The Best Salty Snacks When a Craving Strikes

If you’re anything like me, then you know the truth: salty snacks are superior. To what, you ask? Well, I’d say most things in life.

Have you ever met a problem that a chip, Cheeto, or Chex Mix couldn’t make better? I can honestly say I have not. Salty snacks are like a warm blanket on a cold winter’s day or an Otter Pop in the heat of the summer, EXCEPT that they are delightful in either of those situations and any situation in between. That being said, here are our top ten salty snack picks (in no particular order). Hopefully, you’ll find something new to try on this list of the best salty snacks—I know I certainly did.

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Snyders of Hanover Snaps

Having grown up eating the butter-flavored version of these (which I also recommend), I can totally vouch for the texture of these gloriously addictive little squares of pretzel graph paper. Sporked staff writer Danny Palumbo described these as a “perfect little morsel of salty, crunchy goodness” and I couldn’t agree more. In addition, Danny described these iconic Snyders pretzel snaps as “indescribably buttery”—have you ever heard a (non-soft) pretzel described that way? I would guess not, but I guess that’s why these are Sporked’s favorite pretzels. Go try these; you won’t regret it.

Related: Best Pretzels: 7 Brands with Outstanding Flavor and Crunch

Honey Dijon Kettle Chips 

Into every salty snack list, some kettle chips must fall. For those who have devoted their lives to chasing the perfect crunch, this snack is for you. Not only will you get the perfect crunch (Kettle Brand delivers on that front), but this particular Kettle Brand flavor was Sporked’s favorite because it was sweet, tangy, mustardy, and almost caramelized. This Honey Dijon chip has everything (much like all of New York’s hottest clubs). It’s got “salt, fat, acid, and a bit of heat,” according to Danny Palumbo. And really, what else could you ask for in a food?

Related: Best Kettle Chip Flavors: The 10 Best Kettle Chip Flavors, an Extra-Crunchy Ranking

Stacy’s Simply Naked Pita Chips

Pita chips are one of those foods where you think they aren’t going to taste interesting enough, but then you eat an entire bag of them in one sitting and retroactively decide that they definitely deserve a place of honor in your pantry. You can dip these bad boys in anything from sweet (like Nutella) to savory (like hummus) to nothing at all and they are sure to satisfy that salty food craving. Believe us when we tell you that Stacy’s has got the title of “best pita chip brand” on lock. These Stacy’s chips purport to be plain, and yet, according to Sporked managing editor Gwynedd Stuart, “There’s no butter in the ingredients list, but they taste so buttery. There’s no garlic listed either, but I swear they have a hint of that savory goodness.” Is Stacy….a wizard? For a chip named after a dude from The Hunger Games, these are actually so good.

Related: Best Pita Chips: Grab the Hummus. We Found the 7 Best Pita Chips

David Bar-B-Q Jumbo Sunflower Seeds

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I always feel scandalous when eating sunflower seeds since they were banned at my junior high school, but, hey, you know what they say about forbidden love. David’s Bar-B-Q sunflower seeds are the perfect salty snack for when you are not hungry, but just need something to do with your mouth (which, let’s face it, covers most snacking occasions). These bad boys are at the top of our sunflower seeds list because they are “delightfully roasted and salty, and have a unique, simple flavor,” which Danny posited could either be from the roasting process or the quality of the seeds themselves. 

Related: Best Sunflower Seeds: Be a Hit in the Dugout with the 8 Best Sunflower Seeds

Deep River Mesquite BBQ Potato Chips

We’ve all been there. Sometimes what you really need is not a spa day, nor a massage, nor for every man in your life to say to you, “Actually, now that I think about it, you’re right!” Sometimes what you really need is simply a bag of BBQ potato chips. And let me tell ya girlie, these Deep River Mesquite BBQ chips will do the trick for you. Sporked staff writer Jordan Myrick said these had an “unimaginable amount of BBQ flavor” and were “so salty, sweet, smoky, and zesty—they truly tap every taste bud on your tongue,” and think I would like that right now, please and thanks.

Related: Best BBQ Chips: Put Away Your Grill: These Are the 7 Best BBQ Chips

Deep River New York Spicy Dill Pickle Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Knock knock. Who’s there? It’s Deep River again bringing us another absolutely bangin’ chip flavor to make our mouths smile will chippity goodness. These Spicy Dill Pickle Kettle Chips from Deep River Snacks were so good that they have literally become a part of Jordan’s daily routine. They described them as “crunchy, greasy, and dilly” and while they weren’t sure what the company meant by “New York Style,” they decided it didn’t really matter given the overwhelming quality of the chips themselves. Jordan also mentioned they go great on sandwiches and with dips. 

Related: Best Dill Pickle Chips: The Best Dill Pickle Chips (We’re Talking the Potato Kind)

Takis Fuego

Ah, Takis. The chip so good I put it in my bio. The chip that is as intensely tasty as it is red. The real-life tangible love child of the abstract concepts of sour and spicy. The GOAT of all spicy chips. If you like spice and haven’t had a Taki yet, what are you waiting for, my guy? Do yourself a favor and try them. They taste like lime, spice, salt, MSG, and the color red got spray painted on a rolled corn chip (in the best possible way). Jordan described these as “not for the faint of heart, but they are for the strong of taste buds,” and I believe in you and your taste buds. Go eat a Taki!

Related: Best Takis Flavors: Let’s Talk About the Best Takis Flavors

Cheetos Crunchy Cheddar Jalapeño

At the risk of putting the nerdiest sentence ever out there on the internet, I first tried these on a road trip with my college a cappella group. I was pleasantly surprised. They are not as spicy as Flamin’ Hot, but they do still have a kick, PLUS they have a huge cheesy flavor and a hint of jalapeño flavor. They are a VERY well-balanced salty snack. Danny calls these “a flavor-blasted, flat-out-addictive snack product” and he is 100% right. He also said, “Where classic Cheetos lack spice, and Flamin’ Hot Cheetos lack cheese flavor, Cheddar Jalapeño Cheetos are the best of both worlds.” So if you are a cheesy gal but also a spicy gal, maybe give these a go the next time your salty snack cravings kick in.

Related: Best Cheetos Flavors: Orange Stained Fingers Be Damned, We Ranked the 9 Best Cheetos Flavors

Alexia Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs

Now you may be thinking to yourself, “What on Beyoncé’s green earth is a potato puff?!” because I know that’s what I was thinking. Turns out they are another brand’s (Alexia’s) take on tater tots (Fun Fact: Ore-Ida owns the name/invented tater tots). But these aren’t just any tots, they are seasoned with “roasted garlic, cracked black pepper, and a hint of sour cream and chives,” and Gwynedd pointed out that the “garlic and cracked pepper flavors are bold and delicious,” and stood out to her. These seem like a great late-night, coming-back-from-a-party-and-not-ready-for-bed-but-a-100%-ready-for-fried-food kind of snack.

Related: Best Tater Tots: Fill Up Your Pockets with the 7 Best Tater Tots

Kraft Original Macaroni & Cheese Cups

Lastly, we’ve got these beautiful specimens for when you want a salty snack that also warms your bones and makes you feel like the world is giving you an ooey-gooey, cheesy hug. I lived on this stuff for at least a month sometime in my junior year of college. Not because I needed to, but because I wanted to (and also forgot to set aside time to cook). But as a snack, this is quite honestly one of the more comforting salty options out there. Jordan describes these mac and cheese cups (Easy Mac, if you’re in the know) as having “a mild, cheesy flavor, a creamy texture, and an overall sense of nostalgia,” which is so accurate. These taste like the warm glow of childhood. Am I being a bit melodramatic? Perhaps. Does that change the fact that these microwavable mac and cheese cups slap? Absolutely not. Go get one this week and treat yourself.

Related: Best Microwavable Mac & Cheese: Get Ready to Nuke the 5 Best Microwavable Mac & Cheeses


About the Author

Jessica Block

Jessica Block is a freelance contributor to Sporked, a comedian, a baker, a food writer, and a firm believer that Trader Joe's may just be the happiest place on earth. She loves spicy snacks, Oreos, baking bread, teeny tiny avocados, and trying new foods whenever she can. Also, if you give her a bag of Takis she will be your best friend.

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