8 Popular Chain Restaurant French Dip Sandwiches Ranked From Worst To Best, According To Customers

A French dip, not to be confused with an actual dip or anything from France, is a hot sandwich with thinly sliced roast beef piled high inside a soft French baguette. Eaten with a side of au jus for dunking, this popular American invention, often topped with melted Swiss cheese and sauteed onions, is served in restaurants across the country, but not everyone gets it right (more on that to come).

There's a debate between two rival Los Angeles restaurants — Philippe The Original or Cole's Pacific Electric Cafe—on who actually first created the sandwich, but Thrillist makes a case for both restaurants and comes to the conclusion that Philippe The Original is believed to be, well, the original (pun intended). There is some mystery surrounding the sandwich's name, which could be attributed to owner Philippe Mathieu's French heritage or to a fashionable way of tailoring clothes at the time, also known as a "French dip." The answer lies somewhere in history. But no matter how the sandwich got its name, what matters most is how it tastes and where you can find it. Here are the best French dip sandwiches in the U.S. from chain restaurants, ranked from worst to best according to customers.

8. McAlister's Deli

The first McAlister's Deli opened in 1989, serving a menu of baked potatoes, salads, and sandwiches. Among those sandwiches is the French Dip, which consists of Black Angus beef and Swiss on a baguette with au jus. The sandwich comes with a side and a pickle spear, but according to Jackie R. from Mississippi on Tripadvisor, the sandwich served is not the same sandwich advertised.

Jackie's beef isn't with the flavor of the sandwich, but rather, how much meat is on it. She complained to management and brought to their attention that when her sandwich was brought to the table, it didn't include nearly as much meat as depicted on the display for customers to see while standing in line. Instead, it was served with a thin layer of cheese and a disappointing amount of roast beef. After listening to the customer, McAlister's Deli brought Jackie a new sandwich with double meat and cheese to match the photo. Once tasting it, she concluded, "That version of the sandwich is tasty and filling." 

Wilder Shaw, a food writer with Cheapism, tried 6 popular sandwiches from McAlister's Deli. The French dip was ranked last on his list because it tasted like maple syrup when dipped in the au jus. "It's like one of those novelty chocolate cake shots that they sell at college bars. I don't want my French dip to taste like maple syrup. I assume you don't, either." 

7. Arby's

Boasting more than 3,500 restaurants in nine countries, Arby's is the second largest sandwich restaurant brand in the world. With the famous tagline "We Have The Meats," it is best known for slow roasted roast beef, turkey, and premium Angus beef sandwiches, fresh sliced daily. Why Be Hungry YouTubers Chris, Steve, and Dan reviewed Arby's Classic French Dip & Swiss sandwich combo, which comes with a side and a drink. They recommended soaking the sandwich in the au jus and then "sucking the meat out of it." Dan said, "It was soft and worked well. The au jus added to the meat. I give it a 7 out of 10." Chris gave the sandwich an 8.6, followed by Steve who gave Arby's French dip its highest score with an 8.9 out of 10.

It sounds like these happy customers were satisfied by Arby's offering, but consistency is key. The reviews for Arby's French dip sandwich are mixed. Pros and cons range from good beef flavor to slightly dry bread and plastic-y cheese. 

6. The Cheesecake Factory

The Cheesecake Factory, an American chain restaurant known for large portions and having more than 250 menu items and 30 signature cheesecake selections, has a version of the French dip in the form of a burger. The French Dip Cheeseburger is featured under the Glamburgers section of the menu and is described as a "charbroiled cheeseburger served on a toasted brioche roll with grilled onions, Sriracha mayo and au jus for dipping." Evan C. from Rancho Cordova, California visited recently, but found the burger "a bit salty," and said the fries came out cold. He concluded, "There are much better options in dining."

EatDrinkandBeMandy from YouTube reviewed the sandwich, calling it "fire," and describing it as "juicy and cheesy." Even though the au jus spilled inside her to-go container, she wasn't mad about it. The au jus soaked into the bread, making it even more delicious. "This is definitely the kind of burger you fall more in love with as you eat it. It tastes so good ... Also, no shortage of sauteed onions on here. Worth every penny." The majority of customer reviews give this sandwich a thumbs up. 

5. Bob Evans

Bob Evans has a Double-Cheese Pot Roast Dip on the menu made with pot roast, caramelized onions, and two types of cheese: American and provolone. The sandwich is served on grilled sourdough bread, and here's the kicker: Instead of traditional au jus, Bob Evans' twist on the classic is to serve it with homestyle beef gravy for dipping. Is it a slam dunk?

The Stupid Food Review Show with JIAT on YouTube had the sandwich for lunch, commenting that it was hard to eat and noting his need for a napkin. After taking a bite without a dip in the gravy, he determined the sandwich to have "pretty good pot roast." He then dipped it in the beef gravy and said it made a big difference. "It's not that shabby," he said and ultimately rated Bob Evans' Double-Cheese Pot Roast Dip with an 8.7 out of 10. Janis H-P from Ocala, Florida, also rated the sandwich on Tripadvisor, but was more impressed with the Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad. "The sandwich ... was very good, BUT the salad exceeded my expectations."

4. Jason's Deli

Jason's Deli's take on the French dip sandwich is the Beefeater, which comes with roast beef, provolone cheese, and mayo on toasted New Orleans French bread with au jus. Dave C. wanted a "GREAT" French dip sandwich, but after trying the one on the menu at Jason's Deli, he said, "I was told this was a great place to get a French dip sandwich. The sandwich WAS hearty but NOT hot or warm enough. Not great, just ok." Other reviewers had a different experience.

Jeremy Huntrods, a Facebook fan, says Jason's Deli serves the biggest and most tasty French dip he's ever had. Fanasfreaks, a TripAdvisor reviewer from Dahlonega, Georgia, says her family raves about the Beefeater, especially from the location in Alpharetta, Georgia. "Whenever we are in the area, the boys start chanting BEEFEATER!! That is their favorite sandwich (mine too). The restaurant is always clean and the staff is friendly and efficient. For about $35, my family of four can have a very filling lunch and they throw in a free ice cream on top!! We will certainly be back." 

3. J. Alexander's Restaurant

J. Alexander's Restaurant, a chain serving American cuisine in a contemporary atmosphere, has a French dip listed under the Burgers, Sandwiches, and Small Plates category of its menu. The sandwich is made with thinly sliced prime rib on a baguette with horseradish and au jus. It's served with french fries.

Michael Croy from Denver, Colorado touted the "great atmosphere, food, and service" during his visit, calling out the French dip for its portion and texture. "The French dip was the right size, tender as can be, and just great." Mikey Likes It Food Critic on TikTok agreed, noting the value for the price. "For $21 — It's a fantastic deal — you get a really nice French dip sandwich ... more bang for your buck!"

But there's one customer —JhMcKinnon — who would beg to differ after visiting the Franklin, Tenn. location. He titled his review "French Dip Sandwich Plunged." "I ordered a French dip sandwich for carry-out. Usually a favorite of mine but this was disgusting. Not evenly cooked with gross amounts of fat hanging on. Inedible. I have eaten at other locations, perhaps it was just this location. I will never order from here again."

However, it sounds like JhMcKinnon needs to give the restaurant another try.  Neil from Tall Boy Marketing says, "I never order anything different when I come here, because I've been ordering the same thing for about 10 plus years — The French dip." While the one negative review knocks this sandwich down a couple of spots, most people seem to love it.

2. Lazy Dog

Chris Simms, founder of Lazy Dog Restaurants, grew up in the Rocky Mountains and through his restaurants strives to share the small mountain town vibes he experienced as a kid. With ingredients sourced from local farmers, every menu item is prepared by hand daily. Guests like Sean Clemens and Robin Intemann aren't complaining.

Clemens, a member of the French Dip Fanatics Facebook group, says Lazy Dog has an "awesome, awesome" French dip. He credits the caramelized onions and fresh artisan-type bread, but says the ingredient that really takes it over the top is the horseradish spread. "Great sandwich ... The kicker was a horseradish spread that woke up the sandwich and made it the perfect lunchable." 

Likewise, in a dining review posted by The Denver Gazette, Robin Intemann says of the pot roast beef dip, "An impressive amount of slow-cooked, shredded, tender beef is topped with melted mozzarella and caramelized onions, all tucked between slices of toasted ciabatta roll. This is a substantial sandwich, although the roll got soggy much sooner than expected. It soon became easier to forego the bread and simply dip the meat in the au jus with a fork. This wasn't necessarily a bad thing, since it was beef and onions with all the flavors." The quality of ingredients and fresh salad as an alternative to fries get this sandwich extra kudos. However, there's a fancier French dip that earns first place.

1. Houston's Restaurant

Houston's Restaurant, a snazzy collection of American casual dining restaurants owned by Hillstone Restaurant Group, offers a USDA Prime French dip au jus with roasted prime rib served on a house-made French roll. In a Facebook post, the restaurant recommends the sandwich for "those who aren't afraid to live life to the fullest."

A reviewer from Edible South Florida magazine was not afraid, recognizing the French dip as "a slightly elegant if messy throwback, requiring the diner to work just a little for comfort-food pleasure." Houston's French dip is consistently recognized for its homemade bread. "The crusty, toasted bread, made in-house, is neither too hard to sink your teeth into, nor so soft as to disintegrate when dipped into the flavorful and not-too-salty jus ... You'll want to order the fresh horseradish sauce for a welcome jolt of pungency." The reviewer determines Houston's French dip sandwich to be "a satisfying splurge for lunch or dinner." Kevincold84 on Reddit concurs, saying "Houston's ... has hands down the best French dip ever." The consistency of positive reviews for this sandwich, along with its use of high-quality ingredients, earns it the top spot on our list.


We scoured the internet for a variety of reviews of chain restaurant French dip sandwiches, evaluating social media sites such as Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube as well as review websites including Tripadvisor, Yelp, and Grubhub. The more positive reviews, the higher the ranking. Factors such as value for price, originality, and ingredient quality were used to tip the scales.

It's important to remember that food is personal. Preferences are always subjective, prices can vary according to location, and individual experiences may differ. The best way to form your own opinion is to visit these restaurants individually and experience them firsthand.