[revisit] college sub shop

On a recent weekend, Jake, T and I went and revisited the College Sub Shop off El Cajon Blvd in the SDSU College area. We wanted some cheap and tasty eats and the College Sub Shop fits the bill for cheap sandwiches. Imagine our surprise though when we walked in and noticed the place got a bit of a facelift! Jake noticed a price increase first whereas I noticed the place looked a lot spiffier.


The shop’s original owner wanted to retire and sell the shop off but instead of selling it off, the original owner’s daughter took over the shop. She’s in the photo above on the right with her own daughter who is a recent college graduate and helps her run the shop. She told us her husband helped remodel and give the place a bit of a facelift. She wanted to take it over to keep the sub shop in the area since she was afraid it would become some depressing chain restaurant or other store.

Here’s a peek how the shop looked before during our visit back in March of this year:

Interior | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Here are the new, spiffy looking menu boards:

New Menu Boards | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Versus the old menu boards:

Menu | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

A bit of a change, eh?

New Bar Stools | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

They’ve added some new seating options.

Homage Collage | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

And over on the far wall they kept the old decorations that used to be up on the glass partition. I thought it was really touching that they kept all of these items instead of throwing them out. They framed the items and kept them as a nice homage to the father. 

Photo Collage | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Plus have some family photos up! Aww!

New Reward Program | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

They also offer a rewards program for loyal customers and now offer sandwich delivery. 

Cookies | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Coooooookies. The cookies are an option for some of the combos. 

Menu Side 1 | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Here are the menus. 

Menu Side 2 | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

The 2 foot long subs deal (which is good for any subs #1-#13) has gone up from $8.99 to $10.99. Getting just one sub in the #1-#13 range will set you back $6.50 (whereas before it was $5.55) and a half sub now costs $3.75 (versus $3.25).

The owner told us she has no idea how her dad managed the shop offering the prices that he did and that in order to make some kind of profit, they did have to raise some of the prices. But they use all the same top quality products that her dad did and hope patrons aren’t too deterred by the slight rise in prices. I think it’s still a terrific deal for a freshly made sub! 

Freshly slicing the meat | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Here you can see that they freshly slice everything (meats and cheeses) to order. 

The owner told us that some of the customers who’ve been coming here for years (I believe she told us the shop’s been around for 25 years) were a bit resistant at first to the change and some would say the sandwiches weren’t made the same way (even though in their eyes it had been). Her dad showed her how to do everything and how to make every sandwich so I think some of those customers just missed the old owner making the food for them. Changes are really hard sometimes!

It was really nice to be able to chat with the owner and her daughter, see the new changes, and see that they are committed to keeping their family run business in the community. Hooray for mom and pop shops! 

Sub No. 13 | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

I got the #13 which comes with pastrami and salami. I like that they kept the old method of just using the papers stapled to the bag. The owner said it was cost effective and I thought it was a nice homage to the old shop. You get a bag and just circle what you want on it and they’ll start preparing your sandwich.

Mary Sandwich | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Now this is a HEFTY sandwich – look at how long and how thick the bread is! This is what a real footlong sub should look like!

Closeup | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Here’s a closeup of the sandwich packed full of meat and veggies. They only had wheat bread that day and I prefer the white bread myself, but the wheat is not shabby at all. It’s thick enough to hold the sandwich together without the ingredients falling out but the fluffy inside squishes down with the meat and veggies making it easy to eat without feeling “too bready” or too thick.  

I also managed to only eat 1/4 of the sandwich. I totally forgot how big these sandwiches are, man! I enjoyed more of this sandwich later that weekend. 

Jake Sandwich | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Jake and T shared a #2 sub which is Ham and Salami. 

Sub | College Sub Shop - San Diego, CA

Yuuuuum. They both thought the sandwiches are just as tasty before! 

All Dressed Canadian Ruffles

We went across the street to Vons to get a bag of chips to share with our sandwiches and tried out these “All Dressed” chips – a flavor that is normally only available in Canada but they brought it over for us crazy Americans to try. It’s supposed to be like a smoky sweet tangy flavor. Mostly I just got the tang and after a couple of chips, I switched to by standby favorite of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles. Sorry, Canadians. 

College Sub Shop | (Yelp)
6150 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA 92115
(619) 286-4221

8 thoughts on “[revisit] college sub shop

  1. That still seems like a great price for a big ol sandwich. I’m all defeated b/c we went to Lemonade UTC for early dinner yesterday and their chicken sandwich cost $6.50. And it was tiny. Look at the pic of your whole sub – take the largest piece – cut it in 1/2 – and that was the size of my Lemonade sandwich 🙁

    Granted. It was a good tasting sammy but ouch – $6.50.

    Canadian Ruffles – so fancy.

    1. Haha, poor Faye. It took me like two days to eat this sandwich and I don’t think I finished it. Lettuce is not good on leftover sandwiches! Lemonade is delicious though. Very very tasty. But yeah, not cheapy cheap. But tasty 🙂

  2. Omg, you found he All Dressed flavor? I love that! I haven’t had it since our Canada trip back in 2012. Now i need to look for it .

    It’s great that the family is still keeping the shop open. I would rather support a local shop than a chain.

  3. Don’t forget your 1/2 French Canadian. You can dis the chips but not the Canadians.
    Sand witches look delicious, if I’m in the area I’ll definitely try them out.

    1. Hi Lynn – they are very hefty and very filling sandwiches! Good picnic food, too! Don’t think I need my own sandwich in the future though.

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