The best snack mix is a party essential. If you just don’t have it in you to make Chex Mix from scratch like it’s 1973, that’s totally fine. There are lots of great snack mixes at the grocery store that don’t require microwaving cereal that’s been doused in Worcestershire sauce.
But what makes a good snack mix? In this taste test, we were looking for crunch, savory flavor, and, most importantly, variety. But variety alone isn’t enough! If there are lots of different morsels, all of them should be good and they should be pretty equally distributed, so you don’t wind up with a bag or tub filled with the one thing no one cared to eat. Some snack mixes lean way too much on pretzels. Before you throw your next party, check out our list of the best snack mix you can buy.
- Munchies Cheese Fix
If you like cheesy snacks, Munchies Cheese Fix is a real best-of-the-best situation. You’ve got your Cheetos, your cheddar Sun Chips, nice thin Rold Gold pretzels coated in cheese dust, and then mini Doritos. Do mini Doritos taste better than regular Doritos because they are small and cute? Honestly, maybe! It’s a really fun mix, especially if you’re a person with decision paralysis who can’t decide between Frito Lay faves when you’re in the chip aisle. Oh, and if you like Flamin’ Hot flavor, Flamin’ Hot Munchies are good, too—it has all the same items as Cheese Fix, just with Flamin’ Hot powder instead of cheese. The cheese is more of a crowd-pleaser, though. It’s the best snack mix if you’ve ever wanted to smash the glass on vending and just go to town.
Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart
- Trader Joe’s Spicy Chakri Mix
This is the best snack mix if you wish you could eat Indian food at every meal (and between meals, too). It’s super savory and reminds me of the flavor of a papadum. It has lots of tidbits: puffed rice balls, crunchy chickpea crunchers, little sticks like hard vermicelli, and peanuts. It tastes like curry. It’s perfectly spicy, but not so spicy that you can’t eat a lot of it. It’s so unique. And everything is teeny tiny! It’s really cute!
Credit: Merc / Trader Joe’s
- Gardetto’s Original Recipe
Gardetto’s snack mix lands in third place, and I know Gardetto’s army is about to come for me. Hear me out: I admit that Gardetto’s has a better seasoning than Chex Mix, but a bag of Gardetto’s has way too many pretzels. The rye chips are the best part of the mix. You know this. I know this. And we know Gardetto’s knows this, because they package them all by themselves. So why can’t they just be cool and put more of them in the bag? Gardetto’s mix is also very heavy on the breadsticks and the breadsticks kind of suck! They’re super dry and the seasoning just doesn’t stick to them. All in all, it’s still a great snack mix. But the best snack mix? I don’t think so.
Credit: Merc / Target
- Market Pantry Savory Tavern & Bar Mix
My ultimate dream is having my own bar. Not an actual establishment, but a basement bar where my friends and family can hang out, get drunk, and play darts and pinball (oh yeah, this dream also involves acquiring a pinball machine). Is that too much to ask? Anyway, if I eventually strike it rich and make that dream a reality, this is the snack mix I’ll be filling little finger bowls with. It has excellent variety: mini pretzel twists, sesame sticks, little spicy cheese stick things (my least favorite morsel, tbh), savory rye chips, and, most importantly, Asian rice crackers! The rice crackers really put this one over the top. It’s a slightly chaotic mix but it works in a slightly chaotic setting—like my private basement speakeasy. Sorry, you’re not invited!
Credit: Merc / Target
- Chex Mix Traditional
Chex Mix is the best snack mix. Is that borning? I don’t care! It’s so savory, so crunchy, and so classic. Some of the Chex cereal bits are absolutely saturated with seasoning and it gets me all revved up just thinking about it! And if you buy Gardetto’s for the rye chips, please take it under advisement that Chex Mix has both rye chips and bagel chips (although the bagel chips aren’t quite as good). The mix is mostly Chex, and I think it succeeds because seasoned Chex rule. They’re light and crispy and the seasoning really makes its way into little crannies in the cereal. If you’ve had Chex Mix, you know what I’m talking about, but if it’s been a while since you’ve had Chex Mix, you should really revisit it.
Best of the Best
Other snack mix we tried: Cheez-It Classic Snack Mix, Utz Pub Mix, Flamin’ Hot Munchies