11 Foods You Might Want To Avoid Ordering At The Cheesecake Factory

You would have to dine at The Cheesecake Factory for many nights before you can work through its entire menu and try all that there is to try. In a restaurant known for its large menu and plethora of cheesecake flavors, you are bound to find at least a few items that cater to your taste buds.

And with a menu that is so long that it gives a Stephen King novel a run for its money, The Cheesecake Factory is perhaps one of the few restaurant chains that can make the bold claim that it has something for everybody. When your menu is that large, there are bound to be a few missteps, either due to nutritional value, price, or overall quality. While we would like to say that every food and drink item at The Cheesecake Factory is a runaway hit, there are a few that you should reconsider before ordering, and these items span the entire menu, from appetizers to entrées to even its signature desserts.

Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake

It should come as no surprise that The Cheesecake Factory has no shortage of cheesecake on the menu. In fact, the restaurant chain offers dozens of different flavors and varieties of its namesake dessert, ranging from a classic Original Cheesecake to Caramel Pecan Turtle Cheesecake. And while we can totally enjoy a slice of cheesecake while sticking to a healthy diet, the high sugar content and the potential for added calories is something to be mindful of.

As you may imagine, one slice of cheesecake has the potential to pack quite a decent amount of calories, starting around 274 calories per slice and only going up from that point, per Livestrong. But even that estimate is far lower than the reported calorie count from The Cheesecake Factory's Nutritional Guide, which shows that the Original cheesecake has the lowest calorie count at 830 (there are a couple of Low-Licious cheesecake options at under 600 calories each). But the highest calorie count goes to the Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake. While it definitely sounds decadent, it clocks in at 1,580 calories for a single slice. You may want to consider sharing this particular flavor with a few friends if calorie count is something you want to keep in check.

Fettuccine Alfredo With Chicken

As a general rule, pasta dishes are not the most optimal meal to order at restaurants when it comes to your wallet. This is because pasta is usually a low-cost ingredient and does not cost the restaurant much to make, so you are more often than not going to pay a huge markup for something you can make at home at a fraction of the cost.

In addition to the inflated price tag, pasta dishes at restaurants are typically not the healthiest options, either. Now, pasta is a dish we all love to order when we want something truly savory, and not necessarily when we are looking for a health-conscious meal. That said, not all pasta is created equal, and the Fettuccini Alfredo With Chicken tops the list of the least healthy pasta dishes you will find at The Cheesecake Factory. Clocking in at 1,540 calories and 2,210 milligrams of sodium, the Fettuccini is on the higher end of certain nutritional line items that some diners may need to be mindful of before deciding what to order.

Factory Nachos With Spicy Chicken

When you think of classic shareable appetizers, one of the most popular that comes to mind for many is a giant plate of nachos. But if you truly love them, you may be inclined to order them as your main meal. We get it, nachos can be really tasty, especially when they come with a ton of toppings. But if you are just ordering for yourself or you are only sharing with one other person, you may want to skip the Factory Nachos With Spicy Chicken on your next trip to The Cheesecake Factory.

The calorie count for a full plate of these nachos tops the appetizer menu at 2,950 — inching that close to 3,000 exceeds the daily recommended amount of calories for both men and women, according to Healthline. Even if you were to set that number aside, the nachos are still high in sodium (3,350 milligrams), making this one menu item to be keenly aware of if you are looking for more health-conscious meal options. Definitely consider ordering this otherwise delicious appetizer if you are visiting The Cheesecake Factory with a large group of friends; that way you can all share the Factory Nachos and enjoy them while still having room left over for something else.

Appetizer Salads

The Cheesecake Factory does offer a variety of healthier menu items, including a variety of salads. Whether you want to start your meal with a salad as an appetizer or you want something a more substantial salad as your entrée, menu options include everything from classic Caesar Salads to robust Santa Fe Salads.

Appetizer salads are great for finding low-calorie options on the menu, not to mention that the smaller portion size helps as well if you are looking for healthier options. But the problem that you will often run into is that the price of salads on the appetizer menu is often not worth what you end up being served. Per Fast Food Menu Prices, a Tossed Green Salad cost $6.95 in 2023, but the cost goes up significantly from there. Other appetizer salads ranged in price from $10.50 to $13.95, and unless you are dining with a smaller appetite, you will likely order additional items on top of that, increasing your total bill.

In terms of value, you are likely better off ordering an entrée salad which will give you far more food for only a few extra dollars. For example, the full-size Barbecue Ranch Chicken Salad with all of its added ingredients costs $15.50, only $1.55 more than the highest-priced appetizer salad.


Heading out to a restaurant for lunch, dinner, or anything in between is an opportunity to treat yourself and enjoy a favorite food or drink item. However, you should be mindful of certain menu items when it comes to budgeting how much you are going to spend on your upcoming meal. While some items are easier to justify in terms of cost, others are fairly overpriced and should be avoided, or at least kept to a minimum when ordering. A big culprit in the restaurant world is cocktails.

Alcoholic beverages in general are marked up in price quite a bit, and that is especially true when it comes to mixed drinks. This is for several reasons. Not only do mixed drinks include multiple ingredients, increasing the cost of the drink for the restaurant to produce, but it also takes a skilled bartender to make these drinks, which is also a factor in the final price of your cocktail. So while The Cheesecake Factory includes a number of colorful fun drinks on its cocktail menu, it is important to keep in mind that you will be paying a premium for those beverages. For a more cost-efficient meal, stick to a non-alcoholic beverage or a glass of wine that will help keep the bill lower, or just stick to one round of cocktails.

Factory Burrito Grande

If you are in the mood for Mexican cuisine and you happen to be at The Cheesecake Factory, you do have a few options on its menu. Perhaps one of the most well-known among regular customers is the Factory Burrito Grande. Though the Burrito Blog once pointed out that this menu item is closer to an enchilada than a burrito, it is still a favorite among repeat customers. If you really know your Mexican cuisine, however, you may be less inclined to order this dish due to its value proposition as well as some key nutritional information.

According to one TripAdvisor review, the burrito (which currently costs $14.95 per Fast Food Menu Prices) comes with a lot of rice on the inside but not as much chicken as you would want, considering what you are paying. It does come with a side of black beans, but $15 for a burrito filled with mostly rice does not sound like the best deal you can score at The Cheesecake Factory. The burrito also contains a staggering 4,760 milligrams of sodium, which is over twice the recommended daily amount per the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. This might be a perfect dish to share with a friend to split both the sodium and the cost.

Sheila's Chicken and Avocado Salad

The Cheesecake Factory includes several entrée salads on its menu that cater to a number of taste buds and preferences. Just like its menu, the salads are varied and range from barbecue to southwest-inspired. While salads are generally considered to be healthy alternatives to, say, a hamburger or pasta, there are certain things to be on the lookout for that could turn your salad into a meal that is just as loaded with calories, sugars, or sodium. The usual suspects when a salad goes from one end of the spectrum to the other are ingredients including the dressing, cheese, and croutons, according to Very Well Fit.

Sheila's Chicken and Avocado Salad might sound lighter than other menu options, and in some instances, it is. However, you are still looking at a salad bowl with over 1,000 calories and over 1,100 milligrams of sodium. Its cousin, the Barbecue Ranch Chicken Salad, is another high-calorie culprit, coming in at 1,210 calories. To cut back and make the salad more health-forward, ask for its Citrus-Honey-Peanut Vinaigrette on the side, or opt for a lighter dressing altogether. You can also omit certain ingredients, like the Crisp Tortilla Strips.

Old Fashioned Burger

Sometimes all you need is a traditional, no-frills dinner to satisfy whatever foodie cravings you might have. The Cheesecake Factory may have some elaborate entrées, but they also have a few key classics on the menu, too. For example, its hamburgers (or as it calls them, "Glamburgers") include the Stuffed Cheddar Burger, the Macaroni and Cheese Burger, and even an Impossible Burger. But for those of us who just want a plain old hamburger with nothing fancy added, there is exactly that: the Old Fashioned Burger.

You may want to do a quick scan of the menu before choosing the Old Fashioned Burger, as you might notice that you get a lot more ingredients on the other hamburgers for not that much more money. At $11.95, the Old Fashioned Burger offers fewer toppings, and for just a dollar or two more, you can get more bang for your buck, according to Fast Food Menu Prices.

The Old Fashioned Burger is also nothing to really write home about, at least for Tasty Burgers, who pointed out that, had they not ordered their burger beyond medium well as opposed to well done, it would have been dry. Even if you just want to add bacon to your burger, you might be better off just ordering the Bacon Bacon Cheeseburger.

Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo

In the mood for some gumbo? The Cheesecake Factory has something just for you. Perhaps it is on a mission to prove that one restaurant can indeed serve every type of cuisine, there is the Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo to try on your next visit — or maybe not. To the casual diner, this may be a solid dish to try. But for Cajun cooking aficionados, it may leave much to be desired.

If you are at all familiar with New Orleans cuisine, then you might know a thing or two about what makes a good gumbo. Whether it is perfecting your roux or choosing the right protein like chicken and sausage, there is a lot to know before diving into the world of Creole and Cajun cooking. And that seems to be where The Cheesecake Factory misses the mark for many. As one TripAdvisor reviewer noted, the restaurant chain is not rooted in New Orleans cuisine, therefore the gumbo does not really taste like how a gumbo should. This reviewer pointed out that the Shrimp and Chicken Gumbo had a very strong tomato flavor, leaving them disappointed.

SkinnyLicious Asian Chicken Salad

The Cheesecake Factory is just as aware as the rest of us of the fact that its menu is filled with items that are, shall we say, less than the epitome of health. That said, the restaurant has taken strides in its history to offer a variety of options that cater to customers that want to enjoy a good meal without the added calories. The result is an entirely separate menu called SkinnyLicious, as if the regular menu was not long enough already. Many of the food and drinks on the SkinnyLicious menu are counterparts to regular menu items, but in smaller portion sizes or with some modifications to lower the total calorie count.

One skinny menu item is the SkinnyLicious Asian Chicken Salad, which comes with innocuous ingredients like grilled chicken, bean sprouts, rice noodles, almonds, and its very own SkinnyLicious Sesame-Soy salad dressing. It sounds healthy, but beware: The salad is still loaded with 2,710 milligrams of sodium, which is as much as the Factory Nachos without any added protein. In general, it is hard to dodge added sodium completely at restaurants, but when it comes to salads, WebMD recommends asking for the dressing to come on the side, which should help a bit.

Chicken Marsala and Mushrooms

One of the more popular pasta dishes when eating out at restaurants is chicken marsala, likely due to the fact that it combines all things creamy and comforting and assembles it into one glorious dish. It almost sounds too good to be true, and that is because unfortunately, it is. The Cheesecake Factory's menu includes Chicken Marsala and Mushrooms that sounds tasty but comes at a price. Aside from the fact that pasta dishes in general are overpriced at restaurants, it contains a whopping 4,250 milligrams of sodium — among the highest on the list of menu items discussed on this list.

But like we said, we order Chicken Marsala and Mushrooms for the blissful deliciousness, right? Well, even then, The Cheesecake Factory appears to be hit or miss. One Yelp review notes that for what you pay, the dish is pretty bland, and that it was basically a piece of chicken swimming in sauce. That is not exactly what you want presented when you are shelling out $18.50 for dinner.