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Subway sandwiches
Image: Time Out courtesy of Subway

The best Subway sandwiches, ranked from worst to best

We taste-tested the entire menu to find the best Subway sandwiches (and the worst)

Written by
Scott Snowden
Tolly Wright
Morgan Olsen

A filling, portable sandwich hits the spot when you're hungry and on-the-go. With more than 40,000 locations around the world, you’re pretty much guaranteed to find a Subway when you need it. Follow the scent of freshly baked bread for a fast-food option that's better for you than most other options. Loaded with quality ingredients—ham, tuna, chicken, beef, salami—and topped with a good dose of fresh veggies, you really can't go wrong here. And of course, Subway sandwiches are totally customizable, so go ahead and add extra red onion, or a jalapeño or a generous dollop of English mustard, knock yourself out.

For the most part, the menu is made up of a pretty impressive list of standard sandwiches that can be found in any Subway, anywhere in the country. However, there are some regional variations across the US – and internationally. So, for the sake of ease, we've focused on those sumptuous sandwiches that on appear on every Subway display board from California to Connecticut and North Dakota to New Mexico.

For the indecisive, however, we've taken on the task of ranking the options from decent to great. We’ve tried them all and share our expert opinion here. Any of these options are sure to satisfy, but some are better than others. See where your fave ranks and whether you agree with the one we've deemed the best Subway sandwich.

Still hungry? Check out our expert takes on the menu of Popeyes sides, the McDonald’s breakfast menu, and the full Taco Bell menu.

Best Subway sandwiches, ranked from worst to best

Sweet Onion Chicken or Steak Teriyaki
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

18. Sweet Onion Chicken or Steak Teriyaki

What's in it: Teriyaki-glazed chicken strips and sweet onion sauce

Well, it has flavor, we’ll give it that. Though the most common complaint against Subway is blandness, this went in an entirely different—even less pleasant—direction. The near-candy level of sweetness left us gasping for water and looking for a toothbrush. Here's the thing, there's actually a steak version of this too. Sadly though, it's equally as overloaded with sugar. 

Veggie Delite
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

17. Veggie Delite

What's in it: It's basically all the toppings: lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion 

Subway's lone veg option leaves much to be desired, especially when it comes to the melding of ingredients. This sando leans woefully dry unless you upgrade it with sauce (spring for the vinaigrette) or cheese (pepperjack adds some zing). Heck, do both.

Steak & Cheese
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

16. Steak & Cheese

What's in it: Shaved steak and American cheese, plus we'd suggest green pepper and red onion on Italian bread.

There are two things that should never be allowed to leave Philly: the sports fans and this sub. The cheesesteak was never designed to be stripped down and health-ified; it's the kind of thing that should be dripping in juices and Cheez Whiz. Save your calories for the real deal.

Oven Roasted Chicken or Turkey
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

15. Oven Roasted Chicken or Turkey

What's in it: Your choice of chicken or turkey and topping on (we'd suggest) Italian 

Just looking at this sandwich dries out our taste buds. While the chicken breast isn't offensive, it's certainly no match for the current fast food Chicken Wars, which have leveled up other brands' recipes over the past two years. It's not terrible, but you'll definitely need a dressing with this one. Also worth noting, this is slightly different to the Rotisserie-Style Chicken sandwich, not by very much, but a little bit.

Chicken & Bacon Ranch
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

14. Chicken & Bacon Ranch

What's in it: Rotisserie-style chicken strips, hickory-smoked bacon, Monterey cheddar cheese

There's no denying the power couple that is crispy, smoky bacon and melty cheddar. Though the texture of the chicken is a bit wonky across the board at Subway, the veggies pull a Hail Mary with a refreshing crunch that balances out any textural missteps.

Cold Cut Combo
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

13. Cold Cut Combo

What's in it: Ham, salami, bologna 

All of the cold cuts on this meaty sandwich are turkey-based (yes, even the ham), which kind of blows our minds when we think about it for too long. The barrage of pink meat can be a bit much, even for carnivorous eaters. Six inches will be plenty, thank you.

Black Forest Ham
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

12. Black Forest Ham

What's in it: Black Forest ham on, we'd suggest, nine-grain wheat 

What this sandwich lacks in ingenuity it makes up for in staying power. After all, who can hate on a classic ham sub? Mayo and mustard only add gas to the eternal flame, so don't be stingy.

Turkey Breast
Photograph: Joe Pellegrini courtesy Subway

11. Turkey Breast

What's in it: Turkey breast is a given, but we'd suggest a little extra kick of sauce 

The no-frill, little black dress of subs. It’s good for anytime, day or night and can be dressed up or down with any veggies, cheese or sauce you feel like that day. 

Buffalo Chicken
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

10. Buffalo Chicken

What's in it: Buffalo chicken strips, then go with a drizzle—and we do mean drizzle—of ranch dressing. You need to keep a hawk-like eye on your server for this.

In its quest to be 'better for you' Subway often strips away sauces to cut unnecessary sugar and sodium. That's not the case with its buffalo chicken sub, which might be why it ranks so high. Frank's hot sauce mixes and melds with zippy ranch dressing, blanketing the chicken strips and veggies in tangy, creamy goodness. A clear frontrunner in our book.

 Rotisserie-Style Chicken
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

9.  Rotisserie-Style Chicken

What's in it: Rotisserie-style chicken

Some states also offer a honey mustard rotisserie-style chicken variation. However, it's not exactly rocket science to recreate, you could just add a generous helping of honey mustard dressing to your sandwich to achieve the same effect. The actual rotisserie-style chicken is not bad. No, it seldom tastes as delicious as the picture on the menu would have us believe, but don't forget, you're in a Subway, not the Savoy.

Roast Beef

8. Roast Beef

What's in it: Angus roast beef – plus, we reccommend English mustard with this one and served on wheat 

If you've ever spent time skiing in the French Alps, you may have occasionally heard the phrase "Alez, roast beef!" before someone in a Teflon-coated, skin-tight all-in-one body suit zips past you and down the black run at twice the speed of sound. The love the English show for roast beef is well-founded, it's because it is basically melt-in-your-mouth steak. And as such, it's nearly impossible to go wrong with this classic.

Photograph: Courtesy Subway

7. Tuna

What's in it: Tuna on wheat. Definitely wheat. 

Now, we love tomatoes, but you might want to consider skipping them on this one—and possibly the dressing too, just because the bread can quickly get too soggy. Especially if it's a take out. All you need is black pepper, really. There's even some information on Subway's website stating that the company uses "wild caught" tuna, so that should appease your conscious while you chew.

Meatball Marinara
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

6. Meatball Marinara

What's in it: Meatballs in marinara and parmesan cheese on Italian bread, because it has to be.

Remember when you were a kid and you loved Chef Boyardee? How you thought all those annoying noodles were just getting in the way of the meatballs? For nostalgia lovers, this vegetable-free option will make it worth splashing red sauce all over your face, hands and work-appropriate shirt. 

Subway Club
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

5. Subway Club

What's in it: Oven-roasted turkey, Black Forest ham and Angus roast beef, then pile all your toppings on, add a smidgen of English mustard, then opt for the hearty multigrain bread. Yum.

A small number of Subway's offer some regional variations to their menu, so this is not to be confused with the All-American Club, that's a little bit different—it has turkey, ham, hickory smoked bacon and American cheese—but is only available in certain Subway outlets across the country. But, hand-on-heart, we prefer the old school Club anyway.

 Mozza Meat
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

4.  Mozza Meat

What's in it: Thin-sliced Black Forest ham, Italian-style capicola and fresh Belgioioso mozzarella

This is one of Subway's better options and is always tempting whenever we find ourselves staring at the menu board for long periods. We recommend baby spinach, tomatoes, red onions, yellow peppers if your store has any, lettuce and the Parmesan vinaigrette. And dare we suggest adding a jalapeño or two to really spice things up.

Italian B.M.T.
Photograph: Joe Pellegrini courtesy Subway

3. Italian B.M.T.

What's in it: Genoa salami, ham, pepperoni on Italian bread, because it really should be.

Oh, Genoa salami, pepperoni and Black Forest ham, you are a hot menagé à trois we can't get enough of. After we’ve had a few and it’s late at night, your 750-plus calories of salty spice is the only meat our bodies desire.

Supreme Meats
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

2. Supreme Meats

What's in it: Italian-style capicola (an Italian cured meat), thin-sliced Black Forest ham, Genoa salami and pepperoni. Ye Gods, what a monster.

The Supreme Meats is exactly what it sounds like. There's more meat on this bad boy than any other Subway offering. More than the Cold Cut Combo and way more than the Mozza Meat. It's all essentially pink meat, so no turkey or beef or anything like that. It actually also comes with Provolone (an Italian cheese), but that's optional for us. We'd suggest lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, and banana peppers and drizzled and Parmesan vinaigrette on Italian bread.

Spicy Italian
Photograph: Joe Pellegrini courtesy of Subway

1. Spicy Italian

What's in it: Genoa salami, pepperoni on Italian, as it should be. 

One thing this taste test has made abundantly clear is that if a Subway sandwich doesn’t have pepperoni and salami, we don’t want to know. All other subs must bow before the glory of this king of sammies, free of the distractions of lesser meats. Is it actually spicy? Not even a little bit. Did we care? Absolutely not.


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