Chain Restaurant BLTs Ranked From Worst To Best

Short for bacon, lettuce, and tomato, a BLT sandwich traditionally brings together its three namesake ingredients. Featuring crispy strips of bacon, crunchy lettuce leaves, and slices of ripe tomato nestled between two slices of bread, the sandwich is often topped with a creamy layer of mayonnaise. While the classic BLT ingredients are always the same, some restaurants have put their spin on the culinary creation with additional ingredients such as avocado, cheese, or a fried egg.

Some believe that BLT's roots can be traced to the rise of teatime sandwiches in Victorian England. Others argue that this popular handheld is a derivative of the classic club sandwich, which originated in 19th-century New York clubhouses. A version of the BLT, as we know it today, was first documented in a recipe published in the "Ladies Home Journal" in 1903. Despite its early appearance in recipe books, the author of "The BLT Cookbook," Michele Jordan, says that the BLT didn't become popular in the U.S. until the late '90s with the rise of a meat subscription service called the Bacon of the Month Club.

Hungry for a BLT? Take a look at our roundup of the best and worst chain restaurants that serve the sandwich, as rated by customers.

10. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Founded in 1958, Perkins Restaurant & Bakery had its beginnings as a pancake house. Today, the casual dining chain specializes in American-style cuisine and is known for its all-day breakfast menu. From Classic Eggs Benedict to Country Fried Steaks and Prime Rib Dinners, Perkins' offerings are as varied as its patrons. One of the chain's menu items is the Big Bacon BLT, with five strips of applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise nestled between two slices of toasted white or whole wheat bread. The sandwich is served with a choice of french fries or a cup of soup.

Unfortunately, Perkins' Big Bacon BLT hasn't lived up to its name — particularly when it comes to its portion size. One underwhelmed diner says: "My friend and I ordered these and when they came they looked like they were for children. One slice [of] bacon, one slice [of] tomato, small chunk of lettuce. It was all toast, not ordering again." Another customer also finds the sandwich disappointing, commenting, "A bit of bacon, a sheet of lettuce and a bit of tomato and overloaded with mayo. Not my idea of a BLT."

9. Panera Bread

Known for its freshly baked artisan breads and quality ingredients, Panera is a chain of bakery-style casual dining restaurants. As such, it's not surprising that the chain offers a huge range of sandwiches, from sourdough melts to toasted baguettes.

Listed alongside sandwiches such as Toasted Steak & White Cheddar and Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich, Panera's Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT delivers a twist on the classic BLT. Made with antibiotic-free turkey, creamy avocado, applewood-smoked bacon, tomatoes, mixed greens, and a splash of mayo, the filling sits between two slices of the chain's Country Rustic Sourdough bread. The Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT comes with an apple, baguette, or chips. Cheese enthusiasts can also opt for white cheddar or gouda at an additional cost.

Despite its impressive pedigree, Panera's Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT has received predominantly negative reviews from diners. Andrew LaSane, who reviewed Panera's sandwiches for Business Insider, says that the chain's BLT comes pretty close to the type of sandwich he would make at home, noting that while it wasn't bad, it was bland. A more damning review comes from a TripAdvisor user who says: "My BLT roast turkey with avocado was gaggy. The bread was really soft (which is usually a good thing), and there was a lot of mayo on one half which made it soggy. I had to pull the whole bottom slice off, as I found it inedible."

8. Urban Cookhouse

Urban Cookhouse is known for its dedication to using fresh, locally sourced ingredients and offering a menu that prioritizes farm-to-table dining options. The chain's food selection features an array of salads, sandwiches, and wraps, as well as a range of other dishes. One of the restaurant's menu offerings is the BALT, which comes with applewood-smoked bacon, avocado, lettuce, and tomato. The ingredients are all topped with aioli and served on toasted white bread. The BALT comes with a choice of a house-made side, including Hot Cheddar Pasta, Roasted Vegetables, or Rice Pilaf.

Urban Cookhouse's BALT has its share of fans and critics. On a positive note, several diners have complimented the culinary creation, saying that it offers good value for money and is generally awesome. However, not everybody is impressed. One diner, who doubts they'll return to the restaurant, remarks: "I found a slight trace of avocado on only one half of the sandwich which looked like a spread and not pieces of avocado." Another reviewer agrees, commenting, "[The] BALT sandwich was as flat as a pancake. We were disappointed and probably won't go back."

7. Friendly's

You may not know this, but Friendly's started as an ice cream shop. Established in 1935 by two young entrepreneurs, the store once sold double-dipped ice cream cones for 5 cents a pop. A lot has changed since then. Over the years, Friendly's has expanded into a full-service restaurant chain offering a wide range of items including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and desserts. One of the chain's menu items is the Friendly's BLT with applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo served on toasted sourdough alongside a portion of french fries.

Although Friendly's describes its BLT as irresistible, some customers have expressed doubts about its appeal. One of the biggest complaints seems to be the scant amount of bacon, with one reviewer saying: "I had the BLT and it had very little bacon on it for the price and the toast was hard and not good bread." However, it's not all bad news. Several diners have praised the menu item, describing it as fantastic.

6. Claim Jumper Steakhouse & Bar

Claim Jumper Steakhouse & Bar offers an upscale take on the humble BLT, featuring none other than the king of crustaceans — lobster. The deluxe Lobster BLT includes lobster claw meat, smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, sandwiched between two slices of grilled parmesan sourdough. Given the luxury prime ingredient, Lobster BLT is on the higher end of costs compared to Claim Jumper's other sandwiches, which include the Clubhouse, Mahi Mahi, and Impossible Philly.

Claim Jumper's employees have referred to the chain's Lobster BLT as a "work of art." Whether the menu item lives up to this label is a matter of opinion. While some diners have described the dish as a "game changer" and doled out high praise, other customers haven't been as impressed. The main complaints about the restaurant's BLT pertain to the balance between the lobster and the mayonnaise, with one reviewer saying, "I had the Lobster BLT, which sounded very unique and promising. But the flavor was dominated by mayonnaise ... no hints of lobster to speak of." Another customer agrees, commenting, "The Lobster BLT was drowned in mayo. It was not good."

5. Which Wich

Which Wich offers a clever ordering system where customers use a Sharpie to mark up pre-printed menus on brown sandwich bags. They select the type of sandwich, bread, size, and fillings. The chain is also known for its creative sandwich options — one of these being the Ultimate BLT. Aside from the obligatory bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo, the chain's version of the sandwich also comes with avocado and Pepper Jack cheese.

Which Wich's Ultimate BLT has garnered predominantly positive feedback from diners, with several customers describing it as "excellent," the "best ever," and their new favorite. One reviewer praises the sandwich, saying, "Very filling and so much better than Subway! The bacon was perfect and contained much more than a strip or two." On the flip side, another customer describes the BLT as "skimpy and bland," adding, "Barely anything on the bread. And nothing had any flavor, including the underdone bacon."

4. Bob Evans

Initially launched in January 2021 for a limited time, it appears that Bob Evans' All American BLT has withstood the test of time for now. As one of the chain's two sandwich offerings — the other being the Double Cheese Pot Roast Dip — the BLT comes with four strips of hardwood-smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and a dollop of mayonnaise. The filling is encased between two slices of griddled brioche bread and topped with deli pickles. For those who enjoy a little variety in their culinary experiences, the restaurant also offers the Pick 2 Combo that lets customers match half a sandwich with half a salad or a cup of soup.

The All American BLT at Bob Evans has charmed the taste buds of most patrons. One satisfied diner calls the sandwich the best BLT they have ever tasted, describing, "Grilled to perfection, ample bacon, plus tomato and lettuce. Outstanding!!! Buttery goodness in every bite." A YouTube reviewer agrees, saying, "This is all types of flavorful. The bacon is legit, crispy, still a little soft but crispy, tomatoes are nice and fresh, lettuce is romaine, the premium stuff and they've got the right amount of ratio of mayo on here. Not too much, not too little — just perfect." On the downside, Dylan Felty, who reviewed the restaurant for The Tiger Tattler, says that his companion commented that the BLT was just okay, and the bacon was the only ingredient in the sandwich they really enjoyed.

3. Jersey Mike's

In 2020, there was a rumor that the BLT at Jersey Mike's was going to be renamed BLM. According to posts on social media — it's unclear whether these were initiated by the company — the name change was intended to show support for the Black Lives Matter movement. Needless to say, the supposed rebranding attracted its fair share of criticism for being a publicity stunt. Additionally, judging by its current menu, the name change never actually took place.

Holding the #1 spot on the chain's menu, the BLT seems to have earned its high ranking fair and square. Classified as a cold sub alongside other offerings such as the Club Sub and Ham and Provolone, the BLT comes with grilled applewood-smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Those looking for a little extra zest can have their BLT prepared "Mike's Way," with additional onion, red wine vinegar, olive oil, and spices.

Jersey Mike's employees say the restaurant's BLT is "timeless," and for a good reason. Diners rave about the menu item too, calling it "fantastic" and "awesome." One reviewer comments, "[The] bacon [is] always perfect and it's crumbled and crunchy." Another customer concurs, saying, "They made my sandwich really well. Crunchy bacon and not too much mayo or tomatoes and lettuce. Biggest pet peeve is lots of lettuce that you can't even taste the tomatoes."

2. Jason's Deli

With a name like the Bigger Better BLT, Jason's Deli's sandwich sets up high expectations. Nestled between two slices of toasted multigrain wheat bread, the BLT features the usual suspects — bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo. However, this isn't all. The menu item also comes with sliced avocado and — wait for it — a fried egg. Those on a bread-free diet can also indulge in the chain's Ultimate BLT Bowl with antibiotic-free chicken, bacon, organic quinoa, romaine lettuce, tomato, avocado, pickled red onion, and a hard-boiled egg.

The team at Jason's Deli calls the Bigger Better BLT a "sandwich masterpiece" and a "taste sensation." This sentiment is echoed by the majority of the chain's customers. One diner waxes lyrical about the menu offering, saying, "I had a spiritual experience with this sandwich today. I was a Reuben fan, no longer." Another patron agrees, commenting, "The Bigger Better BLT was just that; large portioned and tasty. [...] Nicely done." Additionally, several other reviewers describe the BLT as their new favorite and perfect.

1. Potbelly Sandwich Works

Potbelly Sandwich Works has been feeding hungry customers since its founders started selling sandwiches at their Chicago antique shop in 1977. Over the years, the operation has grown from strength to strength, and today the chain boasts over 400 locations across the U.S. Staying true to its roots, Potbelly Sandwich Works specializes in sub-style sandwiches. Its diverse menu ranges from the hearty Steakhouse Beef to the plant-based Veggie Melt, catering to various tastes and dietary needs. One of the restaurant's standout offerings is the BLTA, which features smoked bacon, lettuce, tomato, and avocado.

Brian Nagele from Restaurant Clicks reviewed nine of Potbelly's sandwiches, choosing the BLTA as his favorite menu item. Referring to the sandwich as heavenly, he says that it's the avocado that makes all the difference, by adding both texture and mass to the sub. Another satisfied reviewer echoes this sentiment, commenting, "I tried the BLTA today and was pretty impressed; especially because all my other attempts to like this place failed. The bread was toasted perfectly, the bacon was very good and the avocado was a nice spin on the old BLT favorite." Several other diners also agree, showering the sandwich with praise.


Our list of the best and worst BLTs at chain restaurants is the result of an in-depth analysis of customer reviews on platforms such as Yelp, TripAdvisor, and Facebook.