I pitted Subway’s new sliders against their original footlongs and the cheaper options were my favorite 2 out of 4 times

Cheaper doesn't always mean better.

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Cheaper doesn’t always mean better.
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Andrew LaSane
  • I tried all of Subway’s new sliders and put them head-to-head with their footlong counterparts.
  • I assumed that the sliders would taste just like the footlongs, but I quickly found that was not the case.
  • Overall, I thought the Ham and Jack Slider and the Italian Spice Slider both tasted better than their footlong counterparts.
  • I think the footlong Philly cheesesteak gives you more bang for your buck, even though the Little Cheesesteak Slider is cheaper.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Good things often come in small packages – but does that idiom apply when that package is lunch?

In September, the fast-food chain Subway introduced new mini sandwiches to its menu at participating restaurants nationwide.

Called Subway Sliders, these sandwiches come in four varieties (Ham and Jack, Italian Spice, Little Cheesesteak, and Little Turkey) and each resembles a popular footlong.

To see how the scaled-down sandwiches stack up, I ordered each slider and its coordinating footlong, modifying my orders to make sure both sandwiches have the same ingredients and a white-bread base.

Here’s how the Subway Sliders compare to the chain’s iconic footlongs.


I thought the slider version of the Philly cheesesteak was pretty tasty.

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The telera roll was nice and soft yet crunchy.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $2.99

I assumed that the sliders would taste just like the footlongs, but I quickly found that was not the case.

The Little Cheesesteak came with shaved steak, American cheese, green peppers, red onions, and Subway’s Chipotle Southwest sauce on a telera roll, which is a type of white bread.

The roll was crunchy on top and soft on the inside, and the inside of the sandwich was warm and melty.


The footlong version was also good, but not as balanced, in my opinion.

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I don’t think there was enough cheese on this.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $8.99

As you can imagine, the footlong had a lot more of the salty and savory steak than the slider did – but it didn’t have significantly more cheese, sauce, or vegetables.

In my opinion, the steak overpowered the other toppings, but I was impressed with how hearty and filling this sandwich was. Plus, the toasty Italian bread paired really well with the meat.


In my opinion, the winner of round one was the footlong Philly cheesesteak.

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The footlong version had a great amount of meat.
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Andrew LaSane

Although I think the ratio of meat-to-toppings was best in the slider, I found myself feeling a bit unsatisfied with the smaller sandwich.

In my opinion, a hearty sandwich like a cheesesteak needs a lot of meat to live up to its full potential.

Plus, at $2.99, the Little Cheesesteak was the most expensive of the sliders I tried. It was still cheap, but it didn’t seem like as good of a deal after realizing I could get a full, meat-heavy footlong for a few bucks more.


Next up was the Ham and Jack Slider, which I think had a perfect ham-to-cheese ratio.

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The hot, melted cheese was perfect.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $1.89

Sporting the same telera roll, the Ham and Jack Slider featured Black Forest ham and pepper-jack cheese.

Unlike the Little Cheesesteak, the meat in this sandwich was clearly the main focus – and it was complemented by the hot melted cheese and the crunchy roll.


In my opinion, the footlong version of this sandwich had too much ham.

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It just felt sort of plain to me.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $7.99

The ham was tasty, but I think that the Black Forest Ham Footlong had far too much of it. I felt like the sandwich had three times as much ham as it did cheese and bread.

Overall, this just tasted like a ham sandwich to me – I felt shortchanged on the pepper jack.


Overall, the Ham and Jack Slider was the winner in my book.

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I think the slider was perfect as-is.
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Andrew LaSane

Overall, I think the compact Ham and Jack Slider works really well on its own whereas the scaled-up version fell a little bit flat.

Two-ingredient combinations are perhaps better suited for a tiny bun, and I think the Black Forest Ham Footlong would benefit from some of Subway’s other toppings, like spinach or jalapeno.


The Italian Spice Slider had a lot of flavor for such a small bite.

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The filling was spilling out of the roll.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $1.89

This time, the telera roll was stuffed with pepperoni, salami, American cheese, and Subway vinaigrette.

The contents were spilling out of the sides of the sandwich when I picked it up to bite into it.

I was also pleasantly surprised that this sandwich lived up to its spicy name – the meats provided a slight kick that I thought was really tasty.


The footlong was tasty, but I felt the flavors were less intense.

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I couldn’t taste the cheese as much as I could on the slider.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $7.99

Notably, I ordered this sandwich without greens so it would match the slider’s ingredients.

Overall, I felt like the Spicy Italian Footlong had the same kick as the slider, but in my opinion, it wasn’t nearly as strong.

Unfortunately, I feel like the amount of bread on the sandwich combined with the plentiful stacks of pepperoni and salami overpowered the cheese on this sandwich.


The Spicy Italian is my go-to footlong, but it lost to the slider this time.

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Both are delicious, but the slider blew me away.
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Andrew LaSane

The Italian Spice Slider had everything it needed to be incredible for the few bites that it took to finish it.

Sure, I usually always get the Spicy Italian Footlong at Subway – but I customize it with a lot of toppings from green peppers to pickles for a reason.

In my opinion, without a bunch of add-ons, the scaled-up version of this sandwich isn’t that exciting, even though this simple combination managed to work extremely well as a small bite.


Finally, it was time to try the Little Turkey Slider.

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It tasted like a typical turkey sandwich.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $2.49

Subway’s Little Turkey Slider came with sliced turkey breast, pepper-jack cheese, spinach, and mayonnaise.

The turkey on the slider was moist, and overall the sandwich was on par with just about every turkey sandwich I’ve ever had.


The Turkey Breast Footlong was nearly identical to its smaller version.

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I enjoyed the added spinach.
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Andrew LaSane

Price: $8.49

Although this wasn’t the case with other matchups, the Little Turkey and its coordinating footlong tasted exactly the same to me.

Sure, having more spinach on the footlong was nice, but I couldn’t detect any major flavor differences between the two sandwiches.


That being said, I have to call this one a tie.

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In my opinion, both of these sandwiches were just OK.
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Andrew LaSane

In my opinion, both of these sandwiches were a little bit plain – and when comparing them side-by-side neither one stood out to me.

Overall, if you like the combination of turkey, pepper jack, mayo, and spinach as a footlong, I’m sure you’d like it shrunk down to a quarter of the size.


Overall, the sliders were pretty impressive considering how affordable they were.

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Sure, some sliders trumped their footlong counterparts in terms of flavor … but you just can’t beat the price of these things.
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Andrew LaSane

Overall, I found that the flavors of a sandwich change when you shrink it down or scale it up – sometimes for better and sometimes for worse.

Of course, the size of the sandwich you choose depends on what sort of serving you desire and how much you want to spend.

And it’s worth noting that the footlongs can be customized a lot more than the sliders can, which is nice for those who like to personalize their meal.

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