Dining

The Best Potato Chips You Can Buy at the Grocery Store

After an office-wide taste test, one brand came out on top
Best Potato Chip Brands Taste Test
Photo: Pavlo_K/Getty Images

Now that it's officially barbecue season, the potato chip you choose to accompany your sandwich or burger could not be more critical. Yes, the ideal chips require great flavor (a mix of salty and potato-y) but they must also maintain the perfect crunch, whether they're packed into a sandwich or piled on the side.

And since you have more important things to worry about than picking out a bag of chips (did you buy enough hot dogs?),  we went ahead and tried six common brands available at most grocery stores to help you find the best. It's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it. This year, buy a bag of chips that you'd fight a seagull for or don't buy any at all.

Criteria

For this test, we stuck to original/classic sea salt chips. We tested for flavor, crunch and texture (which one editor argued was decidedly different than crunch), with parameters ranging from "soggy" to "great mouthfeel." Very scientific stuff.

Our Top Picks

Deep River

Sometimes going with the smaller, more craft snack pays off. Our editors agreed that these chips have good flavor and the best crunch quality of all the brands, which went a long way. Despite a slightly higher price point, these chips are beyond worthy of your lunch.


Lay's

The chip giant, and pre-taste test fan favorite for first place, didn't fall too far from victory. No editors ranked it below a three out of five for any category, and noted it was a very balanced chip. Some complained they were too salty, but if salt is what you're after, this school lunch classic is the way to go.

Utz

The salt-to-chip ratio of Utz was much less polarizing, with most editors ranking the salt level as perfect. Though Utz ranked high for its potato-y flavor, it fell slightly short for crunch, where some suggested it felt unnatural and almost stale.

Runners-Up

Whole Foods' 365 & Kettle

These two brands tied for fourth place. While they scored identically for flavor, tasters scored Kettle higher for crunch but Whole Foods higher for "mouthfeel," stating the Whole Foods chips were a little lighter. Most editors agreed the Kettle chips tasted the most natural out of all the brands but lacked salt.  

Wise

Last but not least, Wise chips brought up the rear, with one taster noting, "These taste like the chips you would get on the bus on a school field trip." Another commented that they tasted like "end-of-day chips." Though one editor thought they were crispy and airy, soggy texture and bland flavor brought down the extra-greasy chips's score for everyone else.

Which brands did we miss? Feel free to sound off on your favorite crunchy snack in the comments below.

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