Subway Vs Potbelly: Which Is Better?

If you're in the middle of a long workday or if you don't have the means or energy to make a meal for yourself, you can always head to a sandwich shop to pick yourself up something filling and delicious. There are so many sandwich shops across the country. Some are local, while others are part of wider chains that many of us are familiar with, no matter where we are across the country. 

Jimmy Johns, Jersey Mikes's, and Firehouse Subs are all incredible sandwich chains. Another sub chain that some may be familiar with is Subway, which offers a wide variety of sandwiches, ingredients, and other foods within each store.

Potbelly is another sandwich chain that isn't as popular but is just as good. Like Subway, Potbelly offers fantastic sub sandwiches that you can enjoy for lunch, dinner, or even breakfast. 

Both Subway and Potbelly are incredibly similar, though if you take a closer look at each chain, you'll find some pretty big differences that may make one chain better than the other. If you're confused between the two, it's best to dive into exactly what makes each of these sandwich chains tick and figure out if one is really better than the other.

Subway original sandwiches are a bit healthier

When you're looking for a good sandwich, the health aspect of the meal might not be the most important part of your decision. However, for many people, the health factor is bound to be a little bit important. While Subway and Potbelly sandwiches are similar, one ultimately stands above the other as the seemingly healthier option. While Potbelly sandwiches are healthier than something from Mcdonald's or Wendy's, we're going to have to give it to Subway on this one.

Don't get us wrong, it's very close. Looking at the turkey sandwiches offered by each company is indicative of how close the numbers are in terms of health and nutrition (via Potbelly). It's important to note, however, that while a classic sandwich at Potbelly tends to come with cheese, many Subway sandwiches, such as the Oven-Roasted Turkey sandwich, don't have cheese on them (as per Subway). 

The calories in the Potbelly sandwich come from the cheese, while those in the Subway sandwich come from all of the toppings listed on the websites. If you choose to customize either of these items, you'll likely be met with similar meals, though Subway gets the point in this regard.

Potbelly sandwiches are better quality

The most important part of a successful sandwich chain is the quality of the sandwiches it offers.  Your sandwich chain can have stores all across the globe, or have the lowest price around, but if the sandwiches don't taste great, then they're not going to gain a lot of traction, especially if there's a better sandwich shop around.

There's a reason that there are a good number of Subway and Potbelly stores around the country: both sell sandwiches that are delicious in their own right. It's incredibly close, but one of these chains definitely offers subs of higher quality, and it's Potbelly.

There are definitely people who like Subway sandwiches over Potbelly, and we won't ignore that. If you're a fan of the flavor the sauces bring, then you'll find that Subway definitely has a leg up on Potbelly (via Yahoo).

However, those who have dined at Potbelly seem to consider its sandwiches as being of a much higher caliber than the menu items at Subway (as per Tripadvisor). If you've ever dined at Potbelly, then it's likely that you've had a similar experience with the sandwiches: you probably feel that the ingredients at Potbelly, such as the bread, the meat, and toppings, are much higher in quality than what you'd find at Subway.

The Potbelly breakfast menu is much more expensive

When you wake up in the morning, you sometimes find yourself in a rush to get out of the house, to school, a job, or wherever you need to be. This doesn't give you a lot of time to prepare a hearty breakfast for yourself, even if you'd want to. 

That's the blessing of fast food and other restaurants: you can get your meals prepared quickly for you and enjoy a delicious breakfast as you go. Both Subway and Potbelly offer breakfast menus, though one of these menus is a lot more expensive and breakfast-y than the other.

The Potbelly breakfast menu only consists of three sandwiches that contain bacon, eggs, sausage, and other breakfast foods, along with coffee as a beverage (as per Potbelly). On the other end, Subway's breakfast menu has not only flatbread sandwiches, but breakfast wraps, as well (via Subway). 

These are all made up of egg, steak, bacon, and other breakfast-by ingredients, which provides a variety of different ways in which you can start your morning. We'd definitely go to Subway over Potbelly in the morning, whether you opt for a Bacon Egg and Cheese Flatbread Sub or a Steak, Egg, and Cheese wrap. 

The Potbelly kids' menu is better

Another notable part of any fast food chain is the part of the menu that is dedicated to younger kids. You might not be a kid yourself, but it's important to have menu options that the pickier, younger among us can enjoy. 

Who doesn't love a Happy Meal from McDonald's or a kid's meal from some other chain? If you head to Subway or Potbelly, then you'll find yourself with two similar kids' menus, both with great subs on them. At Subway, you'll find different sandwiches, varying from turkey, ham, and a veggie sandwich, though Potbelly offers a few more options than that. 

Subway's kids' meals do tend to come with toys, books, and other fun goodies (via Facebook). However, the toy isn't the main part of the dish: the food is. You can get sandwiches from both Subway and Potbelly, though Potbelly also offers a mac and cheese combo, which can be accompanied by applesauce, some water, and a cookie, along with the hot meal (via Potbelly). Both offerings are incredibly delicious, but when it comes to food variety, we're going to have to go with Potbelly on this one.

Subway has a lot more salad offerings on its menu

What are Potbelly and Subway best known for? The answer is obviously sandwiches, but that doesn't mean that the chains only carry subs. Cookies, chips, and even shakes are all up on the menu, but sometimes, you need something a little lighter than a sandwich, so how about a salad? 

Both Potbelly and Subway carry a ton of different salads that all offer a variety of delicious flavors you can select from. One of these chains, however, only carries four salads, while the other has a lot more for you to choose from. Subway salads are all flavorful and filling, and they're fit for any salad lover out there.

Potbelly only has four salads on its menu: Farmhouse, Apple Walnut, Powerhouse, and a Chicken salad (via Potbelly). All of these salads are great, though Subway has a lot more to offer. The chain takes many of its sandwiches and turns them into salads: B.L.T., Chicken Bacon and Ranch, and even Pizza, to name a few (via Subway). 

You might find that you don't like the Subway salads and prefer one of the Potbelly meals. Either way, though, you have a lot more to work with at Subway, and if you want a salad, we suggest you go there.

Potbelly has better chips

When you go in and order a sub from a sandwich chain, you don't just get a sandwich, usually. You may get a soft drink, a dessert, or, most likely, a side of chips. Chips and a sandwich are a classic combination, so it's only natural that both Subway and Potbelly provide you with a variety of chip options within their walls. 

The chips that both stores sell, however, are quite different from each other. One of these stores sells the classic chips you can find in stores, while the other is a bit more upscale in terms of its offerings. 

If you step into a Subway, you'll be met with Lays, Cheetos, Doritos, and other brand-named chips you've likely heard the name of (via Subway). These are all great chips (they wouldn't be so popular otherwise), but they don't really bring anything new, unique, or fun to the table in terms of flavor. 

At Potbelly, on the other hand, you can find Lays, but you can also get Zapp's Chips, which offer a variety of different flavors for you to enjoy. Potbelly also offers deals online in which you can get chips along with a drink or shake (via Potbelly). Considering all this, it's hard not to say that Potbelly is the better of the two brands in this regard.

Subway's prices are a bit more reasonable

Another important aspect of any sandwich shop is how much you have to pay for the sandwiches. While you don't want a cheap, terrible-tasting sub, you also don't want an overly expensive sandwich, either. There isn't a huge difference in terms of price between the sandwiches at Potbelly and Subway; however, when you add on the drinks, sides, and different prices for different sandwiches, you'll notice a few differences in the prices of each item that definitely put one of these chains above the other. 

While the food at Potbelly is more upscale, the food at Subway is a bit cheaper. Some items at Potbelly are cheaper than the items at Subway, though not by much. Take, for example, a turkey sandwich. At Subway, you can get it for $8.49, while at Potbelly, it's ten cents less (via Potbelly). However, many of the other items, like the tuna sandwich, are cheaper at Subway than at Potbelly. 

The desserts, as well: A cookie at Potbelly is over two dollars, while at Subway, you can get one for less than a dollar (as per Subway). Overall, you're likely to spend less at Subway than you would at Potbelly, so if you're looking for a cheaper option, then you should probably go with Subway. 

Potbelly really steps up its dessert game

After you eat your sandwich and chips and finish up the last few sips of your drink, you might feel the need to end your meal with something a little sweet. A dessert, like a milkshake or some ice cream, could suffice nicely, though you don't always have the time to go from a sub shop to a Dairy Queen or Baskin Robbins. 

Fortunately, you can find desserts at both Subway and Potbelly, and each is a perfect addition to any meal. When it comes to desserts, however, one of these chains most definitely steps it up a notch more than the other.

At Subway, you can get four different flavors of cookies: oatmeal raisin, chocolate chip, white macadamia nut, and a raspberry cheesecake flavored treat (via Subway). These all taste fantastic, but those are the ONLY desserts you can get from Subway. At Potbelly, on the other hand, you can get sugar cookies and chocolate brownie cookies, sure, but you can also get a dream bar or, more notably, a sweet milkshake with a little cookie on the straw (via Potbelly). 

You get a variety of flavors from the shakes too. Between these two sub shops, we'd definitely pick Potbelly desserts over Subways, so the former chain gets a point in that regard.

Subway has its leg up on a number of restaurants

A restaurant chain can sell the most delicious food that causes people from all over to flock to its doors. However, if that restaurant only has a few locations where it operates, then not a lot of people are going to be able to go to that food store and order the food. 

Fortunately, Subway and Potbelly don't have this problem: Both companies have a good amount of sub shops. One of these chains, however, has way more locations than the other, making it easier to find and order sandwiches. 

There's a good chance that you've heard of Subway before, but it's possible that the name "Potbelly'" has never been uttered in your city before. Why? According to a report by ScrapeHero, there are about 434 Potbelly locations across the country, residing in 34 states. 

That isn't a bad number by any means: However, compare that to Subway, and there's no contest. Looking at a map of the Subway locations, you'll find that there are around 20,787 Subways across the U.S. The numbers alone show that Subway is the more popular and well-known sandwich chain of the two, meaning it's much easier to find and 

order from, regardless of where you live in the country.

The other meals you can get at Potbelly are more filling

If you aren't going to a Subway or Potbelly for a sandwich, salad, or sweet treat, then we'd question why you're going to a sub shop in the first place, particularly if it doesn't have other delicious items on the menu. At Subway, you can get pizzas, while at Potbelly, you can order yourself not just a pizza sandwich but a hearty mac and cheese, as well.

The pizzas at Subway are good: You can get a classic cheese, or a flatizza, which consists of pizza ingredients on some flatbread (via Subway). Potbelly, on the other hand, not only has a delicious, appetizing pizza melt sub that is incredibly filling, but it also carries something for those who might not want a salad or a sub. Potbelly mac and cheese is outstanding, with some online reviews even claiming that it's the best mac and cheese out there (as per TripAdvisor). 

This gives Potbelly yet another point. Depending on what you want from your sub shop (location, quality, or even the desserts), both of these chains will do you good, and we suggest trying either or both of them the next time you're in need of a good meal.