When Subway entered the fast food restaurant scene in 1965, it was immediately apparent that this would be no ordinary sandwich chain. In addition to quick service and affordable prices, Subway restaurants offered their customers one thing which set them apart from the competition: the ability to customize.
Hungry guests could enter any shop and pick and choose the exact combination of bread, meat, cheese, toppings, and spreads that they were in the mood for that day. What a revelation! These days, Subway still offers this all important freedom of choice, however, they have also added a great number of favorite combinations and well-defined sandwiches to their menus.
Where to begin? Right here with us! We’re taking you through each of the best Subway sandwiches that this international chain has to offer. Open wide!
Our Picks for the Top 12 Subway Sandwiches
Since 12 seems to be the magic number for Subway--after all, there are 12 inches in a footlong sub, their claim to fame!--we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of Subway’s downright best dozen sandwiches out there. Along the way you’ll find a few of our own helpful hints and bonus info for ordering, customizing, and putting the amazing sandwich inspo you’re about to receive to use in your own kitchen.
You’ll find our top Subway sandwiches ranked in 3 different groups: Classics, Subway Series, and Fresh Melts as this is how Subway chooses to organize its vast library of sandwich options. We’ve chosen 4 favorites out of each group and will discuss the basics of each, plus some different options you might employ to make it your own. And don’t worry, we’ll include a full list of different topping options towards the end of our article!
Best Subway Sandwiches: Classics
Subway’s classic sandwiches are those options which have been on their menu for the longest and tend to be ordered the most frequently. The types of sandwiches on the Classics menu vary from cold & refreshing to toasty & melty, and may be meat based or veggie centric. Let’s dig in!
Cold Cut Combo
Let’s kick things off with the absolute classic of classics: Subway’s Cold Cut Combo sandwich! This tasty sandwich combines tender turkey based ham and bologna with flavorful turkey based salami--just one of several varieties of salami out there! This means that yes, this sandwich is entirely free of red meat or pork.
It also comes fully loaded with fresh veggies like lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, and red onion but as is Subway’s custom, feel free to swap any of these standard picks for something else. We think that sliced jalapenos or pickles (not to be confused with gherkins!) are just the ticket for punching up the flavor profile of this sandwich. Or, opt for a sprinkle of Monterey cheddar cheese and a drizzle of oil and red wine vinegar.
This sandwich is amazingly light for how satisfying it is, coming in at just 570 calories per footlong sub. To keep your lunch in line with such a healthy starting point, pair it with a fresh side salad from home such as our Watermelon Arugula Salad. It only takes 10 minutes to make--we promise!--and you’ll be glad to have something sweet to have alongside your sandwich. Excellent insurance against those freshly baked cookies that will surely be staring you down from the checkout line!
Let us ask you this: when it comes to comfort food, what hits better than a meatball sub? Don’t feel bad, we’re still trying to come up with a suitable answer ourselves! Subway’s Meatball Marinara is super basic in the best of ways. Not overly complicated, not a ton of ingredients, just well-seasoned, super tender meatballs smothered in marinara sauce–a sauce distinct from regular tomato sauce, we might add!--and showered with salty, savory parmesan cheese.
The toasted Italian artisan bread is a perfect foundation for soaking up all of that delicious sauce, but as always, you can choose any of Subway’s other bread choices including their artisan flatbread for a fresh take on the meatball sub!
Find yourself drooling over the thought of a meatball sub but not a big meat eater? Try whipping up your own version of this stick-to-your-ribs classic at home with our Vegan Lentil Meatballs or Zucchini Meatballs--two of our favorite plant based meatball options. Crack open your favorite canned tomatoes, simmer, season, and smother you sub to your heart’s delight!
Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
If sweet & tangy are the two words you’d use to describe your favorite flavor profile, Subway’s Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki is the sandwich for you. Tender strips of grilled chicken are bathed in the restaurant’s signature sweet onion sauce and served on a toasty multigrain roll with an absolute salad-worth of fresh vegetables like lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, and red onion.
If, after enjoying this sandwich for lunch, the irresistible flavor of that sweet onion teriyaki sauce has given you a serious hankering for Asian-inspired meals all week, look no further! Whether you seek the best brand of frozen egg rolls or you prefer the warm comforting convenience of your favorite instant ramen, we have a full guide for each. Or, if you feel just a wee bit adventurous, take a stab at our Easy Vegan Ramen Recipe!
The Veggie Delite sandwich from Subway is a refreshing choice which, as it comes in at just 410 calories per footlong sandwich, truly puts the “light” in “veggie delight”. It is chock full of bountiful produce from crunchy green peppers and red onions to lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and plenty of health-benefit packed spinach!
This sandwich in its base form is free from any seasonings, sauces, or add-ons but a few of these would certainly ramp up the flavor profile of this verdant sub. If you’re looking for a vegetarian Subway sandwich, stick with choices such as avocado or spicy pickled jalapeno slices. However, if you are flexitarian and do eat meat from time to time, feel free to add some cheeses or oven roasted chicken to this bad boy!
Want to make this a bit more satisfying but still keep vegetarian or vegan? Make a big ol’ batch of our own Carrot Bacon or Delicious Vegan Eggplant Bacon, bring a little bundle with you in your lunch bag, and pile your sandwich to the sky!
Best Subway Sandwiches: Fresh Melts
Subway introduced their Fresh Melt line of sandwiches as a group which is always hot, always griddle-pressed, and always includes triple the usual amount of cheese to ensure no shortage of ooey, gooey melted goodness.
Unlike Subway’s other sandwich varieties, the Fresh Melts do have some size restrictions (more on Subway sandwich sizes in our FAQs section at the end of the article!), but don’t worry, you can still get your footlong fill here.
Buffalo Chicken Melt
Sound the alarm because Subway’s Buffalo Chicken Melt sandwich will set those taste buds ablaze! Juicy chicken strips are tossed in the restaurant's own buffalo sauce blend, which of course relies on Frank’s Red Hot sauce to get that quintessential wing flavor. The spicy chicken is then drizzled with peppercorn ranch dressing to provide some sweet, sweet relief. A triple dose of American cheese is on the docket for this sub, but feel free to swap in provolone or Swiss--or, pepper jack cheese if you somehow crave a bit more heat!
The only veggies included in this buffalo chicken sub are some sliced tomatoes--which thankfully provide a few nutritional benefits in the face of all of that wing sauce and cheese!--but we think the addition of other green veggies might be nice here, so as to provide another fresh respite from all of that spice. Try some shredded lettuce, green pepper, or slices of fresh cucumber, which may look similar to zucchini squash, but offer more juicy refreshment if you ask us!
Spicy Italian Melt
From one spicy sammie to the next! The Spicy Italian Melt from Subway definitely has a bit of heat, but nothing like the hot wing-inspired sandwich described above. This sub gets all of its flavor power from the combination of pepperoni and salami. No the two are not one and the same, and boy does this sandwich make us more grateful for that fact than ever!
The spicy pepperoni is balanced by melted American cheese and fresh ingredients like sliced tomatoes, green peppers, and red onion. There is no particular sauce associated with this sandwich, but believe us, there is no lack of flavor here. We recommend you order this one as is and then jazz it up to your liking as desired--perhaps with a drizzle of your favorite olive oil or alongside a pool of some top notch Store-Bought Caesar dressings for dipping!
Chicken & Bacon Ranch Melt
Whoever first discovered the magic equation that is chicken + bacon + ranch truly deserves all of our thanks. Something about the juicy chicken, crispy, smoky bacon, and sweet & creamy ranch dressing just comes together oh-so perfectly. We love that Subway is paying wonderful homage to this trio with their Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt sandwich!
This high protein Subway sandwich--no kidding, a footlong has a full 76 grams of the stuff!--uses rotisserie style chicken with sliced tomatoes and red onion, which is then doused with their signature peppercorn ranch dressing.
By now you’ve probably noticed that these Subway Fresh Buzz around these Melt sandwiches, including the Chicken Bacon Ranch Melt, look a whole lot like panini! There are actually a number of extremely user-friendly panini presses for home use. If you find yourself buying griddled sandwiches often enough, go ahead and treat yourself to one of these appliances. If you do, be sure to check our guide full of tips for using a panini press, as well as how to clean that new toy of yours.
Subway’s Tuna Melt is a simple tuna sandwich with the volume turned up! It consists of wild-caught tuna which is mixed with plain mayonnaise, then piled high on grilled artisan Italian bread with thinly sliced red onions and melted provolone cheese in a quantity of questionable legality.
As far as Subway is concerned, that’s all she wrote! But personally, we would opt to add in some sliced cucumber, tangy pickles, or maybe even a little buffalo sauce to jazz things up.
Like other mayo-based mixtures like egg salad and macaroni salad, the shelf life of any tuna salad sandwich is not all that long, especially when unrefrigerated. If you don’t plan on eating this sandwich right away, make sure you can toss it in the fridge while it waits for your hunger to strike!
The tuna salad sandwich at Subway tends to elicit either a “you hate it” or “you love it” response from most folks. Some people absolutely love the rich combo of tuna and mayonnaise, while others claim there is far too much mayo and not enough tuna to be found. If you find yourself in the latter camp, go ahead and stick to making your own tuna salad at home with one of our favorite varieties of canned tuna.
Best Subway Sandwiches: Subway Series
As the newest update to the Subway menu, the introduction of the Subway Series broke news as it was such a diversion from the restaurant’s characteristic, “build-your-own” business model. Though each particular sandwich is pre-set in terms of meat, bread, cheese, and topping combo, you can still opt to make substitutions if you like, or add a little something extra to make it your own!
Subway Series sandwiches each have a handy number associated with them, meaning you can simply order “a number 9!” and know exactly what you’re getting.
Supreme Meats-The #4
If you seek meat sweats, this is the sandwich for you. The Supreme Meats sandwich from the Subway Series line is packed with a sky-high pile of black forest ham, pepperoni, and capicola! This sandwich also contains plenty of genoa salami, whose silky, soft texture and slightly tangy taste--as opposed its more firmly textured and mildly flavored cousin, hard salami--rounds out the meat ingredients just right.
Toppings like provolone cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and banana peppers–not the same as pepperoncini!--are added before the entire sub is drizzled in Subway’s trademark MVP parmesan vinaigrette.
If you are a true cold cut aficionado, and let’s face it, you kind of have to be in order to request the monstrosity that is the Supreme Meats sandwich, you might benefit from investing in your own meat slicer. There are some surprisingly affordable options out there, as well as some commercial-grade products for heavy use. Just check our full guide to the Best Meat Slicer for Home Use!
Subway Club-The #11
According to its fans, the Subway Club is essentially an institution all on its own, and is far from being your average turkey breast sandwich! Three unique cold cuts--oven roasted turkey breast, black forest ham, and USDA choice roast beef--come together on hearty multigrain bread with a few slices of sharp provolone.
This combo comes with your basic sandwich veggies including sliced tomato, shredded lettuce, and a bit of red onion but feel free to boost the flavor profile here with some pickled peppers or sliced black olives! P.S. If you've ever wondered what makes an olive a black olive, kalamata olive, or even a green olive, allow us to enlighten you!
The sauce on this sub is just a standard slathering of regular mayo, but we think that Subway’s roasted garlic aioli is the perfect compliment to the pile of roast beef. While we’re on the subject, many folks wonder, is there even a difference between aioli and mayonnaise? You bet there is! While each of these condiments serves a tasty role on Subway's sandwiches, there are some distinctions between them.
All American Club-The #10
Though similar to the Subway Club, the All-American Club is a sandwich all unto itself and therefore deserved its own spot on our list as well! Instead of being served cold, the All-American is hot and toasty, with a pile of crispy bacon on top of the thinly sliced oven roasted turkey and black forest ham.
If you find yourself picking up one of these club sandwiches to take home for later, we recommend reheating it in a toaster oven rather than a microwave so as to keep that bacon crispy not flabby and the bread toasty as opposed to soggy.
If you need an accompaniment for your All-American sub to help make your meal a bit more international, allow us to suggest our Mediterranean Chickpea Salad or Mexican Quinoa Salad! You can make a big ahead-of-time batch of either of these as the leftovers keep wonderfully, perhaps even getting more flavorful as they do so!
The Philly-The #1
Last but certainly not least, Subway’s The Philly sandwich is easily one of the most hearty, satisfying sub options on their menu. Juicy strips of perfectly seasoned steak meat are served up on a toasted artisan Italian roll while a double portion of melty provolone decorates the top of this steak and cheese sub!
It comes with all the classic Philly cheesesteak sandwich accompaniments like strips of green bell pepper and slices of red onion plus a coating of regular mayonnaise. We vote for spicing things up a little though, and this would be a good time and place to try their honey mustard or Baja chipotle sauce!
Keep in mind this is one hefty sandwich and could easily feed 2 people, especially if you opt for the footlong pro double meat size. Before attempting to slice this beast for sharing, be sure to have an excellent bread knife and good quality cutting board. Check out our helpful reviews for these products to bolster your consumer knowledge before buying!
Subway Sandwich FAQs
In addition to our list of the top 12 best Subway sandwiches, we’re also answering a few of your most pressing Subway sandwich questions!
What are the Options for Subway Sandwich Toppings?
For such a small restaurant, it’s honestly amazing when you think about the number of individual options and overall sandwich combinations that Subway offers. In addition to the basic deli meat and cheese choices, here is a comprehensive list of all the toppings you might find at subway restaurants:
- Veggies: tomatoes, fresh spinach, sliced pickles, green pepper strips, sliced black olives, red onion, pickled jalapenos, and pickled banana peppers.
- Sauces: buffalo sauce, peppercorn ranch dressing, oil (a blend of olive and canola oils), red wine vinegar, regular mayonnaise, yellow mustard, honey mustard, sweet onion teriyaki sauce, Baja chipotle sauce, MVP parmesan vinaigrette, and roasted garlic aioli.
- Seasonings: black pepper, salt, grated parmesan cheese, or dried oregano.
- Add-ons (these incur an extra cost!): crispy bacon, sliced or smashed avocado, pepperoni, capicola, and fresh mozzarella.
Are There Any Gluten Free Subway Sandwiches?
Not exactly! Subway carried gluten free rolls for a brief period, but it appears this inclusion has since been discontinued in most, if not all store locations.
However! Gluten free folks fear not, because there are still plenty of Subway menu options for you. In addition to a few inspired salads, you can also go ahead and order one of their “No Bready” bowls, each of which essentially includes all of the inner workings of a particular sandwich--sans bread of course. If you still want that dose of carbs with your lunch, be sure to bring your own favorite brand of store-bought gluten free bread or get into the kitchen and start making your own with one of the best gluten free bread machines.
What Does Subway Offer Besides Sandwiches?
Plenty of things! In addition to the bowl and salad options mentioned above, Subway restaurants also carry a range of wraps and pizzas as well as breakfast options, and of course snackable sides like chips and cookies.
Trying to avoid temptation while dropping in and picking up your protein & veggie loaded sandwich? Substitute your own sides from home with our Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (yes you can eat it raw!) or for something savory, bring a snack bag full of our Baked Zucchini Chips or Puff Pastry Cheese Straws.
What are the Different Subway Sandwich Sizes?
Subway sandwiches come in 3 main sizes: 6-inch, 12-inch footlong, and 12-inch footlong PRO–which features double the meats!
As mentioned above, the Fresh Melts are the only sandwich varieties which do not come in all of these 3 options. When ordering a Fresh Melt, you must stick to either standard 6-inch or 12-inch foot long subs, no double protein here!
How Much is a Subway Sandwich?
Unfortunately, that “5-dollar footlong” jingle that still rings in all of our ears is now just a reminder of a previous time. Wildly successful, the promotion helped to bolster Subway’s popularity, however, most Subway sandwich prices these days range anywhere from $6.00 to $15.00, depending on location and optional add-ons.
The good news though is that they do offer promotions from time to time, such as BOGO (buy one get one free) footlongs, as well as offer a rewards program in which each purchase gets you a little closer to saving some cash on a future order!
What is the Healthiest Subway Sandwich?
The Veggie Delite has long been considered the healthiest Subway sandwich option, as it is undoubtedly the lowest calorie, most vegetable centric option. But truthfully, by the time you add a slice of cheese or a condiment or two--because let's face it, naked veggies piled on a roll is not exactly enticing--the calorie and sodium counts can easily skyrocket.
To best get your Subway fix while still maintaining a healthy diet, we recommend using the classic Veggie Delite as a base and adding either their rotisserie-style or oven roasted chicken to the mix. Opt for condiments like oil and red wine vinegar, or some smashed avocado in order to incorporate some healthy fats into the mix. This more well-rounded sammie is not only more nutritionally sound, but it will help you feel full and satiated!
Bottom Line on the Top 12 Subway Sandwiches!
We hope that this deep dive on the best Subway sandwiches has answered all of your questions, given you a dose of sandwich inspiration, or at the very least, has made your lunchtime ordering just a bit easier!
Keep in mind that not all Subway sandwiches are always available at all locations, due to regional availability of certain ingredients as well as the fact that popular items tend to sell out at certain times of day.
What's your favorite Subway sandwich combination? Drop us a line and let us know!