A sub sandwich is a long roll of French or Italian bread that’s filled with lots of meat, cheese, veggies, sauces, and seasonings. It has a lot of name variations, (such as submarine, hoagie, grinder, or hero) and that’s somewhat appropriate since the sandwich itself has a lot of variations too. In this article, we will go over all sub restaurants in order to determine what the best sub sandwiches are.
In fact, there are so many varieties of the sandwich that discussions about the best sub sandwiches can get a bit heated. Some of the “purists” prefer a specific restaurant or sandwich bar that can only be found in their neighborhood. But for a lot of people, the most convenient way to find these special sandwiches is to go to one of the several chain restaurants that specialize in these delicacies.
Taste, of course, depends on the individual, so what’s good for you may disgust another. In order to be fair when we take a good long look at these sub sandwich makers, we’re going to have to listen to the experts and perhaps take a poll. When it comes to these kinds of evaluations and comparisons, expert opinion and popularity may be the best indicator of what the best sub sandwiches are.
No discussion of the best sub sandwiches is legitimate without the mention of the Colossus of the sub sandwich industry: Subway. When it comes to price, popularity, and availability, it really can’t be beaten. Subway dethroned McDonald’s as the king of the fast food chains by having the greatest number of outlets in the world. As of last count, there are 40,000 Subway restaurants in 101 countries out there, so you are fairly safe that you’ll find one near you.
The sub sandwich is the primary product of Subway, and their bestselling sandwich is the Italian BMT. It contains Genoa salami, spicy pepperoni, and Black Forest Ham. The Subway prices are more than reasonable (they also offer a $5 Footlong) which may be part of the reason why one website judged Subway as the most loved fast food chain in America.
Subway is the first restaurant to earn the American Heart Association heart check. Zagat also named Subway as the best provider of healthy option in the mega-chain category.
Let’s just say they offer a lot of sub sandwiches. They offer deli, chicken, and steak sub sandwiches, and you can just create your own. Among the standard recipes, more than half of their sub sandwich offerings are 500 calories or less. You can go to their website, and those 500 or less sandwiches will be indicated.
The prices are somewhat higher than what Subway charges. But for many Quiznos fans the taste more than makes up for the extra cost.
There are more than 4,000 Quiznos locations all over the US, and an additional 300 in Canada and another hundred all over the world.
Charlie’s Grilled Subs
Founder Charley Shin had a breakthrough moment when he first tasted his first Philly Cheesesteak (which is another name for the sub sandwich) in New York. He arranged to buy the restaurant and opened his own place (he called it Charley’s Steakery at first). He then perfected his own recipe of the Philly cheesesteak, and also arranged the grill in such a way that it faced the customers so they could see their food being cooked.
The Charley’s Philly Cheesesteak remains a classic, and it’s made with 100% USDA choice steak, 100% all-white meat chicken breast, and fresh deli meats.
There are no heating lamps, microwaves, or prepackaged cold cuts in Charley’s. There’s no oil on the grill, they use all dairy cheese, and the fries are fried in cholesterol-free oil.
This chain of restaurants only has a little over 200 locations in the US, but it’s curious to note that many people in these locations seem to think that they serve the best sub sandwiches in their particular area.
The Penn State website has no compunctions about mentioning the number of places that rate the restaurant highly. For example, it was voted the best sandwich shop in Cleveland in 2010 and it was voted the best sub and the best deli (among other awards) in Fort Wayne, Indiana.
One of its classic offerings is of course the Philadelphia Cheesesteak made from 100% USDA steak and provolone. Then you have a choice as to what to add to that, and your options include fresh mushrooms, banana peppers, sautéed onions, mayo, spicy-brown mustard, and pizza sauce.
It has also begun fresh salads, which in a way are just another version of particular sandwiches but without the bread.
Since it was founded in 1983, Jimmy John’s has grown to more than 1,600 locations in 41 states. Its growth seems to be speeding up in the last few years, as the chain restaurant has opened about 200 new locations very year.
Jimmy John’s prides itself on its quick service and affordable prices. It also emphasizes that its definition of what “fresh” really means may be far better than how other restaurants define the concept. Their bread is baked in-house and they serve them fresh. Their veggies and meats are also sliced in-house. They also emphasize that everything’s real: they serve real roast beef and real turkey with no additives, no vegetable-based fillers, and no other fake stuff. They even use real Hellmann’s mayo, real Grey Poupon, real olive oil and red wine vinegar.
They offer seven 8-inch sub sandwich varieties, including all the classics as well as a tuna sub sandwich and one that’s vegetarian. They also offer their own BLT, claiming that the only better version is the one your momma used to make! For those who are really hungry, there’s the monstrous J.J. Gargantuan, made with Genoa salami, roast beef, capicola, smoked ham, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, provolone, onion, mayo & Italian dressing on French bread that’s freshly baked.
So where can you find the best sub sandwiches? As we’ve said, what’s best can vary from person to person. But at least you know where the people are going for their sub sandwich fix, and you know a little more about these places. So grab your wallet and bring your food cravings, and go to where the best sub sandwiches are served. One of these may prove to be the best for you.