Secret Menu Items You Can Order At Subway

Subway was known for doing the "healthy" thing before it was cool — long before kids chose Chipotle over McDonald's and even before fast food restaurants advertised low-carb and protein-packed options (we're looking at you, Starbucks). And yet Subway hasn't been fairing too well these days. Sales began to decline in 2014, according to Business Insider, and then came the Jared Fogle scandal the following year, which, of course, tarnished the restaurant's image. By 2019, the company had closed over 1,000 stores, CNN Business reported. Subway's waning success may also be related to the fact that the idea of what's "healthy" has changed significantly since the height of Subway's reign in the 2000s.

While it's true that the chain's popularity has started to decline and many don't see the restaurant's carb-heavy offerings as particularly healthy choices anymore, we'd be lying to ourselves if we said we didn't still crave a delicious Subway sandwich from time to time. Having the option to choose whatever you want and getting to see the staff member make your sandwich right there in front of you brings back memories of the good old days when a meatball sub could be considered diet food.

However, there's a good chance you missed out on some of the restaurant's best recipes back then. The next time you find yourself at Subway, consider trying something new from the secret menu. What secret menu? We're glad you we asked. Here's a peek.

Subway's Chicken Cordon Bleu sandwich is one snazzy sub

Subway offers an almost dizzying array of options with its wide variety of meats, cheeses, and vegetables. In fact, there are a reported 38 million combinations you can make with all the ingredients most locations offer. That wealth of choices can lead to some pretty over-the-top Subway creations absolutely packed with meat and fit to burst. That may be the way to eat sometimes, but other times, taste trumps variety. Simplicity can pay off when you know how to mix the best flavor combinations.

One secret menu item that really embodies this truth is the Chicken Cordon Bleu Sub. You may be familiar with these flavors from the popular Publix sub with the same name or you may remember when it was on the actual menu at Subway restaurants back in 2009. To order this now-secret item, ask for ham, chicken breast, and Swiss cheese to top it off. You can always add veggies as well (spinach would be a good option here or cucumbers for some crunch). Don't forget the Dijon mustard since that will give the sandwich the kick of flavor it needs. This sub may be the closest you can get to fine dining when eating at Subway.

Meat-lovers will be all about The Carnivore at Subway

Even though Subway does seem particularly well-equipped to provide meatless options to its patrons, it hasn't always done a great job in that department. Its longtime signature meat-free option, the Veggie Delite, falls flat as far as taste is concerned. It's just like any other sandwich available at the chain, sans the meat. With so many other restaurants coming out with meat-free options, it looks like Subway might be falling behind in this area, even though it has just started to introduce some more vegetarian options.

Of course, this won't matter as much to you if you're not a vegan or vegetarian. One thing that Subway definitely does right is the meat. If you want a sandwich packed to the brim with all your favorite meats, The Carnivore is the way to go. When you get this secret menu item, expect six pepperoni slices, four whole servings of steak, and eight pieces of bacon. Then, add the cheese and ask the Subway worker to warm it up for you. The result is delightfully indulgent and perfect for those who prefer the franchise's hot options.

Subway's Chicken Parmesan Sub made a quiet comeback

Subway isn't always known for its innovation, but that doesn't mean it hasn't done any experimentation in the past. The Chicken Parmesan Sub was one of its better ideas. It had been a staple at the restaurant for years, becoming one of the more well-loved items on the menu. At the dismay of all the loyal Chicken Parm fans out there, Subway discontinued the sandwich back in 2010, according to The Sun. We may have gone a decade without this culinary delight, but you don't have to survive another day without it.

What many people don't realize is that you can still order a Chicken Parmesan Sub at some Subway locations. It mostly depends on if the staff knows what to do — some of the newer employees might not know the drill. If they don't know what you're talking about, here's the combination: Roasted chicken breast, marinara sauce, black pepper, spinach, olives (optional), and parmesan cheese. It'll taste just like the good old Subway you used to know.

Subway's Deconstructed Breakfast Taco makes for an awesome morning meal

Subway isn't exactly the fast food darling of the breakfast scene because, well, who eats a sub for breakfast? Perhaps that's why Subway was so late to the breakfast game — it only got its foot in the door in 2010, AOL.com reported at the time. The restaurant chain may have ventured into the breakfast territory in an attempt to bounce back from the mid-2000s recession.

There were tons of breakfast combinations back in the day, but most of them are no longer on the menu. Don't worry, though; the ingredients are still available, which means you can always customize your A.M. flatbread to reflect your favorite old-school offerings. That is, if your local Subway is open for breakfast.

The chain stopped requiring its franchises to open for breakfast hours, according to Business Insider, though many still do. If you're one of the lucky ones and your local Subway is still open in the mornings, there is a secret breakfast menu item you may want to try: the Deconstructed Breakfast Taco. It's a delicious and dare we say healthyish way to start the day. Start with a flatbread (it's not a tortilla, we know, but play along). Then, ask for steak, egg whites, tomatoes, guacamole, red onion, and chipotle sauce. It's probably one of our favorite items on the secret menu, so it's definitely worth a try if you want to get your morning off to a great start.

Subway's Eggs Florentine Flatbread is perfect for breakfast or lunch

Subway's memorable slogan is "Eat Fresh." So, if you think it would do one thing well, it's making sure that it has the freshest food in the market. For a long time, Subway might've been the freshest option out there, but other restaurants have since caught up. Meanwhile, Subway is still serving processed meats, CBS News explained, which we now know are pretty bad for you. If that's a concern, you can surely pass up the meats and still enjoy a protein-packed breakfast at Subway. Well, if you decide to order from the secret menu, that is.

The Eggs Florentine Flatbread is the way to go if you want to try one of the chain's more health-conscious recipes. As the name implies, it all starts with the flatbread. Next, you'll want to add egg whites. And while you can really choose any of the available veggies, this specific recipe calls for spinach, red onion, banana peppers, and black olives. Finish it all off with some Italian dressing and you're good to go. The flavor of this sandwich is quite mild, though, so if you want some extra spice, you can't go wrong with some jalapeños. Just watch out for stems: They were the source of an online Subway controversy in 2019.

Combine sauces to create Subway's Sweet and Sour Chicken Sub

There are two types of Subway patrons. The first are the ones who order according to the menu every time. They want their sub exactly how it's pictured in the promotional ad. They inherently trust the genius chefs who came up with the original recipes. And then there are the mavericks — the ones who aren't afraid to take a chance. The ones who will mentally run through every combination of flavors at lightning speed, trying to decide on the best condiments for any given sandwich.

If you fall into the second category, you're going to be all about the Sweet and Sour Chicken Sub. The best part about this sandwich is the fact that it combines two of the best sauces that Subway offers: the red wine vinaigrette and the sweet onion sauce. The vinegar cuts through the sweetness of the onion sauce, and the resulting mixture is a masterpiece. Of course, it's not just about the sauce. Add chicken as your protein and tomatoes, red onion, and banana peppers to finish it off. Lettuce or spinach wouldn't be a bad idea here either. This just might be one of the more flavorful and sophisticated items on Subway's secret menu.

You can order the "wing effect" with any Subway sandwich

"The wing effect" or "winged style" isn't a particular sandwich but a technique — some may even dare to say a way of life. Anybody who's ordered from Subway knows that its sandwiches usually come out with the slices of the meat nicely folded on top of one another. In fact, you've probably seen an expert sandwich maker at Subway do that impressive, quick-folding technique. But that's not what everyone wants. Some prefer their slices of meat laid flat, like you might do at home. That's just what The Wing Effect is all about.

When the sandwich is closed, the meat of choice will hang out over the bread, forming a "wing." The thought of seeing untucked cold cuts may make some people out there want to bang their heads against a wall. But for all those who love getting that extra bite of meat overtop your bread, Subway's got you covered.

Carnivores should consider trying Subway's Meat Feast sandwich

These days, there is an increased interest in vegetarianism and veganism, leading fast food restaurants to respond to this shift in consumer dynamics by offering a wide variety of veggie-friendly choices. At the same time, though, low-carb diets like keto and paleo are also gaining steam, with adherents often choosing to eat more meat in lieu of pasta, rice, and yes: bread.

If you're upping your meat intake, you may want to try the Meat Feast. It's not exactly low-carb (though you can ask them to scoop out the middle of your bread if you're trying to cut back), it is absolutely packed with protein. Basically, this sandwich combines every type of deli meat on the menu along with your favorite cheese. Add any veggies or sauces you may want and you're in for a serious treat. Of course, you can get any sandwich in either a six-inch or a footlong, but if you're going to go all out with the Meat Feast, you'll probably want to go all the way and opt for the footlong.

Want additional veggies? Ask for "more please" at Subway

This isn't a specific sub, but it's a Subway menu secret you may want to get in on, particularly if you've found some of your subs kind of lackluster in the past. Most of the time, Subway isn't going to skimp on the meat. In fact, sometimes the stacks on stacks of meat in some of the restaurant's signature sandwiches can be a little overwhelming to people who prefer more veggie-forward meals. But the vegetables don't seem to get the same attention — even when it comes to the Veggie Delite.

If more veggies is what you're after, though, you don't have to sit there and watch your salad make its way down the line with only a few sad tomatoes and a smattering of lettuce. Just ask the employee you're working with for more. You can add an unlimited amount of veggies to any sandwich, according to The Packer — as long as it still fits in the bread, of course. Just be sure to ask for "more please" when you place your order.

Subway's Spicy Nacho Steak Sub provides some much needed crunch

In 2015, Subway launched a few "off-the-menu" specials. According to Brand Eating, the move appeared to be a regional test of new sandwich ideas in the Southern California area. One of the subs to end up on that list of new sandwiches was the Spicy Nacho Steak Sub. It doesn't look like this recipe stuck around for long, unfortunately, but you might be able to get it at your local Subway — if you're lucky.

This sandwich boasts delicious steak and shredded Monterey cheddar, plus green bell peppers and onions. And you can't forget the most important ingredient: the Nachos Cheese Doritos. If you love eating chips on your sandwich, this is probably the sub for you. After all, the Doritos will give you that crunch that Subway sandwiches, in particular, are lacking. Request your sub toasted to warm it up and get the cheese nice and melty.

Here's a useful tip for you: If the Subway employee at your local store doesn't know how to make this sub, just buy a bag of chips on the side and ask if they can put them in your sandwich (or just do it yourself if you don't want to have to explain). And don't be afraid to ask for some jalapeños if you want to take the spice to the next level.

The "old cut" at Subway is mind-blowing

Do you ever get nostalgic for the good old days, when things seemed less confusing and just simpler? Many Subway fans feel the same way. Years ago, the chain used to be much different than it is today. Remember the old "five-dollar foot-long" jingle? But times have changed — and so has the way that Subway cuts its sandwiches.

Originally, employees used what's now known as the "old cut" or "U-gouge." Instead of slicing the sandwich so it opens sideways, the first Subway subs had a U-shaped cut on the top of the loaf, former sandwich artist Stav explained in a video for Hit Network. The fillings would go inside, and the cut bread would rest on top. It may sound strange, but it's truly a superior way to eat your sandwich since you don't have to worry about the insides squishing out when you bite into it.

Luckily, you don't have to wallow in your nostalgia because the old cut is on Subway's secret menu. While you have this option with a variety of subs, the cut is especially perfect for a meatball sub. Considering how messy they are, you don't want to try to hold the sandwich together from the side. Try the old cut for yourself the next time you order from Subway and expand your horizons. You may never go back to "normal" again.

Subway's Grilled Cheese Sub is simply delicious

This idea seems so simple that you may be mad you didn't think of it before. Most people don't consider the meatless options at Subway apart from the Veggie Delite (even though the company has now teamed up with Beyond Meat). But there are still other ways you can enjoy a meat-free meal at the international chain. The Grilled Cheese Sub is the perfect way to go for something on the lighter side. And it's not complicated.

First choose the bread you want, then ask for both shredded American and the Monterey cheddar blend. The only veggie this recipe calls for is tomato, but you can add in anything else you want on top of that. Just be sure to decide whether you want to toast your cheesy bread before or after adding the toppings. It may not be a standout on the Subway secret menu, but for kids, picky eaters, or those desperate for a simple meatless meal might get a kick out of this Subway offering.