjoyed in moderation, a Long John Silver's meal—even with the popular battered fish—can be part of a balanced diet.

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  1. American Heart Association. Eating fish twice a week reduces heart stroke risk. Updated May 17, 2018.