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

Potbelly sandwich shop.

Raymond Boyd / Getty Images 

Potbelly Sandwich Shop is a popular franchise that got its start in Chicago and now has locations throughout the country. With abundant food offerings for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Potbelly's menu features sandwiches ranging from standard (BLT and turkey club) to atypical (PB&J and prime rib).

All are served warm, toasted, and made to order; you can also customize each sandwich to fit your flavor preferences and diet needs. You'll also find non-sandwich options on the menu, including hearty soups, salads, and chili.

What Experts Say

“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, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

Navigating the Menu

Potbelly Sandwich Shop caters to patrons with numerous dietary needs. You’ll find vegetarian options with a range of healthy toppings, and skinny sandwiches with fewer carbohydrates. Patrons looking to reduce carb intake will find salads, soups, and low-carb sandwiches available at Potbelly as well. 

What to Order & Avoid at Potbelly Sandwich Shop
Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Mediterranean, No Chicken (Sandwiches) Mama's Meatball (Sandwiches)
Powerhouse Salad (Salads) Apple Walnut Salad (Salads)
Garden Vegetable Soup Side (Mac & Soups) Mac & Cheese Bowl (Mac & Soups)
Potbelly Whole Pickle (Sides & Chips) Zapp's Salt & Vinegar Chips (Sides & Chips)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie (Desserts & Shakes) Oreo Shake (Desserts & Shakes)
Bottled Water (Drinks) Cherry Coke (Drinks) 
Ham, Mushroom, Egg & Swiss (Breakfast) Sausage, Egg & Cheddar (Breakfast) 
Turkey & Swiss Combo (Kids Combo) PB&J Combo (Kids Combo)

Most Nutritious Option

For sandwiches, the half Mediterranean is the most nutritious option at Potbelly. With 350 calories, 10 grams of fat, 5 grams of fiber and 0 grams of trans fat, this vegetarian option includes nutritious fillings, such as cucumbers and hummus, on multigrain bread.

The most nutritious option on the entire menu is a side of garden vegetable soup, with 60 calories and no fat.

Sandwiches

The sandwiches at Potbelly Sandwich Shop 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 sandwiches are made on multigrain bread and get topped with lettuce, tomato, and mayo, but you can customize them to your food preferences and diet. Every Potbelly sandwich is available in Original, Bigs (one-third more bread, meat, cheese and toppings than Original), or Skinny (one-third less bread, meat, cheese and toppings) sizes. You can also swap the multigrain bread for "Flat" bread, for fewer calories.

✓ Mediterranean (No Chicken)

The Mediterranean sandwich with no chicken, ordered in the original size, contains 520 calories, 15g fat, 4g saturated fat, 80g carbohydrates, 24g protein, and 1,210mg sodium. The sandwich includes a healthy dose of vitamin-rich fillings, such as hummus, cucumbers, artichoke hearts, and roasted red peppers.

✗ Mama's Meatball

The Mama's Meatball is a classic sandwich that's filled with beef and pork meatballs and topped with marinara sauce and provolone cheese. Although one of the most homestyle offerings on the menu, this sandwich (in the original size) 910 calories, 47g fat, 20g saturated fat, 73g carbohydrates, 44g protein, and 1,990mg sodium.

If you must have classic Italian flavors, consider the Italian sandwich for 730 calories.

Salads

Currently, all salads on the Potbelly menu contain meat-based toppings such as grilled chicken (but can be ordered without the meat). Certain locations offer the vegetarian Gonzo Bonzo Salad, but it does come topped with boiled eggs.

✓ Powerhouse Salad

The powerhouse salad has a bed of greens topped with cucumber, tomato, avocado, hummus, a hard-boiled egg, and grilled chicken breast. In total, it also provides 560 calories, 15g fat, 3g saturated fat, 75g carbohydrates, 30g protein, and 1,590mg sodium.

✗ Apple Walnut Salad

The apple walnut salad contains 850 calories, 55g fat, 11g saturated fat, 54g carbohydrates, 38g protein, and 1,100mg sodium. This salad can be customized for vegetarian diets by eliminating the grilled chicken breast.

The other options on the salads menu include the farmhouse and chicken salad salads. Both salads include chicken as the primary protein, but can all be adjusted and made vegetarian if requested.

Mac & Soup

Potbelly's mac and cheese is made with three types of cheese and your choice of two premium toppings, such as bacon, hot peppers, and mushrooms. (You can skip the premium toppings if you like). Soups include chicken pot pie to loaded backed potato to hearty beef chili with kidney beans.

✓ Garden Vegetable Soup, Side

A side serving of garden vegetable soup contains 60 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 12g carbohydrates, 2g protein, and 600mg sodium. Loaded with several different veggies including zucchini, corn, mushrooms, peppers, potatoes, as well as celery, carrots, and onion, this hearty soup is the most nutritious option on this part of the menu.

✗ Mac & 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. Order in a cup or side size instead of a bowl to save about 200 calories (and still get your cheese fix).

Sides & Chips

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

✓ Potbelly Whole Pickle

Potbelly's whole pickle is a simple dill pickle with 25 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrates, 1g protein, and 2,150mg sodium. It's low i calories and fat, but pickles are very high in sodium.

✗ Zapp's Salt & Vinegar Chips

A 1.5-ounce serving of Zapp's salt and vinegar chips has 220 calories, 12g fat, 2g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrates, 3g protein, and 380mg sodium.

Skip the chips and order a side of garden vegetable or homestyle chicken noodle soup to add some extra vitamins to your meal.

Desserts & Shakes

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

✓ Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie

The oatmeal chocolate chip cookie is the best dessert choice—and also a Potbelly favorite. With 420 calories, 17g fat, 7g saturated fat, 60g carbohydrates, 6g protein, and 230mg sodium, you do get a small dose of fiber from the oatmeal and protein from the eggs. 

✗ Oreo Shake

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

The Oreo shake has 770 calories, 40g fat, 22g saturated fat, 90g carbohydrates, 15g protein, and 340mg sodium. Opt for a vanilla shake to save 70 calories, or consider splitting with a friend.

Drinks

Like most fast casual restaurants, Potbelly offers Coke and Sprite bottled sodas. Healthier beverages at Potbelly include several types of bottled water, as well as iced teas and orange juice.

✓ Bottled Water

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

✗ Bottled Cherry Coke

Regular bottled Cherry Coke has 260 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 70g carbohydrates, 0g protein, and 60mg sodium in a 20-ounce serving.

Breakfast

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

✓ Ham, Mushroom, Egg & Swiss

An original ham, mushroom, egg, and Swiss cheese breakfast sandwich has 720 calories, 27g fat, 12g saturated fat, 67g carbohydrates, 51g protein, and 2,210mg sodium.

✗ Sausage, Egg & Cheddar

This original sausage, egg, and cheddar breakfast sandwich served on white bread has 1,100 calories, 70g fat, 27g saturated fat, 65g carbohydrates, 51g protein, and 2,050mg sodium.

The only other option on this breakfast menu is the bacon, egg, and cheddar sandwich, with 770 calories, 37g fat, 15g saturated fat, 66g carbohydrates, 47g protein, and 2,030mg sodium.

Kids Combo

All children's meals come in combos, with mac and cheese or a small sandwich (PB&J, ham and Swiss, or turkey and Swiss) as the main entree, and Mott's applesauce, a mini cookie, and choice of milk or bottled water on the side.

✓ Turkey & Swiss Combo

The kids’ turkey and Swiss combo has 460 calories, 11g fat, 4g saturated fat, 71g carbohydrates, 25g protein, and 910mg sodium.

✗ PB & J Combo

The kids PB & J combo is the least nutritious option, at least based on calories. The combo has 740 calories, 30g fat, 6g saturated fat, 105g carbohydrates, 20g protein, 600mg sodium. It also has 51g sugar, compared to 20g in the turkey sandwich combo.

Diet-Specific Options

At Potbelly Sandwich Shop, you can customize your sandwich or meal to meet a number of dietary needs, including gluten-free, low-fat, low-sodium, and vegetarian eating patterns.

Gluten-Free

Potbelly Sandwich Shop does not offer any gluten-free breads. If you need to avoid gluten, you will need to stick with the salads and sides. The following menu items do not have gluten-containing ingredients (but there is still a risk of cross-contamination).

  • Farmhouse salad
  • Powerhouse salad
  • Apple walnut salad
  • Chicken salad salad
  • Garden vegetable soup
  • Potbelly whole pickle
  • Chips

For a hearty meal, choose the farmhouse salad for 790 calories. Add a side of garden vegetable soup for even more veggies in your meal.

Low-Fat

Whether you prefer an Original or Skinny sandwich, you'll find low-fat options to keep to your heart-healthy diet at Potbelly.

  • Mediterranean sandwich
  • Egg and cheddar sandwich
  • Ham, mushroom, egg and Swiss sandwich
  • Grilled chicken breast and cheddar sandwich
  • Turkey breast and Swiss sandwich
  • Garden vegetable soup

The garden vegetable soup has no fat, and a skinny turkey and Swiss sandwich has 8g fat (omit the cheese to reduce that to 4g).

Vegetarian

Three Potbelly sandwiches are vegetarian. You can also pair the sandwich with a few of the soups or the mac and cheese. Vegetarian items include the following (some require customization to omit meat):

  • Veggie melt (not available at all locations)
  • Pizza melt
  • Mediterranean
  • PB & J
  • Grilled cheese
  • Farmhouse salad
  • Apple walnut salad
  • Powerhouse salad
  • Broccoli cheddar soup
  • Tomato soup
  • Garden vegetable soup
  • Mac and cheese

Low-Sodium

Stick with flat sandwiches, soups, and salads for low-sodium menu items, such as the following (all sandwiches should be ordered Flat to save on sodium):

  • Chicken salad skinny sandwich
  • Chicken salad salad, half serving
  • Apple walnut salad, half serving (no cheese or dressing)

A half serving of the apple walnut salad is the top pick here. It contains 550mg sodium. Skip the balsamic vinaigrette dressing to save 270mg sodium.

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 needs. Check the interactive menu to search for items that don't contain the allergen you need to avoid.

If you have a food allergy, it's important to take precautions anytime you dine away from home. Be sure to:

  • Ask questions of the staff. Sometimes there are changes to published ingredient lists. Tell the restaurant manager about your needs before you order.
  • Review nutritional information. Check the restaurant's online menu for allergen filters and warnings.
  • Customize your order. For example, ask for no cheese if you are lactose-intolerant.

Potbelly Sandwich Shops Allergen Statement

"Potbelly Sandwich Shops does serve food that may cause allergic reactions (including eggs, milk, peanuts, seafood, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and wheat). Despite taking precautions, normal shop operations may involve some shared preparation areas, equipment, and utensils; the possibility exists for your food items to come into contact with other food products, including allergens."

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. Although most are high in calories and sodium, you can get a serving of vegetables and a hearty portion of protein in many of the salads and sandwiches.

Soups, such as the garden vegetable, tomato, and chicken noodle, contain little calories and fat, and they make for a nutritious, vitamin-rich side. Come armed with nutritional knowledge so you can customize your meal to align with your dietary needs and preferences.

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