Chain Sandwich Turkey Subs Ranked Worst To Best

When you aren't in the mood for a heavy beef burger from McDonald's, or a hearty box of chicken nuggets from Wendy's or Burger King, you might be on the search for something a bit lighter, such as a delicious turkey sub sandwich. The word "sub" is short for submarine, as the sandwiches might look like mini submarines themselves. According to WhatsCookingAmerica, the term "submarine sandwich" was first used by Dominic Conti in 1927, who saw a submarine hull on display, and realized it looked a lot like the Italian sandwiches he made and sold. Other claims have been made that the use of the term started in 1926, when soldiers at a Connecticut naval base began to order and eat dozens of the sandwiches.

Either way, these classic sandwiches have been around for nearly a century now, and it's impossible for many to go a week without craving a sliced sub. Even though it's easy to prepare at home with deli or leftover thanksgiving meat, you sometimes just want the hand of a seasoned sandwich master to be the one that prepares your perfect sandwich. There are numerous sub chains across the country, from Subway to Jimmy John's, who each have their own takes on the classic turkey sub. Read on to see our ranking of 12 of the most popular turkey subs from chain locations, from worst to best.

12. Quiznos Turkey Ranch and Swiss

Would you say no to a Quiznos sandwich? This sub sandwich chain was established over 35 years ago in Denver, Colorado. Ironically, the man who founded the place goes by the name of Jimmy Lambatos, who has no association with Jimmy John's, another chain with several subs on this list. Regardless, since its founding, Quiznos has had ups and downs, and even seemed capable of surpassing Subway at one point before strange advertising and product dissatisfaction caused the chain to decrease in popularity. Regardless, they have many locations that are still around today, and with that, many subs to choose from if you can find a store, including their Turkey Ranch Swiss sub.

Where their spongmonkey mascot was weird, the Quiznos Turkey Ranch Swiss was boring. There was nothing special about the ranch that made it stand out, and we've had much more flavorful and delicious turkey from other sandwich chains that are also a lot simpler to locate, and less of a drive. What really sank this sub for us was the Swiss, which was mediocre at best. While some Yelp reviews claim that they enjoy the Quiznos T-R-S sub, we couldn't recommend this turkey sandwich in comparison to all the other tastier (and easier to find) options out there.

11. Potbelly's Avo Turkey

We're all familiar with the avocado craze that hit the world a couple years back. A ripe avocado is a fruit (yes, it's a fruit) that is creamy and almost like butter, and perfect to mix in with a smoothie or go on top of your morning breakfast toast. While some people find this fruit to be a bit flavorless and not worth the expensive prices you'll find in breakfast diners and cafes, others see avocado as a must-have with every meal. Nobody can escape the avocado madness that has enveloped society, not even sub sandwich chains. This leads us to the next sandwich on this list, which is Potbelly's Avo Turkey sub.

The Potbelly Avo Turkey is made with the sub bread of your choice, then filled with deli-style turkey breast, Swiss cheese, cucumbers, and of course, sliced avocado. While we like avocado on toast, we can't say that it pairs all that nicely with turkey slices. The texture makes one feel like they are eating deli meat with a spreadable butter, which isn't that pleasant. As for taste, the avocado doesn't really add any significant flavor to a sandwich that would be fine without the extra topping. If you're picking through the sandwiches at Potbelly, there are much better things to fill your belly with than the Avo Turkey.

10. Quiznos Turkey Bacon Guacamole

Don't take this the wrong way: Quiznos has great subs, especially their French Dip. Unfortunately, however, the turkey subs from this sandwich chain just didn't do it for us. The next sub on this list is the Quiznos Turkey Bacon Guacamole. This sandwich is made with crispy bread, and is topped with guacamole, lettuce, onions, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and their ranch dressing. This sandwich has two layers of turkey, and a pretty noticeable amount of bacon in between.

Despite its relatively low placement on this list, this sandwich was still much better than the Turkey Ranch and Swiss sub. The addition of the bacon was an instant plus, and the actual bacon pieces were large, crispy, and were plentiful enough for us to actually taste the bacon. The guacamole was also flavorful and delicious, and while it wasn't the best guacamole we've ever had, it was much better than the so-so guac you'll find at other popular food chains. One Yelp review writes that the sandwich was "crispy and crunchy." However, the rest of the ingredients in the sandwich, such as the Swiss and ranch, were still not that great. We'd eat this sandwich if there were no other options, but not if given a choice.

9. Jersey Mike's Club Sub

While this next sandwich belongs to a chain that isn't as big as others on this list, you can still expect quality and brilliantly crafted subs from any Jersey Mike's. Originally called Mike's Subs, Jersey Mike's was founded in 1956 as a single sub shop, and its headquarters are currently located in New Jersey (hence the "Jersey" in Jersey Mike's). While it hasn't grown as massively as Subway, you can no longer call Jersey Mike's a "small sandwich chain," as it now has over 2,000 locations across the U.S. that sell quality subs. Jersey Mike's has a long list of delicious sub combinations to choose from, and a couple of them fall on this list, including their Club Sub.

The Jersey Mike's Club Sub comes filled with provolone cheese, bacon, turkey, ham and a really heavy mayonnaise. Ham, turkey, and bacon are all great meats to put on a sandwich, and the cheese was great. When you want a good cheese for a sandwich, provolone and sliced gouda are great choices, and the use of provolone in this sandwich was a smart move. Unfortunately, this is completely canceled out by the use of the mayonnaise, which makes it the most overpowering taste in this turkey sub. The mayo also makes up 260.90 calories of a regularly sized sub. If you had to pick a sub from Jersey Mike's, you might only be a fan of this sub if you really like mayonnaise.

8. Firehouse Sub's Jamaican Jerk Turkey

The Firehouse Subs sandwich food chain is only second in popularity to Subway, and located all across the country. Firehouse was started by brothers Chris and Robin Sorensen, two firefighters who opened the first Firehouse Subs store in Jacksonville, Florida. Since then, the chain has had a goal of providing delicious, hearty subs that are full of flavor, and it seems they've been quite successful. This next turkey sub sandwich, the Jamaican Jerk Turkey, also proves that Firehouse can compete with other sub chains.

The Jamaican Jerk Turkey is made with the standard meat, cheeses, and toppings you'll find on most subs, with sweet mustard sauce and Caribbean seasoning paired with it all. This Firehouse sandwich was a fresh new take on the typical turkey sub, and quite tasty. The best part was the sweet mustard sauce, which would have complemented the pepper jack cheese and turkey wonderfully, if there wasn't so much of it. The sauce drowned out most other flavors, including the Caribbean seasoning. One review on TripAdvisor says, "I do wish they didn't douse the sandwich with it because although the sauce was good, it was a bit too much. It made for a very messy sandwich." This turkey sub works if you like your sandwiches drenched in sweet mustard sauce.

7. Which Wich Club Wich

From which Which Wich did you get your sandwich? Which Wich is a relatively newer sub chain, having been founded in Dallas, Texas, in December 2003. Not even a year later, the sandwich shop was mentioned by D Magazine in an article about the best sandwiches in Dallas. From there, Which Wich only grew, and as of now, has over 350 locations. With such a quick rise to fame in the South, it's only natural that Which Wich would offer turkey subs. One of their most popular turkey sandwiches is the Club Wich, which comes with all your classic toppings and condiments, but also includes bacon, pepper jack cheese, and a 1000 Island dressing.

For a turkey sub, this was a pretty great sandwich. We may be biased, but adding bacon onto anything makes it ten times better, and the 1000 Island sauce also adds some great flavor to the sandwich. One reviewer on Yelp writes, "I love Which Wich sandwiches. They come out toasted, warm and mostly delicious. My favorite has always been the Turkey Club." The only critique we really have for this sandwich is that it comes with a bit too much sauce, which drowns out much of the other flavor. Thankfully, this is customizable, and you can always try to ask for less of it. The Club Wich is a solid addition to this turkey club list.

6. Jimmy John's Turkey Tom

If you're a sub sandwich lover, then the name Jimmy John's should be familiar to you. This next turkey sub has been on the menu since the chain was first started in 1983, and was one of four sandwiches that featured on the original Jimmy John's menu in Charleston, Illinois. Even though Jimmy John's has grown to feature 18 different kinds of subs, Jimmy John's has always had a classic turkey sandwich for their sub fans. Originally called the S&M after Jimmy's cousins, the turkey sandwich that Jimmy John's lovers still consume today now goes by the Turkey Tom. Aside from the turkey, this sandwich has tomato, lettuce, and cheese: four simple ingredients for Jimmy John's #4.

Sometimes, you don't want a turkey sandwich decked out with fancy dressings and vegetables, and you're just craving a classic turkey sub. Jimmy John's Turkey Tom might not have any unique twists or flavors that will jump out at you, but if you want a good, reliable turkey sandwich, then this sub does everything right. The sandwich tasted great for a fast food sub sandwich, with a firmer bread than you'd find at Subway. While some blog reviewers find that the Turkey Tom has a bit more mayonnaise than other turkey subs, this classic didn't have anything else wrong with it, and if you like a firm, crunchy-breaded turkey sandwich, then the Turkey Tom would be a decent choice.

5. Jimmy John's Club Lulu

This next sub from Jimmy John's was our favorite turkey sandwich from the brand. The Club Lulu is similar to the Turkey Tom, with the turkey, mayo and sliced lettuce and tomato. However, what puts Lulu just above Tom is the addition of the crispy and delicious applewood smoked bacon. It's definitely a Jimmy John's menu item that we would miss if it disappeared. Where the mayo in the Turkey Tom was a little bit overpowering, the inclusion of the bacon gives the sandwich more to work with, so the mayo isn't as prevalent.

The one flaw with this turkey sub is that with the bacon, the turkey isn't the most prevalent of flavors, being the less flavorful meat of the two. If you prefer bacon over turkey, then this is perfect. However, if you prefer a strong taste of turkey with a little bacon, then this might not be your sub. Regardless, many people love this sandwich, with one Tripadvisor reviewer writing, "I ordered a Club Lulu and I was hooked ... I look forward to ordering from them a lot in the future." While this might not be the best turkey sub in the world, it's certainly the best turkey sandwich from Jimmy John's, and we highly recommend it to any Jimmy John's fans out there.

4. Jersey Mike's Turkey and Provolone

You might be a bit confused to see this next Jersey Mike's menu item on the list, because just by its name, it might not sound too different from the Club Sub. However, Jersey Mike's Turkey and Provolone sandwich has one big difference to the Club Sub that makes it ten times better than the latter lunch. The Turkey and Provolone is made with turkey breast, provolone cheese, lettuce and tomatoes, but is also topped with salt, oregano, onions, red wine vinegar, and an olive oil blend. While like many other subs, the Turkey and Provolone is high in sodium, we'd say that it's worth it in the case of this sandwich.

Many consider this one of the most popular Jersey Mike's sandwiches people order, and this claim isn't without reason. When you read out the ingredients of the Turkey and Provolone, you may have noticed that when prepared "Mike's way," there was a lack of a particular ingredient that made this sandwich for us: the mayo. Even though this sub didn't have the bacon, the lack of mayo really allowed the flavor of the provolone and turkey to stand out, and the herbs and seasonings really elevated this sub to another level. If you're going to order any turkey sub from Jersey Mike's, you won't be dissatisfied with this sub.

3. Potbelly's Turkey Breast

Next up is another (and better) turkey choice from the one and only Potbelly. Peter Hastings, the man who started it all, created the first Potbelly in the Lincoln neighborhood of Chicago. The man named the sandwich shop after a Potbelly stove, which is known for keeping homes warm, and according to the Potbelly website, "was a gathering place for meal and conversation." You'll find a Potbelly stove in most of the sub shop's locations, because the company hopes to encompass that same feeling in their stores. This next turkey sub is a classic that comes right off of Potbelly's menu, which is their Turkey Breast sandwich.

As displayed, the Potbelly Turkey Breast sub comes on crisp, oven-baked fresh bread, with two layers of Swiss cheese and turkey breast, and all your favorite and customizable toppings, such as pickles, onions, and tomatoes in between. Many people compare these sandwiches to that of a Subway or Firehouse sandwich, with one Tripadvisor reviewer writing that this turkey sub was "clearly an upgrade from Subway." Potbelly subs are always going to rank highly on a sandwich list, and this turkey sub is no different. Among classic fast food turkey sandwiches, Potbelly's is one of the top contenders.

2. Subway Turkey Breast Sub

Of course, how could we not put Subway on this list? Subway is indisputably the most popular and loved sub chain across the U.S., and is known for their healthy subs and customizable sandwich options. From roast beef to turkey, there's a little something for everyone at Subway. This iconic chain was started over fifty years ago by nuclear physicist Peter Buck, and college freshman Fred DeLuca. The first Subway opened in Bridgeport, Connecticut, and has grown to have more than 40,000 locations across the globe. With the level of success that Subway has achieved, it should be common knowledge that they would have a quality turkey sub on their menu: their Turkey Breast Sandwich.

This sub isn't listed with any specific ingredients, as the company prides itself on letting you customize the sandwich to your liking. This is just about as close to perfection as you can get with a Subway order. The turkey is flavorful and has a slight salt kick to it, and with numerous breads, dressings, cheeses, and vegetables at your disposal, a Subway turkey sandwich can be made with anything you'd like on it. Even if you just got loads of turkey on this sandwich though, you'd still enjoy it — their meat is just that good. There's no denying that Subway is the king of sandwich chains, and this fabulous turkey sub only proves that.

1. Firehouse Sub's Turkey Bacon Ranch

At the top of this turkey sandwich list, we have Firehouse Subs Turkey Bacon Ranch Sub. There's a reason why Firehouse is considered only second to Subway, and the latter chain sub has some pretty tight competition with this Firehouse sub. The Turkey Bacon Ranch, or TBR sub, is made with smoked turkey breast, bacon, sharp cheddar cheese, fresh vegetables, and a peppercorn ranch dressing. The sandwich is also toasted, making the cheese melt, the bread crisp and crunchy, and the meat warm and flavorful. It's difficult to come up with anything to say about this sub other than that it is one of the best turkey sandwiches out there.

As previously stated, anything that has bacon on it probably tastes better than it would without, and the TBR's bacon, along with the creamy ranch, are full of flavor that go wonderfully with the turkey breast. While a few may find that the ranch dressing might be a little over the top, most are okay with it, and feel that all the ingredients in the TBR are perfectly balanced and delicious. One review on Yelp writes that the sandwich "was very filling and enjoyable to eat. The bread was super fresh and had the perfect toast to it, veggies were very fresh and bright and the meat and cheese brought it all together." If you're looking for the perfect turkey sub, and are a bacon lover, then look no further than Firehouse Subs.