Move over, Subway – there’s something hotter (and quite possibly healthier) in town. Penn Station has quickly become one of the country’s favorite sandwich shops, serving east-coast-style subs at more than 300 locations. And when you think subs, you may think healthy, but the truth is – some of the most common ingredients in cold and hot sandwiches, like mayonnaise, cheese, and loads of bread, can add up to more calories than you’d ever care to know about. So before you get too invested in that Reuben, forget about that thousand island because we’re here to help you with choosing the healthiest food on the Penn Station menu.
What’s The Healthiest Food At Penn Station?
Penn Station’s signature combo consists of a piping hot sub (cold, if you really prefer that) with salty french fries and fresh-squeezed lemonade. It tastes even better than it sounds, but all those creamy sauces and cheeses don’t make for the healthiest of lunches. So, what’s a hungry guy or gal to do? There’s no need to compromise your diet if you’re looking to find something healthy at Penn Station.
Outlined below are the healthiest options at Penn Station, but keep in mind, these calorie counts and other nutrition information are only for the six-inch sandwiches. There are also eight, 10, and 12-inch subs available with various higher calorie counts.
The Chicken Teriyaki Sandwich is one of Penn Station’s most beloved hot subs and has been around for as long as we can remember. It’s loaded with fresh chicken, offering you tons of protein. The fat comes from the cheese and the sauce, so you can always ask for it without those two if you want a lower calorie/fat percentage.
Protein: 35 grams
Fat: 11.7 grams
Sugar: 6.5 grams
The Dagwood is from Penn Station’s “Create Your Own” menu, so you can customize it however you would like. When choosing the healthiest food at Penn Station, we recommend selecting the turkey Dagwood without cheese. It has only 242 calories and can be piled up with veggies for added flavor.
Protein: ~21 grams
Fat: ~4 grams
Sugar: ~1.5 grams
The Grilled Artichoke Sandwich is stuffed with artichoke hearts, oregano, parmesan, mayo, parmesan, and provolone cheese. Sound delicious? It is. To lower your calorie/fat count, order it without cheese and mayo, and ask them to add heaps of sauteed mushrooms instead. (The following nutrition information reflects the sub without mayo.)
Protein: 21.1 grams
Fat: 15.2 grams
Sugar: 1.8 grams
The Tuna Salad sandwich at Penn Station can be one of the healthier options, if you remove the provolone cheese, that is.
Protein: 14.9 grams
Fat: 12.2 grams
Sugar: 6.1 grams
The lightest option from Penn Station’s “Lighter Options” category is the Grilled Vegetarian sub. Inevitably, the meatless sandwich is lower in calories, protein, and fat, but it doesn’t lack taste. Drizzled in the franchise’s famous teriyaki sauce, this veggie option is the healthiest on the menu.
Protein: 9.3 grams
Fat: 2.5 grams
Sugar: 3.2 grams
You’re probably thinking that a Philly Cheesesteak cannot be healthy – and you’d be right. Sort of. If you can’t sacrifice your favorite sub, just order it without the provolone cheese or mayo. It’ll cut down the calorie count a bit.
Fat: 6.1 grams
Sugar: 6.1 grams
What About Drinks?
Aside from sauce, your beverage is another calorie and sugar monster. Even the smallest soft drink or lemonade contains loads of sugar and does not provide you with any nutritional value to begin with. If you are looking to select something on the healthier side, we recommend washing down your sandwich with a water or unsweetened iced tea.
Tips For Reducing The Calorie Count at Penn Station
- Skip the cheese. As mentioned above, cheese is a big source of calories and fat. If you still want to order your favorite classic subs, you can. You just have to be willing to give up some of that creamy, provolone goodness.
- Skip the sauces. Typically, condiments are high in calories and high in fat (although they do taste good!). The mustard at Penn Station weighs in at a whopping 66 calories, while mayo adds about 100 calories and 11 grams of fat to your sandwiches. If you are dying to have sauce on your sub – we don’t blame you – but try pizza sauce if it fits with your order. It only has 18 calories, so it’s not a deal breaker.
- Add more veggies. A lot of times, the biggest complaints people have when it comes to eating healthy is that the food isn’t filling, or it lacks in flavor. A simple fix to this is to add loads of flavorful veggies, like onions, banana peppers, tomatoes, and mushrooms.
Looking for something healthy to eat, but not a fan of these healthy options at Penn Station? Here’s a look at 7 quick, delicious, and affordable healthy fast food chains.