Best Sub Sandwich

There was a recently revived zombie on if Subway of Jimmy John’s is better. I thought we needed a thread that wasn’t so limited and you tell us what you think is the best and why. I considered making this a poll, but I knew I could never hope to hit all of the options. If we can try to stick to chains or at least one with multiple locations that would be great, because if at all possible I would like to try some of the suggestions.

I’ll start by throwing out a bunch…

Firehouse… they steam the meat which is a nice touch and you can get a huge variety of hot sauces.

Jersey Mike’s… just a good, pure, good quality sub. Just stick to the original Italian done Mike’s way and you won’t be disappointed.

Lenny’s… I’m not sure how wide spread it is, but similar to Jersey Mike’s (but not quite as good)

WaWa… none near us, but we travel out east with my son for Lacrosse and he always insists we go there. I think they are good, but not that special. It is good for the anti-social Dopers since you order it all at a touch screen and don’t have to talk to an actual person if you don’t want. I think WaWa has the same sort of East Coast cult following that In-N-Out does out West. For those who don’t know, it is basically a convenience store/gas station with a good sub shop attached.

Jimmy John’s… They aren’t bad, and they seem to be very convenient. There is one that is a nice easy walk from my work as well as one very close to my home. I’ve never found anything wrong with them, but they don’t get me overly excited… and since Jersey Mike’s is about a block and a half further from my house guess where I go most.

Subway… kind of like McDonald’s. I know I can find one anywhere and it will probably taste exactly like all others so it is a safe bet in a pinch, but not anywhere close to my preferred.

Seems odd, but as a kid my favorite was a sub from K-Mart. I don’t even know if any still exist or if I would dare to go into one, but way back in the 70’s they made a darn good sub (at least in the eyes of a 10 year old).

I know some people wanted someplace that could toast their sub… that isn’t always necessary. I tend to get the toasted ones from pizza places, but not from what I would consider a purely Sub Shop. That said…

Fazoli’s… their Club Submarino is one of my favorite sandwiches in the world.

So have at it… sell me on why your favorite should be my new favorite.

The best sub would not be in a chain. Same with Pizza. Sorry if you live in a rural area. It’s just the way it is.

There’s a small chain in Northern California, Togo’s, that is the gold standard for subs, IMVHO.

Haven’t found a good sub/grinder/hoagie shop here in Nwingland yet. They all follow the “grinder” model, which tends to be a smaller-diameter sandwich sort of rolled around the filling, rather than a large, flat-filled “sub.” Grinders are good, just not… subs.

Note that the converse is not true: If it comes from a non-chain restaurant, it is automatically better than a chain.

But what do I know? I prefer Subway. I think the bread makes the sandwich, and I like their bread. It is NOT like chewing sponges, or cotton.

Agreed. Togo’s rules. Second place goes to Jersey Mike’s, especially for their Big Kahuna.

The local places are the best, but how would anybody else know about Subs of the USA?

Is this a syllogism?

There can be bad restaurants, for different reasons. Chains are all problematic for similar reasons.

Jersey Mike’s is my favorite. I used to go all the time when I lived near one in Cincinnati. I think one just opened here in Columbia MO. I saw the sign the other day but now I can’t remember where exactly.

But Jimmy John’s is walkable from my house, so that’s where I go most often. Their sandwiches are OK, and I love their chips.

I also like Mr. Goodcents, which I think is primarily a Missouri and Kansas place.

I used to like Subway, like thirty years ago when it was a small chain. But as others said, the bread has a weird smell and taste and it’s just not the same any more. It might also be that they’ve had to cut costs to keep the price of the sandwich low.

And there are chains other than those you mentioned. The gimmick at Quizno’s is that the sandwiches are toasted. And in the Albany, New York area, we had Mr Subb. The Wikipedia article (you know there has to be one) lists some others; Miami Subs, D’Angelo’s and Schlotzsky’s.

I don’t eat subs often enough to have a preference, except that Subway is disappointing and I dislike bread that’s so stiff and crusty that the stuff in the middle squishes out the side when you try to bite in.

Subway smells like ass, so that’s a no-go unless I’m in a real bind. Also, I don’t give a damn about toasted subs. I want my subs cold. The only sub chain I dislike more than Subway is Mr. Sub.

So, of the bunch listed that I’ve tried, I guess it’s Jersey Mike’s or Jimmy John’s. Nothing spectacular, but I like 'em.

Of local franchises, Fontano’s over all of the above without a contest. Of just local delis, Bari.

I think that Penn Station is the best of the chains. I used to like Quizno’s better than Subway, because I like my subs toasted, but that’s an option at Subway now, too, and Quizno’s tends to be a bit too salty for my taste. Jimmy John’s is convenient for their speed, but that comes at the expense of variety (I don’t think you can even customize your toppings), and all of their subs taste kind of bland and nondescript to me.

That said, though, there are certainly some non-chain places that blow any of them away.

I don’t care for Penn Station’s sandwiches all that much, but I love their fries.

How about Potbelly? There used to be only one, for years (it was - and still is - in my neighborhood) but they’ve pretty much exploded in the last decade so.

Another one that opened near me is called Snarf’s. They are quite good, and I know they exist in both Chicago and in parts of Colorado. Don’t know where else.

Agreed, Mike’s is a very good sub.
Subway, by comparison, is pet food.

*Two Brothers from Italy *offers a great Italian sub too. 16" long, enough for 3 people.

I’d have to agree that Jersey Mike’s is the best of the chains. They make good cheesesteaks, too.

The Subway nearest my work shares its gas station with my favorite taqueria, who also happens to make the best tortas (the Mexican sub sammich). I don’t understand how the Subway stays open.

I was wondering how I never heard about this “Jersey Mike’s” everyone is praising…I’m in Jersey, so ???

Turns out that there is one a couple of miles from here (a block from the infamous anthrax post office).

I guess I’ll be having a sub there soon!

I live in Northern NJ. You can throw a dart out a window and hit 17 sub shops. Every pizza place also makes subs and sandwiches. I have an embarrassment of riches. My favorite Sandwich place (which was actually a Pizza place but the Pizza was mediocre) was around the corner from me but unfortunately closed a few years back because the owner got tired of the grind but I have lots of other options though so I almost never go to chains. Blimpie sometimes but I haven’t been to Subway in maybe 15 years.

My favorite type of sub is often called around here a “Number 1” because subs are usually ordered by number and that is always first. It is Ham, Salami and Provolone. I will often special order it light on the ham and heavy on the Salami because if you don’t you often get a wall of ham and one layer of salami. On top, lettuce, tomatoes, raw onions, a ton of oregano and some oil and vinegar. Yummy.

As a kid always got No Tomatoes because I hated them. I grew into eating them on sandwiches and salads now.

I’ma put in for Sheetz’ MTOs, although the nearest one is at least 500 miles away from my current location. I know of WaWa as well and they get second place, IMO. Of places I can actually get to, however, Schlotzky’s gets the nod.

Subway I pretty much only go to if I’m overnighting in a new town and I’m too tired to go looking around for something better.

Of other chains, I stopped at Firehouse Subs just once and was put off by both the food and (at this location at least) the utter ineptitude of the management. Lenny’s subs are unmemorable. Murphy’s (a bunch around Houston) are decent and have choices available nowhere else (like deviled eggs as sides), but I wouldn’t go much out of my way for them. Quizno’s I used to like but got burned out after a period where I was getting them 2 or 3 times a week. I’ve had Blimpies a couple times but there was nothing that differentiated them from Subway’s offerings.

I’ve never eaten at a Jimmy John’s, but one opened recently about a mile away, so I guess I’ll check it out at some point.

I mentioned Which Wich in another thread once, and that’s now my favorite. I agree Subway is pretty bad, like the pepper steak the serve in the state prison.

Quizno’s was good once upon a time, but the last few times I went there, I decided not to go again.

Jimmy John’s was bland and seemed like the marketing department came up with the name first, then built the restaurant around that.

Jersey Mike’s is okay, but their ham seems like it’s the fatty kind that’s full of water you get instead of real ham. Still, I’d go there over Subway.

My mom used bring home Togos from the original location on E. William Street as a dinner treat. When I went to SJ State it was the go-to spot when we had the munchies. It was a cool place, small, kind of a dive, but they made ***great ***sandwiches. I remember they had the first King Crimson album cover stuck up on the wall behind the counter with a speech bubble that read *“I said NO PEPPERS!!!”

  1. The hot tuna grinder at Yorkside Pizza in New Haven, Connecticut, with shredded lettuce and tomatoes and New England white “rat cheese” melted right onto the tuna salad, “just enough tuna to hold the mayonnaise together.”

  2. The roast ham po’ boy with debris (roast beef scraps and dripping), fully dressed – lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles, mustard and mayo – at Mother’s, Poydras Street, New Orleans.

  3. The Italian Beef, hot and dipped, at Al’s, Taylor Street, Chicago.

  4. Any hero sandwich at any hero shop in Brooklyn.