Whether you're someone who hates cooking or someone too busy to make a gourmet dinner every night, premade foods from the grocery store can often be a lifesaver for quick and easy meals after a long day's work. Many grocery stores offer prepackaged salads, ready-to-heat rice bowls, and freshly made sushi, sometimes in addition to having a hot bar with steaming proteins and side dishes where you can plate your own to-go dinner from their ready-made options -- think fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and maybe even a soup of the day -- and pay by the pound.
The simple sandwich is the perfect meal to get from the grocery store, though, since all supermarket chains have a deli counter that makes any cheese, protein, or topping you want between your bread easily accessible. A good sandwich can make the perfect meal when you have no time to make anything, you're just too tired to gather the ingredients yourself, or you're simply in the mood for something tasty and classic that goes well with a bag of chips. With selections based on social media reviews and trends, online reviews from verified shoppers, and taste-testing experience, this article will point you toward the grocery stores that have sandwiches you should definitely keep an eye out for the next time you're in need of an on-the-go meal.
Publix's Pub Sub
Publix is a popular supermarket chain in southern states, including Florida and the Carolinas. The supermarket has an array of sandwiches and toppings to choose from at their deli counter. Listed as the first popular sandwich on their website is the chicken tender sub. Pub Sub fanatics love the versatility and customizable nature of this sandwich , and so does Publix -- the supermarket made the most popular customizations official menu items in 2023, including the Parmesan Chicken Tender Sub and the Buffalo Chicken Tender Sub.
Most first-time Pub Sub eaters try the classic chicken tender sub first, though. The sandwich maker chops piping-hot chicken tenders from the hot bar and stuffs them into the soft bread loaf. They add lettuce, tomatoes, and provolone cheese, and you can make it your own by adding any sauces or veggie toppings -- onions, banana peppers, and black olives are just some of your choices. When heading to Publix for a sandwich, expect to get full off even the half size; the sandwich makers are really good at making a thick sandwich that'll give you a little bit of every topping in each bite. Publix also offers different bread types, including white, Italian five-grain, whole wheat, and flatbread; you can opt for a lettuce or spinach base if you're cutting carbs. Most whole sandwiches range from $9 to $10, whereas the half subs range from $6 to $7, with additional $0.50 charges for extra toppings like bacon and avocado.
Wegmans' Turkey Sandwich
Voted America's favorite grocery store in 2018, Wegmans is a one-stop shop for all your grocery store needs. Wegmans scored 77% on the Loyalty Index by Market Force in 2018, just ahead of Publix, which makes it the perfect follow-up to a Pub Sub if you're just in the mood for something new. Market Force's survey asked participants to rate both their grocery shopping experience and how likely they were to refer that store to other people, rating stores including Trader Joe's, Aldi, and H-E-B.
The shopping experience at Wegmans includes a deli that uses fresh bread, meaning the sandwiches -- which start as low as $5 -- are a delicious bang for your buck; it pays to have a deli right next door to a bakery in your local supermarket. The turkey and provolone sub at Wegmans is one of its most iconic -- shoppers who grew up local to Wegmans rave about how they wish they could try it for the first time all over again -- it's just that good. You can order the sandwich in a medium or large size, and it comes with provolone cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes, and is served on Wegmans' seeded roll. The turkey is layered on thick, so if you like your sandwiches with a hefty bite of meat, Wegmans is the place for you. You can also order hot subs or prepackaged sandwiches if you don't have time to wait in line.
Aldi's Chicken Sandwich
Fast-food fanatics know that the worst feeling in the world is getting a lunchtime craving for a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, only to realize -- wait, it's Sunday. Next time this realization hits you, head to Aldi, where shoppers say you can gather ingredients to make the Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich even better than the fast-food chain, and it's really easy. The key ingredient here is the "red bag chicken," Aldi's frozen, breaded chicken cutlets that have garnered so much popularity that the bag of chicken now has its own Facebook page for the more than 25,000 fans who just can't believe how much it tastes like Chick-fil-A's chicken, who want to share more red-bag-chicken recipes, and who just want to share their love for it!
While you're picking up your red bag chicken, grab dill pickle chips (a suggested brand is Great Gherkins) and brioche buns to pair with your chicken for the most accurate replication of the Chick-fil-A sandwich. You can also grab Burman's Chicken Dipping or Polynesian sauces, which are Aldi's dupes of the famous Chick-fil-A sauces, to make your sandwich exactly like the real thing. At home, you'll pop your chicken into the air fryer for less than fifteen minutes, toast your brioche buns, and add your sauces and toppings to assemble your sandwich. With just $5.99 for the red bag chicken and 20 minutes, you can have a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich every day of the week.
Kroger's Grab-And-Go Sandwich Deal
Kroger was voted most popular amongst 32% of Americans surveyed in a 2022 Statista survey, which studied brand recognition and popularity amongst notable supermarkets. This coincides with a 2021 Mashed survey, in which over 33% of people said Kroger had the best deli over supermarkets like Walmart and Costco (which came in at nearly 15% and 23%, respectively). To reap the benefits of this deli counter, you can order a party hoagie for your next gathering, or a made-to-order sandwich for lunch. If you're in a hurry and on a budget, you can even snag a deal when you order a grab-and-go sandwich, getting a 20-ounce drink and a bag of chips for just $1 each.
To make lunch your own, you can have your grab-and-go sandwich made to order with any of the myriad of cold cuts available at the top-notch Kroger deli. If you're looking for a quick and ready-made option, Kroger offers many prepackaged sandwiches and wraps for just $5 and up, which means you could get a sandwich, drink, and bag of chips for as little as $7 with this deal. Try the chicken salad sandwich for a cold option, or the southwestern-style wrap if you're looking to turn up the heat a bit. Kroger also carries a crowd-favorite form of sandwich -- a roasted turkey pinwheel. With many options to choose from and a great value, this Kroger deal is hard to resist.
Costco's Viral Jochizza
Near the end of 2023, shoppers were experimenting in Costco's food court, and thus was born the Jochizza. The innovative sandwich went viral around October, and it is constructed from many of Costco's food court staples. Costco's food court offers a myriad of snacks for shoppers to dine on while buying in bulk, including a quarter-pound hot dog, hot sandwiches, pizza, and the chicken bake -- chicken breast, cheese, bacon, and Caesar salad dressing baked into croquette-like roll.
If you're feeling less risky, order the hot turkey and provolone sandwich, which comes with red onions, tomatoes, and basil garlic mayonnaise, or order the barbecue beef brisket sandwich if you're in a summer mood. But the sandwich that's really worth going to Costco for is the Jochizza, which is a do-it-yourself mashup that takes the chicken bake, a hot dog, and a slice of pizza and merges them together for a sandwich you could only experience at Costco. To construct the sandwich, you'll slice the chicken bake roll open first. This will become your hot dog roll, so you'll remove the hot dog from its original bun and slide it into the chicken bake roll. The cherry on top is taking the cheese off of your pizza slice and stacking it on top of the hot dog -- there you have it, your Jochizza. You can also add your own toppings, like ketchup, mustard, onions, and anything else you like on hot dogs or sandwiches -- because really, the Jochizza is both.
Amazon Go's Meat, Egg, And Cheese Breakfast Sandwiches
Amazon Go stores offer a technology-driven grocery store experience. You download a free app to access the Amazon Go storefront, and the rest is just like your normal shopping experience; you stroll through the aisles and pick up whatever snacks you're craving that day, and each time you place an item in your cart, the ceiling scanners throughout the store keep note of it. Once you leave the store (which you simply walk out of when you're done shopping), the bill appears in your Amazon account. Amazon Fresh stores work the same way but are more tailored to grocery items, so they're the perfect place to grab a breakfast sandwich.
Meat, egg, and cheese sandwiches are the go-to breakfast for many sandwich lovers, and in 2023, Amazon storefronts added three breakfast sandwiches that fit the bill. You can choose from bacon, ham, or sausage, and the sandwiches come on toasted brioche buns or English muffins, with egg and cheddar cheese. The meat, egg, and cheeses have plenty of four-star reviews on Yelp, where shoppers say they're satisfying, priced well, and worth devouring. The Amazon stores often have limited-time offers, like $3 hot breakfast sandwiches for all customers. If you'd rather stay in bed, you can log on to Amazon Fresh online and order prepackaged sandwiches for delivery -- the Amazon Kitchen brand's ham and Swiss sandwich and Italian-style hoagie have four-star reviews on Amazon.com.
Whole Foods' TTLA Sandwich
Whole Foods Market is known for its fresh produce, organic grocery options, and plant-based items to make your groceries more health-conscious. It's no surprise, then, that their trendy sandwich is the TTLA, a vegan option that uses tempeh bacon and adds avocado. What you need to know about tempeh is that it's made from fermented soybeans and it is rich with protein, perfect for anyone who doesn't eat meat. That's why we find it on this vegan BLT -- TTLA stands for tempeh bacon, tomato, lettuce, avocado -- and why this sandwich is the perfect lunch alternative for vegans and vegetarians. The TTLA started trending in 2018 when a TikToker named Tabitha Brown posted a video taste-testing the sandwich and absolutely loved it.
Whole Foods also has an array of other signature sandwiches, including the Your Cousin Reuben: salami, pastrami, Swiss cheese, mustard, tomato, cucumber, red onion, kale, parsley pistou (a sort of parsley-based olive oil), and dill stacked into a vegan bread; and the New Yorker -- a piece of ciabatta stuffed with salami, prosciutto, mozzarella, soppressata, sun-dried tomato spread, and some of the same toppings as the Reuben, including red onion, cucumber, kale, and tomato. Whole Foods also has a popular sandwich cracker in the 365 brand: the cheese crackers are two salty, crispy crackers with creamy cheddar cheese spread in the middle, and they are perfect if you're less in the mood for a stacked sandwich and more keen on having a quick snack.
Meijer's Best-Reviewed Italian Mini Sub
Meijer is a family-owned market chain out of Michigan, with over 240 stores in just six US states, including Kentucky, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Shoppers can get ready-made sandwiches in the deli section, often reviewed by Lunchtime Review, a popular YouTube channel. The channel is run by Kevin Dunn, a dedicated food reviewer who records himself as he eats his lunch each day, giving his take on the taste and the quality, always mentioning if the product is worth your money. He has reviewed a couple of Meijer sandwiches, including the Italian mini sub, for his more than 29,000 subscribers.
The Italian mini sub review video has close to 2,000 views, and the sub is part of Meijer's "meals made easy" line of sandwiches -- the price is easy, too, which is just $2.99 for the mini sub with cheese, salami, pepperoni, and ham. Although the sandwich meats came bunched up from his local store, Dunn gives a good tip -- always open your premade deli sandwiches and spread the meat out, which takes almost no time and makes the sandwiches more enjoyable. The Italian mini sub is made even better by heating it for all of 10 seconds, getting the sandwich just slightly toasty, the cheese melty, and softening the bread.
Union Market's Gourmet Sandwiches Of The Day
With six locations in New York City -- five in Brooklyn, one in Manhattan -- Union Market has become the place to go for healthy foods at good prices. Likely the freshest option on this list, Union Market's delis make their sandwiches fresh throughout the day using sustainable ingredients from their aisles. Their deli counter has a display of the day's sandwiches of the day, which is the perfect way to elevate your lunch hour.
The prepared foods, including their sandwiches of the day, are called high quality, tasty, and beautiful by online reviewers, so you can have a sandwich that looks just as good as it tastes. For a vegetarian option, try the caprese with tomatoes and basil pesto; for a delicacy, try the prosciutto with mozzarella and basil pesto. Chicken lovers should try the chicken sriracha with grilled chicken, cucumbers, carrots, sriracha, and mayonnaise, or the bistro chicken with roasted red peppers, provolone, and pesto. If you're in the mood for turkey, try the pesto pepper turkey with roasted tomatoes, creamy goat cheese, and spinach, or a simple smoked turkey with mozzarella and balsamic vinegar. Each sandwich is made on a loaf of fresh white bread and can be ordered online if you don't want to wait in-store. Plus, if you're in a rush, Union Market also offers a grab-n-go section with prepackaged, flavorful sandwiches and wraps -- from jerk chicken to egg salad, starting from as little as $6.
Sam's Club Party Trays
A cheaper alternative to Costco, Sam's Club is a buy-in-bulk, membership-based supermarket with a deli counter worth grabbing lunch from. Not only is the Sam's Club membership price cheaper than Costco, but if you shop there often, you'll benefit from huge savings on groceries each year, making Sam's Club a quite affordable grocery store. Member's Mark, their house brand, has a variety of party trays full of sandwiches and pinwheels to make your next gathering much easier to provide food for.
Take the Sun-Dried Tomato Chicken Wrap Party Tray, for example, which comes with forty pinwheels made with tortillas and stuffed with chicken, provolone cheese, red peppers, and sun-dried tomato spread. The party tray retails for just over $43 and boasts a raving 4.5 out of 5 stars in online reviews. Shoppers say these pinwheels are a crowd-pleaser that is a delicious, reliable way to feed your guests, and it always tastes fresh. If your guests are more likely to be in a traditional sandwich mood, try the Chicken Salad Sandwich Tray. Priced at just over $36 with a 4.7-star rating online, this tray provides nine sandwiches with chicken salad and lettuce on a croissant. The sandwiches each come cut in half for convenience's sake, in case you prefer to serve these as appetizers or finger foods before the main course. Whatever your party-tray preference, Sam's Club has you covered for a tray of sandwiches that is bound to be a hit.
Trader Joe's Dessert Sandwiches
After all these sandwiches, it's surely time for dessert, and Trader Joe's is the place to go if you're craving something sweet. In 2022, the third-favorite grocery store in America (according to the same Market Force survey mentioned earlier) launched its chocolate-dipped ice cream sandwiches to the delight of many of its loyal shoppers. Ice cream sandwiches are most commonly today made with a scoop of ice cream smashed between two chocolate chip cookies, but this Trader Joe's product release brought Figo! into the mix, a sweet treat that went viral on social media with shoppers dying to taste this twist on a classic dessert.
The sandwich is one-of-a-kind in that it combines your standard ice cream sandwich with an ice cream truck phenomenon: the dipped cone. Shoppers have the option of chocolate or vanilla ice cream, and also, the bar is divided in half -- not physically, but by the dipped chocolate. Half of the sandwich is your classic ice cream smushed between two chocolate cookies, and the other half is dipped in milk chocolate. For under $5, you can have the sweet treat of your dreams just by heading to the supermarket. For vegan or lactose intolerant customers, shoppers say Trader Joe's oat milk ice cream sandwich is a perfect alternative. The ice cream, made of oat milk, cane sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla, sits firmly between two chocolate wafer cookies. Whatever your dietary needs or preferences, Trader Joe's has you covered for a dessert sandwich.
How We Selected Grocery Sandwiches
To determine what sandwiches and grocery stores should be included in this list, we focused on grocery stores with a larger shopper population, that is, stores that are household names and/or would have multiple locations, making them accessible to many groups of shoppers. We also included stores that have options for a variety of consumers; we wanted shoppers and sandwich eaters of any dietary restrictions to find a place for a sandwich that worked for them, and many of the options and stores mentioned in this article offer vegan, vegetarian, and dairy-free options perfect for all your food consumption needs.
The specific sandwiches were chosen based on taste, accessibility (i.e., how quickly are shoppers able to get in, get out, and get eating?), online reviews (from the grocery store websites, periodicals, and popular review sites), and social media trends, video reviews, and comments. Finally, a touch of personal experience went into these selections, specifically Union Market and Publix, both of which we've tried and can attest are delicious sandwiches at great value.
Read the original article on Tasting Table.