8 Fast-Food Chains with the Freshest Sandwich Meats
There's no doubt about it: sandwiches are one of the tastiest, easiest meals out there. Not only do they typically take mere moments to put together, but they can be wrapped up in a flash and eaten even when on the go. Not to mention they also pack up pretty well—just throw them in a ziplock bag or cover them tightly with foil, and you're all set.
However, if you're a fan of sandwiches, then you already know that not all of them taste great, and the ingredients can either make or break the experience. Subpar cold cuts or other meats especially can ruin the whole meal. You probably already know what we're talking about: bland, mushy, or tough meat—no, thank you!
Luckily, plenty of fast-food chains use delicious, high-quality sandwich meats that don't skimp on taste or texture. From one famous spot that piles on only the freshest cold cuts to create each of its mouth-watering creations to another chain that hand slices each meat right in front of you, here are eight fast-food chains that use the tastiest sandwich meats.
There's a reason why Arby's slogan is "We Have the Meats." It's because the meat selection is pretty great. Founded in 1964, the iconic fast-food chain makes delicious sandwiches packed with high-quality, slow-roasted meats that will instantly make you a fan, if you're not only already.
Some of their standout menu items include the half-pound roast beef meal, which features the chain's signature mouth-watering roast beef stuffed into a bun, and the classic French dip and Swiss meal that's made with roast beef smothered in Swiss cheese and au jus. If you want something more unexpected, try the corned beef Reuben, made with a delectable sliced corned beef prepared to perfection. The best part? Arby's is the second-largest sandwich restaurant brand with over 3,500 locations, so you shouldn't have too much trouble finding one near you.
Firehouse Subs, the buzzy sandwich chain started nearly 30 years ago by brothers and former firefighters Robin and Chris Sorenson, prides itself on using deli-quality meats full of flavor and texture. Its menu is packed with various hot subs and cold sandwiches that always hit the spot.
If you're in the mood for beef, get the Smokehouse Beef and Cheddar Brisket, which boasts smoked beef brisket, melted cheddar, BBQ sauce, and mayo. If you're a fan of Italian cold cuts, order the Italian, which comes with Genoa salami, pepperoni, and honey ham. (Is your mouth watering yet?) Be sure to round out your order with one of the chain's fun sides, like loaded potato soup, Firehouse chili, and an eye-catching dessert bundle, which comes with cookies and brownies.
If you're in the mood for a delicious sandwich made with high-quality meats, Panera Bread is a good place to visit. Started over three decades ago in St. Louis, M0., the beloved fast-casual chain has no shortage of delicious recipes featuring top-notch protein options. For starters, Panera Bread only uses chicken, turkey, and pork raised without antibiotics, along with grass-fed steak. The brand mentions that this is not only better for the animals but also results in better-tasting ingredients.
Besides using high-quality ingredients, the brand also excels at variety. For instance, if you're a turkey sandwich kind of person, order the oven-roasted turkey breast sandwich that's teeming with vine-ripened tomatoes and red onions. For those who like a hot sandwich, there's the smoky buffalo chicken melt stuffed with smoked, pulled chicken and American cheese.
Make sure to pick up a sandwich from Wawa during your next road trip. The iconic gas station spot that's been around for over 200 years (can you believe it?) is known for making delicious sandwiches with some of the freshest meat out there. From honey-smoked turkey sandwiches and Italian hoagies to chicken salad combinations and pepperoni sammies, these sandwiches are incredibly delicious and highly customizable. Also, they are the perfect handheld meal to enjoy while on the go.
Jersey Mike's, the famous chain that makes its sandwiches using only top-of-the-line meats, has something for everyone. Its menu features a wide variety of cold subs, hot subs, child-sized sandwiches, and more that are sure to hit the spot. Jersey Mike's only uses the leanest, tastiest meats and slices its cuts right in front of its customers by hand, so you know you're always getting the best of the best.
Although its sandwiches are consistent hits, some picks you cannot miss include the Jersey Shore's Favorite Sub, which is prepared with a lip-smackingly good combination of ham and capicola layered with provolone cheese, and the Club Supreme that's put together with all-natural oven-roasted USDA Choice top round roast beef, turkey, and grilled applewood smoked bacon.
The popular sandwich chain Potbelly has a pretty unconventional backstory. For starters, it began in 1977 in an antique shop. As the story goes, Peter Hastings and his wife started selling sandwiches to the customers that would stop by the store in Chicago's Lincoln Park neighborhood. In 1996, the shop was sold, and the new owner decided to make Potbelly a nationwide phenomenon. Today, there are over 400 locations, with some even boasting a drive-thru for easier ordering.
Its meteoric rise should be no surprise, however. People love the chain's delicious handmade sandwiches, which are prepared using only the finest meats out there. To give you an idea, there's a chicken club made with all-natural grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, and a tasty roast beef sandwich made with Angus roast beef piled high with provolone. For those looking for more unexpected menu offerings, there's the Pizza Melt sandwich, which features pepperoni, old-world capicola, and crumbled meatballs.
Pret A Manger
Oh, Pret A Manger, how we love thee. The New York-based chain makes delicious sandwiches using only carefully sourced meats, as well as other ingredients, which really makes a difference. For instance, Pret gets its pork from Niman Ranch, a U.S.-based network of farms and ranches committed to raising livestock humanely and sustainably.
Choosing better ingredients makes for better sandwiches—just look at the chain's menu. It's packed with mouth-watering options like a ham, cheddar, and chutney sandwich that centers around applewood smoked ham, and an Italian baguette made with prosciutto and soppressata.
If you haven't tried Jimmy John's yet, add it to your to-do list ASAP. The famous Illinois-based chain offers tons of different sandwiches made using only hand-sliced meats that are all-natural and minimally processed. Choose from tons of options, like the Billy, a fan favorite piled high with roast beef and smoked ham, or the Club Lulu, made with a delectable combination of turkey and bacon. There are even chicken Caesar wraps for those looking for something a bit lighter.