Ah, the sandwich. The beauty of this lunchtime staple is that the possibilities are endless, and DC’s options run the gamut from the usual national chains to artisanal combinations of unusual ingredients.
We rounded up some of the healthiest sandwich options around town so you can order guilt-free. (With Thanksgiving around the corner, your waistline will appreciate it.)
• Cosí’s fire-roasted veggie: Opt for wheat bread to encase your roasted seasonal vegetables—red and yellow peppers, eggplant, zucchini, artichoke hearts, and more—and you’ll get the most nutritional bang for your buck. At just 350 calories, 291 milligrams of sodium, and 12 grams of protein, it’s modest enough that you can probably afford to splurge elsewhere in your diet.
• Sundevich’s Isfahan: Named after the Iranian city, this sandwich offers an interesting soufflé of spinach, mushroom, walnuts, and barberry with tzatziki. It’s another vegetarian option with a complete protein source, and the tzatziki sauce is a highly underrated condiment.
• Devon & Blakely’s hummus and avocado: This combo of hummus, avocado, toasted pine nuts, arugula, Parmesan, and tomato on seven-grain bread offers great sources of protein and healthy fats. It’s a hit for vegetarians and omnivores alike.
• El Floridano food truck’s Chicken Chiang Mai: Yes, food trucks can be healthy, too. This option from El Floridano offers lycopene and two types of heart-healthy fat, with its blend of kaffir-lime-marinated chicken, charred tomato salsa, pickled onions, avocado, and baby arugula.
• Le Pain Quotidien’s smoked salmon tartine: A tartine is essentially an open-faced sandwich, and this one gets nods from one of our nutritionists for its simple ingredients: chopped dill, scallions, avocado, and Atlantic smoked salmon. “Salmon is a heart-healthy lean protein and a great way to get omega-3s. Plus it’s only 380 calories, and there are monounsaturated fats from the avocado,” our expert says.
• Taylor Gourmet’s Christian Street: With portobello mushrooms, arugula, roasted red peppers, and goat cheese, this sandwich is as good for you as it is tasty. You can slash the cholesterol by opting for hummus instead of goat cheese.
• Subway’s oven-roasted chicken: This sandwich is already part of Subway’s 6 Grams of Fat or Less menu, but packing on the vegetable toppings is key. For just a little more than 300 calories and 600 milligrams of sodium, you can score 23 grams of protein, vitamins A and C, and more.