Did you know that there are more Subway shops around the world than any other restaurant chain? With more than 40,000 locations, Subway is the largest restaurant chain in the world. That’s a lot of sandwiches.
Like it or not, there will probably come a time when you land at a Subway, and when that moment comes, we’re here to help you navigate the menu and figure out what you can get that’s vegan.
The Ups and Downs
On the bright side: the widespread availability of Subways around the US and the world guarantees that you won’t starve—you’ll be able to find a vegan meal with little fuss.
The downside: as of now, they don’t have great vegan options and Subway’s vegan sandwiches are often described as: “meh.” Passable in a pinch.
Sadly, there aren’t any widely available vegan meats or plant-based cheeses at Subway (yet). This means you’re working with breads, veggies, sides, dressings, and chips to compile a workable meal.
Anyone who has been vegan for a decade or more is used to this—this is how it used to be everywhere. But today it’s a bit of a shock to find a sandwich shop that doesn’t even have fresh avocado or hummus. And God forbid they’re out of guacamole on the day you visit—that’s when any hope of a satisfying sub dwindles to dust.
Also unfortunate is that many of Subway’s breads are not vegan. Some of the specialty breads include ingredients such as milk, eggs, and cheese. Luckily, there are still many breads to choose from that are vegan, and some of these are rather exciting! Subway’s Roasted Garlic Bread is made with sunflower oil instead of butter, and their 9 Grain Wheat bread no longer contains honey. We outline all the vegan bread options below.
So don’t lose hope, dear reader. With a little creativity, you can absolutely make these options work! There are a number of “eat fresh” favorites to choose from that are flavorful and satisfying. Listed below are all of the vegan options that we found on Subway’s website.
Vegan Options at Subway
- 9 Grain Wheat (this no longer contains honey!)
- Hearty Italian
- Italian (white)
- Roasted Garlic
- Slider Roll (made in an allergen producing factory)
- Spinach Wrap
- Tomato Basil Wrap
- Veggie Delite
- Buffalo (has butter flavor, but not actual butter)
- Herb Garlic Oil
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Spicy Brown Mustard
- Sweet Onion Sauce
- Black Pepper
- Salt & Pepper
- Sub Spice
- Musselman’s Apple Sauce
- Lay’s Chips (Classic, Baked Plain, Barbeque, Salt & Vinegar, Lightly Salted, Kettle Original, Kettle
- Cracked Pepper & Sea Salt, Limon)
- Sun Chips (Original only)
- Black Bean
- Mediterranean Vegetable
Specialty Subs & Wraps
- Veggie Delite
- Banana Peppers
- Black Olives
- Green Peppers
- Lettuce (iceberg)
- Red Onion
- Coca Cola Fountain Sodas
- Hot Coffee
- Freshly Brewed Tea
- Honest Kids Juice Drinks
- Simply Drinks (apple/orange/lemonade)
- Bottled Water
- Vitamin Water
- Hubert’s Lemonade
Vegan Subway Meal Ideas
When it comes to making a meal at Subway, it’s pretty simple using the list of vegan options above. You can design your own sandwich, wrap, or salad, and feel free to go rogue with the ingredients available (you don’t need to stick to pre-set subs listed on their menu). Don’t be afraid to ask for guacamole on your salad, or grab a bag of chips and add them to your sandwich. That sort of creativity is key to creating a satisfying meal.
Lunch & Dinner Ideas
Large Veggie Delite wrap or sub with extra veggies of your choice, beverage, and crispy chips
Veggie Delite salad with extra veggies, beverage, side of bread (toasted), and applesauce
Black Bean or Mediterranean soup with either the Veggie Delite salad or a small sub, beverage, and applesauce.
Sure, it’s unlikely you’ll race home after devouring your footlong sando to give Subway 5 stars on Yelp. But you can easily satisfy your hunger with some of these tasty options. Whether you’re on a long road trip, stranded at a hotel in the middle of nowhere, or just need a quick-fix option to fill you up at lunchtime, Subway has your back.
Gluten-Free & Vegan Options at Subway
If you are gluten intolerant, your choices are much more limited. Only the salad and soup options are suitable for you. Unfortunately, their gluten-free bread contains eggs (and is therefore not vegan).
Subway’s Master Ingredients List
Please note that new items may be added and ingredients can change over time! If you want to check in on the vegan status of an item at Subway, you can find their downloadable Ingredients Matter PDF that includes all of the information needed to figure out what is vegan and what is not.
Ask Subway for Better Vegan Options
While the current sub-options at Subway are currently subpar here in the US, there are many signs that they may be evolving to offer better options in the near future. Subway has been toying with the idea of adding vegan meat to their menu for years, and Subway’s Brazil locations even rolled out an Italian sub with vegan meat and cheese in early 2020. If they start rolling these sorts of options out at all their locations, it will be a true gamechanger.
So remember—your voice matters. Keep asking when you visit and let the company know you’d like more vegan options. Use word of mouth, call, email, and message the brand on social media. The more people who request veggie alternatives, the sooner they’ll add those items to their menu.
Fast Food Chains With More Vegan Options
If you’re looking for a fast-food establishment that has more on the menu for vegans, check out these popular spots.
- Togo’s (similar to Subway—but waaay better)
- Chipotle (Tofu Sofritas)
- Taco Bell (Almost everything on their menu can be made vegan—or “fresco” style)
- Del Taco (Beyond Burrito & Beyond Tacos)
- Burger King (Impossible Whopper)
- Carl Jr.’s (Beyond Star Burger)
- White Castle (Impossible Sliders)
Vegan-Friendly Fast Food Restaurants
Here are some up-and-coming vegetarian, vegan, and very-vegan-friendly fast-food chains that offer fantastic options, including mouth-watering veggie burgers, golden fries and scrumptious shakes!
- Veggie Grill (several locations in Northern and Southern California)
- Amy’s Drive-Thru (Rohnert Park, CA, and the San Francisco Airport—more locations coming soon!)
- Burger Patch (Sacramento, CA, and Davis, CA)
- VeganBurg (San Francisco, CA and Singapore)
- Friendly Toast (MA and NH)
How to Order Vegan at Other Popular Chains
Have you found any other options to be veganizable? Did you find something amazing that we missed? Let us know by tagging #worldofvegan and sharing your favorite vegan creations at Subway with all of us!
Disclaimer: At the time of this article, the foods mentioned above are vegan. Since restaurants constantly update their menus and add or take away items, please keep this in mind when ordering your food. There may be new items that are vegan and not listed or items listed here as vegan, which are no longer vegan. Take care to double-check.