I expected it from most of the big food chains, but what always really hurt was the fact that Subway - an outlet rife with vegan potential - never cottoned on to the vegan revolution. We’d have to endure those savory smells of bread and sweet sauces, our stomachs grumbling like disgruntled old men as we watched our carnivorous acquaintances stuff their gullets. Well, my friend...the times they are a-changin’!
Did Subway Listen to Vegans?
Well...kinda. By irritatingly minute increments, they are welcoming the vegan lifestyle into their establishments. It all started with salad. Maybe I’m just weird (I’m definitely weird), but offering only salad to a vegan seems a little offensive and short-sighted. It’s playing into a cartoonish stereotype of tin-ribbed rabbit people that only eat leafy greens and desire nothing more. They may as well serve us up a slimy rock to lick á la Lisa Simpson in that Lord of the Flies homage.
Sure, there are many super healthy vegans out there, but the majority of us still want the dirtiest food we can get our hands on from time to time. Still, it was something, and drizzling a generous portion of their tasty sauces sweetened the deal. I was particularly excited about the garlic aioli they released to compliment the salad options.
Vegan Sauces at Subway - Before we continue, it’s good to know what sauces are death-free in Subway. Mustard seed spread, deli brown mustard, yellow mustard, Subway vinaigrette, oil and vinegar, fat-free Italian dressing, buffalo sauce, garlic aioli - and my personal favorite - sweet onion are all 100% vegan options.
What Came Next for Subway’s Vegan Venture?
I know research and development is time-consuming, and maybe I get impatient when I’m hungry (I’m always hungry), but I felt we’d waited long enough for an egg and milk-free patty.
By the grace of God, on the 17th of April, 2019, Subway announced they’d cracked it. The vegan patty was born, leading to a tsunami of social media posts by vegans with a unified message that can be sufficiently summarised as, ’About f*****g time’. But that’s not all, my vegan warriors.
Before the first vegan patties had even reached our quivering lips, news that Subway was test driving a collaboration with Beyond Meat flooded the sandwich-themed depths of the internet. This exciting new sandwich was of course the meatball marinara sub. After a needlessly tentative, hugely successful unveiling in North America only and an excruciating five months wait, Subway added the meatball sub to its core menu across America, Canada, and even the UK, hurray!
Vegan Bread at Subway - With Subway upping their vegan sub game, this seems like a perfectly reasonable juncture to go over their vegan breads. White Italian, hearty Italian, 9-grain wheat, sourdough, garlic bread, spinach wraps, habanero wraps, tomato-basil wraps, and wheat wraps are all vegan.
Have Subway’s Vegan Efforts Plateaued?
While they did seem to put veganism on the back burner for a while after the meatball sub was released, it’s great to know that they’re at it again, experimenting with different ideas to capitalize on the very willing vegan market.
For all those lucky vegans in the UK - Brexit and Boris notwithstanding - Subway has a TLC (Tastes Like Chicken) sub in early development. Over the pond, Subway is testing three subs hot of the press in eight of their DC stores. What are they, you ask? Malibu Greek, Black Bean, and Sweet Riblet (drools on keyboard). So, for the love of God, all you DC vegans get out there and buy some sandwiches. The world needs you!
Are There Different Vegan Options in Subways Elsewhere in the World?
If you fancy yourself a bit of a globe trotter, you may be in for rather a nice surprise. Having just arrived jetlagged in Prague back in 2018, my partner and I zombie-walked the darkling streets searching for sustenance. Thankfully for our rumbling tums, we stumbled across a Subway, and lo and behold, a vegan falafel sub!
You know how I know we never crack time travel? Because a future vegan hasn’t traveled back to show us a fully vegan Subway cookie. So, the fight for exquisite snacks isn’t quite over just yet.
What do we want? Delicious soft and gooey vegan cookies! When do we want them? Now!