Sub vs. Sandwich: What Is the Difference?

Oven baked sub from Hungry Howie's
Tuesday May 10, 2022

It's a question as old as time–is a sub a sandwich? Defining a sandwich is no easy task. There are many different arrangements that we commonly call sandwiches. But what about a sub? Are subs a unique food category altogether, or do they fall under the same umbrella? It depends on who you ask, and the truth may surprise you.

When the word "sub" (also regionally known as a "hoagie" or a "hero") comes to mind, many people imagine a long bread roll sliced similarly to a hot dog bun. They're stuffed with delicious meats, fresh veggies, savory cheese, and a seemingly endless selection of condiments. However, this also sounds quite like a sandwich. It's easy to see why people have questions.

If you're looking for "oven-baked subs near me," look no further than Hungry Howie's®. Find your favorites, like our Steak, Cheese, and Mushroom Sub. Or, stick with the classic Chicken Parmesan Sub. Our refreshing Veggie Sub won't let you down if you have a vegetarian in the house. Check out our menu for our complete selection, and grab yours today.

Keep reading to learn more about subs, sandwiches, and all the carb-craving combinations in-between.

What Is the Difference Between a Sub and a Sandwich?

The word "sub" is short for "submarine sandwich," which means that subs are, in fact, a type of sandwich. The official definition of the word "sandwich," according to the Oxford Dictionary, is: "Two slices of bread enclosing a filling (meat, cheese, fish, etc.)." Subs fall into this category of food.

The term "submarine sandwich" comes from a sub's appearance. The elongated shape resembles the underwater sea vessel, and since its inception, the name has stuck around. However, you're likely to hear it called by many different names, depending on where you are. In addition to hoagie and hero, sandwich enthusiasts in different areas of the country may also call them "grinders" or "spuckies."

While subs are technically a sandwich, many people disagree with this classification. To most, there's a distinct difference. Subs feature a specific long shape. On the other hand, sandwiches consist of a top and bottom slice of bread with fillings in-between. Sandwiches, to many people, are stacked vertically. Meanwhile, subs are filled horizontally.

Why Are Subs Considered Sandwiches?

If subs are so different from sandwiches, why are they considered the same? Many people will argue that they're not, though the official definition states otherwise. The word "sandwich" encompasses many different foods. Technically, a hot dog is also a sandwich. Fried eggs and cheese on a roll are, too. The many dishes that fall into the sandwich category are a highly debated topic, and some will swear that they are different no matter what.

Hamburgers, tacos, calzones, tortilla wraps, gyros, empanadas, and even hot pockets officially meet the definition of "sandwich." Bring this up in casual conversation, and others are sure to greet you with an adamant disagreement. However, they really are all a type of sandwich when it comes down to it. Subs, or submarine sandwiches, are no different.

Due to the fact that a sub contains your fillings-of-choice between two slices (or sides, if you will) of bread, they are considered a type of sandwich. The final verdict on the question of is a sub a sandwich? Yes, it is. Hopefully this puts an end to one of the most significant debates of all time.

What's Considered a Sub?

Subs have a very specific shape and method of preparation. Instead of two individual slices of bread on the top and bottom, a sub has one cylindrical portion of bread that encloses the contents from the sides. Subs are served on long rolls instead of on the classic two pieces of sliced and crusted bread.

Subs also tend to come in varying sizes, measured in length, while it's unusual to measure a classic sandwich. The most common sub sizes are 6-inch subs and 12-inch subs, though the largest submarine sandwich in the world spanned 2,411 ft and 5 inches and was crafted in Beirut in 2011. In the past eleven years, no submarine sandwich has beaten this record. It took three different teams of people to complete and is officially recognized by Guinness World Records.

Like sandwiches, subs can contain hot or cold ingredients. At Hungry Howie's®, you'll find comforting warm subs with ingredients such as meatballs, steak, chicken, bacon, and even pepperoni. You'll also find your favorite cold subs that feature ham and cheese, turkey, salami, and fresh veggies such as red onions, green peppers, black olives, and tomatoes. We finish off all of our subs by brushing the surface with a Parmesan cheese blend and then lightly toast them to perfection.

Order Oven-Baked Subs for Take-Out or Delivery

By now, you're probably craving your favorite Hungry Howie's® oven-baked sub. You can get exactly that with just a few simple clicks when you order online. Or know that we're always a phone call away. Find your closest Hungry Howie's® location, and place your order for take-out or delivery. When you order online, you'll get access to our HowieTrack® feature that allows you to watch your order every step of the way, from preparation all the way to your doorstep.

Additionally, you'll find plenty of complimentary items on our menu to complete your meal. Choose from a scrumptious selection of fresh salads, our famous Flavored Crust® pizzas, oven-baked pasta, Howie Wings®, chicken tenders, cheesy bread, desserts, soft drinks, and more. If you need some paper plates, napkins, and utensils, just let us know, and we'll be happy to include them with your order at no extra cost.

Bring home your favorite Hungry Howie's® menu items today and satisfy the entire family. We know that you won't be disappointed when you order one of our oven-baked subs–which are considered sandwiches!