The 100 Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA
Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA – In theory, anything can be a snack. Laid out on the couch and woke up to find a slice of pizza you ordered still humming in the box? the breakfast!
On a diet and a few celery sticks to satiate you before your after-dinner smoothie? Downhearted! But technically, breakfast! (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Of course, choosing the 100 best snacks of all time requires us to establish some basic rules, or we may face food chaos. For the sake of exclusivity, we tried to focus on genuine brands.
For accessibility, we limited ourselves to what’s available at most corner stores, mini-marts, and other workday snack purveyors. Lastly, the morsel should be something you can easily take out of the packaging with your hands.
Got it? Then start chewing on this delicious list of the 100 best snacks we’ve ever encountered.
- Premium Saltines
They are occasional and are great with soup or dipped in a chicken salad.
David Sunflower Seeds
The most prominent feature of sunflower seeds—their easily burstable, spitting shells—is their biggest drawback, as not all environments are conducive to shell-spitting.
Also, sometimes you get a terrible shell crack, and a shark gets stuck in your gums, and it’s a nightmare. But baseball dugouts wouldn’t be the same without them.
We get it – these are kind of niche. But anyone who frequents an Italian deli knows that you just can’t leave without grabbing a bag of bundles of joy like these bread sticks.
At first glance, you might think they’ll taste dry, but take a bite, and you’ll be impressed with the plethora of olive oil. And if you can get your hands on them, the cayenne variety provides just the right amount of spice.
- Welch’s Fruit Snacks
Fruit snack trends come and go, but all through it is Welch’s with its simple fruit shapes and subtle but addictive flavors that make you say to yourself, “I wonder if mom is crazy.” I accidentally put three packs of these after school when they were bought for lunch.”
Mike and Ike’s
They’re delicious enough, but the gel-to-candy ratio is a bit extreme. It’s like Jellybean was having an identity crisis, went to the gym, and decided it was too good to be a little blunder. This is the quarter-life crisis of candy-coated jelly snacks.
These days, plenty of hip restaurants will serve you artisan corn nuts. Oddly enough, no one believes them to be perfect, probably because they’re not sure what they are.
But we’re happy to have them, if only because they’re insanely salty and trick you into thinking you’ve served vegetables.
Popcorn often doesn’t get the recognition it deserves. The potato chip-kettle corn hybrid is packed with flavor, and its bumpy texture lends itself to an incredible crunch.
Thanks to ads that claim “a cookie is just a cookie, but a Newton is a fruit and cake,” we felt a little better in grade school whenever we had a few of them in our lunchboxes. Plus, he gets credit for starting the fig trend early (though don’t sleep on the apple flavor either.)
- Vero Mango
There are plenty of chili-covered lollipops: watermelon, tamarind, and strawberry, to name a few. And that’s all well and good, but Vero mango is the one everyone always picks as their favorite—for a good reason.
The spicy heat of the chili is combined with a dash of lime to reveal the sweet, juicy mango. We have always wanted to participate in a celebration of taste.
Whether you want to call them munchkins or donuts, we love the practicality of being able to cut a donut in one bite without the shame that comes with doing so, like an actual full-sized donut. However, leftover powdered sugar still can’t escape the proof.
- Better Cheddar
A low appraisal of the baked-snack-cracker world, these taste like less delicious Cheez-Its (see below) whipped up by a steamroller, then re-baked. Plus, they’re tastier than their cousins, better Swiss, and better than imitation cheese nips.
These Addictive Little Debbie Cakes Are Like Ho Hos, The Giggles You Get When You Ask For Them.
There aren’t many healthy options on this list, and for a good reason, but we love that seaweed snacks give us salty, shiny, crunchy satisfaction without all the carbs.
Few people can nurse one of these big ol’ boxes during a movie. We are not these people. The only thing slowing us down is a leak or two that are inevitably stuck at the bottom, which requires that part of the box be open, making a lot of noise. But it’s worth it for more bites of refreshing, chocolaty goodness.
Honey Made Graham
They’re an essential part of s’mores (though if you’re more into salty than sweet, try the salt above) and make for an incredibly delicious pie crust. Isn’t it worth loving?
Pez walks the line between snack and novelty. Still, a particular nostalgic explosion comes with dumping an entire sleeve of chemically-cheery candy rectangles in your mouth (though the chalkiness is a factor). But the candy spans generations and is a classic for a reason.
Utz Cheese Balls
These airy, orange balls from our beloved Utz are seriously addictive. Buy one of the comically large tubs at Costco, and your whole family will be able to enjoy them… not nearly as long as you think.
There are many great non-American chocolates, but Cadbury Crunchy Bar makes a list for its crunchy honeycomb inside and sweet British chocolate coating. They’re a little hard to find, but your shopping day is made if you snag one from an Ikea or Wal-Mart.
Pie is one of the most excellent foods in the world. So it would stand to reason that a delicious hand pie filled with preserves (or pudding, the hostess family’s low-key standout) would stand above the competition.
But be aware that these suckers pack more saturated fat than the White Castle Crave Case. Not really, but it’s almost never worth it on a road trip.
Keibler’s iconic sandwich cookie is incredibly convenient for those who want a sandwich cookie that detaches easily for unobstructed access to the filling.
They’re also incredibly convenient for those who want to pretend they’re crazy giants with a handful of helpless, amusing little elves.
Calbee’s is the most preferred brand, with shrimp-flavored chips that vaguely resemble twisty fusilli. But really, any shrimp chip will do. The surprising sweetness and unbeatable crunch make this a snack to reach for again and again.
There’s always been a debate about the better spicy chip, Takis or Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. To that end, they are both excellent in different ways.
If you’re looking for a mouth-watering lemon to match the heat, take is the way to go. The way they roll up like small, fast cigarettes is also a fun bonus.
(begins talking in an older man’s voice) Back in my day, when you were down for your last vestige of money mom gave you for the snack bar in the pool, you always had some Swedish fish for a nickel could score.
It wasn’t as spectacular as a cardboard boat full of nachos that would soon be out, but it wasn’t half bad either.
Have you ever carefully eaten a particularly colorful exterior away from the big nerds so you can see the inside? It looks like little pieces of old-timey rock candy.
A nerd’s inner soul, thanks to better iterations like Nerd’s Rope or Nerd’s Gummy Clusters, is what makes it delicious and versatile.
I love the pure crush-ability of these thin sticks or bags of twists. Always a solid gas station option.
In the licorice realm, Twizzlers get points for variety. But the variety can be a mixed bag, especially when you go for nibs and bites, which come in bags, and you are often told to leave the bag open on the counter until the candy inside softens.
Doesn’t go down to the consistency of butterscotch. On my grandmother’s counter for a couple of years. On the other hand, pull ‘n’ Peels are the best damn rope licorice on the market, with (no) regard to the 3-foot ropes you see in novelty shops.
Still, all mass-produced licorice has to be judged on its ability to effectively double as a straw in a movie theater.
When Twizzlers twists work, you often have tense cheek muscles sucking too hard. The licorice’s thickness increases to make it rock-hard when it meets the icy drink.
While drinking soda through Twizzlers is the diabetes equivalent of trying to drink a Big Gulp with a crimped coffee stirrer, red wine is like taking it down with a beer bong.
They also stay soft and impart a more imitation strawberry flavor to your mouth. It’s a slight advantage, but in a call, it’s close; it’s a significant one.
Mound bars are highly divisive because your mileage will vary greatly depending on how you feel about the coconut. We love coconut, so we keep the Mound in the candy bar rotation.
Almond Joy is a candy bar, consisting of sweetened, and shredded coconut topped with the whole almonds and covered in the milk chocolate.
They are salty! They are delicious when layered with cheese or dips. They have fun little herbal flavors. Despite these qualities, they are by no means the first thing I reach for. Or third.
Or, if this list is any indication, the 70th. But check in with me, like, 30 years, because they’re delightful when paired with a game of bridge.
The Nutter Butter Doo-See-Doo, the closest consistently available approximation of a peanut butter sandwich cookie, is forever underestimated in the Girl Scout cookie canon. However, less appreciation does not equate to “best.”
But still, you’re doing a good job out there, Nutter Butter, even though the same people for the sandwich cookie company also make Oreos. How do you get Oreos to play with the flavor? Throw jelly at these bad boys and get some mind-blowing!
We love Tostitos based solely on shapes: thick chips for seven-layer, scooped for chili, flat chips for salsa, and rolled up for salsa at the bottom of the jar.
But there are alternative brands that we enjoy just as much, if not more: Mission, End of July, Ceat, and Calidad.
If we were awarding points for dip-ability, tortilla chips would reign supreme. But we are not. So bonus points for being salty and reliable in a pinch, but not a favorite snack.
At some point during our childhoods, the good guys at Hostess realized that America needed access to brownies in a bite-sized, snackable form that would lend themselves to having bags filled in America’s lunchboxes.
To be honest, it was said that the realization was long overdue. You’ll also see large unbranded tubs of these suckers at many local grocery stores. However, you’re getting your fix; if you’re eating a handful of brownies, you’re living right.
Something delightful about eating a pokie is pulling a thin, coated stick out of the pack and taking in small, crunch-filled bites.
While the chocolate flavor is the most classic iteration, we’re also fans of more adventurous options, like matcha or cherry blossom, if you’re into a Japanese grocery store.
Loafhouse Sugar Cookies
These are the pink sugar cookies that took your childhood in plastic containers. The cookie is so soft it feels fake, the icing is loaded with sugar, and the sprinkles provide an inevitable crunch. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
Whether it’s something you’re picking up at the gas station on a long road trip or your favorite protein-rich option on the keto diet, the appeal of jerky is undeniable.
There are wide varieties and flavors of minced meat to choose from and plenty of vegetarian options. Mushroom jerky! Sita! Coconut jerky! Your jaw-dropping options are endless.
Fruit Roll-ups have gone through too many permutations since their debut in 1983 (Betty Crocker, you sly devil!) To address them all here.
But the basics haven’t changed: Peel it off the cellophane and savor each pectin-packing… oh, who are you kidding? Just damn it and eat it. Anyone who takes the time to extract the “fun” shape from a fruit roll-up is not to be trusted.
An underrated movie snack, if ever there was one, and a candy often covered by Milk Dude’s crushing, tooth-yanking despair.
We suggest holding a handful in your mouth, chopping once, then taking a sip of milk. Boom. Instant milkshake.
There it collects dust under the candy bar section. When was the last time you had one of these caramel-y, rich-bloated, chocolate-laden animals?
Because before Take Five (more on that later!), it was the best Frankenbar out there. It tastes even better when left to turn rancid and complex due to time constraints.
While some claim that the banana is the weakest in the fake-fruit basket, there are entire vending machines dedicated to the little yellow creations. Do you see any vending machines offering a handful of lime rinds? Debate over. Banana runs win.
Like vanilla ice cream, these get a bad rap for being boring. But we are here to say that vanilla, derived from the vanilla bean, is a flavor and should be appreciated.
Plus, Nilla Wafers make a delicious banana pudding, and you can cram them in your mouth like Cookie Monster, which you definitely should.
These beauties are the most critical pretzel-related snacking innovations in the past 15 years. While they have the structural integrity to act as a perfect dipping candidate for hummus, they certainly don’t need any help by ditching the dull pretzel interior in favor of a max-impact crispy exterior. Also, have you ever drowned buffaloes in the field? Eden
These aren’t necessarily our favorite works from Little Debbie, but zebra cakes are delectable enough, with streaks of chocolate providing enough zip to elevate a potentially dull white icing/white cake/cream-filling trio.
Visible multigrain fleets help convince us that we are making a healthy decision! We’re personally huge fans of Harvest Cheddar, although Garden Salsa comes in second. These are probably best enjoyed as a sub-side.
One day, a genius at Frito-Lay decided to take the most important vegetable on the Thanksgiving table—fried onions atop a green bean casserole—and create a mock version using cornstarch, onion relish, and a little grit. And boy, are they fabulous.
We’ve always wanted to know what this nougat-heavy confection has to do with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. (researches). Wait, did you know it originally came in three pieces?
And only one piece was chocolate, while the other two were strawberry and vanilla? It sounds like a more exciting candy experience!
How come some enterprising Mars hasn’t re-released the “original” 3 Musketeers in an old-timey rapper? I will buy 100%. Right now, it is like a galaxy that has forgotten something.
It’s like someone got a box of goobers and realized that popping chocolate-covered nuts in your mouth is a waste of time when you can roll those suckers in nougat and caramel and nibble them. It’s a protein blast.
The Milky Way was our original No. 1 candy when we had a less sophisticated palate. These days, we all find smoothness and sweetness a note each, but that won’t stop us from breathing with joy if we give it a hand.
Animal crackers in all their forms are among the most delightful rediscoveries. The little pleasure of eating an elephant that tastes like a graham cracker is one of life’s simple joys.
Yes, we’re going to take a cheat on the “utensils” section here to allow you the little red plastic spreader you use to spread the cheese. Unless we’re talking about pretzel stick versions, they’re not real O.G. handy-snacks.
We always like to shed a little light on the first three firecrackers and reward ourselves with a grand finale filled with delicious cheese. When you think about it, handi-snacks can teach kids values like moderation and resource management.
Peanut Butter Pretzels
These are undeniably classic. Our addiction to them started in our school lunches and never ended. Whatever variety you buy, you can’t go wrong.
You’ll get an unmatched combination of bread-y pretzels, sweet peanut butter, and—the best part—outside, flaky chunks of sea salt.
We’re legitimately excited to only encounter jelly beans, though we’re still honestly confused about buttered popcorn.
It is a textural pleasure for the senses. Have we ever dreamed of breaking out of an above-ground pool filled with Buncha Crunch? Maybe!
Here’s a quick list of other cereals that need to be made 100% candy bars: Cap Crunch, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruity Pebbles…basically every grain except Grape-Nuts.
Another delightful rediscovery as an adult, Teddy Graham tastes like some great spirit who ate some animal crackers, realized they were kind of sound, then decided to make them something more delicious – chocolate! Cinnamon! Sweetheart!—all in the form of adorable little bears.
1991 was a big year. Salute Your Shorts debuts on Nickelodeon. Color Me Badd was singing about making people want to have sex.
The silence of the lamb got the hell out of everyone. But all these fruits are pale compared to the gushers that completely changed the snack game.
They would call it disruption if people talked that way at the time. Any fruit snack that doesn’t have a liquid core is still inferior today.
At breakfast, Rolos can carry a bartering system on its own. This is mainly because little chocolate caramel dimples can be popped out with the quickness of quarters through rolls at cheap casinos.
Honestly, all pita chips are good. But Stacy’s Simple Naked Pita Chips are incredibly tempting, and we’d easily consume an entire bag of Parmesan Garlic. These are often purchased without any downside yet require absolutely zero support.
Nothing complicated here—just a delicious shortbread-ish cookie round with a layer of fudge on the bottom and some zebra stripes on top.
But the hole is the real winner here, and if you’re an adult who says you never put one on your finger and eat around it until you have a nice little cookie ring, then we can’t trust any other word in your mouth.
White Cheddar Popcorn
We love white cheddar popcorn in all interactions, from brilliant food to pirate booty—mainly because of the relative absence of kernels in your teeth and the surprisingly normal-tasting dusting of cheese powder.
Plus, it’s a white ponytail, which makes it easy to hide the fact that you just wiped your hands on your pants.
They’re the staple poppable chocolate in candy jars, Christmas stockings, gift bags, and lunch bags because they add a quick, adorable dose of cocoa to everything from classic milk chocolate to almonds and if you’re feeling fancy. Yes, white chocolate. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Toffee. Chocolate. Chocolate-covered toffee that stays stuck in your teeth for a week. Plus, an incredible topping on frozen yogurt or any ice cream sundae. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Rice Krispie Treats
Rice Krispies is another cereal. We’re thankful there was a spin-off. We’re not sure if it was Snap, Crackle, or Pop’s idea to add melted marshmallows and make these gooey, bendy treats, but we’d love to buy one of those little guys a drink to say thank you. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
M&Ms for the chocolate haters! We’ve tasted the bountiful flavors of the rainbow and found that the originals never disappoint. Plus, we enjoy wild berries and tropical varieties in a similar way. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Sour is a dangerous game to play in a salty world – too heavy, and it wears out quickly. South Patch Kids are our go-to’s for balancing sour-sweet, while trolley crawlers are what we find ourselves crabbing when we want that puckering punch. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
If chickpeas seem to have their place in everything, it’s because they have. There’s so much to love, from Hippes’ cheese puffs and tortilla chips to Bina’s straight-roasted chickpeas.
Sure, it’s “healthy,” but there’s nothing better than a protein-packed salty snack that keeps you full, right? (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Thin chunks of wheat probably seem like they’re too much in here. But they are more delicious than you remember.
The salty background has an almost invisible sweetness that will make you tempted to return for more.
We also love that they come in various sizes, depending on our level of gluttony that day. Thanks for giving us options, W.T.! (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
When was the last time you had bulges? Even if it is tomorrow, it is too late. Bagels are probably the most criminally under-appreciated salty snack. You have pleasing layers of crunch provided by the conical construction.
You have the opportunity to pretend that you have long, delicious nails. You probably have the best nacho cheese flavor that doesn’t end in “-so.” We are due for a severe bugle renaissance. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
This thing is like a Snickers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup had a baby, and it’s, in short, fabulous. Sweet meets salty.
Chocolate and peanut butter achieve a delicious crunch without resorting to the consistency of chunky peanut butter.
We like to think that these never caught on and completely dominated the candy game because the world isn’t ready for it.
But that’s probably because it doesn’t come in fun shapes. And also because you sometimes bite your mouth on pretzels if you’re too gourmet. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Chocolate Chip Cookies
chips Ahoy! Cookies have been the subject of many heated arguments around the merits of the crunchy Original versus the chewy variety.
So for those who want something a little more crunchy, there are Tates. But no matter what consistency you prefer, there’s nothing quite like putting a choc chip in a cold glass of milk. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
We sat down with a bag of every flavor once and ranked them, so we knew the kettle makes a great chip. They are slightly oily than other chips, which is dangerous for dress shirts.
While they don’t launch as many weird flavors as Lays, they still have their share of successful gimmicks (pepperoncini is a thing of beauty).
Plus, if you show up with a bag, everyone will think you’ve sprung for a pricey bag of chips, despite often being cheaper than their Frito-Lay cousins. A chip with a touch of class! (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
The humble Twinkie never felt the need to envelop itself in sprinkles, frosting, or different flavors like its loudmouth cousin Zingers or the elusive chocolate. It’s just a bouncy tube of vanilla sponge cake filled with white cream. And sometimes that’s all we do. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
There are about 1,073 varieties of Milano available in the market these days. Did you have melty center ones? They should probably be classified as a narcotic.
But let’s talk about the regular old Milano that started it all and emerged as the undisputed cookie kingpin of Pepperidge Farms. Naturally, you eat something, and then it’s time to put the bag away for later.
But look, there’s only one left in the queue! You can eat it too, right? Then you lift the little paper divider as if you don’t know very well what’s hiding underneath.
Before you know it, another row has disappeared, and the vicious cycle continues until you have an empty Milano bag and no regrets. Delicious, delicious regret. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
From roasted peanuts to cashews, Mr. Peanut’s empire is vast. This is mainly because it is much easier to hawk an entire can of cashews.
But here’s the rub: You’re going to be tempted to get mixed nuts because then you get a lot of variety.
And you will be extremely upset when you realize the massive number of Brazil nuts. Yes, they are suitable for you, but they are not as satisfying as the rest. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Oatmeal Cream Pie
Simply, any cookie with a chocolate quotient of zero should not be unreliable. Little Debbie also makes Fudge Rounds, which are chocolate oatmeal cream pies, and somehow oatmeal cream pies are much better. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Enjoy your impossible-to-eat, frosted, over $8 boutique cupcakes. You can grab a two-pack of these from under your car seat with loose change and have yourself a more primly satisfying cupcake experience. It is optional to peel the icing off the top and roll it like a chocolate sugar taquito. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Pork rinds are the ultimate keto-diet snack food, but they really should be an everyday snack food. They’re crispy, airy, and savory on their own or jazzed up with a haze of barbecue or chili seasoning. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Snyder’s Pretzel Pieces
Honey mustard and onion pretzel pieces are among the rare bagged snacks that get better as they reach the bottom, and the pieces are smaller and proportionately more flavorful.
And yes, we realize that Snyder has more pretzel products on the market, but everyone knows it’s the pieces that drive the empire forward. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Few people are put off by the almost neon-orange, peanut butter-ish, the almost dangerously crisp interior of Butterfinger (here’s the secret). Such people have to be avoided. Plus, if you’ve never tried Butterfinger Cups, you should.
They’re not good enough to overtake Reese, but they’ll make you pause and question everything there for a split second. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
If someone asked what flavor Reese’s pieces are, you’d probably say “peanut butter and chocolate.” Well, you would be wrong.
These sleeper treats have such a delicious power that they convince you they have chocolate in them, despite being candy-coated peanut butter. This orange and yellow behavior has put us in a trance. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
No other chip tastes as delicious when dipped in French Onion Dip than the original Ruffles. When we close our eyes and think of picnics – which we do with alarming regularity – these are the chips that come to mind.
They’re the kings of the crinkly chip world, but the flavored options whittle them down a bit. Like Lays and Pringles, there may be 400 flavors of Ruffles on the shelf at any one time, but only Cheddar and Sour Cream are worth your time. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Chocolate Covered Pretzels
As a society, it took us nearly until the 21st century (Flipz made its debut in 1997) to say, “Hey, everyone with working taste buds thinks chocolate-covered pretzels are amazing; maybe someone with deep pockets should roll out a mass-market version?”
At least it eventually happened, allowing Americans to walk into airport newsstands during flight delays, telling themselves they were just going to buy a water and energy bar or a chocolate bar before deciding that Making a whole meal out of pretzels covered with seems like a prudent decision. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Chex Mix, at its best, is excellent. We had to stop buying the cheddar version because it’s not safe to put us in the same room. Bold Party Blend is the work of some kind of evil genius.
It even had the vision to market its version of Puppy Chow. One of our minor Chex mix-related quirks involves pretzels. The occasional pretzel-heavy bag has burned us many times.
And yes, we know you can get “Simply Checks” now, but it feels like cheating. They need to develop a version of “Simply Checks with Just a Few Pretzel” to raise the ranks. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
We’d argue that trail mix is the O.G. snack. Whether you’re just picking up M& M’s or going bold and having a handful of everything at once, Trail Mix can satisfy all your desires in one go, and that’s why we love it. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Let’s pretend for a minute that the Snickers offshoot flavors—peanut butter, crunchy, hazelnut, and so on—are not even wonderful and focus entirely on the original bar and its iconic bite-sized brethren.
Some candy bars are built entirely: nougat, caramel, and peanuts play in perfect concert with each other, with chocolate acting as the shell holding it together. In many ways, it’s the next logical step in Baby Ruth’s development. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Hey Internet, can we talk for a second? When Starburst launched an all-pink pack, a good part of you got super excited. Did we miss the memo when pink was at the top of the color hierarchy?
For me, red was always the best. Have I been enjoying Starburst the wrong way this whole time?
However, the best way to eat a starburst is to take one of each color and smash them together in some kind of Starburst Voltron situation.
But we love them, even if we have to slow down and open each one individually, but what’s slowing my search for chewy, fruit-filled joy? (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Combos: When you feel like some crackers (or pretzels!) and cheese, but the thought of actually dipping one food into another makes you tired. Oh, and you need pizza too.
The combos are a flavor-mashing, tailormade stoner snack decades ahead of their time when they first debuted in the 1970s. It’s impossible not to eat every last nacho cheese-filled cylindrical nugget in the bag. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Twix is one of the more exquisite candy bars. The thin membrane of the chocolate is smooth and never overpowering. A layer of caramel or peanut butter is the perfect cushion.
And the cookie… hoo-boy, that cookie. Twix’s naked version—obtained by munching all the chocolate like a hamster and then stuffing until you meet a rectangular stick of crumbled shortbread—is a delight.
Taken by itself, it would be a great treat. Throw those other layers on top, and you have not one but two of the best candy bars on the market. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Going through every flavor of Lay’s plays like a tastier/less boring version of Forrest Gump’s scene where Bubba rattles on the shrimp.
Suffice it to say, there is a lot… and when you start throwing in annual “Do Us a Flavor” options like biscuits and gravy—plus Wavy, Kettle Cook, and Stax—it’s a little overwhelming. (Oh, and British people get a taste for chicken and shrimp.)
But it’s important to note that, like pizza, a chip is only as good as its base. And the thin, crunchy, salty Original Lays still stand as the best potato chips on the market speaks volumes.
This chip is just as good straight out of the bag as it is with dip or next to a deli sandwich. It’s also good in flavors like Tapatio, Cheddar, and sour cream and is just the icing on lemonade cakes.
They’ll probably make the icing on the cake taste great at some point—and it’ll probably be great. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
While we appreciate international versions like green tea, vinegar, and corn in the international market, let’s focus on the O.G. version.
Because, frankly, it doesn’t have to be as good as it is. Wafers are the curse of most cabinets, the kind of treats that ruin the bottom of many grandma’s cookie jars.
And milk chocolate is good and all, though it’s no different from the version, you’ll find on most candy bars. So why are Kit Kats so delicious?
There must be some magical alchemy because something clicks and clicks loudly when it hits those milky layers of plain ol’ chocolate cookie wafers.
It perfectly transcends its part, with tiny sugar crystals dancing on your tongue and the thick walls of chocolate making it easy to break into four pieces the minute it hits your mouth, tying the whole thing together.
Whether you’re getting it in a white or dark variety, Big Cat or Mini, there’s no candy able to take the mundane and turn it into something as extraordinary as a Kit Kat. Plus, you can take it apart with your hands. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
When we think of the primary Fritos flavor, it sounds pretty unmistakable. Salt. Corn cob. Oil. Then I realized we ate a whole bag of them thinking about it.
Whatever it is believed, such is its addictive nature. They’re delicious and get infinitely better when bought in scoops! Roop, go finicky with Honey BBQ Twist and are perfect in chili-cheese or barbecue varieties.
You can consider it for several days, but we don’t recommend it. Two bags in one sitting is probably a bit much. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
So, there are many suitable varieties of gummy candy offered to us by good Germans in Albanese or Haribo in Midwesterners.
Still, we’re mostly going to discuss bears here because, come on. Often imitated but never imitated, gummy bears have an unmistakable texture far more substantial than the average gummy candy. Call it charisma.
This is called gravity. Call it one of the most underrated theme songs in cartoon history. They are the undisputed kings of gummy candies, and everyone else is just chasing the crown. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Several years ago, Cheese-Its introduced an extra toasty variety, and they were a revelation, not only in their own right, but they showed me how to make a food that was always at the top of our snack list.
Light. Cheese—its taste has always been more, for lack of a better word, “real” than most of your mass-produced snack foods.
Anyway, the Extra Toasty presentation had that extra-deep color and depth of flavor when you order a pizza well.
We never really took much time to think about how good a box of Cheez-Its is, and here they were for me dozens of times. Roast outside. Fabulous from inside. Perfectly sized fleets of salt.
The more I write about Cheez-Its, the more I think we could have put them at No. 1 and not be wrong about it. To paraphrase the late, great Michael K. Williams, the farmer in Dell: “Cheese stands alone.” (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
The M&M candy shell is arguably the most significant engineering achievement in confectionery history, allowing for the hands-on, mess-free, pleasing crunch of so many salty snacks combined with the flavor of chocolate.
When it was just plain and peanuts, M&Ms was already a snack force, but the number of taste bud-expanding M&M-related developments in our lifetimes is staggering.
Peanut butter? Good God. Crispy? Oh yes! Pretzels? Duh. Caramel? Thank you for listening to my dreams.
That’s what I love about you, M&M. Looks like you get us. and you know what? You get America. Just listen to all the presidents. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
No, not puff. No, we’re talking curls, those mighty, crunchy, perfectly coated Corn Crisps. And while some may debate the merits of the spicier varieties (like Cheddar Jalapeno and Flamin’ Hot), it’s made from the original “real cheese” (though we haven’t figured out what kind of cheese that is) that always. Will remain for the king.
At one point, Frito-Lay released Cheetos with Doritos flavoring (and vice versa). Even failed. It looks like only Cheetos are the ones to crack the code. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
It should be clear by now that performance on this list did not include nutritional properties in any way, and yet here, Goldfish are in the top five.
As we learned from the Goldfish commercials: You can eat them every day, and your mom says okay. But we’re not here to analyze the relative glycemic properties of mixed salty and sweet snacks.
We’re here to celebrate Goldfish because they’re amazing, a snacking empire in its own right that exists as a subset of another snacking empire.
I think we appreciate everything Pepperidge Farms does for us as a society. We can’t imagine a world without a handful of crunchy little Cheddar Goldfish. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups
Some take note of the high peanut butter quotient of a springtime treat that is Reese’s egg. Others enjoy the madness of a NutRageous full map.
Perhaps there are sociopaths out there who claim that Reese’s sticks are Reese’s best products. They are all wrong.
The Reese’s Cup is perfect: a two-pack of sweet peanut goodness and just the correct ratio of sugar-chocolate delights, with the edge providing the entry point for a flavor-and-texture party that’s the subject of many.
There’s been a Halloween candy-trading argument. It was a joke. No one ever trades their Reese’s. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
Pringles makes dozens and dozens of flavors. We have tried them all. Seated with 19 cans, we found it hard to find a flavor we didn’t like.
Genuine, Original, and Cheddar are the standouts, but like Lays, Pringles toy with many different flavors and get most of them just right. Hell, even cheeseburger flavor is a thing of snackable beauty.
A chip that isn’t even made with flavors forged in a lab (for real, we got a glimpse of how they’re made, and it’s mad science) turns out to be so much, right?
Well, we confirmed that there’s no real magic involved. Simply delicious potato crisps come out in good enough flavor to give Baskin-Robbins a run for its money.
We’re willing to bet that if there were a flavor called “Grandpa’s Old Nails,” I’d be empty before I got home from the grocery store.
So it was with the jalapeno (the “worst” taste). So it is with persistent Cheddar. Such is the power of Pringles. (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
The good guys at Oreo have driven innovation recently, rapidly rolling out new limited-edition flavors that send food Internet sites in such a stir.
And we are all for it! The More Kinds of Oreos, the Better! Well, there’s probably an exception when Peeps are involved.
However, all those shenanigans pale compared to Oreo’s most significant innovation: Double Stuff. Honestly, they could have stayed there and still checked in at number 2.
The regular Oreo is a giant among snack foods. We don’t know what kind of diabolical alchemy happens when you mix Oreos with milk, but I know that the first time we said that combination, my world was never the same.
On the one hand, regular Oreos started it all, and the heavy cookie ratio yields better results when steeped in milk, which is undeniably the best way to consume Oreos.
On the other hand, the filling is the best part of the Oreo, and the double stuff makes it easier to access (a regular Oreo is more likely to break when you try to perform the twist-and-scrape maneuver). (Greatest Snacks of All Time in USA)
We’re glad that Oreos and Double Stuff Oreos are in our universe.
There are more than 15 flavors of Doritos on the shelves at any given time, all with their own merits (except for Bacon Cheddar Ranch).
But with regards to Cool Ranch, there’s only one flavor that matters, and that flavor is Nacho Cheese, the most extensive mass-produced snack in America.
There are many imitators, and we make it a point to try every off-brand nacho cheese chip to find the condiment, imitation cheese, tortilla, and a few other variations on the pleasure quotient offered in every bag of Doritos.
It has been a fruitless, lifelong, delicious pursuit. The only thing that came close, Eagle Nacho Cheese Chips, went sky high in the significant snack bin decades ago.
There’s a reason why a bag of Doritos is the first thing opened at a Super Bowl party amid a sea of homemade treats, yet never makes it past the first quarter.
It’s the one snack that makes everything better, turning your fingers into something even more delicious. There’s a reason Doritos Locos Tacos almost immediately became Taco Bell’s best-selling item.
A few years ago, we reached the bottom of a family-sized bag of these beauties (a weekly tradition) and discovered a lump of pureed nacho cheese slightly larger than a quail egg. No chips.
Just a tight wad of paneer powder. We took it, broke it up, and put it in the salt shaker. We sprinkled it on steak, showered popcorn, and mixed it into the fried chicken seasoning. Everything it touched got better.
The strength of America’s Greatest Breakfast is that when its portions are separated and distilled into an overpowering cheese-flavored powder.
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