Fill Up Your Pockets with the 7 Best Tater Tots

The best tater tots are crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside, and actually taste like potato. We cooked up and tasted 11 different bags to find the best tots the frozen food aisle has to offer.

I love tater tots. Yes, I know. That makes me a super unique and interesting, right? Next time you’re out for drinks with friends you can tell them how you read this article about a lady who likes tater tots. Record their reactions and tag me on social media! Okay, okay. Everyone loves tater tots. As frozen potato shapes go, they’re so perfect they put french fries to shame. And, in my opinion, it’s much easier to find restaurant-quality tots at the grocery store than it is to find restaurant-quality fries (although, we found some good frozen fries too).

This taste test was fun, but slightly complicated for one reason: All tater tots are at least a little bit good. So how did the Sporked team narrow down this list? We looked for tots with a crispy, crunchy exterior, a nice and creamy interior, and freshly fried flavor, even out of the oven. You can’t go wrong with any of the tots on this list.

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best tater tots extra crispy

Best of the Best

Ore-Ida Extra Crispy Tater Tots

I’m not sure under what circumstances you’d want to trick someone into believing that the food you were serving them was from a restaurant rather than your kitchen at home, but if you ever find yourself in that situation, serve these tater tots. I’m confident that in a blind taste test I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between Ore-Ida’s Extra Crispy tots and tots that just emerged from a restaurant’s fryer. These are extremely crispy (as advertised), and that crackly coating gives way to a hot, creamy potato center that contributes a convincing freshly fried feel. I also love the size of these tots—while it’s come to my attention that most people eat most tater tots in a single bite, some are a two-bite food. These? A perfect one-bite tot (and even more perfect dipped in a good ranch dressing).

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

best tater tots

Best Nostalgic

Kroger Tater Bites

To my recollection, the cafeteria tater tots of my childhood had a slight oniony flavor that I absolutely loved—and that’s exactly the flavor I detected in these budget tots from Kroger. There’s a deep, savory flavor here that would pair extremely well with a charbroiled burger loaded with lots of raw onion. Supplement their built-in flavor with a sprinkle of Lawry’s or Jane’s, ready a ramekin of tangy ketchup, and you’re in business.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Ralphs

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best tater tots

Best Hashbrown Vibes

Lamb Weston Grown in Idaho Super Crispy Tots

Here at Sporked, we love Lamb Weston potato products. When we did our frozen french fry tasting, their Hand Cut Style Fries and Super Crispy Steak Fries took the top two spots on our final list. These Super Crispy Tots reminded me a lot of McDonald’s hash brown patties—elite breakfast food, in my opinion—in tot form. I think these would make a great base for a cheesy, eggy breakfast casserole or diner-style skillet. Seriously, we should all be eating tots for breakfast more often.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best seasoned tater tots

Best Seasoned

Alexia Crispy Seasoned Potato Puffs

Sure, you can season tots on your own, but it’s also nice to not have to—especially if the seasoning tastes like the delicious powdery coating on salt & pepper potato chips. This bag of Alexia tots promises a lot from its seasoning: roasted garlic, cracked black pepper, and a hint of sour cream and chives. I don’t know if I picked up on any sour cream or chive flavor, but the garlic and cracked pepper flavors are bold and delicious. This is the kind of tot you don’t even really need to dip.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best tater tots best potato flavor

Best Potato Flavor

Alexia Organic Yukon Select Puffs

I’m no potato expert, but I’m confident you can taste the high-quality spuds used in these tots. A lot of potato flavor comes through in these, and the interior of the crispy tot has a nice quality that reminded me of homemade mashed potatoes, the kind dotted with toothsome lumps. If you happen to be a potato snob (if you are, I think that’s extremely cool), these are the tots for you.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best sweet potato tater tots

Best Sweet Potato

365 Sweet Potato Puffs

I understand that when most people crave tater tots they don’t necessarily crave sweet potato tater tots, but I absolutely love that these things make it seem like you’re doing something healthy by eating a fried potato product. Of the two brands of sweet potato tots we tried during this tasting, we decided that 365 had the more robust sweet potato flavor (I tried them head to head with Alexia to confirm). If you don’t like sweet potato, you’re not going to like these! But if that combo of sweet, salty, and oily flavors appeals, these are the way to go. These would be excellent with a bite-y garlic aioli.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best ore-ida tater tots

Best Basic

Ore-Ida Golden Tater Tots

A tried-and-true classic, Ore-Ida Golden Tater Tots don’t quite live up to the Extra Crispy variety, but they’ll always be a solid choice. They’re excellent out of the oven, but I bet these would be even better cooked in an at-home deep fryer, which would get them closer to restaurant territory. Still, these have a great potato flavor and just enough salt to bring out their starchy goodness.

Credit: Sarah Demonteverde / Instacart

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: O Organics Potato Puffs, Trader Joe’s Potato Tots, Alexia Sweet Potato Tots, 365 Tater Puffs

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About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • What did yall do to this site??? I am being bombarded by ads all of a sudden. Its seriously annoying and kinda gross, and moving forward probably wont be visiting this site if these ads stay the way they are.

    Reply
    • I completely agree. The ads on this site is insane. It looks like a sketchy website because of all the ads.

      Reply
  • Not a fan of the extra crispy ones, but that’s because I actually like my tater tots a little underdone.

    Reply
  • Shouldve tried McCain tater tots too. McCain Buffalo Flavored Tater Tots are the best IMO

    Reply
  • Did you try some that didn’t have or didn’t taste like they had onion or garlic in them. I feel like the only places I can find some like that are in restaurants and I want to be able to have them at home.

    Reply