Tortilla chips are a Super Bowl staple. What else are you going to eat with queso? Seven-layer dip? Spinach and artichoke? You literally can't make a tray of nachos without them. They serve as a blank canvas that works well with plenty of flavor combinations, which is why you can often find them coated in seasonings like nacho, jalapeño, and lime.
But if you're as big of a tortilla chip fan as we are, you are well aware that no two chips are created alike. They can be made with different varietals of corn. The chips can be thin and delicate or thick and sturdy. Producers can season them with a light touch or a seriously heavy hand. And depending on your personal tortilla chips takes, you likely have your own unique preferences.
But on a day as important as the Super Bowl, picking the right bag of tortilla chips is equally, if not more, important than placing your bet on the right team. You're likely going to have a spread of at least a couple dips—and they deserve a crunchy corn-based sidekick that can pull its weight. That's why we tried as many brands as we could find and ranked them from worst to best. So when you start stocking up on Super Bowl snacks, you can be sure that you're making the right pick.
Boo! Hiss! Throw it away! Mission chips barely taste like corn. Frankly, they barely taste like food at all. Every bite of these chips is a disappointment and they don't deserve to be dipped in anything.
One of the most unique chips on the market is the Scoop, which allows for a large salsa-to-chip ratio with its raised sides. The idea was groundbreaking when Frito Lay launched Scoops in 2001, but the novelty has long since faded.
The edges tear up the roofs of our mouths. The chip is often too thin to withstand the scooping motion. And in the wise words of one of our editors, "Don't tell me how I should be dipping my chip."
These chips are extremely polarizing. Our team was largely split on the merits of Xochitl, with one camp obsessed with how light, delicate, and crisp they are.
But the cons far outweigh the pros. They have quite literally no structural integrity whatsoever. One of our testers wrote, "I could sneeze and these chips would disintegrate in my hand." If you plan on serving your chips with anything other than air, you should opt for another brand.
Tia Lupita Foods
Grain-free tortilla chip brands are popping up everywhere, and Tia Lupita's use of cactus excited us in theory. But in practice? It was a massive disappointment. These chips are bland, flavorless, and resemble the taste and texture of cardboard. We wouldn't wish these chips on our worst enemy.
Grain-free Siete chips made with cassava flour just barely edge out Tia Lupita because of their flavor, but the texture is so wrong. Our testers said it was "odd," semi-mushy," and "styrofoam-esque." It makes us wonder if there are actually any benefits to eating grain-free chips.
This chip is fine. We're not going to go tell our friends about it, we're not going to go out of our way to buy a bag, and we're not going to be particularly excited if we see them at a party. But they're not egregiously awful.
The flavor of Late July's tortilla chips is solid. They're salted without being too salty. The corn flavor is definitely there. But the texture? Oof. They're so thin that they couldn't possibly handle the weight of anything thicker than your runniest salsa.
Wild Harvest chips are just okay. The crunch is there. The texture is nice. But the flavor is plain and honestly kind of boring. If you want your dips to take center stage, this brand is a fine pick. But if you want your chips to bring some flavor to the table, we'd suggest something else.
We're giving them points right away for having the objectively best name of the bunch. Tortiyahs! is the Goldilocks of the tortilla chip world: it's not too thick or too thin, it's moderately seasoned, and the flavor of the chip itself is mild and inoffensive. It's hard to dislike them, but appealing to such a broad audience also means these chips lack a distinct identity.
Garden of Eatin'
Garden of Eatin's chips are good, but just a little bit off. They're thick and substantial, but the crunch isn't exactly what we were hoping for. The corn flavor is both present and pleasant, but we want there to be a tad more salt. It's a serviceable chip—but not the perfect one.
As much as we hated Scoops, we have some nostalgia-fueled love for the original restaurant-style Tostitos. They're crunchy and massive. That means it has more surface area to cover with queso. Our only gripe is that they're absurdly salty—we could feel our blood pressure spike after just one chip.
Santitas are the black sheep of the Frito Lay family. They're not widely available in every state and their popularity is clearly eclipsed by the brand's other tortilla chip offerings. But we like to think of them as the more mature Tostitos: they're thin and well salted, but the toasted corn flavor is much more pronounced.
From The Ground Up
The best grain-free tortilla chip in the game, bar none. The cauliflower flavor is definitely present but it isn't offensive. The texture has the closest resemblance to a corn-based product out of the other grain-free brands we tried. It admittedly isn't as good as a corn chip, but it's still a solid substitute.
Food Should Taste Good
Okay, okay, we'll admit it: we didn't expect to like these chips very much. But after trying them we'll concede that they are absolutely deserving of a top-three placement. The flax and sesame seeds add some fun texture and an added layer of nuttiness that compliments the natural flavor of the corn. They admittedly give off crunchy granola mom vibes, but we're into it.
Unfamiliar to many of us, Zack's Mighty makes a mighty first impression. It's on the saltier side, but it makes up for the slightly aggressive seasoning with an ideal texture. One of our editors said that this brand was the closest to restaurant-grade chips out of the ones we tried.
This. This is the chip. The Tacombi-owned brand Vista Hermosa makes totopos that check all the boxes. They're substantial, perfectly seasoned, and have a strong toasted corn flavor. Our editors can confidently say it's the "best chip in the game."
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