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Subway sandwiches
Image: Time Out courtesy of Subway

All 13 Subway sandwiches ranked worst to best

We taste-tested our way through the entire menu to dig up Subway's greatest hits.

By Morgan Olsen and Tolly Wright

No matter where you are when hunger strikes, there's a good chance that there's a Subway nearby. With more than 40,000 locations around the globe, the fragant fast-food sandwich chain is utterly ubiquitous. The self-proclaimed "better-for-you" brand deals in healthier submarine sandwiches that are stuffed with everything from tuna and ham to buffalo chicken and loaded up with a medley of vegetables. With 13 handhelds to choose from (more in certain regions), there are plenty of hits and misses on the menu. We courageously tried all 13 signature Subway sandwiches and ranked them from meh to actually pretty good. Take a look at where your go-to sando landed and discover a new favorite footlong while you're at it.

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Subway sandwiches, ranked from worst to best

Subway 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).

Subway 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.

Subway 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.

Subway 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.

Subway Chicken Bacon and 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.

Subway 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. 

Subway 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.

Subway 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.

Subway Tuna
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. 

Subway Turkey
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.

Subway Italian BMT
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.

Subway 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.

Subway 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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