The Location Of The First International Subway Might Surprise You

Subway is an iconic name in the world of fast food. It showed plenty of potential from the very beginning. In fact, according to The Daily Meal, on the first day Subway (which used to be named Pete's Super Submarines) opened, the restaurant's bread sold out. The brand benefited greatly from franchising and got a lot more popular after it caught the attention of those who were interested in helping it succeed. 

In 1975, just a few years after opening, the brand was a hit fast food chain with outlets spread across places like New York and Massachusetts. As reported by, it opened its 1,000th store in 1987. Impressive. Subway is now so widespread that it sells as many as 5,300 sandwiches every minute, which is a huge deal by itself (via Entrepreneur). It has thousands of branches in over 100 countries, and that's pretty cool. But let's rewind to the days of Subway's international debut. Where was Subway's first outlet abroad? The answer may surprise you.

Subway got its international start in Bahrain

As highlighted by the Daily Meal, while Subway truly is everywhere, its international journey began with an outlet in Bahrain in 1984. Redditors were intrigued by this piece of information. A commenter wrote, "Who would've thought that the first international Subway would be in a country whose entire population is less than that of Oklahoma City?" As a blog piece by Margin Media points out, Bahrain's small population made it an effective way for Subway to understand whether it had the potential to become a popular choice in a foreign location that had a markedly different culture and cuisine than the U.S. Well, suffice to say, the risk paid off.

As reported by Trade Arabia, Subway has consistently marketed itself as a healthy fast food option in the Middle Eastern country and has managed to appeal to customers for that reason, leading to its expansion in later years. Diners can choose from tempting menu options at Subway outlets across Bahrain, including Chicken Fajita, Peri Peri Chicken, Chicken Tikka, Roast Beef, and Smoked Turkey sandwiches (via Subway Bahrain).