Spicy tuna sandwich

Recently, a tasty sandwich option at the Danish coffee and juice chain Joe & the Juice has been going viral on the popular video app TikTok. Now that TikTok has established itself as one of the go-to sources for people to get their food and drink recommendations, we’ve started to see the rise of the food influencer. Users like @dzaslavsky are sharing videos of themselves eating the Tunacado, a tuna and avocado sandwich, and the spicy tuna, made with tuna, tomato, and jalapenos, which in turn has sparked hundreds of stitches and other videos of people eager to try the popular sandwich after seeing others chowing down.

Plenty of sandwiches on TikTok have gone viral, but not all of them live up to the hype. We ran down to our closest Joe & the Juice to see if this spicy tuna sandwich is worth all the attention, or just another marketing scheme.

What’s in it?

Joe and the Juice items

According to the Joe & the Juice, the spicy tuna sandwich is made with, tuna, Joe’s Classic Bread, Tabasco sauce, tomato, and vegan pesto. The complete ingredient list isn’t shared so we can’t tell you exactly what is in the tuna salad or the vegan pesto. The allergy information claims the sandwich contains both mustard and eggs, so we can assume the tuna is made with mayonnaise or perhaps a Dijonnaise. We also spotted flecks of fresh dill in the tuna.

On top of the tuna are thick slices of pickled jalapenos, which work in conjunction with the Tabasco sauce to help put the "spicy" in this spicy tuna sandwich. You also have the option to add avoacdo. There’s a pretty even amount of all the ingredients and there’s not so much tuna salad that it falls out of the sandwich, nor does it feel scant.

How much does it cost?

Joe and the Juice sandwich

Joe & the Juice is not exactly a budget food establishment, but the prices there aren’t necessarily shocking either. All of the sandwiches at the chain cost $9.70, including the spicy tuna. If you want to add avocado, that will set you back an additional $1.60. You can also swap to gluten-free bread for a $2 upcharge. The juice bar does offer bundles that make each individual item cheaper when ordered together. The Full Breakfast Bundle includes a sandwich, any breakfast juice, and a ginger or turmeric shot for just $19 even (it would be $24.80 without the bundle).

You could likely make a version of this sandwich at home for far less money, as many TikTok users have done, using some of the classic best additions to canned tuna. The trick is replicating the bread, which is a special, custom type of whole wheat seeded flatbread created just for Joe & the Juice.

Nutritional info

Grilled tuna sandwich

The spicy tuna sandwich will run you back 315 calories if you order it as-is, per Joe & the Juice. That’s great for those looking to cut calories while still getting in their protein. The sandwich packs a whopping 13 grams of protein, 11 grams of fat, and 43 grams of carbohydrates. The carbohydrates mostly come from the thin Danish rye bread that the sandwich comes on, as well as the tomatoes and jalapeno. There’s a good amount of fiber for a sandwich, likely coming mostly from the bread and the avocado.

All the sandwiches at Joe & the Juice are customizable and the chain is conscious of allergies. There’s a gluten-free bread option for those interested, though it may not be appropriate for those with celiac disease as the brand has reported that the gluten-free bread is more gluten-reduced than totally free of gluten and is produced in facilities where other bread is produced.

What is its availability?

Joe and the Juice exterior

Joe & the Juice has over 300 locations in sixteen countries across four continents, according to its website. No matter what location you visit, their menu is the same. That means you can get the spicy tuna sandwich in New York City or Dubai and expect the exact same sandwich. If you don’t live in a major U.S. city, you’ll have to wait, as Joe and the Juice plans to expand even further in the coming years.

Because of the recent virality of the tuna sandwiches, some locations may sell out, so call ahead before heading over. Even if you have a Joe & the Juice near you, there is no telling whether they will have the sandwich in stock or not. During this test, the sandwich was sold out at one particular location for over a week. Supply chain issues have been plaguing every industry, particularly the restaurant industry, so they may have the been cause of this outage.

How does it taste?

Spicy tuna sandwich

Tuna sandwiches can be an extremely polarizing food for many people, especially when their not as advertised. Recently, Subway engaged in a legal battle over its tuna, after claims that the tuna salad served at the chain didn’t actually contain the fish. Whether or not you like tuna is going to be the main determining factor for liking this sandwich, as the main ingredient is a "tuna mousse," which is what Joe & the Juice calls their tuna salad.

All in all, if you’re looking for a healthy, high-protein lunch or snack and you like tuna sandwiches with a bit of a kick, you will enjoy this sandwich. The toasted panini-like bread makes all the difference, as each bite has a satisfying crunch and makes the sandwich sturdy enough to be eaten on the go without spilling tuna all over your clothes. If we’re being critical, it seems a bit odd to have a sandwich on Scandinavian rugbrød with Tex-Mex-style pickled jalapenos and Tabasco paired with an Italian vegan pesto. Tuna sandwich purists might be better off choosing the Tunacado, which doesn’t have quite such a jarring mix of cuisines.

Is it worth buying?

A Joe and the Juice shop

In all, the spicy tuna sandwich from Joe & the Juice is a win, particularly if you are in need of a quick, protein-packed meal fast. Sure, you could save a few bucks by buying all the ingredients yourself and making it at home, but the convenience of buying it is worth it for anybody on a tight schedule. Because of the signature crispy flatbread, this sandwich stays good for a long time and won’t get soggy. Even if you opt to have it delivered, this sandwich will likely be just as good by the time it reaches you as it does the second it is prepared.

Ultimately, the choice to buy this sandwich will come down to a personal mix of convenience, budget, and taste. There is really only one way to know if sandwich suits your particular palate, so if you find yourself on the fence, just go for it! You can always wash it down with a fresh-pressed juice or vegan shake.