Thursday, March 14, 2013

How To Find Your Favorite Restaurant Recipes

Have you ever been to a restaurant and had something you'd like to make at home? I certainly have. I've gotten ideas for recipes from being a customer, but also from my many years of working in the food service industry. I've worked in several restaurants, as well as the campus catering company (say that five times fast) when I was in college. In those years, I got to taste some very, um, interesting recipes. Some of them should probably be outlawed as being toxic waste, but most of them were really good. So good, in fact, that I wanted to learn how to make them at home so that I can enjoy them as many times as I want. I'll bet you've had the same experience. A lot of restaurants don't want to give out their recipes but, if you know where to look, you can find them online. Even if they aren't the exact recipes, they are usually close enough to where you can't really tell the difference. Here are a few websites I found that feature your favorite restaurant recipes.

CopyKat Recipes. This website features recipes for every course of a meal, in addition to snacks and drinks. From Wendy's chili to P.F. Chang's Lettuce Wraps to Spago Calzones, there is a very wide range of restaurants to choose from. I think my favorite is Carrabba's Chicken Bryan. Yum! The website is

Cdkitchen. Here, you can find recipes for restaurant dishes, as well as 'copy cat' recipes from users who have found ways to create restaurant-recipe clones at home. The recipes have a five-point 'rating system' that shows how the recipe's difficulty level, as well as nutrition information and Weight Watcher's Points. Of course the WW Points and nutrition information will vary on the exact ingredients you use, but they are a good estimate for people who are watching what they eat. The website is

All Restaurant Recipes. This site offers a searchable database for several thousand restaurant and 'copy cat' recipes that were either found by the site's owners or submitted by users. I think the best part of this site is that their recipes are sorted alphabetically by the first two letters...that way, you don't have to scroll through a really long list to get to what you are looking for. They allow users to rate and review the recipes, although there are many great ones that have not been rated yet. The sheer number and range of the restaurants featured is amazing-even resorts and tourist attractions (i.e. Epcot Center, Biltmore Estates) are mentioned! It's nice not to have to travel to Orlando or Asheville to have fancy 'vacation' food! The website is

Even if you love the meals you get at your favorite restaurants, you don't necessarily have to pay restaurant prices. Even if a restaurant won't give out their specific recipes, there are ways you can re-create the experience using your own ingredients. You never know, you might even be able to improve on the recipes by giving them your own personal touch!

Bon Appetit!


  1. I like Although many of the copycat recipes, I've never tried the original, but unless I'm planning on coming to America anytime soon (can't afford it right now), this website would be my chance to make some of those dishes and get to see what all the fuss is about. :)

  2. CD kitchen is a great site. I checked it out per this posts recommendation, it made me really hungry.