There was a time, not so long ago, when getting your lunch from a chain sandwich shop meant ordering sad, limp, half-stale bread filled with generic pre-sliced meats and sad, limp, half-wilted lettuce and tomato. But not anymore. Within the past few years, folks have been demanding more from their chain sandwich shops, as a fast-food sandwich has become much more than just a seemingly healthier alternative to a fast-food burger. We’re rounded up 64 of America's most popular chain sandwich shops, and are asking you to vote for your favorites.
From toasted subs to sweet onion teriyaki sauce, from breakfast flatbreads to soups in bread bowls, the entire definition of the chain sandwich shop has changed in the past few decades, and the boundaries are constantly being pushed. While any shop will still make you a standard ham and cheese, now Philly cheesesteaks, meatball Parms, wraps, and pre-designed sandwiches with outrageous levels of creativity are de rigueur. Even Subway, the leader of the pack in sales, isn’t afraid to extend beyond its comfort zone with avocado, Sriracha, and chopped salads. More so than just about any branch of the fast-food industry, sandwich chains are willing to take a leap into the unknown on a mission to stay relevant and unique. And for the most part, customers have been more than willing to go with the flow.
We tracked down 64 sandwich chains, each with a loyal following. Some are regional, some are national, but all have more than 10 locations. Some specialize in sandwiches only, some also serve soups, salads, and pastas. Some are grab-and-go, some have expertly decorated dining rooms. But the playing field of sandwich greatness is level as soon as you take that first bite. So take our survey of chain sandwich shops now!