Sub Shop Showdown: Which Local Sub is Best?


Chris Jarion

The menu, ordering area, and kitchen of Jersey Mike’s is modern and inviting. The fresh bread pulled out by employees contributed to the overall high rating of the sub.

Even as one of the most popular lunch foods, a good sub can be hard to find. So the Rampage staff set out to try four of the most highly rated sub shops in the Montgomery County area: Jersey Mike’s, Potbelly Sandwich Shop, FireHouse Subs, and Philly Steaks. We rated our dining experience using a variety of criteria to help us select a victor. Scores were provided based on taste, service, price, selection of foods, restaurant standards, and overall experience. Each restaurant was assigned a final score of up to 5 points. Read on for our reviews and to see if you agree with our winner. 

Philly Steaks

Philly Steaks, located in Westfield Wheaton, is about 14 minutes from RHS and one of the lengthier drives. Overall, the restaurant has decent prices, but at the cost of quality.

For most patrons, we found the menu selection to have limited variety as few subs were featured on the menu. The Rampage decided to order a club sub with bacon, fries and a drink for a total price of $13; the sub itself was $8. The sub was mediocre, tasting bland and too salty, but the meat was at least juicy. 

Philly Steaks, as the name implies, is more known for their steaks. Despite having the lowest price for a sandwich alone, Philly Steaks is subpar at best. 

Overall, the sub-tasting experience left Philly Steaks with 3 out of 5 stars, one of our lowest ratings.

Jersey Mike’s

Jersey Mike’s Subs, at about 11 minutes away from RHS, is one of the closest sub options for students. Upon entering the restaurant, the interior has a clean, modern environment.

We ordered the turkey provolone sub meal, which came with chips and a drink for only $11.81. For the portion and in comparison to other local shops, this would be considered a great deal for the cost by most. 

The sub itself is a classic and a popular choice for anyone who loves a turkey-cheese combo. The regular size sub was a satisfying portion for one person, but if you have a larger appetite, the bigger size costs $17.32.

Jersey Mike’s receives 4 out of 5 stars overall. The sub tasted great and was a good portion for the price. Our only critiques were the lengthy wait time of 7 minutes for just 1 sub and a limited seating area.

Firehouse Subs

Located about 16 minutes from RHS, Firehouse subs is the furthest restaurant to travel to for students. The location and environment was positive overall, but the price to portion ratio highly impacted our rating.

We chose to order a specialty, the medium “Engineer” sandwich. The sub came with white bread, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes, and mayo and was $8.99. Unlike some other restaurants we tried, creating a combo with chips and a drink was an upcharge that brought the total to $11.98. For the size of the sub, which was smaller than the other locations, this is much pricier. The sandwich was also a mess to eat as it was quite oily.

On a positive note, the store itself was nice and clean, and entering the facility was welcoming due to the workers greeting you. The best quality of Firehouse, however, was the drink fountain with a touch screen and a wide variety of flavors. 

Overall, Firehouse receives 2 out of 5 stars, our lowest rating.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is the closest of our 4 locations at just nine minutes away from RHS. This restaurant, located in Rockville Town Center, offers a wide selection of delicious subs and other lunch items.

Upon entering, the atmosphere is very rustic and old fashioned. We ordered a 6 inch turkey sub which, with all toppings, was reasonably priced at $8. The sandwich was both flavorful and textually appealing, with the bread perfectly toasted. The ingredients were clearly fresh which made the eating experience a pleasure.

In comparison to the other shops, which had higher prices for lower quality sub, Potbelly quickly pulled ahead in our rankings. Despite only including a sandwich, the taste and atmosphere carried Potbelly to number 1 in the standings, and they earned a near impossible 5 out of 5 stars. 

If you’re looking for a good bang for your buck or a new place to try, Potbelly Sandwich Shop is the one.