What to Eat at Potbelly Sandwich Shop: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Potbelly sandwich shop.

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A popular subway sandwich franchise started in 1977 out of Chicago, you’ll find Potbelly Sandwich Shop locations throughout the country. With abundant food offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, this establishment has sandwiches ranging from your standard BLTs and turkey clubs to the atypical PB&J and Prime Rib.

All are served warm, toasted, and made to order; you can also customize each subway sandwich to fit your flavor preferences and diet needs.

Non-sandwich enthusiasts will find other options on the menu, including hearty soups, salads, and chili. You can also order a variety of beverages, such as sodas, shakes, smoothies, and brand-name teas.

What Experts Say

“The Potbelly Sandwich Shop caters to most dietary preferences, including vegetarian. You can find sandwiches in half-sized portions and ‘skinny’ versions, which contain smaller amounts of ingredients. When possible, choose these sandwich types and add vegetables to increase the volume, fiber, and nutrient profile of your meal. There are also vegetable-based soups (but they are high in sodium) and salad options with dark ,leafy greens, lean protein, and healthy fat.”

Barbie Cervoni, RD, CDE

Navigating the Menu

A beloved joint for sandwich lovers, The Potbelly Sandwich Shop caters to patrons with numerous dietary necessities. You’ll find vegetarian options with a range of healthy toppings, and skinny sandwiches with less carbohydrates.

The "Originals," "Bigs," and half sandwiches are all made on multigrain bread, and come topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, in addition to varied toppings. Asking for no mayo will alleviate 100 calories (all of which come from fat). The Potbelly Sandwich Shop does offer healthier liquid condiment alternatives to mayo, such as brown mustard and oil.

Patrons looking to lighten their carb intake will find salads, soups, and low-carb sandwiches available at Potbelly as well. 

Most Nutritious Option
  • Mediterranean (Sandwich – Original)

  • Egg & Cheddar (Sandwich – Bigs)

  • Egg & Cheddar (Sandwich – Flats)

  • T-K-Y (Sandwich – Skinnys)

  • Strawberry Bliss (Salads)

  • Garden Vegetable Soup, Side (Macs
    and Soups)

  • Baked Lays (Sides and Chips)

  • Kids’ Combo Mac and Cheese (Kids)

  • Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie
    (Desserts)

  • Vanilla Smoothie, Short (Shakes
    & Smoothies)

  • Bottled Water (Beverages)

  • Side of Mustard (Pantry)

  • Cup of Steel Cut Oatmeal (Breakfast)

Least Nutritious Option
  • Monkey Business (Sandwich –
    Original)

  • Wrecking Ball (Sandwich – Bigs)

  • PB & J (Sandwich – Flats)

  • Mushroom Melt (Sandwich – Skinnys)

  • Farmhouse (Salads)

  • Mac and Cheese Bowl (Macs and Soups)

  • Macaroni Salad (Sides and Chips)

  • Kids’ Combo PB & J (Kids)

  • Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich
    (Desserts)

  • Oreo Banana Split Shake, with
    Toppings (Shakes & Smoothies)

  • 20 oz Bottle Cherry Coke (Beverages)

  • Gallon of Hot Peppers (Pantry)

  • Sausage, Egg & Cheddar, Original (Breakfast)

For sandwiches, the half Mediterranean is the healthiest option, according to the Potbelly Sandwich Shop’s online nutrition menu. With 350 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of trans fat, this vegetarian option includes nutritious toppings, such as cucumbers and hummus, on multigrain bread. If you’re avoiding dairy, you can ask for no feta cheese. Keep in mind that this option is high in carbohydrates and sodium with 50 g of carbohydrates and 960 grams of sodium.

The most nutritious option on the entire menu is a side of Garden Vegetable Soup, which contains no fat and no known food allergens other than soy. Although the sodium level is a little high, a side size, rather than a bowl, will keep your salt intake down.

Originals

The “Originals” sandwiches range from vegetarian to meat-based protein, such as turkey, salami, and mortadella. You’ll also find different options depending on location. (Houston, Cincinnati, and Dallas Potbelly establishments have a more robust menu.)

All Potbelly subway sandwiches are made on multigrain bread and get topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but you can always customize the sandwiches to your food preferences and diet.

Most Nutritious Option

Mediterranean, Originals

The vegetarian-friendly Mediterranean sandwich contains 470 calories, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 72 g carbohydrates, 10 grams of fiber, 22 g protein, and 1,230 mg sodium. The sandwich includes a healthy dose of vitamin-rich toppings, such as hummus, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers.

Least Nutritious Option

Monkey Business, Originals

The Monkey Business is a creative Original sandwich with peanut butter, bananas, and bacon. Although one of the most innovative offerings on the menu, this sandwich has 1,000 calories (half of what you typically eat in a day), 60 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 86 g carbohydrates, 43 g protein, and 1,480 mg sodium.

If you must have bacon, the Clubby Original has 640 calories and less than half the fat of the Monkey Business.

Bigs

Patrons with healthy (meaning large) appetites can order a "Bigs" sandwich, which is also made on multigrain bread and topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. These sandwiches come with 30 percent more meat and cheese than an Original. (The "Big" size is only available at certain locations.)

Most Nutritious Option

Egg & Cheddar, Bigs

The Egg & Cheddar has 560 calories, 30 g fat, 15 g saturated fat, 52 g carbohydrates, 25 g protein, and 900 mg sodium. This breakfast Big offers a healthy dose of protein from eggs and dairy from the cheddar cheese.

Least Nutritious Option

Wrecking Ball, Bigs

The Wrecking Ball lives up to its name with 1,400 calories, 85 g fat, 28 g saturated fat, 92 g carbohydrates, 81 g protein, and 3,300 mg sodium.

Flats

Made on flatbread with 23 less carbohydrates and 90 less calories than the Original, these sandwiches are topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo.

Most Nutritious Option

Egg & Cheddar, Flats

The Egg & Cheddar, Flat, a popular breakfast option, has 360 calories, 18 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 35 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, and 650 mg sodium.

For the non-breakfast option, the Mediterranean is the healthiest, with 380 calories, 13 g fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 50 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, and 1,080 mg sodium. This is also a vegetarian (but not vegan) option.

Least Nutritious Option

PB & J, Flats

Although one of the most ubiquitous and beloved sandwiches in the country, the creamy PB & J isn't your best bet. This subway contains 960 calories, 52 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 106 g carbohydrates, 28 g protein, and 830 mg sodium.

The peanut butter and grape jelly contain a high amount of total fat and sugars, making for a sandwich equivalent to consuming candy.

Skinnys

As the name suggests, Skinnys are a healthier sandwich option for Potbelly patrons. Made on multigrain bread and topped with lettuce and tomato (skipping the mayo), the Skinnys contain a third less meat and cheese than an Original.

The sandwich also comes with your choice of soup or macaroni and cheese as a side. (For the healthiest option, choose the Garden Vegetable Soup.)

Most Nutritious Option

T-K-Y, Skinnys

The T-K-Y has 300 calories, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 41 g carbohydrates, 24 g protein, and 870 mg sodium. This sandwich includes turkey breast and Swiss cheese, along with the requisite tomato and lettuce (but no mayo).

Least Nutritious Option

Mushroom Melt, Skinnys

The Mushroom Melt has 350 calories, 15 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 39 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, and 560 mg sodium. Although still low in calories, this sandwich contains more than twice as many fat grams than the T-K-Y because of its toppings: Swiss, provolone, and cheddar cheeses.

Salads

Currently, all salads on the Potbelly menu contain meat-based toppings such as grilled chicken or turkey. Certain locations offer the vegetarian Gonzo Bonzo Salad, but this does come topped with boiled eggs, making no salads on the menu a wise choice for vegans.

Most Nutritious Option

Strawberry Bliss Salad

The Strawberry Bliss Salad has 470 calories, 25 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 29 g carbohydrates, 32 g protein, and 760 mg sodium. For salad enthusiasts and patrons looking to stave off extra carbs, this fruity salad is the healthiest on the menu, and includes grilled chicken for extra protein.

Least Nutritious Option

Farmhouse

The Farmhouse Salad contains 760 calories, 45 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 15 g carbohydrates, 69 g protein, and 1,730 mg sodium. This salad works well for keto diets, as it has a low amount of carbs and several proteins, including a hard boiled egg and two types of meat-based proteins: grilled chicken breast and chopped bacon.

Macs and Soup

The mac and cheese is made with three types of cheeses and your choice of two premium toppings, such as bacon, hot peppers, and mushrooms. (You can skip the premium toppings if you like). The soups vary from pot pie to homestyle chicken noodle to hearty beef chili with kidney beans.

Most Nutritious Option

Garden Vegetable Soup Side

A side of Garden Vegetable Soup contains 60 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 12 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, and 600 mg sodium. 

Least Nutritious Option

Mac and Cheese Bowl

The Mac and Cheese Bowl has 460 calories, 20 g fat, 10 g saturated fat, 51 g carbohydrates,17 g protein, and 1,660 mg sodium.

You can also order premium toppings with the mac and cheese, such as chili, chopped bacon, hot peppers, and sliced mushrooms, and get item in a cup or side size instead of a bowl to save about 200 calories (and still get your cheese fix).

Chips and Sides

As is typical with sandwich shops, you can order a small bag of name-brand chips, such as Lays and Doritos. Potbelly also offers other sides, including a whole pickle, coleslaw, potato salad, and macaroni salad (depending on the location).

Most Nutritious Option

Baked Lays

The Baked Lays have 140 calories, 4 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 24 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, and 180 mg sodium. Although this is the healthiest option with the least amount of calories, you're still not gaining any nutrition.

Skip the sides and order a side of Garden Vegetable or Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup to add some extra vitamins to your meal.

Least Nutritious Option

Macaroni Salad

The Macaroni Salad has 450 calories, 26 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 42 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein, and 1,110 mg sodium. The Potato Salad or Coleslaw are healthier choices if you prefer Southern sides.

Kids

All children's meals come in combos, with mac and cheese or a small sandwich as the main entree, and Mott's applesauce, mini cookie, and choice of milk or bottled water as sides.

You are limited in the types of sandwiches to five options:

  • PB & J
  • Grilled Cheese
  • Cheese Pizza Sandwich
  • Ham & Cheddar
  • Turkey & Cheddar

Most Nutritious Option

Kids’ Combo Mac and Cheese

The kids’ size mac and cheese has 350 calories, 13 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 25 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein, and 800 mg sodium. 

Least Nutritious Option

Kids’ Combo PB & J

Although children will likely gravitate to this offering, the Kids’ Combo PB & J is the least healthy option. The combo has 720 calories, 30 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 100 g carbohydrates, 19 g protein, and 620 mg sodium.

All kids' combos are around 350 to 450 calories, except for the PB & J—any other choice for your child is about the same health wise.

Desserts

The Potbelly Sandwich Shop offers freshly baked cookies, bars, ice cream sandwiches, and hand-scooped milkshakes to end your meal on a sweet note.

Most Nutritious Option

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

If you must have dessert, the Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie is your best choice — and also a Potbelly favorite. With 420 calories, 17 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 60 g carbohydrates, 6 g protein, and 230 mg sodium, you do get a small dose of fiber from the oatmeal and protein from the eggs. 

Least Nutritious Option

Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich

The Sugar Cookie Ice Cream Sandwich contains 1,240 calories, 57 g fat, 35 g saturated fat, 168 g carbohydrates, 16 g protein, and 690 mg sodium.

Shakes & Smoothies

Made with hand-scooped ice cream, the shakes at Potbelly come in your standard chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry flavors, among other more creative options, depending on location.

If you're craving something cold and refreshing after your sandwich, the smoothies are healthier, with significantly lower calories and fat.

Most Nutritious Option

Vanilla Smoothie, Short

The short Vanilla Smoothie contains 270 calories, 3.5 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 52 g carbohydrates, 9 g protein, and 170 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Oreo Banana Split Shake, with Toppings

The Oreo Banana Split Shake has 940 calories, 39 g fat, 21 g saturated fat, 137 g carbohydrates, 11 g protein, and 390 mg sodium.

Beverages

Like most fast casual restaurants, you'll find the standard Coke and Sprite bottled products. Healthier beverages at Potbelly include several types of bottled water, such as Pellegrino, Crystal Geyer, Vitamin Water, and Smartwater, as well as Honest Organic Tea, Arizona Tea, and Simply Orange Juice.

Most Nutritious Option

Bottled Water

Potbelly has several types of bottled water, which contain 0 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, and 0 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Bottled Cherry Coke 20 oz

Regular bottled Cherry Coke has 260 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 70 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, and 60 mg sodium.

Pantry

Potbelly offers branded and oversized take home foods, allowing you to take Potbelly breads, meats, cheese, and other toppings home to make your own handmade sandwiches.

Take home meats include the following:

  • Applewood Smoked Bacon
  • A Wreck Meats
  • Turkey Breast
  • Smoked Ham
  • Salami
  • Grilled Chicken
  • Capicola
  • Salami
  • Mortadella

You can also purchase a gallon of hot peppers, a five-gallon bucket of pickles, a box of pantry chips, and six-packs of beverages.

Most Nutritious Option

Side of Mustard

A side of mustard contains 240 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, and 3,360 mg sodium.

Least Nutritious Option

Gallon of Hot Peppers

One gallon of Potbelly-branded hot peppers has 3,200 calories, 192 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 256 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, and 75,520 mg sodium.

Breakfast

Potbelly has breakfast sandwiches on ciabatta squares and multigrain bread with standard protein-rich toppings, such as eggs, sausage, and bacon.

The vegetarian options include steel cut oatmeal, the Breakfast Mediterranean sandwich, the Mediterranean Square, and Egg & Cheddar sandwich.

Most Nutritious Option

Cup of Steel Cut Oatmeal

A cup of oatmeal has 180 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 37 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, and 0 mg sodium. This is without sugar or toppings. The oatmeal comes with brown sugar and two toppings of your choice, such as Craisins, fruit, raisins, and nuts.

Least Nutritious Option

Sausage, Egg & Cheddar, Original

This original breakfast sandwich served on multigrain bread has 690 calories, 47 g fat, 20 g saturated fat, 40 g carbohydrates, 30 g protein, and 1,220 mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

At Potbelly Sandwich Shop, you can follow a number of specific diets by knowing what you want to order ahead of time, rather than perusing the menu at the location and succumbing to your high-calorie weaknesses. You can also customize the sandwiches to meet a number of diet-specific needs.

Diets that work within the restaurant’s menu include the following:

  • Low-Fat
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Low-Sodium
  • Keto

Low-Fat

Whether you prefer an Original or Flat sandwich, you'll find low-fat options to keep to your heart-healthy diet, such as the following:

  • Mediterranean, Originals
  • Tuna Salad, Originals
  • Egg & Cheddar, Flat
  • Ham, Mushroom, Egg & Swiss, Flat
  • Hammie, Skinny
  • T-K-Y, Skinny
  • Chicken Enchilada Soup
  • Classic Tomato Soup
  • Garden Vegetable Soup
  • Kids’ Combo Turkey & Cheddar

Gluten-Free

To avoid gluten, you'll find a few soups, salads, and smoothies for a hearty meal. These include the following Potbelly menu items:

  • Classic Tomato Soup
  • Garden Vegetable Soup
  • Coleslaw
  • Vanilla Smoothie
  • Mixed Berry Smoothie
  • Farmhouse Salad
  • Mediterranean Salad

Vegetarian

Three sandwich types are vegetarian, the healthiest of which is the Mediterranean. You can also pair the sandwich with a couple types of soups or mac & cheese.

Vegetarian items include the following:

  • Mediterranean, Originals
  • PB & J, Originals
  • Grilled Cheese, Originals
  • Gonzo Bonzo Salad (not available at all locations)
  • Tomato Soup
  • Garden Vegetable Soup
  • Mac & Cheese
  • Breakfast Mediterranean
  • Egg & Cheddar Original
  • Steel Cut Oatmeal

Low-Sodium

Stick with flat sandwiches, soups, and salads for low-sodium menu items, such as the following:

  • Cheeseburger, Flats
  • Breakfast Mediterranean, Flats
  • Chicken Salad, Flats
  • Egg & Cheddar, Flats
  • Grilled Cheese (Cheddar), Flats
  • Grilled Cheese (Swiss), Flats
  • Grilled Cheese, Flats
  • Mushroom Melt, Skinny
  • Strawberry Bliss Salad
  • Tuna Salad Salad
  • Chicken Enchilada Soup
  • Garden Vegetable Soup

Keto

The low-carb and high-protein diet is possible with Potbelly's salads and soups:

  • Farmhouse Salad
  • Powerhouse Salad
  • Mediterranean Salad
  • A Wreck Salad
  • Broccoli and Cheese Soup
  • Gonzo Bonzo Salad
  • Pantry Bucket of Pickles

Food Allergies and Safety

For patrons with common food allergies and intolerances, such as soy, wheat, fish, dairy, tree nuts, and gluten, Potbelly Sandwich Shop offers menu items that will work within your allergen-specific needs.

To ensure your safety, you can perform the following:

  • Ask questions of the staff. You could encounter cross contamination, as sandwiches are made in one location.
  • Review Potbelly Sandwich Shop’s nutritional information. Open their interactive online menu. You simply select the allergens you want to avoid and the site provides items fitting within your dietary needs.
  • Customize sandwiches. For example, you can ask for no cheese and mayo to avoid dairy products for anyone lactose intolerant. For patrons avoiding gluten, you can order bowls of soup or large salads for a hearty, entrée-sized meal.

A Word From Verywell

Potbelly Sandwich Shop wants all patrons to feel as though this establishment is your “Neighborhood Sandwich Shop,” serving entrees and sides with tasty ingredients. You can enjoy these toasty sandwiches by sticking to half versions of the Originals or flat bread and skipping the mayo and cheese to save on calories and carbohydrates.

You’ll also find leafy green salads, served with vinaigrette on the side. Although most are high in calories and sodium, you can get a serving of vegetables and a heavy dose of protein as the salads contain healthy meats, such as grilled chicken, hand-sliced turkey breast, and hickory smoked ham.

Soups, such as the Garden Vegetable, Tomato, and Chicken Noodle, contain little calories and fat, and they make a healthier, vitamin-rich side than a bag of chips.

If you visit the restaurant already knowing what you’ll order, you’ll likely feel less tempted to order a big sandwich loaded with saturated fat and enough sodium to meet your recommended daily allowance.

You can also come armed with nutritional knowledge by going online and using Potbelly's Nutrition Calculator. You can build your meal and customize to know exactly what you should eat.

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