10 Tostitos Tortilla Chip Styles, Ranked Worst To Best

From laying the foundation for nachos to diving into bowls of crave-worthy guacamole and salsa, tortilla chips are a pantry staple we can't get enough of. The proof is right there on the overflowing chip shelves at supermarkets. You may have some favorite types of tortilla chips for scooping dip or for crunching right out of the bag, but beyond navigating all the different chip brands, you might have noticed the varied styles of the chips themselves.

Tortilla chips may be called cantina style, restaurant style, or thin and crispy, to name just a few varieties. While thin and crispy is an easy concept to grasp, some of the other descriptions do not help set expectations for the product. Restaurant style? What restaurant do they mean? The only way to find out was to go directly to the source, and in this case, the supermarket. We purchased 10 styles of Tostitos tortilla chips to rank and assess what makes them good, different, or not worth your money.

While taste was a factor, it was not the most important component of consideration, especially because all of these chip styles were delicious. Instead, this ranking focused more on the style itself, and how successful it was compared to each variety's product description.

10. Simply Tostitos Organic Yellow Corn tortilla chips

Organic food is set to become more popular than ever, and in meeting that demand, Tostitos offers organic tortilla chip options. One choice is Simply Tostitos Organic Yellow Corn tortilla chips. This variety is made from organic corn, organic expeller-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt; the chips are also gluten-free and made without GMO ingredients or artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. However, I found that the price point for this variety is higher than the cost for a similarly-sized bag of non-organic tortilla chip varieties, even when the organic chips were on sale.

The large triangles are a pretty shade of deep yellow, full of nubbly bits of ground corn, and they have a fresh, toasty aroma. These have more texture than others in this ranking, with little bits of corn coating my tongue. 

Unfortunately, the flavor is a little bland. The nutty corn taste dissipates quickly, and you really notice the fact that these have less salt than other varieties. While still tasty and sturdy, these just come across as lacking. There are better options for both organic and yellow corn chips in this ranking, so while tasty, this variety fell to the bottom of our list. 

9. Tostitos Cantina Thin & Crispy tortilla chips

Although the packaging is very similar to Tostitos' traditional-style Cantina chips, the Cantina Thin & Crispy variety differs in a few ways. The ingredients do not specify what kind of corn these are made from, and both the color and taste are noticeably lighter than the Cantina Traditional yellow corn chips. The off-white Thin & Crispy chips are the smallest triangle in this ranking, easy to chomp in one or two bites. Tostitos describes several different styles as similar to what you might be served in a restaurant, and in this case I agree, having been served thin, crispy chips of the same size at eateries many times.

These chips easily crunch between your teeth and quickly dissolve as you chew. The flavor is not heavily corny, salty, or oily, and the light texture doesn't cut into your mouth or leave a shower of crumbs down your front. 

I was optimistic about this style and ready to move it into the top five of this ranking, until I dipped a few into a bowl of simple guacamole. Almost every chip snapped when trying to scoop up some avocado. Some cracked off at the corner and some further down, making retrieving the broken part a little messy, and certainly not party-friendly. These would work best with a smooth, liquid-consistency salsa that benefits more from dipping than scooping. Ultimately these were a little too thin, which caused them to drop in this ranking. 

8. Tostitos Original Restaurant Style tortilla chips

These big chips are salty and crunchy. Great for snacking on their own or for making an easy baked nachos recipe, and sturdy enough for a variety of dips, Tostitos Original Restaurant Style chips are extremely versatile. The chips have a classic look to them, with a light color flecked with bits of corn, and sprinkled with enough salt to leave your fingertips or lips a little dusty after eating some.

They are crisp but do not shatter when taking a bite, which is helpful because the oversized triangle shape is bigger than what anyone would consider bite-size. There is a moderate corn flavor that adds to their appeal, but it's not super strong or long-lasting. These chips are light enough that you can plow through a bowl without feeling full, but not too airy either. 

There is nothing wrong with these chips, but all of the other styles seem to have a stronger identity. These are really just simple tortilla chips. It's not clear from the description on the Tostitos website why these are considered "restaurant style" — especially since they also offer multiple types of Cantina chips, which also make reference to restaurants. So, these ended up toward the bottom of the ranking, not because they are bad by any stretch, but because they are just unremarkable. 

7. Tostitos Multigrain Scoops! tortilla chips

The multigrain aspect of these chips is provided by three different types of grains. They contain corn and toasted corn germ, whole brown rice flour, and whole buckwheat flour. In addition to vegetable oil and salt, these chips also have sugar and oregano extract, the latter ingredient labeled by Tostitos as an antioxidant. Buckwheat provides a nutty-tasting flour ideal for gluten-free recipes, but unlike the original and baked versions of Scoops!, this variety is not gluten-free.

Though the aroma of Multigrain Scoops! isn't different from other tortilla chips, there is a departure in flavor. These are nutty with a heavily toasted grain taste and a kiss of sweetness at the end. It's hard to pick out the rice or buckwheat specifically, but they cut the corn flavor significantly and make the chips taste more like a cracker.

Despite the medley of grains, these chips are not dry or tough. They have a gentle crunch and are more tender than the original variety of Scoops!, while still being sturdy. These are easy to snack on plain, and the hint of sweetness makes them a little addictive. But, these did not rank higher because the taste veers a little too far from what you expect from a tortilla chip, with a lack of a strong corn flavor. These chips are able to be filled without breaking, so they can be a good choice for anyone looking for something less traditional. 

6. Tostitos Baked Scoops! tortilla chips

Baked Scoops! are ideal for people seeking a lower-fat chip without sacrificing taste or the fillable cup shape of a fried chip. Although the calorie count is only marginally lower than what you'll get with the same serving of original Scoops!, this variety has only 3 grams of fat per serving versus 7 grams in the original style. Another difference is the inclusion of whole corn as an additional ingredient. At just over 6 ounces, the volume of chips in this bag is the lowest in this ranking; a bag of original Scoops! contains 10 ounces. 

I had to check a few stores to find this variety, and when I did, there were only a couple of beat-up bags left, both two days past the guaranteed fresh date. Luckily, despite a slightly musty smell, they had not gone stale and were still crisp and fresh tasting. 

These don't seem any thicker than the other Scoops! varieties, but there is a dryness that causes them to fill up the crevasses and contours of your teeth, and ball up in your mouth when eating them. Still, baked chips in general can fall woefully short and taste like cardboard, and these do not. The shape and sturdiness are intact and able to hold a filling. So long as the eater doesn't mind giving up some of the richness of an oil-fried chip, these are a great choice and a good representation of the baked style.

5. Tostitos Bite Size rounds tortilla chips

"Bite size" is a relative term, but Tostitos settled on an appropriate measurement with these small, round chips, especially when compared to the size of a quarter. Too small, and these chips wouldn't be able to function as a vehicle for toppings, but too big, and they are not actually bite-size. Tostitos explains that this size is ideal for fitting inside a jar and right into your mouth.

These chips passed the jar test, easily fitting into an average-size jar and scooping up a generous amount of salsa without breaking. Because it wasn't a struggle to get the chip into the jar, there was the bonus that my hands were clean of salsa residue after multiple dips. Additionally, there were only a few broken or misshaped chips in the bag, which was a bonus and a pleasant surprise. The rounds are mottled with little air bubbles that give them a tender, flaky quality similar to a good pie crust. 

Tostitos Bite Size rounds are strong but not hard, and have a great salt-to-surface ratio for a tasty chip that delivers what it promises. They don't rank higher simply because a few other styles were better, but not because this variety is lacking.

4. Tostitos Crispy Rounds tortilla chips

Another round chip in this ranking is Tostitos Crispy Rounds. The name doesn't reveal much about the style beyond the obvious shape. These chips are indeed round or close enough to it, with some a few degrees off and moving into oval territory. The product description praises these chips for being able to get into a bowl and follow the curves, scraping up dips with ease. This is not nearly as easy to achieve with a larger triangular chip, sometimes requiring it to be broken before it can easily navigate anything besides a container's straight edge or right-angled corner. 

Initially, this variety seemed to be simply a slightly larger version of the Bite Size rounds, providing a solid two- to three-bite chip depending on how vigorously you want to go at it. The shape did handle the slopes of a bowl with ease, making these perfect for getting every bit of dip into your belly. 

However, although the ingredients for Crispy Rounds are the same as for the Bite Size rounds, they don't taste the same. The Crispy Rounds are denser, lacking the air bubbles on the Bite Size chip, and they have a deeper toasted-corn flavor that highlights the salted exterior. These are easy to eat, dip, or top, and they nudge ahead of the Bite Size tortilla chips by having a more intense flavor that can stand up to sharp, spicy, bold flavors.

3. Simply Tostitos Organic Blue Corn tortilla chips

Tostitos has a type of blue corn chip in the Simply Organic line. These chips are made from organic blue corn, organic expeller-pressed sunflower oil, and sea salt. With a deep purply blue color, the chips are striking and a clear departure from white and yellow corn chips in appearance, aroma, and taste.

Blue corn is rich in anthocyanins and antioxidants, which studies have shown can have multiple health benefits. However, these are still fried chips, and so they should be eaten with moderation in mind.

This variety has an earthy aroma that is more complex than yellow- or white-corn tortilla chips. Similarly to the organic yellow corn chips, the texture is a little coarse, leaving little nubs of ground corn in your mouth. These chips also have a drying quality on the tongue, not unlike a tannic wine. But none of these qualities are negative, and help differentiate them from the other styles. These chips are not oily nor heavy-tasting, and they have a nice balance between the salt and chip. These are on the thinner side, which keeps them light and crispy, versus heavy and dense, but they are still sturdy. The chips successfully embrace the taste and texture of blue corn, pushing them into the top three in this ranking.

2. Tostitos Scoops! tortilla chips

The launch of the mini bowl-shaped Scoops! changed the tortilla chip game. Beyond their classic taste, the shape and texture make these unique and desirable. These chips are a great choice for dipping, but you can also treat them as mini appetizers and fill them with hot or cold cooked meats, veggies, or the concoction of your dreams.

The majority of the Scoops! in my bag had the signature curved shape. There were a handful of flat chips with wavy edges that were missed in the shaping process, and a decent number of broken chips, but neither amounted to a quantity that constituted a problem. These are strong chips that do not easily crack or become soggy. 

Though their sturdiness is one of the biggest attractions of these chips, they can also cut into your gums or the roof of your mouth if you're not careful with the first bite or two to break down the cup into smaller fragments. Nicely seasoned with moderate (but not overwhelming) corn flavor, these chips are fun, tasty, and versatile, which helps this variety easily grab one of the top spots in our ranking. 

1. Tostitos Cantina Traditional tortilla chips

While some Tostitos do not specify what type of corn the chips are made from, Cantina Traditional is a type of yellow corn tortilla chip, which is not a surprise considering the rich yellow color of the chips. These are cut into large, thick triangles, mottled with dark bits of toasted corn.

Deep, heavily toasted corn flavor is the dominating taste of these chips, which backs into a subtle, oily finish. It's not unpleasant, but a reminder that they spent some time swimming in oil until crisp. Even though these are thicker than the organic yellow tortilla chips, they eat lighter and are shatteringly crisp. They taste well-seasoned, but are not so salty that you couldn't dip them into gooey homemade queso or scoop up some spicy refried beans.

Cantina Traditional chips took the top spot in this ranking for a few reasons. The yellow corn base offers a delicious, rich flavor that you can still taste through strongly flavored toppings, but is also balanced and not overwhelming for snacking right out of the bag. Second, the thickness is ideal regardless of how you choose to use them. They do not break easily in the bag or when dipping into something heavy. They are versatile and delicious, an ideal yellow corn tortilla chip.

Our methodology

For this ranking, we decided to focus on styles within one brand to eliminate as many external factors as possible. Tostitos is a top choice in tortilla chips across America, and with a wide range of products that are easy to find in stores, choosing Tostitos for this ranking made the most sense.

To decide the order of this ranking, I started by reading up on each style on the Tostitos website, along with customer reviews. Then, I reviewed the bags for any extra information, including ingredients. Finally, I sampled each style of chip. I judged the overall flavor and texture by considering the crunch of the chips and the balance between salt and the taste of the corn, or any other ingredients if there were any. I compared the product to the description and the intended style of the chips to see how it all came together.

As a lifelong snacker who grew up in Texas, I've eaten a fair share of tortilla chips, both in restaurants and at home. I have also baked and fried a boatload of tortilla chips in my 20 years as a professional recipe developer. I consider myself an equal opportunity lover of tortilla chips, with various styles rotating into my kitchen depending on my mood and what's on the menu, allowing me to avoid bringing personal bias into this ranking.