The 9 Best Granola Bars in 2021

The ideal on-the-go snack, no matter the situation

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Our Top Picks
"The bars are chock-full of nutrient-rich ingredients like quinoa, amaranth, and chia seeds."
"You can’t beat the price of these Great Value granola bars, perfect for large households that require lots of snacks."
"Each bar has 5 grams of protein, perfect to keep kids energized and full throughout the day."
"Overall a very healthy balance of nutrients (and refreshingly low in sugar in a grocery category full of hidden sugar)."
"With 210 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber per serving, they make a solid breakfast substitute."
"This crunchy nut-packed snack is the perfect fuel to keep you going throughout the day."
"For those who don’t love a hard, crumbly bar texture, these chewy, softer granola bars are perfect for you."
"With no ‘filler’ ingredients, these bars are perfect for those following gluten-free, Whole30, or paleo diets."
"These bars are free from the eight most common food allergens (making them school safe)."

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 am 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 chocolatey? Nuts or no nuts? No matter what your preferences are, these convenient, kid-friendly, travel-ready, and (mostly) healthy granola bars are the perfect snack to grab-and-go. 

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

Best Overall: Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Chocolate Sea Salt Granola Bar

Purely Elizabeth, a natural foods company priding itself on products that are non-GMO project verified, certified gluten-free, certified made with organic ingredients, certified vegan, and contain no artificial ingredients or soy, offers both granola bars and “whole food nut and seed bars.” The bars are chock-full of nutrient-rich ingredients like quinoa, amaranth, and chia seeds, and, as an added bonus, there are even probiotics included for gut health.

For the chocoholics out there, the dark chocolate chunks are fair-trade. The crunchy texture makes these bars super satisfying, and with 3 grams of fiber and 190 calories per serving, there’s no guilt involved.

Best Budget: Great Value Oats & Honey Crunchy Granola Bars

great-value-granola-bars

At under $3 for a box of 12 bars (about $0.24 each!), 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 contains 190 calories, 2 grams of fiber, and 3 grams of protein, so it’s not the most nutrient-dense option listed here, but it’s still a solid snack choice when you’re on the go (and a nice portion size with two bars instead of one). These bars also received Walmart’s “Great for You” label designation, so you know you’re making a healthy choice.

Best Kid-Friendly: CLIF Kid ZBAR Protein Granola Bars, Peanut Butter Chocolate Flavor

We love that CLIF decided to make a line of bars devoted to kids, though with no high fructose corn syrup and no artificial flavors adults will enjoy these bars just as much as their little ones. Each bar has 5 grams of protein, perfect to keep kids energized and full throughout the day. These bars are also gluten-free. The layers of chocolate with soft-yet-crispy peanut butter will have kids asking for seconds. There are plenty of other tasty flavors as well, such as Cookies ‘n Creme, Chocolate Chip, and Chocolate Mint.

Best Low-Sugar: Atkins Protein Meal Bar, Peanut Butter Granola

Atkins Peanut Butter Granola Bar

Notorious for its low-carb diet and grocery products, Atkins offers a variety of bars categorized as “snacks,” “treats,” or “protein meal bars”—so there are plenty of options depending on your specific granola bar needs. We like the snack option, which has only 140 calories, no added sugar (and only 2 grams sugar overall), 4 grams of fiber, and 11 grams of protein; overall a very healthy balance of nutrients (and refreshingly low in sugar in a grocery category full of hidden sugar).

This particular bar boasts sweet-yet-tart cranberries, almonds, sunflower seeds, and oats. Other Atkins bar flavors offered include Peanut Butter Fudge, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, and Cookies & Creme.

Best Breakfast Substitute: Kodiak Cakes Crunchy Granola Bar Variety Pack

Kodiak Cakes is known for its high-protein baking products like pancake mix, but it also offers snacks like granola bars and protein balls. Flavors include Oats & Honey, Peanut Butter, Maple Brown Sugar, and Chocolate Chip. 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).

Best High-Protein: KIND Protein Bars, Double Dark Chocolate Nut

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-free, 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 for nutrition.

Best Organic: Annie's Organic Chewy Granola Bars, Chocolate Chip

Annie's Organic Chewy Granola 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). They are whole grain and made with wholesome, high-quality 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.

Best Gluten-Free: RXBAR Protein Bars, Best Seller Variety Pack

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. These bars have a soft, chewy texture, so if you’re looking for a crunch, this probably isn’t the bar for you.

Best Dairy-Free/ Vegan: 88 Acres Cinnamon & Oats Granola Bar

88-acres-cinnamon-oats-seed-bar

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-GMO, 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).

Final Verdict

If you want an overall good-for-you, crunchy granola bar that is full of whole grains, contains no artificial additives and has a touch of chocolate to satisfy those sweet tooth cravings, look no further than Purely Elizabeth’s Ancient Granola Bar, Chocolate Sea Salt flavor. It even has probiotics to boost gut health. If you need to buy granola bars in bulk for a larger family and are therefore looking for a budget-friendly option, you can’t go wrong with the Great Value Oats & Honey Crunchy Granola Bars Value Pack.

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.

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