Potato chips–kings of the snack world, and also my heart. They are shatteringly crisp, oily as all get out, and salty as a carefully crafted tweet. But which potato chips out there deserve your love (and hard-earned grocery budget)? Well, my friend, that is truly up to you, but if you are looking for a good place to start as a spud-ing potato chip connoisseur, these are the best potato chips to get you started on your snack journey.
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- Trader Joe’s Ode to the Classic Potato Chip
I hadn’t had these until this past week and, no lie, I actually said “wow” out loud when I tried them. They have all the thin, oily, shatter of Lay’s, but somehow retain a certain je ne sais potato that reminds you that these were once a part of a root vegetable. In his ranking of the best plain potato chips, staff writer Danny Palumbo pointed out that thee “earthy, fresh, potato-skin flavor” really “sent these over the top” for the Sporked team. If you like chips and frequent my buddy TJ’s, give these a try.
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Sporked
- Deep River Mesquite BBQ
These are the platonic ideal of BBQ chips. How do I know? Because Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick described these as “salty, sweet, smoky, and zesty,” adding that they “truly tap every taste bud on your tongue.” I don’t know about you, but I like a good tastebud zapping. Seriously though, in their ranking of the best BBQ potato chips, Jordan said these were saturated with an amount of BBQ flavor that they could only describe as “unimaginable.” And it’s true. I can’t imagine it. So now I have to go buy these and make my BBQ chip dreams into reality.
Related: The 7 Best BBQ Chips
Credit: Merc / Amazon
- Deep River Snacks New York Spicy Dill Pickle
I’m a pickle chip gal. I can recognize that not every gal is a pickle chip gal, nor do most gals under 70 refer to themselves as “gals,” but what can I say? I’m an original. And so are these chips, also from Deep River. These chips are so “crunchy, greasy and dilly” that Jordan has made them part of their daily routine. Have you ever done that with a chip? I would guess not. They’re great on their own, but they’re also “hearty enough to stay crunchy when placed on a sub and they definitely wouldn’t break when dunked into dip.” These things are truly special. Not to mention that they are New York style. Does that mean anything? No. But think how cool it will be to eat chips that have the subway map memorized.
Credit: Merc / Amazon
- Spudlove Sea Salt & Vinegar Thick-Cut Potato Chips
As a kid, I didn’t like salt & vinegar chips. Then I realized if you actually taste them and don’t just take one whiff and tap out, they can be really good! And these Spudlove chips are the epitome of salt & vinegar-dom. Why? Because they are “thick-cut, crunchy potato chips with a vinegar-forward flavor and salty taste.” According to Danny Palumbo in his ranking of the best salt & vinegar potato chips you can buy, these “feel like they came out of a deep fryer at a restaurant” and reminded him of kitchens he’s worked in “where chips were fried daily and served with sandwiches.” Now if that isn’t a testament to these chips’ chippiness then I don’t know what is. Danny even said, “I’m going to be thinking about these chips for a while.” Guess he was feelin’ the Spudlove and you can too!
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon
- Kettle Honey Dijon
Honey Dijon is an underrated flavor in most contexts. There, I said it. Especially when it comes to the best Kettle Brand flavor out there: (you guessed it) Honey Dijon. The Sporked team called these “sweet, tangy, and mustardy. The flavor is almost caramelized—it’s powerfully rich and deliciously savory,” and if that doesn’t get your taste buds a tinglin’ then I’m not sure we can be friends (just kidding, to each their own…but still, try these). According to Danny, these bring “salt, fat, acid, and a bit of heat” and “no Kettle Brand chip bursts with flavor quite like Honey Dijon.” If you like sour, salty, and sweet mixed together, give these bad boys a try.
Credit: Paula Kunatee / Instacart
- Classic Lay’s
What can I say that hasn’t already been said about good ol’ Classic Lay’s? They’re classic for a reason—they’re just so gosh dang good. Have you had a plain Lay’s chip recently? Because if you haven’t, I’d bet you some serious cash that the sheer saltiness, oiliness, and shattery crispness of it all may just surprise you in the best possible way. They may not taste as much like potatoes the aforementioned TJ’s plain offering, but potato-y taste does not always the best chip make. In his essay about the virtues of plain Lay’s, Danny called these “exceptional” and “delightfully fatty and rich,” and also pointed out how they are “pleasantly greasy and salty, making them one of the more addicting chips out there.”
Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Target
- Lay’s Nori Seaweed
Lastly but not leastly, Lay’s Nori Seaweed—the best Thai Lay’s we’ve tasted. This one was tough because literally all of the Thai Lay’s flavors are absolutely stellar (lookin’ at you Mieng Kam Krob Ros), but the Nori ones are *muah* chef’s kiss according to the Sporked team. Danny called them “nothing short of miraculous,” and y’all, let’s remind ourselves he was saying this about a chip. I feel like we all have to go try these right the heck now. These flavor-saturated, somewhat fishy, salty treats are “dense with umami, and have a deep savoriness that gives them a meaty feel,” according to Danny. These quite honestly sound so McFrickin good, I may just have to head over to my local Asian grocery store and see if I can find them. And If you feel the same way but live in an Asian grocery desert, then Amazon is your friend.
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