12 Most Genius Ordering Hacks At Subway

Founded in Bridgeport, Connecticut in 1965, Subway has grown from a single sub shop to one of the U.S.'s most popular restaurant chains. With about $10 billion in sales in 2023, the chain placed 8th in Nation's Restaurant News's 2024 Top 500 list. Subway is also the restaurant with the most locations in the U.S., and it doesn't stop there. According to the sandwich chain's official site, the restaurant is also present in over 100 countries, making for a grand total of more than 37,000 locations around the world.


While all of this may sound impressive, for Subway fans, it's easy to see how the restaurant is so successful. After all, the chain doesn't just serve tasty subs and wraps; you can order one any way you want. Everyone has a favorite Subway order (or two), but you might not even know just how customizable your items can be. There are all sorts of order tweaks you can ask for that just might blow your mind. From fresher bread to secret menu items to an even more delicious cookie, here are 12 genius hacks to take your Subway order to the next level.

Load up on extra veggies

There's nothing quite as nice as delicious, filling food at a great price. One way to get more bang for your buck at Subway is to remember the chain's policy on vegetables. Although there are some exceptions (including anything avocado-related), most of the vegetables you can add to your sandwich are included in the base price, meaning they don't add extra cents to your total. You can also ask for more veggies than the default amount, and your Sandwich Artist (the official name for Subway's sandwich makers) will give it to you free of charge.


The veggies you can add onto your Subway sandwich for free include lettuce, tomato, onions, pickles, cucumbers, spinach, and olives, as well as green, jalapeño, and banana peppers. Now that you know the list, be sure to stack them high. Bonus: This hack is an easy way to get a healthier sandwich at Subway – especially if you opt for one of the chain's most nutritious bread options and avoid asking for additional sauce or dressing (many of these are high in fat and sugar).

Ask for the freshest bread available

Getting yourself a Subway sandwich is always a treat, but you can make it even more special by requesting the freshest bread available that day. If your local Sandwich Artists don't like to call any of their bread fresh or not fresh, or they seem confused about what you'd like, you can ask for the softest bread available instead. Most breads get harder the older they get, so chances are you'll wind up with a fresher loaf this way.


While getting the freshest bread for your Subway sandwich will mean a more flavorful meal and a more pleasant texture, there is a downside: The softest bread available may not be your usual choice. You could reasonably decide against this and order your usual, freshness be darned. Or maybe this could be an opportunity to try something new. Who knows how your usual order will taste between halves of a different kind of bread?

Add sauce before your sandwich fillings

If you like mayo or a sauce on your favorite Subway sandwich, ask your Sandwich Artist to add it before all of the other fillings. Spreading the sauce directly onto your bread will give you maximum flavor with every bite, as opposed to unequally distributed lines of sauce drizzled in the middle of your fillings.


Subway regulars will know that this tip goes against the usual order of how the chain's sandwiches are assembled. But it's okay to do things differently — at least, for most Subway employees. An interesting Reddit thread includes one Sandwich Artist complaining about this idea, pointing out that it disrupts the usual assembly line: Workers have to move to the far end of the sandwich-making table, possibly skirting around a fellow employee, to get to the sauces first. This comment gleaned protests from Subway fans and even other Sandwich Artists, though, so don't be shy — this is far from a big mistake to make when ordering at the chain.

Toast vegetables with your sandwich

Here's a Subway hack that even former and current Sandwich Artists are fans of: Before your sandwich is toasted, add vegetables to be heated up along with your meat, cheese, and bread. Subway regulars know that vegetables are usually added after the other ingredients are toasted, but heating them along with everything else makes the vegetables' flavor stronger. On Reddit, Subway fans and employees recommend doing this with peppers and onions. We imagine that toasting jalapeños or banana peppers would accentuate their heat. 


Others said they like to include olives and even lettuce when they have their sandwiches toasted. One Reddit user suggested asking for olive oil to be added as well, in order to make the vegetables crispier. This trick might also help bind the sandwich together if you add cheese, as it will melt over the veggies and fuse them to the other parts of your sub.

Cover your sandwich fillings in melted cheese

For many of us, a sandwich wouldn't be complete without a slice or two (or three...) of cheese. Cheese is included in just about all of Subway's sandwich offerings by default, but if you just can't get enough of those delicious dairy slices, there's a way to take your sub's cheesy factor to the next level: Ask for your cheese to be melted.


Some sandwiches, like the Subway Melt, already come with melted cheese, but you can ask for it on any sandwich you want. To take the meltiness to the max, you can actually ask for shredded cheese to be sprinkled on the bread, followed by your other sandwich fillings, and then top it off with more shredded cheese before toasting. 

If Subway stocking shredded cheese is news to you, you're not alone. A Quora thread explores possibilities regarding why Sandwich Artists don't always mention the shredded stuff. Reasons include shredded cheese costing more than sliced cheese for each store, and for most customers, sliced cheese is simply a more popular option for a sub. Whatever the real explanation, the fact stands that using shredded cheese for maximum melted goodness is a must-try.


Heat up your Subway cookies

Sandwiches are the star of the show at Subway, but for many of us, there's another item just as worthy of our love and attention: cookies. Whatever your favorite kind of Subway cookie, these sweet treats are so popular that Subway has even released a footlong version of its chocolate chip cookie (plus footlong churros and pretzels). Unsurprisingly, the cookie is a popular item. Shortly after its early 2024 debut, the extra-large baked good had to be temporarily removed from Subway's app due to overwhelming customer demand.


Beyond supersizing it, there's another way to make your Subway cookie even more delicious. Just ask for it to be heated up. When asked on a Reddit thread if they would heat up customers' cookies, some Subway staff members said yes, while others said that's not part of their job description. With a title like Sandwich Artist, we guess you can see their point, but if you're craving a warm cookie ASAP, don't despair. Many fans just heat theirs in the microwave at home. About 10 seconds or even a little bit less is all you need to get your dessert all gooey and warm.

Request the traditional v-cut

Many longtime Subway customers remember when the bread was sliced in a shape called the v-cut. You'll also hear it called the "wedge cut", "u-gouge", or "old style". Instead of simply cutting the bread in half (the standard today), the Sandwich Artists used to slice a v- or u-shaped incision into the loaf, remove the sliver of bread that they'd cut out, pile the fillings in, and then tuck the removed strip of bread back on top.


The advantage of the v-cut is that it keeps ingredients inside your sandwich better, making for a less messy eating experience and giving you get the best amount of fillings in each bite. Is getting rid of it one of the biggest Subway flops in history? Corporate doesn't think so. In 2016, a Subway representative explained that the cut we know today ("the hinge cut" in the company's terms) makes it easier to add more fillings to a sandwich, and thus it reigns supreme. Additionally, the v-cut takes more time to execute, which could be a problem when there's a long line of customers.

Regardless of these factors, many Subway fans miss the old style. There's even a small online petition to make the v-cut the default once again, but there's really no need — if you want a neater sandwich with a hint of nostalgia, most Sandwich Artists can do the v-cut for you if you ask.


Try a secret menu item

Did you know that Subway has a secret menu? Okay, it may not be as "secret" as some other restaurants', since you might have unknowingly ordered from it simply by customizing your sandwich. Still, there are sure to be a few popular secret menu items you didn't know about. For instance, pizza fans can order a pizza sub, which features mozzarella cheese and pepperoni topped off with marinara sauce. This combo would work great with the chain's Italian Herbs and Cheese bread.


Other Subway secret menu items include a chicken parmesan sandwich, the Tuna Melt Sub, and The Feast (aka The Meat Feast). The latter includes slices of every meat available. If these offerings are making you hungry, an online search for "Subway secret menu" should give you plenty of ideas for your next trip. Just remember to be clear when you tell your Sandwich Artist what you'd like, and try not to ask for these items by name — not every staff member will know what you're talking about.

Add mac and cheese to your sub

Did you know that some Subway locations serve mac and cheese? The history of this side dish is a bit spotty, as it's been removed and then brought back a few times, and has appeared in countries from Canada and the U.S. to Singapore. If you're lucky enough to see this item on your local store's menu, you can even put mac and cheese on your sandwich.


In fact, while Subway typically bills its mac and cheese as a side dish, its restaurants in locations like Malaysia and Singapore have offered a limited-time menu featuring Extremely Mac & Cheesy Chicken and Extremely Mac & Cheesy Beef sandwiches. A writer for Penang Foodie tried the sandwiches and seemed to be a fan, saying, "You'll get a really nice profile from the mac & cheese and the crunchy texture of their fresh vegetables just heightened the experience." If and when Subway's mac hits stores near you, you might want to try a blast of comforting starchy pasta and cheese sauce on top of your usual order.

Make a footlong two 6-inch subs

Everyone knows you can customize a footlong at Subway, but it might surprise you to find out that you can customize each half separately. Getting two different 6-inch subs out of a single footlong order can be a great idea if you're ordering for kids (or for yourself and a friend when neither of you are super hungry). This trick can also save you money, since it's usually cheaper to order a footlong instead of two separate subs.


The caveat is that not every store will accommodate this hack. Each Subway franchise's policies may vary, but generally speaking, the meat(s) on either side of your footlong should be the same or similar. Otherwise, many Subway locations will charge you for two separate 6-inch subs. This trick is at least worth an ask, though. Rather Be Shopping points out that you might spend 20% less than you would when ordering two 6-inch subs.

Stay on top of Subway deals and discounts

Before you order Subway, make your experience even better by knowing how to save money on your meal. One way is to sign up for Subway's new MVP Rewards app. An updated version of the MyWay Rewards program, MVP Rewards offers some enticing deals, including free chips every Friday when you purchase a sandwich. It's worth noting, though, that the app works on a points system, where each purchase you make counts. Members can be in one of three tiers, with only the top-tier spenders getting access to those free chips. Still, you can find neat benefits from the get-go, including coupon codes and a birthday freebie. 


You can look for Subway deals and coupons from other sources, too. Follow Subway on social media, where the chain will sometimes post promotional codes. While ordering in person is definitely convenient, you could also try ordering through Subway's app or website whenever possible to earn more MVP Rewards points.

Remember that it's okay to be creative

Sometimes the best "hack" to make your meal more exciting is to just branch out on your own. The next time you head to Subway, try to come up with something you've never tried before. You can get even more inspiration by doing an online search for things like "best Subway sandwiches", "weird Subway sandwich flavors" or "crazy Subway sandwich combinations". For instance, a Reddit thread of fans' favorite sandwiches includes unusual choices like tuna and meatballs, as well as steak, bacon, and pepperoni on Italian Herbs and Cheese bread with chipotle sauce and green peppers, all toasted together.


If you're feeling a little shy, don't worry. Giving customers freedom is the main draw of Subway, so no one's going to fault you for trying out everything you can. Just be aware that while you're venturing into the unknown, so is your budget. Some fillings and add-ons cost more than others, and increasing certain fillings, like meat, can mean an increase in price as well. Still, a totally new Subway taste experience could be worth the splurge.