No Need for a Chip Clip, It’s the 12 Best Lay’s Flavors

Lay’s are arguably the most successful chips out there, and they achieved their number one status by executing unique and downright tasty flavors across the board. Seriously, Lay’s rarely misses. Their chips always feel charged up with flavor; whatever taste they set out to create in their seasoning lab permeates every lovely, greasy potato chip in its entirety. Lay’s regularly mixes it up, and they have experimented with a ton of different flavors over the years. But for the purpose of this taste test, we’re ranking only the chip flavors that are consistently available, not just for a limited time. Sorry, biscuits and gravy.

For this ranking, we looked for flavor above all else. We asked ourselves, what flavor feels the most pronounced? Also: What’s the most unique? What holds up? And what do we keep coming back to again and again? I’ll tell you this, tsome of these Lay’s chips we now keep around the Sporked office, and those ranked high. So come along on this journey, as we present the 12 best flavors of Lay’s potato chips.

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classic lay's

Best of the Best

Classic Lay’s

I usually don’t pay lip service to classic flavors, but man, Classic Lay’s are exceptional. It’s because, as I’ve said many times before, they’re so delightfully fatty and rich. Classic Lay’s might not taste much like actual potatoes (no Lay’s chips do, really), but they’re pleasantly greasy and salty, making them one of the more addicting chips out there. All of the other flavors on this list absolutely rip, but sometimes, simple wins. That’s what happened here.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

lay's chile limon

Best Citrus Flavor

Lay’s Chile Limón

We all agreed that these chips had a “street taco in a bag” vibe. The balance of heat and acidity is quite nice. Actually, the lime flavor in these is better than in the plain limón chips. Why? For some reason, Lay’s Chile Limón chips contain lemon and lime juice, while the regular limón chips contain neither of those things and only citric acid. Crazy! I don’t know what’s going on there, but these chile limón chips are bright, citrusy, spicy, and delicious. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

sour cream and cheddar lays

Best Cheese

Lay’s Cheddar & Sour Cream

Here’s the thing, I had ranked these lower on the list, but they ended up being the chips that we keep eating around the Sporked office. There’s a bag sitting on Gwynedd’s desk as we speak. Taste them and go, “oooooh wee!’ These chips fully gave us Cravings (by Chrissy Tiegen™). They’re just savory, cheesy, and delicious. The addition of cheddar and the loss of onion really amps up the umami. These win big in the flavor department.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

lay's sour cream and onion

Best Onion Flavor

Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion

One of the more classic, old-school Lay’s flavors on this list (outside of Classic, of course), Lay’s Sour Cream & Onion are delightfully creamy and pungent. I honestly forgot just how much onion flavor these little guys carry. These Lay’s strike the perfect flavor balance; they cut the rich creaminess with just enough onion flavor, but not too much. Delectable, nuanced, and jam-packed with flavor, these are hard to beat. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

lay's dill pickle

Best On a Sandwich

Lay’s Dill Pickle

These taste like fattening pickles. And that really is the problem with pickles—they should contain more fat! Where do you get off having no fat, pickles? These chips are salty, tangy, delicious, and have that classic oil-rich taste we know and love from Lay’s. They make me think of a greasy diner sandwich full of mayonnaise and pickles. By the way, put these on a sandwich if you want to have a good time (I heard that you like to have a good time).

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

lay's sweet southern heat bbq

Best Barbecue Chip

Lay’s Sweet Southern Heat Barbecue

File this under my opinion that “new flavors outshine the old ones,” because we liked the Sweet Southern Heat Barbecue Chips more than the original Barbecue. The heat actively complements the sweet and smoky barbecue flavor, giving these much more depth than the regular Lay’s Barbecue, which is still a fine chip. There’s a bit of creaminess in these chips, too, and if you peep the ingredients, they do contain milk products. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

lay's barbecue

Best Tried and True

Lay’s Barbecue

This is a classic chip that is maybe the most iconic barbecue chip out there. The barbecue flavor is sweet and subtly smoky, but the evenness is what makes this a chip you keep coming back to. Man, Lay’s just nails their flavors all across the board. I don’t know if it’s because of the oleaginous quality of the chips themselves, but all their chips, including the barbecue, feel absolutely saturated with flavor.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

lay's kettle cooked bbq

Best Smoky

Lay’s Kettle Cooked Mesquite BBQ

The first kettle style chip on this list is also the best smoky. There’s less sweetness here than we detected in the two other barbecue chips that precede these on the list, so you really get to savor that mesquite flavor. These would be great to bring to a cookout. Put ‘em on a plate with a hamburger, a hot dog, or, as my family does, a skewered leg of lamb. Pair these chips with meat and you won’t be disappointed.  

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

lay's salt and vinegar

Best Tangy

Lay’s Salt & Vinegar

Lay’s Salt & Vinegar chips aren’t the best salt and vinegar chips, not by a mile. But we still find them to be pleasantly piquant, salty, and tangy. Not to mention there’s that classic Lay’s greasiness that we love. These may not be the strongest entry in the Lay’s catalog, but they’re fatty, tart, and just a real joy.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

lay's flamin hot

Best Spicy

Lay’s Flamin’ Hot

Lay’s Flamin’ Hot chips have a surprising barbecue flavor to go along with the heat. I didn’t remember them tasting that way, and when I looked it up I saw that they switched back to their old flamin’ hot recipe. These are spicy, but less flamin’ hot and more flavor-ful. I like them, but I think I prefer the other recipe better. It was spicier, with a more direct heat. 

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

lay's wavy ranch

Best Dippable

Lay’s Wavy Ranch

The ranch flavor here isn’t super strong. That said, the subtle flavor and the waviness of these ranch chips is unique and makes them the perfect chip for dipping. This is the most dippable Lay’s product, and you should take advantage. Dipping a ranch chip into ranch dip? Look, you only live once. You know that, right?

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Walmart

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

lay's honey barbecue

Best Sweet

Lay’s Honey Barbecue

Number 12 on the list is Lay’s Honey Barbecue. These are barbecue chips that lean into their sweetness, and I think they deserve to be on this list because they do stand out with their enhanced sugary, not smoky, vibes. Lay’s has a variety of barbecue chips, and they’re all damn good.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

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About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

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  • Lays are a solid choice when Utz isn’t available, but none of the Lays products are what I would ever reach for first.

    Reply
    • think I might agree there. Although, I’ll go out of my way to get Plain Lay’s. Gimmie that grease, baby.

      Just tried Grandma Utz for the first time and boy do I love that pure lard flavor. wow.

      Reply
  • The store we shop at are all ways sold out.reg kettle chips.salt &pepper also jalapeño kettle.

    Reply
  • To Whom it May Concern I just wanted to know if you still make the bags of Paws? I like buying them instead of the big container of them. Sincerely Yours, Carol Jane Hand.

    Reply
  • Truly Accurate
    The Lay’s Chile y limón has been my favorite ones since my childhood. Im so glad to be able to find them ( finally) st United. States.

    Reply
  • Please bring back your Lightly Saled Wavy Chips!! They are perfect!!!

    Reply
  • THEY ALL ROCK!!

    Reply
  • Britain: Walkers
    America: Lays

    Even your crisps say you’re fat and lazy, get up and get walking fatty.

    Reply
  • Sour cream and onion will always be top tier for me!

    Reply