The 10 Best Meatless Subs On The Market Right Now

The submarine sandwich is a general term that encompasses many different sandwich styles. Used broadly, the word "sub" can refer to anything that's prepared on a long, round, submarine-shaped roll. This could mean hoagies (the name for sub sandwiches that's popular in Pennsylvania), Italian sandwiches (a recipe that is said to have originated in Maine), Po'Boys (the iconic New Orleans sandwich that's usually stuffed with fried seafood), heroes (the term for submarine sandwiches used in New York City), or grinders (the name used in New England). Of course, some slight recipe differences come with these different names. For example, you won't usually see the fried oysters of a New Orleans Po'Boy showing up on a New England grinder.

When the craving for a sub strikes, people wanting to avoid meat may feel isolated. Heroes, hoagies, and the like all usually contain meat. What are haters of cold cuts to do? Luckily, major sandwich chains known for subs are expanding their options. Chains like Subway, Quiznos, Jimmy John's, and others now offer subs made without meat. Previously, customers had to design the sandwich from scratch by selecting non-meat items that fit their diet. Now, you can simply place an order for a vegetarian sandwich without having to customize it yourself. To discover our round-up of the best meatless subs on the market right now, read on.

1. Jimmy John's The Veggie

Jimmy John's has a meatless sub on its menu and it's called the "#6" or "The Veggie". The heft of the sub consists of veggies like cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce. Extra flavor comes from the inclusion of provolone cheese and avocado spread. The latter is essentially mashed avocado, like the kind you'd find on open-face toast. The interior of each slice of bread is covered in mayonnaise. It's usually prepared on 8-inch or massive 16-inch pieces of wheat bread. However, you can also order it as an "Unwich," a Jimmy John's hack that replaces the bread with lettuce, turning your sub into a wrap.

While people like this sandwich, they do seem to add modifications. "The #6 vegetarian sandwich, ordered with sauce and onions (warning: this does make it greasy) is, in my opinion, food of the gods. I'm not going to rate the experience as excellent, but I do think it's a cut above Subway," wrote a Tripadvisor reviewer. Others said they vegan-ized the #6. "They have a vegetarian sandwich that you can order with no cheese and no mayo. I personally add onions, extra avocado spread, jimmy peppers, pickles, oregano, and oil and vinegar...There's no protein and it's not super filling this way, and it doesn't look too great at first glance, but it is actually really really good," said another customer on the review website abillion.

2. Jersey Mike's Grilled Portabella Mushroom & Swiss

Sandwich chain Jersey Mike's has a few meatless subs on its menu. One is the "#64" also known as the "Grilled Portabella Mushroom & Swiss." This sandwich is essentially a meatless version of a Philly cheesesteak, with mushrooms taking the place of beef. 

The sub consists of onions, green bell peppers, portabella mushrooms, and Swiss cheese. The ingredients are cooked and the cheese is placed on top, melting onto the rest of the sandwich. These components come stacked between Jersey Mike's authentic Jersey bread that the chain says is bakes fresh every day. The regular size of the #64 comes on a 7-inch-long sub; it also available in a 5-inch mini size or a 14-inch size.

You might think that customers of a meat-heavy chain like Jersey Mike's wouldn't be excited about a veggie sandwich like this one. However, you would be wrong. "We had never eaten at a Jersey Mike's until yesterday. We wanted to try their new Portabella Mushroom & Swiss sub — It was wonderful! Grilled mushrooms, onions, & green bell peppers with a generous amount of gooey, melted Swiss on a grilled bun," said one person on Tripadvisor. "I'm totally stoked for this. I love portobello and Swiss both. I haven't had Jersey Mike's in years but will make an exception for this," said another person on Reddit.

3. Jersey Mike's The Veggie

If you're interested in getting a cold vegetarian sandwich from Jersey Mike's Subs, there is something for you as well. The sandwich we're referencing is called "The Veggie," or the "#14." It is a light sub consisting of only a few ingredients, such as tomatoes, shredded lettuce, green bell peppers, and sliced onions. But the sandwich is given added substance by using two different types of cheese, both provolone and Swiss. To bring all of the raw vegetables together with a little more flavor, the #14 is also prepared with oregano, an olive oil blend, salt, and red wine vinegar. It typically comes on a 7-inch submarine consisting of white bread.

People were enthusiastic about this cold, meatless sub. "This sub comes with different kinds of cheeses and green bell pepper. Then, you can add the veggies of your choice with mayonnaise and/or oil and vinegar," said a Jersey Mike's Subs customer on Tripadvisor. "Jersey Mike's Veggie Subs are the best — hands down — in my area for quick and easy meals. Every time they are packed with flavor and I never have to worry about hidden meat in them," said another fan of The Veggie on Reddit.

4. Which Wich's Black Bean Avocado

The sandwich chain Which Wich has something unique to offer for one of its meatless subs –  the Black Bean Avocado, which is made with a vegan black bean patty and avocado spread. The combination of the two gives this sub a satisfyingly Southwestern feel, all while being a little more filling than your typical meatless sub.

In addition to those two ingredients, Which Wich's Black Bean Avocado sub is prepared with vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions. It is not vegan, because it is made with mayonnaise and provolone cheese.

There are many positive reviews about Which Wich's black bean patty alone. "Black bean patty is pretty good," said someone on Reddit. "My wife ordered a black bean patty with avocado which was very good," said another Which Wich customer on Tripadvisor. "Tasty, a little spicy...but I like it! I never know what to pair with it but cucumber was good this time," said a reviewer on abillion

5. Which Wich's Garden Party

If you're not interested in having a burger patty on your sub, there is another meatless sub option for you at Which Wich Superior Sandwiches. The sandwich chain has a produce-packed sub called "Garden Party" that consists of vegetables like lettuce, tomatoes, and red onions, as well as mayonnaise, 1000 Island dressing, and avocado spread. The Garden Party comes with only one type of cheese — provolone — but you can add more if you want. Overall, it is a colorful and veggie-packed meatless sub.

Which Wich's Garden Party has its share of fans, too. "Oh God the bread! We got a garden party and black bean sandwich and devoured them in under a minute. Their bread was unbelievably fresh and tasty — the perfect balance of crispness and softness. The veggies and sauces meld well to render the desired effect. Definitely worth a revisit," said one person on Yelp. "We had the Garden Party and Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, both were very good," said a reviewer on Tripadvisor.

6. Subway's Veggie Delite

If you're a fan of sandwiches, you've probably been to Subway. But you may not have ever ordered a meatless sub from there. Luckily, you can do so without going to the effort of customizing your own by ordering Subway's Veggie Delite off the chain's menu. This sandwich comes with several crunchy vegetables, including lettuce, spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onions, and green peppers, as well as either American, provolone, Pepper Jack, Monterey Cheddar, and Swiss cheese. The Veggie Delite automatically comes on Subway's "healthy multigrain" subs, but you can modify this option if you wish. These subs come in either 6-or 12-inch sizes.

This polarizing sandwich has its share of strong detractors, but that also means it has a handful of passionate fans. People love it so much that they take the time to share their twist on the Veggie Delite online. "I love the Veggie Delite they serve at this place. My favorite sub goes like this. Veggie Delite with parmesan oregano bread, cheese and toasted, all vegetables with extra jalapeño and mont mayonnaise, vinaigrette and sweet onion sauces," wrote a happy customer on Tripadvisor.

7. Potbelly's Veggie Melt

If you want a hot sandwich without meat, you can also get that at Potbelly's Sandwich Works by ordering the Veggie Melt. This sandwich comes on multigrain bread and has a lot of cheese, including provolone, Swiss, and cheddar. Additionally, it comes with veggie toppings like avocado slices and mushrooms; however, the mushrooms may not always be available at your local Potbelly location.

Since this sandwich doesn't come with a lot initially, you may want to add toppings. If this interests you, Potbelly offers many options — for an additional charge — such as lettuce, onions, tomato, hot peppers, and pickles. For sauces, you can choose to add mayonnaise, mustard, or horseradish aioli. If you want a little boost of flavor in there, you can also add Italian seasoning.

People really seem to like this sandwich. "Potbelly's veggie melt actually hits," said someone on Twitter. "Me and the potbelly veggie melt have a very close intimate personal connection," shared another person. "The potbelly veggie melt is gonna hit for me every time," wrote yet another Twitter user

8. Quiznos' Veggie Guacamole

Quiznos' Veggie Guacamole sandwich is prepared without meat and is instead made with various types of produce, like cucumbers, mushrooms, black olives, green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions, along with two kinds of cheese (provolone and cheddar), and a guacamole mash. This comes stacked between two slices of toasted bread.

For extra flavor, Quiznos adds a splash of red wine vinaigrette to its Veggie Guacamole sandwich. This element is especially important, due to the large number of raw veggies included in the meatless sub. Just like a salad, Quiznos' Veggie Guacamole sub needs this dressing element to bring everything together in a flavorful manner.

"I went with the Veggie Guacamole...It didn't look pretty, but it definitely was pretty good," said one reviewer on Yelp. "Had their veggie guacamole sandwich today. Crispy toasted parmesan herb bread and healthy veggies. Enjoyed the sandwich without too much guilt," said another fan on Tripadvisor.

9. Potbelly's PB&J

You may be surprised to find a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on this list of subs, but since a submarine sandwich is defined by its cylindrical bread, we've included the PB&J sub from the sandwich chain Potbelly's. After all, you may not always be craving a salad-like mixture of veggies while you're grabbing a sub and may instead want something sweet. That's where this sandwich comes in handy.

The PB&J from Potbelly Sandwich Works is made of what you would expect – grape jelly and peanut butter. But this doesn't just have to be something you order off the Potbelly menu for your child. Since it doesn't contain cooked ingredients or fresh produce, this PB&J sub will likely stay fresh for longer in unrefrigerated conditions. This could come in handy when gathering food for a long day of work, travel, or outdoor exercise such as a hike.

Despite being simple, Potbelly's PB&J sub is extremely popular. "I've never been more hurt than when @Potbelly discontinued their peanut butter and jelly sandwiches," said one person on Twitter, before learning that the PB&J had already been returned to the menu. "The peanut butter and jelly sandwich is a gooey bunch of warm goodness," wrote another person on Yelp who seemed to have ordered a toasted version of the sandwich. Be warned, this sandwich may not be available at all locations.

10. Firehouse Subs' Veggie Sub

Firehouse Subs features the Veggie , a traditionally a hot sub. However, Firehouse Subs states online that all of its hot subs can also be ordered cold if you wish.

This tasty sandwich appears to be one of the most flavorful meatless subs out there and is made with multiple vegetables, cheeses, and sauces. Onions, bell peppers, and mushrooms are cooked and caramelized, while a handful of vegetables — like lettuce, tomato, and additional onions — are added in raw form. Rather than creating dissonance in flavors, these raw veggies create a refreshing crunch. This Firehouse Subs sandwich also includes provolone, Monterey Jack, and cheddar cheese, as well as deli mustard, mayo, and Italian dressing.

"Love the veggie sub here! Great for a quick lunch while out shopping," wrote one person on Tripadvisor. "Fire as always! Fresh ingredients...My gf got the veggie sub which was phenomenal," said a reviewer on Yelp. "Firehouse Subs veggie sub is honestly the only thing I need in life," shared a user on Twitter. "I've been sleeping on firehouse subs. This veggie sub is everything," wrote another person.