19 Trader Joe's Chips, Ranked

many Tjs chips
many Tjs chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Since opening in 1958, Trader Joe's has cultivated a reputation for its eclectically flavored and unique snacks. The chip aisle at any TJ's is like a proprietary-branded chip Narnia, with a mess of weird, funky, and freaky combinations to choose from. With so many options, it can be hard to pick the perfect chip for you. That is precisely where I come in.

Rest assured, this guide is crafted by Trader Joe's lovers for Trader Joe's lovers. I looked like I was throwing a massive party, my hands full of crinkly plastic, as I exited the doors with just about every chip I could find on the shelves at my local Trader Joe's. I used some essential criteria to rank, such as flavor, texture, consistency, and value (more info on that in the methodology at the end). Use this guide next time you're searching high and low for your next crunchy indulgence.

Read more: The 16 Healthiest Chip Brands, Ranked From Worst To Best

19. Veggie Flax Seed Tortilla Chips

Veggie Flax Seed Tortilla Chips
Veggie Flax Seed Tortilla Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

My experience with the Veggie & Flaxseed Corn Tortilla Chips left much to be desired. Despite the vibrant array of multi-colored chips, my excitement quickly faded upon the initial taste tasting. Disappointingly, they lacked any distinct flavor profile beyond a vague taste of paper.

Texturally, these veggie and flaxseed tortilla chips were thick, brittle, and tough, akin to consuming dry Grape Nuts (yes, the cereal). Sadly, these were pretty bad. While I do appreciate their potential nutritional benefits, I couldn't overlook the undeniable blandness I was forced to suffer through with each bite. Ultimately, eating these chips felt like munching on crunchy cardboard, an experience far removed from the plenty of other chips I came to enjoy, and sometimes love. You can take a pass on these.

18. Quinoa Black Bean Tortilla Chips

Quinoa Black Bean Tortilla Chips
Quinoa Black Bean Tortilla Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

While marginally superior to the Veggie & Flaxseed Corn Tortilla Chips, the Quinoa Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips failed to impress. Truth be told, the texture of these chips was a slight improvement from the last tortilla chips, likely due to the starch content from black beans and quinoa — better binding agents than tough flaxseeds. Still, these weren't great, either.

Really, they were boring, and nearly flavorless. Despite a faint hint of black bean flavor, it didn't do much to help the overall taste of the chips, leaving them rather plain and unremarkable. In hindsight, I found myself wishing I was eating regular tortilla chips. Don't subject yourself to unnecessary forms of pain such as this — just eat chips and eat a salad later or something.

17. Vegetable Root Chips

Vegetable Root Chips
Vegetable Root Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

TJ's Vegetable Root Chips presented a mixed bag of impressions — while not outright terrible, they also failed to achieve greatness. Their texture bore resemblance to traditional potato chips, albeit denser and slightly tougher and multicolored, yet had a pretty satisfying crunch. Crafted from real vegetables like beets and carrots, these root chips offered marginally more flavor compared to the tortilla chips I had before, but these still didn't do it for me. there no salt in the root chip factory?

While these won't get any replay time on my chip playlist, they chips may find a place on the plate at social gatherings, where their presence would be... tolerated, rather than sought after. You can skip this one, unless you have a picky eater or someone with specific food limitations.

16. Cassava Chips

Cassava Chips bag
Cassava Chips bag - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

The Cassava Chips emerged as the sexier cousin to the root vegetable chips. With cassava's inherent starchiness, these chips adopted the familiar form of their potato-based brethren. The cassava chips had considerably more flavor than the veggie chips, but in the end, although they weren't bad, they were one-dimensional. In other words, they got old pretty fast and felt pretty mindless to eat.

These things are rather flimsy, and unfortunately, that led to a significant portion being turned into crumbs within the package before I even tore into it. They don't travel well, obviously. While I definitely wouldn't want to put Trader Joe's Cassava Chips at the very bottom of this list, they are near nonetheless. They lack remark-ability and were too fragile for my liking, and for them to feel worth a repeat purpose. Maybe they'd be good for a niche preference rather than a pantry staple.

15. Olive Oil Potato Chips

Olive Oil Potato Chips
Olive Oil Potato Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

The Kettle Cooked Olive Oil Potato Chips are more or less reverential of a classic potato chip experience, but with a sort of uninspiring twist — they're cooked in olive oil, and kettle-cooked. What's immediately notable about these chips is that they're fried pretty well, which gives them consistent texture and coloration throughout. However, they were pretty bland, save a subtle bittersweetness from the olive oil infusion. The olive oil conceit of these chips feels more like marketing than it does a point of pride — they're pretty greasy, which is a little off putting.

While these guys could serve adequately as dipping chips, their overall flavor didn't catch my tongue. By themselves, they're pretty lackluster, but maybe there's some potential for doctoring there. But at the end of the day, I'd rather just buy the chips I want to eat.

14. Sweet Plantain Chips

Sweet Plantain Chips
Sweet Plantain Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

The Sweet Plantain Chips from Trader Joe's offer a delightful textural experience, with a perfect balance between crispiness and crunchiness, thanks to some noticeable caramelization of the long plantain strips process. The greater surface area probably helps with crispiness, too, since the chips are cut lengthwise. This results in a satisfyingly crispy chip that leads on a nice crunch with each bite. These chips are pretty sweet, as the package indicates, so they'll probably hit home with folks who are sweet snackers, but they don't really do it for me.

These chips might be best used in salads or as a textural additive or garnish in ceviche or something sour, but as standalone snacking chips, these don't really do it for us unfortunately. "Sweet" and "chips" just really isn't my thing, but maybe it's someone's out there.

13. Truly Tortilla Chips

Truly Tortilla Chips
Truly Tortilla Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

TJ's Truly Tortilla Chips offer up a familiar and classic tortilla chip, reminiscent of the beloved Tex-Mex salsa companion. Unlike the "healthier" tortilla chip alternatives I sampled, these chips do (thankfully) deliver on the tortilla chip game, more or less. They are satisfyingly crunchy, and their texture captures the essence of a classic tortilla chip without all the fuss of weird, unfitting additives.

However, while they do feature a hint of lime and salt, they fall somewhat short in terms of flavor complexity, tasting somewhat processed and lacking depth compared to traditional or homemade varieties. Ultimately, for those seeking an authentic bag of tortilla chips, exploring the aisles at a Latin market may give you a better run for your money than these white-washed knock-offs, to say the least.

12. Kettle Cooked Potato Chips

Kettle Cooked Potato Chips
Kettle Cooked Potato Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Kettle Cooked Potato Chips are a rendition of the timeless kettle chips we all know and love. Unlike their olive oil counterpart, these Trader Joe's chips have much better flavor and taste much less greasy. They're also marketed as containing 50% less fat and sodium than Trader Joe's Ode to the Classic Potato Chip, so they may be a good, healthier alternative for those looking in that direction.

Texturally, these chips have a pretty nice crunch, and are definitely on the thicker side, but not overwhelmingly so. And while they taste alright enough, the reduced sodium content is pretty obvious, resulting in a notably under-salted taste. Overall, if you're looking for a straightforward, kettle-style potato chip, these might be your go-to.

11. Fancy Cheese Crunchies

Fancy Cheese Crunchies
Fancy Cheese Crunchies - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

For Trader Joe's Fancy Cheese Crunchies, based on the name alone, I had some high hopes. These looked to us like a sort of refined take on Cheetos. With truffle and parmesan flavors, they clearly aim for sophistication. And while they do sound impressive, unfortunately the flavors ultimately fell short of expectations, with a mildness that bordered on frustrating. Enhancing the umami notes from the parmesan and intensifying the truffle oil flavor could bring these chips up from being mediocre to exceptional, but we're not the ones calling the shots here.

The lackluster flavor combined with a higher price point, compared to other chips I took a shot with, means I probably won't be keeping the Fancy Cheese Crunchies around all that often. But, because they're pretty inoffensive and pedestrian, they may warrant occasional repurchase, but they are unlikely to become a regular in my chip rolodex.

10. White Truffle Potato Chips

White Truffle Potato Chips
White Truffle Potato Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Organic White Truffle Potato Chips offered the coveted truffle flavor absent in the Cheese Crunchies, which was much to my pleasant surprise. Rich in white truffle oil essence and complemented by fleur de sel — yes, that fancy French finishing salt — these chips took us over the mountain of mediocre. Finally, we're finally getting to some quality chips. The texture of these chips, crisp yet not overly thick, were right around what I look for in a solid potato chip.

With all that said, you can only have so much truffle and these chips are somewhat one-dimensional. The replay value is a little low, because they're easy to get sick of — easy to overdose on all that truffle flavor. While these white truffle chips definitely scratched an itch for me, their limited flavor complexity left them short of claiming a higher spot on my list.

9. Ridge Cut Potato Chips With Salt & Pepper

Potato Chips with Salt & Pepper
Potato Chips with Salt & Pepper - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Ridge Cut Potato Chips with Salt & Pepper offered a standout texture, with their wavy ridges giving a seriously satisfying crunch. While maybe they are slightly thicker than I'd normally prefer, these chips still delivered a nice mouthfeel. The salt and pepper flavor is subtle, classic, and not in your face, but still bold enough to surpass the plainness of some competing chips.

I like to think of these chips as crowd pleasers with a balance of novelty and familiarity. They've got a little kick, but not enough to scare grandma. Moreover, the generous portion size of the extra-large bag made them a practical choice for gatherings or parties. Easy to refill that big bowl. This is the true centrist's chip.

8. Ode To The Classic Potato Chip

Ode to the Classic Potato Chip
Ode to the Classic Potato Chip - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Classic Potato Chips offer a refined take on the traditional Lay's, but with better flavor and a noticeably lower oil content than those classic yellow throwaways. These here TJ's chips stand out as an ideal choice for potato purists seeking a straightforward potato chip experience, free from excessive seasoning or flavoring. The ode to simplicity is executed masterfully, with the chips delivering on expectations for a classic, simply salted chip.

I'd say Trader Joe's has succeeded in crafting a potato chip that really thrives in the simplicity department, making it a mid-tier contender for those craving a timeless snack without unnecessary frills. I would not be disappointed taking these home if they were the only chips available on the shelves.

7. Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers

Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers
Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers resemble Fritos but are thicker and wider, which really does make them ideal for scooping up guacamole, hence the depiction on the packaging. These chips are generously coated in elote seasoning, delivering a tantalizing blend of spiciness and sweetness.

While it's unclear if this seasoning matches the standalone elote seasoning available from Trader Joe's, it certainly shines brighter on these chips if it is. The flavor of these chips really is quite similar to Mexican street corn, and it's pretty potent, which makes them enjoyable on their own, without any sauces or dips. Whether paired with a dip or savored solo, these corn chip dippers are definitely up there for us on this list, and are definitely the best corn-based tortilla chip I tried.

6. Jerk-Style Plantain Chips

Jerk-style Plantain Chips
Jerk-style Plantain Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Jerk-style Plantain Chips are a unique twist on traditional plantain chips with their round cut, providing a distinct texture compared to the long cut sweet plantain chips I tried earlier. Slightly thicker and less crunchy than those, these chips have a bold and brash jerk seasoning that's spot-on. It's debatably the perfect seasoning for a plantain chip, contrasting the fruit's characteristic sweetness with piquant spices. Reminiscent of the complex spice profile found in jerk chicken, the seasoning adds a spicy kick that is not skimped on, coating-wise.

Enjoyed straight out of the generously filled bag, these chips are excellent value for money, with a lot of crunch time without breaking the bank. Whether you're craving a new spicy snack or looking for a new twist on plain plantain chips, these jerk-style plantain chips are right up my alley.

5. Saddle Potato Crisps

Saddle Potato Crisps
Saddle Potato Crisps - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Saddle Potato Crisps are the grocery store chain's take on the iconic Pringles (which some don't count as potato chips), and much like their Lay's counterpart, they surpass the name brand in quality and flavor. These crispy saddles (I never thought of them that way before) have a slightly thicker cut than Pringles, offering a more satisfying and substantial bite while keeping all the good crunchiness. The salt is generously applied to these chips, which helps carry the surprisingly very savory flavor that these chips are packing. They're simple, but they work and hold their own on their own, no dip or sauce needed.

They really kept me coming back for more — the cardboard tube they come in is dangerously easy to binge from without seeing how many you're really eating. Speaking of, they stack these babies pretty high, so you get a decent amount of chips for what you pay for.

4. Everything But The Bagel Seasoned Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips

Everything but the Bagel Chips
Everything but the Bagel Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Seasoned Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips had the second best texture among all the kettle chips I've sampled from the grocery chain. What particularly sets these chips apart is their generous coating of everything bagel seasoning, putting them on a whole new plane of flavor. The Trader Joe's seasoning blend, featuring garlic, poppy seeds, and sesame seeds, was one of my favorites from my Trader Joe's spice blend ranking, and honestly, I love it even more ardently on these chips. The bag has a generous portion of chips, which, depending on how you look at it, is either good or bad.

They are easy to over-eat, for sure. The texture is extra crispy, but they're not too thick, so they're not painful or arduous to chew. I'll definitely be coming back for more of these as soon as possible.

3. Ghost Pepper Potato Chips

Ghost Pepper Potato Chips
Ghost Pepper Potato Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Ghost Pepper Potato Chips deliver a supreme texture with their waffle-cut potatoes — a sort of zig zagging grid — which gives these chips their characteristic airy crunch. Despite their name, these chips are zesty and savory, albeit slightly challenging heat profile without becoming overwhelming. That said, if you eat too many, they will make your lips burn a bit. The balanced seasoning on these ghost pepper chips makes them enjoyable for those who appreciate a kick without the burn.

Packed in a rather fat bag, these chips are perfect for the adventurous spice lovers at parties or as a regular pantry staple. I love the boldness and multi-dimensional flavor and texture Trader Joe's is kicking up with these chips, and we'd love to see them stick around for a while.

2. Chili-Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips

Chili-Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips
Chili-Lime Flavored Tortilla Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Trader Joe's Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips are a standout among their chip offerings, ranking as the second favorite on my list. Serving as the grocery store's take on the popular Takis, these chips outshine the name brand with their exceptional flavor and — in my eyes — much more balanced flavor. While they're not as intense as Takis, they are still bursting with a distinct chili and lime seasoning. The seasoning strikes a perfect balance with a natural taste that complements the corn tortilla base. These chips have a satisfying crunch and are sturdy enough to not break apart easily.

They've got a zesty kick, but aren't necessarily spicy, which means you can eat a lot of them without getting bored or overwhelmed. I see these becoming one of my favorite snacks to bring on the road — the share-ability factor is high.

1. Dark Russet Potato Chips

Dark Russet Potato Chips
Dark Russet Potato Chips - Joshua Carlucci / Tasting Table

Finally, Trader Joe's Dark Russet Potato Chips were my absolute favorite chips on this list, embodying the apex of simplicity and culinary technique. Their texture is unparalleled, striking a balance between flaky and crunchy, reminiscent of both traditional kettle chips and classic thin chips, but somewhere truly in the middle. The cooking technique — which I think involves extra-long frying — gives the chips deep, complex flavor, courtesy of the Maillard reaction. These chips are perfectly salted, too, enhancing all the deep flavors going on in the chips.

You get a decent number of chips in each bag, though I wouldn't be upset if there were a little more. But, really, I've never encountered chips quite like these before, at least not in store-bought varieties. I'll continue to cop them for as long as they're available, hoping that Trader Joe's keeps them in stock for years to come.


bowl of potato chips
bowl of potato chips - Fotospeedy/Getty Images

While deciding my ranking of Trader Joe's chips, I recognized my bias toward particular types of chips over others. An avid chip enthusiast, I lean towards bold, savory flavors, a preference that may not resonate universally.

First, I delved into the flavor profiles of each chip, assessing its complexities and nuances. Is the flavor multi-faceted? Do I get sick of them after a few bites? Next, I explored texture, scrutinizing the chips' crunchiness and thickness. Consistency was important; I dumped out every bag to look for uniformity in flavor and intactness. Finally, I looked at the value of each bag of chips, considering the quantity of chips relative to their price point. Each type of chips was tasted in isolation, without using sauces or dips, to give me a clean idea of what the chip tastes like in its purest form.

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