The 9 Best Granola Bars in 2021

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

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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.

Our Top Picks
The bars are chock-full of quinoa, amaranth, and chia seeds.
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You can’t beat the price of these Great Value granola bars, perfect for large households that require lots of snacks.
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Each bar has 5 grams of protein, perfect to keep kids energized and full throughout the day.
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Refreshingly low in sugar in a grocery category full of hidden sugar.
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With 210 calories, 10 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber per serving, they make a solid breakfast substitute.
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This crunchy nut-packed snack is the perfect fuel to keep you going throughout the day.
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For those who don’t love a hard, crumbly bar texture, these chewy, softer granola bars are perfect for you.
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These bars are perfect for those following gluten-free, Whole30, or paleo diets.
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These bars are free from the eight most common food allergens (making them school safe).
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Best Overall: Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Chocolate Sea Salt Granola Bar

Purely Elizabeth Ancient Grain Chocolate Sea Salt Granola Bar

Purely Elizabeth, a food 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 they contain 3 grams of fiber and 190 calories per serving.

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 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, 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).

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

Known for its low-carb 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 220 calories, 1 gram of sugar, 6 grams of fiber, and 16 grams of protein.

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 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

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.

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

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 a 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. 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.

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.

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.

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
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.
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