Arby’s vs. Lion’s Choice?

When it comes to fast food, two names stand out in the world of roast beef sandwiches – Arby’s and Lion’s Choice. Arby’s is well-known all over, but Lion’s Choice is popular mainly in St. Louis (and spread sparingly across the Midwest). I think Lion’s Choice competes well with Arby’s.

In this article, I’ll delve into the tastes, options, and overall experiences of both places, helping you decide which roast beef experience is worth trying.


Arby’s is a fast food restaurant in the world with more than 3,500 restaurants in nine countries. Arby’s was founded in 1964 in Youngstown, Ohio, by Forrest and Leroy Raffel. Although Arby’s offers a large variety of food, they are primarily known for their roast beef sandwiches.

A red and white Arby's restaurant on a busy street, competing against Lion's Choice.

Arby’s has become well-liked because it brings something unique. It’s not just the usual burgers and fries you find at typical fast food places. Especially when it comes to roast beef sandwiches, they stand out as one of the main options across the whole country.

Taste and Flavor

A ham sandwich with Lion's Choice on a white background.They offer many types of roast beef sandwiches including a plain roast beef sandwich, beef ‘n cheddar roast beef, Arby’s melt, super roast beef, French dip and swiss, and Arby-Q.

The roast beef used in Arby’s sandwiches is sliced fresh daily which helps add that fresh taste. If you look at a sandwich in the picture, the roast beef looks more like deli meat because it is sliced into larger pieces, and then folded into the sandwich.

This sandwich made roast beef famous. The roast beef is thinly sliced and stacked on a toasted sesame seed bun. The beef is tender and juicy, blending with the nutty taste of the bun.

Lion’s Choice

Many people have never heard of Lion’s Choice. It is a restaurant established in Ballwin, MO in 1967 by Marv Gibbs and Clint Tobias. Even though there are only 23 locations, everyone who has tried their food has something positive to say about it. And although Lion’s Choice is limited mainly to the St. Louis region (and spread sparingly across the Midwest).

A restaurant with a Lion's Choice car parked in front of it.

Taste and Flavor

A roast beef sandwich from Arby's served on a wooden cutting board.Lion’s Choice roast beef sandwiches are very unique. They are very simple in design as they only have the bun, roast beef meat, and gooey and liquid cheddar cheese.

It is absolutely delicious and tender to chew. You won’t find any gristle or fat in this roast beef. One thing Lion’s Choice figured out is that roast beef is best when a little pink.

Roast beef meat is slow-roasted on-site for three hours, shaved extra thin, and then served medium rare on a lightly toasted buttered bun.

As they’ve added more tasty things to their menu, like Oven-Roasted Turkey, Hickory-Smoked Ham, and Pulled Pork. But there’s one thing that’s never changed – their Original Roast Beef that made Lion’s Choice well-known.

Who Wins?

If you couldn’t tell from my praise of Lion’s Choice above, the winner is pretty clear. Lion’s Choice roast beef sandwich is better than Arby’s in every area except price. Lion’s Choice prices can be pretty high for a fast food restaurant, but it wouldn’t be fair to expect a higher quality and better tasting sandwich to be low in price. The roast beef sandwich from Lion’s Choice has fewer calories and less fat compared to Arby’s. 

I also want to give credit to Arby’s for making a popular roast beef sandwich that people really enjoy. Roast beef sandwiches aren’t the most famous choice in the United States, and some of it might be because of not-so-great experiences with them before.

Arby’s has figured out a recipe that works really well and their sandwich is quite well-loved, especially since it’s one of the few places that mainly focuses on a roast beef sandwich on a national level.

Regardless of which restaurant I think offers better food, I recommend anyone traveling through the St. Louis area to stop by a Lion’s Choice restaurant to try the locally beloved roast beef sandwiches. You will not be disappointed.


In the end, when it comes to taste, it’s really up to personal preference. But from my point of view, the Lion’s Choice roast beef sandwich gives you more value for your money than Arby’s roast beef sandwich. Still, I know that price matters too, and Arby’s sandwich is a good deal considering the taste it offers compared to other non-roast beef options available nationwide.

I recommend giving both Arby’s and Lion’s Choice roast beef sandwiches a try to decide which one suits your taste buds best.

What’s your opinion on picking the winner between these two? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments section below. I am excited to hear what you have to say!

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1 Comment

  1. Lions Choice all the way!!!

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