What: The submarine sandwich, or sub, is akin to Philly’s hoagie, New Orleans’ po’boy, and New England’s grinder. Like those, it can be traced, in some way or another, back to Italy and the immigrants who brought their affinity for stuffing cold cuts of meat into crusty bread here to America. Sandwich connoisseurs will tell you that in this country, the sub originated in New York, but one particular New Jersey franchise played a huge role in popularizing it along the central Shore and beyond. (Still, it depends on where you are in the state, and which city you look to: People in South Jersey will insist it’s not a sub, but a hoagie.)
In any case, a sub makes the perfect grab-and-go lunch to bring to the beach. Just please don't feed the seagulls!
Where: Although Jersey Mike’s is a big chain now, with locations across the country, it all began in 1956 at a small storefront in Point Pleasant—the town in which the franchise is still well-represented (at 2600 Bridge Ave; 732-714-8878; and 901 Richmond Ave.; 732-892-9546, map). Their made-to-order subs make an ideal lunch at the beach.
When: Hours may vary, but typically 7am-9pm, daily.
Order: Any of the cold subs. We like the “Jersey Mike’s Super Sub” (provolone, ham, capicola, prosciutto), the “Original” Italian-style (provolone, ham, prosciutto, capicola, salami, and pepperoni) and the more bathing-suit-friendly turkey breast and provolone (pictured; $5.95). Or go veggie-style with just a cheese (or two). Get your sub with the works: onions, lettuce, tomatoes, oil, vinegar, and spices.
Alternatively: There’s some sandwich competition going on in Toms River with the opening of the new West Coast Subs (1849 Hooper Ave., map), which we’ve heard good things about. Down in Atlantic City, an iconic spot for subs is White House Sub Shop (2301 Arctic Ave., map), in the biz since 1946.