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The Best Sandwiches & Salads at Firehouse Subs

Firehouse Subs is best known for its warm subs featuring steamed meat and cheeses.

The chain was founded in 1994 by brothers (and former firefighters) Chris and Robin Sorensen.

Many years later, Firehouse Subs now has well over 1,200 restaurants throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada.

So what makes Firehouse Subs different?

Unlike most sub shops, Firehouse specializes in warm subs. They also use private recipe sub rolls, meaning no other sub chains have the same bread.

Another reason behind Firehouse Subs’ popularity is their generosity with the ingredients.

Whatever you order, you’ll get a fair helping of meat, cheese, and other toppings on your sandwich.

If you’re more of a cold sub person, simply ask that yours be served cold.

With a variety of subs and salads at Firehouse, there’s plenty to choose from on your next visit.

In this article, I will go through the Firehouse Subs menu items and rank them from worst to best.

Read on to find out which sub snagged the number one spot!

18. Firehouse Salad

There’s really not much I can say about the Firehouse Salad – it’s a bit boring.

It contains romaine lettuce, diced tomato, green bell pepper, cucumber, and mozzarella.

Sure, you can add ham, turkey, or grilled chicken to it, but there’s just no wow factor to this salad.

While refreshing, the veggies don’t provide much flavor or excitement, and the mozzarella seems out of place.

Between the three salads at Firehouse Subs (and everything on the Firehouse Subs menu, to be honest), this is the one I’d recommend skipping.

The Firehouse Salad contains 130 calories.

17. Italian with Grilled Chicken Salad

The Italian with Grilled Chicken Salad features grilled chicken breast, Genoa salami, romaine lettuce, diced tomato, green bell pepper, cucumber, and mozzarella.

The salami and chicken breast add some heartiness to an otherwise light salad.

It’s a refreshing menu option, and the balance between salty salami and fresh veggies is always a welcome combination.

The Italian with Grilled Chicken Salad contains 410 calories.

16. Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket

The Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket sub features USDA Choice beef brisket, melted cheddar, mayo, and Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce.

For starters, I just don’t consider this sandwich a sub – it’s more of a melt.

Technicalities aside, there’s too much heaviness going on in this sandwich.

The mayo, cheese, and brisket are all super rich and filling.

After a few bites, my taste buds were looking for something different to cut through the meat and cheese.

This Firehouse sandwich would greatly benefit from adding caramelized onion and a little less BBQ sauce.

A medium Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket sub contains 890 calories.

15. Hook & Ladder Salad

The Hook & Ladder Salad is my favorite of all three salad options at Firehouse.

It features smoked turkey breast and Virginia honey ham.

Veggie-wise, it’s got romaine, diced tomato, green bell pepper, and cucumbers. It is topped with shredded mozzarella.

The turkey and honey ham are salty and contrast nicely with the fresh veggies.

This salad is actually quite good, but let’s be honest, you’re probably not visiting a restaurant with “subs” in its name to order a salad.

The Hook & Ladder Salad contains 260 calories.

14. Tuna Salad

The Tuna Salad is the only sub on the Firehouse menu that’s automatically served cold (and you can imagine why – warm tuna salad doesn’t appeal to too many people).

The tuna salad itself is made with tuna, relish, mayo, and black pepper.

It is then packed into a toasted sub roll and served with provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and deli mustard.

The tuna salad at Firehouse Subs is pretty good. If you like a classic tuna salad, you won’t mind Firehouse Subs’ version.

However, the mustard wasn’t really needed, and while this Firehouse sandwich is nice, it just didn’t stand out to me.

A medium Tuna Salad sub contains 910 calories.

13. Prime Rib Steak Sub

The Prime Rib Steak Sub is available for a limited time only, so be sure to check if it’s still available before ordering.

This sub features seared prime rib, melted provolone, caramelized onions with garlic mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, and tomato on a toasted sub roll.

The prime rib used by Firehouse is slow-cooked and seasoned before being sliced, resulting in smokey, high-quality meat.

The addition of caramelized onions, mayo, lettuce, tomato, and mustard makes for a sub reminiscent of a cheeseburger.

From the tangy mustard to the smokey meat and garlicky mayo, this sub has a lot going on.

Some of the flavors can get lost since there’s so much going on, but if you’re a fan of steak subs, the Prime Rib Steak Sub is definitely worth a try.

A medium Prime Rib Steak Sub contains 800 calories.

12. Engineer

Like the Smokehouse Beef & Cheddar Brisket, I think of the Engineer as a melt rather than a sub.

This Firehouse sandwich features smoked turkey breast, melted Swiss, and sautéed mushrooms.

It’s topped with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

Again, just like the Beef & Cheddar sub, the lettuce seems misplaced on the Engineer.

It gets soggy under all those hot ingredients and doesn’t do anything to add to the flavor of the sandwich.

I also find the mustard somewhat out of place with the Swiss and mushrooms.

However, the other elements of the sandwich are delicious, so consider ordering yours without mustard and lettuce to turn an okay sandwich into a great one. A medium Engineer sub contains 700 calories.

11. Firehouse Hero

The Firehouse Hero has a little bit of everything. It starts with roast beef, smoked turkey, and honey ham.

It also features melted provolone, mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

The Firehouse Hero is great for meat lovers who can’t commit to just one deli meat for their sub.

Thanks to the trio of meats, this sandwich is salty, smokey, and sweet.

Roast beef is the most prominent of all flavors in this sub, so make sure that you really like roast beef before ordering it.

I’m not a huge fan of multiple meats on one sandwich because it makes it hard to taste each element when there are many things going on.

That’s why it isn’t higher on the list, but it could definitely be #1 for the meat lovers out there.

A medium Firehouse Hero sub contains 800 calories.

10. Italian

The Italian sub is one of the more jam-packed items on the Firehouse Subs menu.

It features Genoa salami, pepperoni, Virginia honey ham, provolone, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, deli mustard, and Italian dressing and seasoning.

The salami is peppery, and just a little spicy but is cooled down by the provolone and mayo.

With Italian dressing, mayo, and deli mustard, there are a lot of sauces on this sub – maybe a little too many.

Plus, with honey ham and pepperoni, the number of flavors in this sub is overwhelming.

While it’s not a bad sandwich, there’s a little too much going on for me. Plus, I prefer a cold Italian sub over a hot one any day.

A medium Italian sub contains 940 calories.

9. Firehouse Steak & Cheese

The Firehouse Steak & Cheese is Firehouse Subs’ take on the Philly cheesesteak.

It’s made with chopped steak, melted provolone, caramelized onions, bell peppers, mayo, and deli mustard.

While it may not taste exactly like a genuine cheesesteak from Philadelphia, this sub is still delicious.

The caramelized onions and bell peppers bring some sweetness to the sandwich, and the mustard adds a little tang to cut through the richness.

Firehouse Subs adds a generous helping of melted provolone to the top of the steak, so you’re almost guaranteed to have a cheese-pull moment with every bite.

A medium Firehouse Steak & Cheese sub contains 830 calories.

8. New York Steamer

The New York Steamer sub features corned beef brisket, pastrami, melted provolone, deli mustard, mayo, and Italian dressing.

It is super tangy and salty, thanks to the brined meats, mayo, and mustard.

If you like classic New York delicatessen sandwiches, the New York Steamer is the closest you can get at Firehouse Subs.

However, I don’t think the Italian dressing is needed on this sub – it already has plenty of flavor from the mustard, mayo, and meat.

Plus, that would allow some room for the brisket and pastrami flavors to shine through because they’re delicious when you can taste them.

A medium New York Steamer sub contains 720 calories.

7. Spicy Cajun Chicken

The Spicy Cajun Chicken sub is exactly what its name says.  

It is made with grilled Cajun chicken breast, jalapeños, melted pepper jack cheese, lettuce, onions, deli mustard, and house-made Cajun mayo.

This is the only sub on the Firehouse Subs menu that features chicken.

While the word “spicy” is in its name, this sandwich will be just fine for those who can only handle a moderate amount of spice.

In other words, this sub isn’t crazy spicy. The chicken is well-seasoned, and the Cajun mayo is creamy and smoky with just a hint of spice.

This Firehouse sandwich is delicious, but I have one complaint – the lettuce seems out of place, so I recommend ordering this sub sans lettuce.

A medium Spicy Cajun Chicken sub contains 710 calories.

6. Club on a Sub

The Club on a Sub contains smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, pepper bacon, and melted Monterey Jack.

It’s served “Fully Involved,” meaning it is also topped with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, and onion.

This sub has a few different unique flavors going on – it’s a little sweet thanks to the honey ham, a little smokey thanks to the turkey and bacon, and has an element of freshness from the lettuce, tomato, and onion.

It’s even a little tangy from the mustard and mayo.

All these flavors blend together beautifully and make for a classic sub combination.

While most people think of a club sub being served cold, heating up and serving it on a toasted roll brings an element of comfort and coziness to the sandwich.

A medium Club on a Sub contains 770 calories.

5. Hook & Ladder

The Hook & Ladder sub is like a classic ham and cheese sandwich all grown up.

It is made with smoked turkey breast, Virginia honey ham, and melted Monterey Jack.

This Firehouse sub is served “Fully Involved,” with mayo, deli mustard, lettuce, tomato, onion, and a kosher dill pickle on the side.

The melted Monterey Jack is creamy and slightly sweet, which pairs perfectly with the caramelized honey ham.

The smoked turkey breast adds another dimension of flavor, and the lettuce, tomato, and onion bring an element of freshness.

Everything on the Hook & Ladder pairs well together, making for a classic sub that’s simple and delicious.

A medium Hook & Ladder sub contains 720 calories.

4. Firehouse Meatball

The Firehouse Meatball is Firehouse Subs’ take on everyone’s favorite hot sandwich, the meatball sub.

It’s made with Italian meatballs, provolone, marinara, and seasoning.

The combination isn’t anything new, but it’s well done.

The marinara is zesty and rich, while the provolone is perfectly toasted atop the meatballs.

The dried oregano, basil, and thyme add that classic Italian herb flavor to this sandwich.

A medium Firehouse Meatball sub contains 840 calories.

3. Turkey Bacon Ranch

The Turkey Bacon Ranch sub features smoked turkey breast, crispy bacon, melted sharp cheddar cheese, onion, lettuce, tomato, mayo, and creamy peppercorn ranch dressing.

While cheddar is not a cheese you’d often find on a sub, it works well in this Firehouse sandwich.

The sharp cheddar compliments the smokey bacon and turkey breast perfectly, while the peppercorn ranch adds a subtly tangy kick.

This sub is smokey, tangy, and different from what other popular sandwich chains have to offer.

If you love bacon, cheddar, or both, the Turkey Bacon Ranch definitely won’t disappoint.

A medium Turkey Bacon Ranch sub contains 830 calories.

2. Jamaican Jerk Turkey

The Jamaican Jerk Turkey sub might be the most unique sandwich on the Firehouse Subs menu.

It features smoked turkey breast, pepper jack cheese, sweet mustard sauce, lettuce, tomato, onion, mayo, and a hint of Caribbean seasoning.

What makes this sub fun? The Caribbean seasoning and pepper jack have the perfect amount of spice, while the turkey breast provides a little smokiness.

While the sandwich isn’t overtly tropical, its fresh veggies and sweet mustard add an overall feeling of summertime.

The Jamaican Jerk Turkey is an unexpected and unique find from Firehouse Subs. If you love turkey or Caribbean spice, I will go as far as to say it’s a must-try!

A medium Jamaican Jerk Turkey sub contains 720 calories.

1. Sweet & Spicy Meatball

The Sweet & Spicy Meatball sub is just like the original Meatball sub, but with the addition of Captain Sorensen’s Datil Pepper Hot Sauce and red pepper flakes.

This simple addition takes it from great to best sub on the entire Firehouse Subs menu.

If you love a classic meatball sub but also like a little spice, this sandwich is for you.

It’s not too spicy, so don’t let the name scare you away.

This and the original meatball are the only subs on the menu that are undeniably meant to be served hot.

A generous portion of provolone is added on top of the sub and toasted until golden and gooey, which helps to cool down some of the spice from the red pepper flakes and hot sauce.

It has all the classic elements that have made the meatball sub a favorite for generations – melt-in-your-mouth meatballs, zesty sauce, creamy cheese, and freshly baked bread.

The added kick of spice adds an extra depth of flavor that makes this sandwich unforgettable.

A medium Sweet & Spicy Meatball sub contains 840 calories.


The Firehouse Subs menu stands out from competitors like Jimmy John’s, Jersey Mike’s, and Subway by prominently featuring hot subs instead of the usual cold sub.

However, even if you prefer a cold sub (like I do), Firehouse Subs undeniably makes a mean sandwich.

Plus, with the ability to create your own sub from scratch, at least one or two items on the Firehouse Subs menu will turn you into a loyal patron.

With unique combinations like jerk turkey, Cajun chicken, and prime rib, you’ll have to keep coming back to try all sandwich flavors at Firehouse Subs.

So which one will you try on your next visit?

About the Author

Samantha Jenkins is a food writer and digital marketing manager with a passion for storytelling, perusing grocery store aisles, reading menus, and eating really good food.

In her free time, she enjoys baking, performing in musicals, and cohosting the East Coast Haunts podcast.

March 7, 2023