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Subway sandwiches
Image: Time Out courtesy of Subway

Which sandwich will win the title of best Subway sandwich?

We taste-tested the entire menu to find Subway's best sandwich

Morgan Olsen
Written by
Morgan Olsen
Tolly Wright

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, buffalo chicken, Italian meats — and topped with a good dose of fresh veggies, you really can't go wrong here. Plus, Subway sandwiches are customizable, so go ahead and add extra tomato, pile on the peppers, or triple up on the red onion (just don't go back to the office for a while).

The menu of 13 standard sandwiches is straightforward and offers something for all tastes. 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.

RECOMMENDED: The entire McDonald’s breakfast menu, ranked

Best Subway sandwiches, ranked from worst to best

Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

13. Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki

What's on it? Teriyaki-glazed chicken strips, sweet onion sauce, lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on nine-grain wheat

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).

Steak and Cheese
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

12. Steak and Cheese

What's on it? Shaved steak, American cheese, 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
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

11. Oven Roasted Chicken

What's on it? Chicken breast, lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on nine-grain wheat

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. If you're craving white meat, jump ahead to No. 2.

Veggie Delite
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

10. Veggie Delite

What's on it? Lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on nine-grain wheat

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.

Chicken and Bacon Ranch
Photograph: Joe Pellegrini courtesy Subway

9. Chicken and Bacon Ranch

What's on it? Chicken strips, bacon, Monterey cheddar, lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper, red onion and ranch on Italian bread

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.

Meatball Marinara
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

8. Meatball Marinara

What's on it? Meatballs in marinara and parmesan cheese on Italian bread

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. 

Cold Cut Combo
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

7. Cold Cut Combo

What's on it? Ham, salami, bologna, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on Italian bread

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

6. Black Forest Ham

What's on it? Ham, lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on 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.

Photograph: Courtesy Subway

5. Tuna

What's on it? Tuna, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on Italian bread

The chicken of the sea dives into an ocean of creamy mayonnaise in this version of a lunch favorite. Sure, it’s a bit soggy, but it still tastes like tuna. Solidly good. 

Turkey Breast
Photograph: Joe Pellegrini courtesy Subway

4. Turkey Breast

What's on it? Turkey breast, lettuce, spinach, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onions on nine-grain wheat

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. In a chain that specializes in blandness, it’s not surprising this one cracked the top five.

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

3. Italian B.M.T.

What's on it? Genoa salami, ham, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on Italian bread

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.

Buffalo Chicken
Photograph: Courtesy Subway

2. Buffalo Chicken

What's on it? Buffalo chicken strips, lettuce, tomato, cucumber and ranch on Italian bread

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.

Spicy Italian
Photograph: Joe Pellegrini courtesy of Subway

1. Spicy Italian

What's on it? Genoa salami, pepperoni, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, green pepper and red onion on Italian bread

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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