The 9 Best Granola Bars of 2023

Grab these on the go for a delicious treat

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 Best Granola Bars

The Spruce Eats / Amelia Manley

Granola bars are an underrated snack (even—dare I say—treat?) these days. This quintessential on-the-go product is perfect for everyone, from busy parents who just need to give their kids a last-minute energy boost before soccer practice to college students on their way to 8 a.m. lectures and the working professional who needs something quick and easy between meetings. The variety on store shelves is a nod to just how popular these bars are.

And the options are endless. Crunchy or chewy? Sweet or salty? Fruity or chocolaty? Nuts or no nuts? No matter what your preferences, these convenient, kid-friendly, and travel-ready granola bars are the perfect snack to grab and go. 

Here are the best granola bars for all your snacking needs.

Best Overall

MadeGood Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

MadeGood Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • School safe

  • Great for kids

  • Organic

What We Don't Like
  • Small size

There are all kinds of fun and creative granola bars out there, but sometimes just a classic oat and chocolate chip combo hits the spot, and that’s where MadeGood’s bars come in. These bars are considered "school safe," in that they do not contain peanuts or tree nuts, so you can rest assured they’re safe to pack in kids’ lunchboxes. But they’re not just great for kids; they’re a delicious and organic on-the-go option for adults too, complete with gluten-free oats, a full serving of hidden vegetables, and no artificial colors or flavors. If you end up being a fan of this flavor, be sure to check out the other options available (birthday cake drizzled, vanilla drizzled, cookies and creme, and more).

Price at time of publish: $4

Size: 0.85 ounces per bar | Protein Amount: 2 grams per bar | Allergens: Not indicated

Best Breakfast Substitute

Kodiak Cakes Crunchy Granola Bar Variety Pack

Kodiak Cakes Crunchy Granola Bar Variety Pack

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • High in protein

  • Tastes like breakfast

  • High in nutrients

What We Don't Like
  • May taste dry

Kodiak Cakes is known for its high-protein baking products like pancake mix, but it also offers snacks like granola bars and protein balls. This pack comes with two boxes of Chocolate Chip and two of Peanut Butter, but other flavors include Oats & Honey and Maple Brown Sugar. These satiating bars offer an impressive 10 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and 10 percent of your daily value of iron, and with 210 calories per serving, they make a solid breakfast substitute (especially the Maple Brown Sugar flavor, which will remind you of a tasty, hearty bowl of oatmeal). These bars are crunchy and may taste dry to some people—but that's nothing a glass of milk (another breakfast staple) can't fix.

Bottom line, if you’re swapping a full meal with a bar, you want to make sure you’re getting good quality, hearty fuel, and with 10 grams of protein per bar plus fiber and iron, you can’t go wrong here.

Price at time of publish: $30

Size: 1.59 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 10 grams per bar | Allergens: Flavors contain almonds, peanuts, soy, and wheat. Processed on shared equipment that may contain trace amounts of egg, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts

Best Low Sugar

JUNKLESS Chewy Granola Bars, 100% REAL Strawberries

granola bars

Amazon

What We Like
  • Contains real strawberries

  • Individually packaged

  • Solid ingredients

What We Don't Like
  • Contains soy and other allergens

This JUNKLESS bar is minimally sweetened with brown rice syrup, strawberries, and natural strawberry jam flavor, keeping the sugar to 6 grams per serving. The company prides itself on having "no fake stuff added." There is no high fructose corn syrup, no GMO’s, and no trans fats/hydrogenated oils. 

According to Founder/CEO Ernie Pang, "JUNKLESS bars do not use any sugar alcohols or sugar alternatives. We use real sugar but we put just a moderate amount in our food to make them taste great. In fact, on a sugar gram per gram of food basis, JUNKLESS granola bars have one of the lowest amounts of sugar of all leading national brands."

If you have allergies, note these bars contain soy and may contain wheat, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts. If you end up being a fan of this flavor, be sure to check out the other fun varieties out there, including chocolate chip, wildflower honey, cinnamon roll, and more.

Price at time of publish: $5

Size: 1.1 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 2 grams per bar | Allergens: Contains soy, may contain wheat, milk, peanuts, and tree nuts

What Our Experts Say

"Sugar content is a key item to look at.  Many low sugar or no sugar bars use sugar-alcohols (e.g. maltitol or erythritol) or sugar alternatives (e.g. monk fruit). While zero sugar sounds appealing, it might not be appropriate for families with kids." — Ernie Pang, Founder/CEO of JUNKLESS

Best High-Protein

KIND Protein Bars, Double Dark Chocolate Nut

KIND Protein Bars Double Chocolate Nut

Amazon

What We Like
  • Significantly more protein than others

  • Uses nuts for protein

  • Flavorful

What We Don't Like
  • Sometimes doesn't taste fresh

With a whopping 12 grams of protein per bar, this crunchy nut-packed snack is the perfect fuel to keep you going throughout the day. It’s also gluten-free2, low in sodium, and a good source of fiber. KIND’s protein bars are 25 percent larger than the brand's standard bars, so you also get a slightly larger portion. If you think protein bars typically lack favor, you might be pleasantly surprised by KIND's offering. With flavors like Double Dark Chocolate Nut, Crunchy Peanut Butter, Almond Butter Dark Chocolate, Caramel Nut, and White Chocolate Cinnamon Almond, you don’t have to sacrifice flavor. We've eaten a bar or two that hasn't tasted as fresh as others, but this doesn't happen often.

Price at time of publish: $18 for 12 count (pack of 1)

Size: 1.8 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 12 grams per bar | Allergens: Contains peanuts, almonds, and soy

What Our Experts Say

"...choose a granola bar that supports your lifestyle since there are plenty of options out there.  As an example, if you’re taking it with you for outdoor activities, you might want to pick a bar that has whole grains for energy. If you’re looking for a bar for the gym or to strengthen your muscles, a protein based granola bar might be appropriate. If you’re looking for something for your kids/family as a quick on-the-go healthy snack, a basic clean but tasty granola bar just might fit the occasion." — Ernie Pang, Founder/CEO of JUNKLESS

Best Budget

Great Value Oats & Honey Crunchy Granola Bars

great-value-granola-bars

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Low cost per bar

  • Crunchy

  • Versatile

What We Don't Like
  • Low in protein

You can’t beat the price of these Great Value granola bars, which is perfect if you have a large household that requires lots of snacks. Each pack of two whole grain bars only contains 3 grams of protein but does have 190 calories and 2 grams of fiber, so it’s still a solid snack choice when you’re on the go (and a nice portion size with two bars instead of one—bring a napkin, though, as they are crunchy). They are breast for being out and about, but can also double as granola in yogurt bowls and more.

These bars also received Walmart’s "Great for You" label designation, which means it meets the nutrition criteria from the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Institute of Medicine (IOM).

Price at time of publish: $2

Size: 1.48 ounces per bar | Protein Amount: 3 grams per 2 bars | Allergens: Contains peanuts and soy, and may contain traces of wheat

Best Kid-Friendly

KIND Kids Chewy Chocolate Chip Granola Bars

granola

Amazon

What We Like
  • Bulk-sized box

  • Smaller sized bars

  • Chewy

What We Don't Like
  • Contains three sweeteners

KIND bars have been a popular choice for adults over the last several years, boasting grown-up flavors like "Dark Chocolate Nuts and Sea Salt" and "Dark Chocolate Mocha Almond," but they also now offer several more kid-friendly varieties to appeal to the masses. The first ingredient in the ingredient list is oats, and they contain 5 grams of sugar per serving, are gluten-free, and low-sodium. They also contain no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. Besides the chocolate chips, they are sweetened with tapioca syrup, cane sugar, and honey. They are on the smaller side, but this is great for kids.

"KIND has always been committed to bringing people wholesome and delicious snacks with ingredients that they can see AND pronounce. The first and predominant ingredient in all of our snacks is always a nutrient-dense food like nuts or whole grains," says a KIND spokesperson.

This box contains over two dozen bars, so it is perfect for stocking the pantry. If your kids are big peanut butter fans, be sure to check out the other kid flavor, chewy peanut butter chocolate chip. (Note: adults will enjoy these bars too!) 

Price at time of publish: $12

Size: 0.81 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 1 gram per bar | Allergens: Made in a facility that processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, and sesame seeds

Best Organic

Annie's Organic Chewy Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip

Annie's Organic Chewy Granola Bars
What We Like
  • Chewy

  • All organic ingredients

  • Soft

What We Don't Like
  • Small bars

We all know and love Annie’s organic mac and cheese, but its granola bars are another hit. Though admittedly not as nutrient-dense as some of the others in the lineup, these still hold their own as a great snack, are kid-friendly, and are relatively low in calories (100 per bar) because they are a bit smaller than others. They are whole grain and made with wholesome, high-quality organic ingredients. What they don't have? Artificial flavors, synthetic colors, and high-fructose corn syrup.

And for those who don’t love a hard, crumbly bar texture, these chewy, softer granola bars are perfect for you. In addition to Chocolate Chip, Annie’s offers Oatmeal Raisin and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavors, as well as gluten-free versions.

Price at time of publish: $7

Size: 0.89 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 2 grams per bar | Allergens: May contain milk ingredients

Best Gluten-Free

RXBAR Protein Bars, Best Seller Variety Pack

4.8
RXBAR Protein Bars, Best Seller Variety Pack

Courtesy of RXBAR

What We Like
  • Contains lots of protein

  • Short ingredient list

  • Flavorful

What We Don't Like
  • Consistency is different than other granola bars

RXBARS are famous for their minimalistic ingredient lists (nine ingredients or less!), producing bars with just the nutritious necessities and no unpronounceable "filler" ingredients, making these bars a fantastic snack option for those following gluten-free, Whole30, or paleo diets. They are high in protein, thanks to egg whites and nuts, and come in a variety of crave-able flavors like Blueberry, Chocolate Sea Salt, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Coconut Chocolate, and more. With so few ingredients, they manage to pack in a ton of flavor and nutrition. These bars have a soft, chewy texture, so if you’re looking for a crunch, this probably isn’t the bar for you.

Price at time of publish: $20

Size: 1.83 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 12 grams per bar | Allergens: Flavors included contain allergens such as eggs, almonds, cashews, coconut, and peanuts. Manufactured in a facility that also processes soy, milk, peanuts, and wheat

Best Dairy-Free/ Vegan

88 Acres Cinnamon & Oats Granola Bar

88 Acres Cinnamon & Oats Granola Bar

Amazon

What We Like
  • Made in small batches

  • Major allergen free

  • Unique flavor

What We Don't Like
  • Could stand to be higher in protein

88 Acres handcrafts its wholesome bars in small batches out of a small-scale bakery in urban Boston. These granola bars are a fantastic choice for households with allergens, as these bars are free from the eight most common food allergens (making them school safe). Additionally, they’re gluten-free, non-GMO1, FODMAP-friendly, and vegan. Each bar contains 190 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. Other flavors include Spiced Cranberry Orange, Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Ginger Apple, and more. If you want a higher protein option, 88 Acres also produces protein bars (at 12 grams of protein per bar).

Price at time of publish: $23

Size: 1.6 ounces per bar | Protein amount: 7 grams per bar | Allergens: Made in a facility free from peanuts, tree nuts, gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, and sesame

Final Verdict

Having MadeGood’s Chocolate Chip Granola Bars in the pantry will come in handy for anyone looking for a snack. For an option with over 10 grams of protein, grab a box of the KIND Double Dark Chocolate Nut Protein Bars.

What to Look for When Buying Granola Bars

Ingredients

Read the label on the box before buying, so you know what is in these snacks. They might taste good yet have ingredients that you don't want in a granola bar. Some of them will include artificial sweeteners and preservatives, colorings, and extra sugar, while others offer options such as organic and gluten-free ingredients and whole grains, dried fruits, and nuts. 

Taste

Whatever you're craving, there is sure to be a granola bar that fits your needs. With so many different flavors and textures out there, it all comes down to preference. Get one you enjoy. From chocolate, fruits, sweet, or salty, to chewy and crunchy, these bars are the ideal snack for children and adults alike.

Serving Size

Check the number of bars allotted for a daily serving size. Some come in individual packets, while other packets have multiple bars in them. These snacks are so good, you might find yourself reaching for another packet and eating more than the daily recommended amount.

FAQs

What is granola?

Granola is a breakfast food that consists of rolled oats, nuts, and honey or brown sugar.  

How long can you store granola bars?

Store-bought granola bars will have an expiration date stamped on the box. Check the box before purchasing, and store them in a pantry or cupboard. They should last around six to eight months depending on that date.

When is National Granola Bar Day?

National Granola Bar Day is celebrated on January 21 every year. Join in and celebrate by eating your favorite granola bar.

How We Researched

To compile this list, our team of editors and contributors spent hours researching the best granola bars on the market, evaluating their key features—like ingredients, flavor, or price—in addition to reviews from customers and other trusted sources. We then used this research to assign a star rating from one to five (five being the best; one being the worst) to certain products on the list.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

The Spruce Eats writer Alyssa Langer is a registered dietitian and foodie, always curious about the next food or ingredient craze and hungry to learn and try more. Having worked in cookbook publishing, CPG label data, nutrition writing, and meal kits, her diverse background and varied interests provide a unique perspective that fosters clear, well-researched, and trustworthy reviews. She updated this story with new products, nutritional information, and prices.

Amanda McDonald is an editor at The Spruce Eats and has over seven years of experience researching, writing, and editing about all things food — from what new products are at the grocery store to chef-approved hacks that keep tricky leftovers fresh for days. She also updated this article to include the most up-to-date information.

Sources

  • Ernie Pang, Founder/CEO of JUNKLESS
Updated by
Sharon Lockley,
Sharon Lockley
Sharon Lockley has over 20 years of experience as an editor and writer and has been contributing to The Spruce Eats since 2019.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Alyssa Langer,
Alyssa Langer
Alyssa is a licensed registered dietitian who covers food and kitchen products. She has written for EatingWell, Martha Stewart, and more and has worked on many America’s Test Kitchen cookbooks.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
and
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald
Amanda McDonald is a journalist living in New York City and Commerce Updates Editor for The Spruce Eats. She has written and edited health, wellness, food, and fitness content as well as recipes for multiple publications.
Learn about The Spruce Eats' Editorial Process
Article Sources
The Spruce Eats uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025. 9th Edition.

  2. Food and Drug Administration. Gluten-free labeling of foods.

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