Subway Sandwiches, Ranked
When you’re hungry for something quick and simple, yet healthier than a McDonald’s cheeseburger, where do you usually go? If you’re like millions of Americans, Subway is probably the answer.
The chain’s subs, served on 6-inch or foot-long rolls, are reliably satisfying. But not all are created equal. While some sandwiches sing with a perfect balance of ingredients, others are, shall we say, lackluster at best.
We all have our opinions. But we’re sharing ours by ranking 20 Subway signature sandwiches based on ingredients, messiness, nutrition and overall taste. Let’s dig in.
20. Classic Tuna
Ingredients: Flaked tuna blended with mayo, choice of veggies
The Classic Tuna is smelly, soggy and messy. And if you think that’s ok because it’s at least one of the healthier options on the menu (it’s fish, after all), think again. It has 100 calories more than the far superior steak-and-cheese sub.
Why? Because it’s swimming in mayo. As one anonymous Subway employee told “So Yummy” in a rather chilling expose:
“Your Subway tuna sandwich is 90% mayonnaise. How did we prepare the tuna? Take one can of tuna the size of your fist and empty it into a vat. Take a big 2ltr bag of mayonnaise and splosh it in the vat. Mix it haphazardly for 2 minutes until it’s a semi-consistent mush. Cringe when customers ask for ‘just a little bit’ of light mayo on their tuna sandwich because they’re on a diet.”
Unless you live by the mantra that there’s no such thing as too much mayo (and hey — you do you), it’s better to make your tuna sandwiches at home.
What People Say About the Classic Tuna Sandwich
19. Veggie Delite
Ingredients: Choice of veggies
Okay, the health-star rating on this one is pretty high, but everything else is low. You’re really just paying to put a salad in between bread. TBH, what’s the point?
Even if you’re vegetarian, this sandwich doesn’t deliver. As writer Adam Rathbarth put it in “Vice,” “As a vegetarian sandwich, the Veggie Delite absolutely fails. It comprises only raw vegetables, nothing cooked, and there isn’t even a recommended sauce or topping to tie the flavors and textures together.” (Then again, this was in a story defending the sandwich as the writer’s guilty-pleasure favorite.)
Unfortunately, Subway is infamously bad at catering to vegetarians in general. A few stores are starting to sell Meatball Marinaras with plant-based fake meat, which is a surprisingly tasty choice. If you can’t find that at your local store, the best you can do is to order the Veggie Delite with lots of avocado, to make it at least vaguely interesting.
What People Say About the Veggie Delite Sandwich
18. Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt
Ingredients: All-white, seasoned chicken; savory bacon; Monterey cheddar cheese; choice of veggies
Oh yes, we did put this sandwich low on our list. It’s messy. It’s unhealthy. It’s flavorless. And, most blasphemous of all, it’s often lacking enough ranch dressing, which is kind of the whole point of ordering the thing.
Readers: This sub is simply not worth your valuable time.
What People Say About the Chicken and Bacon Ranch Melt
17. Rotisserie-Style Chicken
Ingredients: Tender, hand-pulled chicken; choice of veggies
This chicken sub has more oomf than its lame, “oven-roasted” “chicken” cousin. The hand-pulled meat actually holds the rotisserie flavor and seasoning. If you choose the right veggies, it’s all quite tasty and healthy. And best yet, it’s proudly antibiotic-free, meaning no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.
So why isn’t it higher on the list? Because it’s still the Average Joe of subs, with nothing particularly special or unique about it. And your local deli almost certainly makes a much better version.
What People Say About the Rotisserie-Style Chicken Sandwich
16. Black Forest Ham
Ingredients: Black Forest ham, choice of veggies
Bonus points for the fancy name. Negative points for blatant false advertising.
Per European law, only licensed butchers working in the Black Forest region of Germany can manufacture Black Forest ham. (Kind of like Champagne only technically being Champagne when it’s from that region of France.)
But as “Modern Farmer” points out, here in the U.S., “Black Forest ham can still be found in everything from Subway sandwiches to Tyson packages...with nary a thought to a German forest.”
In other words: This sandwich is full of lies.
What People Say About the Black Forest Ham Sandwich
15. Cold Cut Combo
Ingredients: Ham, salami, bologna, choice of veggies
This is the standard sub you can order a million times and know that it will always turn out the same. The bologna will always be the overpowering taste. The veggies will always make you feel better about it. Mom will always be able to make a far superior version.
What makes this sandwich a top-10 contender is its appearance in the classic comedy “Happy Gilmore,” which ensures you can quote the film every time you order it: “Cold-cut combo from Subway! I eat three every day to keep me strong.”
That has to be worth something.
What People Say About the Cold Cut Combo Sandwich
14. Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
Ingredients: Teriyaki-glazed chicken strips, sweet onion sauce, choice of veggies
Ok, let’s start with the bad news: This sandwich has only 42.8 percent real chicken DNA — even less than the much-maligned Oven-Roasted Chicken sub.
The good news? This one at least tastes good. The marinated chicken chunks are satisfyingly hefty, the sweet onion sauce (which is fat-free, by the way) adds a nice bit of flavor, and the whole thing pairs well with your choice of veggies. Who needs real chicken anyways?
What People Say About the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich
13. Steak and Cheese
Ingredients: Steak, cheese, choice of veggies
Not quite a Philly cheesesteak, but kudos for the effort.
Health and nutrition take a back seat with this sandwich, but the flavor is all there. Even better is the Chipotle Southwest Steak & Cheese, which adds a fiery sauce to the mix. It was introduced in 2018 and has been earning rave reviews.
(Oh, and take it from us: This sub is a savior when it comes to curing a hangover.)
What People Think of the Steak and Cheese Sandwich
12. Roast Beef
Ingredients: Lean, sliced roast beef; choice of veggies
Some people love roast beef sandwiches, whole others consider them thoroughly mediocre. We generally agree with the latter camp, but have to admit Subway’s version is pretty legit. The roast beef is beefy (for lack of a better word) and pairs well with a slice of cheese, a few crunchy veggies and, if you're feeling bold, sweet onion sauce.
When toasted, this is a good sandwich. It’s just not the best.
What People Say About the Roast Beef Sandwich
11. Subway Club
Ingredients: Oven-roasted turkey, roast beef, Black Forest ham, provolone cheese, choice of veggies
The Subway club is simple yet hearty. The turkey, beef and ham complement each other nicely. When topped with fresh veggies and a simple sauce, it’s perfectly satisfying.
But while we appreciate the attempt at doing things differently, it is incredibly weird to not put bacon on a basic club sandwich. Isn’t bacon kind of the whole point of a club sandwich?
Perhaps due to vigorous complaints about this egregious omission, Subway introduced a Club Collection within its twelve new signature sandwiches in 2022. Two of the three feature bacon. If a classic club isn't enough for you, go for the Turkey Cali Club, made with oven-roasted turkey, crisp bacon, BelGioioso fresh mozzarella and smashed Hass avocado.
What People Say About the Subway Club
10. Turkey Breast
Ingredients: Premium sliced turkey breast, choice of veggies
Don’t let the simplicity of this sandwich fool you. The single cold-cut factor lets you get creative with the customization. Feeling fancy? Dress it up with avocado and cheese. More of a sass monster? Jalapeños and tomatoes add a kick.
Want to get weird with yourself and throw mayo, ranch, banana peppers, American cheese and red peppers in there? Ok, we might judge you a little, because that sounds disgusting. But hey, it's a free country.
What People Say About the Turkey Breast Sandwich
9. Turkey Cali Club
Ingredients: Oven-roasted turkey, crisp bacon, BelGioioso fresh mozzarella, smashed Hass avocado
Want an improved version of both the club and the turkey breast? Go for this sub, one of Subway's 12 new signature sandwiches, released in 2022. Elevating the turkey sandwich with crisp bacon, it also adds avocado and mozzarella.
We recommend getting it toasted and filling it with many veggies to make it even tastier and crunchier.
What People Say About the Turkey Cali Club
8. Meatball Marinara
Ingredients: Meatballs, marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese
You’ve got one very important question to answer concerning the Meatball Marinara: toasted or not toasted? (Hint: Toasted is the only correct answer.)
While the Meatball Marinara made with actual meat is close to perfection, as noted before, the plant-based Beyond Meat Meatball Marinara introduced at select stores in September 2019 is actually pretty satisfying too. Subway is clearly trying to capitalize on something with the new sandwich; when Burger King introduced an Impossible Whopper made with faux-meat, foot traffic to its stores selling the burger increased by 18.5 percent.
Whichever version of this sandwich you choose, a warning: Don’t wear white while consuming this product.
What People Say About the Meatball Marinara Sandwich
7. The Boss
Ingredients: Juicy meatballs in marinara sauce, pepperoni, BelGioioso fresh mozzarella, sprinkled with parmesan and served toasted on Italian herbs and cheese bread
Like the Turkey Cali Club, the Boss is a new addition to the family that acts as an elevated version of the regular Meatball Marinara sandwich. It has all the great qualities of the original, but it also includes pepperoni slices and mozzarella — which really makes a difference.
The choice basically comes down to taste. If you like flavorful but simple, go for the original, but if you like complex layered flavors, the Boss is the winner.
What People Say About the Boss Sandwich
6. The Great Garlic
Ingredients: Rotisserie-style chicken, bacon, provolone, lettuce, tomatoes and red onions, served toasted on artisan Italian bread — and all topped off with new creamy roasted garlic aioli
Garlic lovers can rejoice for this sandwich. The chicken and bacon create the perfect salty blend that is only enhanced by the garlic aioli.
What People Say About the Great Garlic
5. The MexiCali
Ingredients: Juicy rotisserie-style chicken, smashed avocado, double Pepper Jack cheese
If you haven't been to Subway in a while, head there to try their MexiCali sandwich. Bringing a fusion of flavors together, you can expect double Pepper Jack cheese and smoky Baja Chipotle sauce. The avocado also pairs nicely with the tender chicken.
Choose artisan Italian bread for the best version of this sandwich. The added texture and softness of the bread perfectly complement the ingredients.
What People Say About the MexiCali Sandwich
4. The Outlaw
Ingredients: Steak, double Pepper Jack cheese, green peppers, Baja Chipotle sauce
Subway finally has a real Philly cheesesteak sandwich. But let's be honest. If you wanted an authentic Philly, you're better off going to other specialized chains or sub shops.
That said, the new Outlaw sandwich hits the spot when you want something close to a cheesesteak. We appreciate how well the Baja Chipotle sauce ties in with the Pepper Jack cheese.
What People Say About the Outlaw Sandwich
3. The Monster
Ingredients: Steak, bacon, double Monterey cheddar, green peppers, red onions
Like the Outlaw, the Monster is one of Subway's takes on the cheesesteak. But besides juicy steak, the sandwich offers crispy bacon and Monterey cheddar. It's topped off with peppercorn ranch for an added kick.
We wouldn't necessarily agree that it's a monster in terms of size, but it's definitely a sub to get when you're very hungry.
What People Say About the Monster Sandwich
2. Italian B.M.T.
Ingredients: Pepperoni, Genoa salami, Black Forest ham, cheese, choice of veggies
The saltiness of the cold cuts makes this Subway sandwich an all-timer. If you really want to kick this sub into high gear, add lettuce, tomato, pepper, onion, banana peppers and olives. Then sprinkle olive oil, vinegar, oregano, salt and pepper on top. Have it for lunch. Have it for breakfast. Have it for dinner. Have it for all three. You won’t be disappointed.
The one drawback? The sandwich’s super-confusing name, which sounds like it stands for individual ingredients, a la a BLT, but is actually an acronym for “Bigger, Meatier, Tastier.” Say what?
What People Say About the Italian Italian B.M.T. Sandwich
1. Spicy Italian
Ingredients: Pepperoni, Genoa salami, cheese, choice of veggies
Da, da, da, daaaa! We have a winner!
The Spicy Italian is an upgrade to the Italian B.M.T., because let’s be real, they’re almost identical except that this one forgoes the ham. Without that unnecessary meat, you can focus on customizing this baby to your heart’s desire, letting the spicy salami and pepperoni work their magic.
It may not be the healthiest option, but the only real issue with this sammy is the potential to inhale it too fast. We’ll make this a 12-inch sub because we never want it to end.
What People Say About the Spicy Italian Sandwich
Honorable Mention: Pit Smoked Brisket
Ingredients: Brisket that's been slow-smoked for at least 13 hours, smoked cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, signature Italian bread
The Pit Smoked Brisket rolled out in September 2019 for a limited time. And people were very happy.
Subway did its best to make this barbecue classic the real deal, using tender slow-cooked meat, melted cheese and a sauce with kick.
Hopefully, it'll come back one day as a permanent menu item.
What People Say About the Pit Smoked Brisket Sandwich
Dishonorable Mention: Oven Roasted Chicken
Ingredients: Savory chicken, choice of veggies
We're just going to say it: The Oven-Roasted Chicken sub was weak. The meat was dry and flat, and doesn’t look or taste in any way roasted. Worse yet, it wasn't even fully chicken.
According to reporting by the Canadian Broadcasting Company, only 53.6 percent of this so-called "chicken" was made up of actual chicken DNA; the rest was mostly soy. (Subway, not surprisingly, has refuted these findings.)
Not surprisingly, the chain quietly discontinued this sandwich in 2022. Some people were mad. And we won't pretend to understand them.
What People Say About the Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich