When it comes to parties—be it a backyard barbecue or a weeknight book club—there’s one app that’s always on the menu at my house: chips and dip. My favorite dip is a creamy, fresh guacamole, but there are so many good ones to choose from—just check out these great dips perfect for entertaining. Let’s not forget though, that these dips, salsas and guacamoles aren’t much use to us without the perfect chip to scoop them up. The perfect tortilla chip has to strike the right balance. It should be crisp but not too flimsy (don’t want the dreaded broken chip in the dip situation), flavorful but not overpowering (or too salty!).
While I appreciate that ideal chip, I admit that I typically reach for whatever is on sale when I’m shopping. That means I might be missing out on the best chips for my next party! So to find out which chip reigns supreme (and is perfectly dippable), I grabbed eight popular brands from a handful of supermarkets. Along a crew of dedicated testers, I put these eight options to the test:
- Chi-Chi’s Original Strips
- Clancy’s Restaurant Style Tortilla Chips
- Donkey Authentic Tortilla Chips (Salted)
- Frontera Thin + Crispy Tortilla Chips
- Garden of Eatin’ Yellow Chips
- Mission Tortilla Triangles
- Simple Truth Organic White Corn Tortilla Chips
- Tostitos Original Restuarant Style Tortilla Chips.
Let’s see how these chips faired!
Honorable Mention: Garden of Eatin’ Yellow Chips
In our test, it immediately became clear that flimsy chips weren’t cutting it. Testers showed an obvious preference for sturdier chips built to scoop up every last bit of our favorite homemade salsa recipes. That’s precisely why these tortilla chips from Garden of Eatin’ were so popular. Made from yellow corn, these chips were a bit thicker than most and exceptionally crunchy. Flavor-wise, testers noticed that these chips weren’t your standard restaurant-style chip; rather, these chips tasted a bit like Fritos (but without all the grease) with a bit of a nutty flavor. In the end, we agreed that sturdier chips like this one would be the perfect accompaniment to for hot dips like this slow cooker spinach and artichoke dip, but might not be the right choice for people looking for traditional tortilla chips.
Runner-Up: Donkey Salted Tortilla Chips
Inching up in the ratings was Donkey tortilla chips. Right away, testers were declaring that these chips had just the right thickness and right amount of crunch. In fact, many folks were comparing these chips to what you’d get at your favorite Mexican restaurant. As we dunked these chips into salsa, we agreed that we’d love these served up alongside our favorite authentic Mexican dishes. However, what cost these chips the crown was their lack of salt. We could use just a bit more to make them perfectly craveable.
Best in Show: Chi-Chi’s Strips
Let’s get this out of the way: We miss Chi-Chi’s! While this restaurant chain is now defunct, we’re pretty happy to see that the company is still producing chips, salsa and other Mexican-style accompaniments—and with great success as this test demonstrates!
These Chi-Chi’s chips got high marks from every tester. These chips were a bit thinner than our other top-ranking options, but they still had enough body to hold up to some salsa (we might grab a backup chip for big scoops of this five-star taco dip recipe, though). The chips themselves were exceptionally crisp and perfectly salted. We got that great pure corn taste and we found the chips to taste super fresh—an absolute must! What took these chips from good to great, though: the strip shape. The narrower shape meant that we could dunk further into that jar of salsa and that snacking was just a bit easier than with the bigger wedge shapes. When you’re looking for the best tortilla chips, even these little things count!
In this test, we had three strong top contenders, all of which I’d be happy to serve up at my next get-together. It turns out, though, that the other five options we tested just didn’t live up to our expectations (I’m talking scores of two and three—yikes!). We found them to be too greasy, too salty or just too darn thin. So when you’re looking for the best tortilla chips to serve our favorite store-bought salsas for a quick snack, I don’t recommend straying too far from this list.