There's a lot to love about Trader Joe's: the freezer aisle is filled with great weeknight options, they regularly release new condiments and spices (ketchup sprinkles, anyone?), and they have an absurd amount of fun salads kits to make lunch easier. But if we had to choose one favorite section in the cult-favorite grocery store, it would be hard to beat out the snacks.
No other grocery store does snacks better. From dried fruit to crackers to nuts, Trader Joe's has the most innovative and exciting selection of snacks around. The only issue is figuring out what you should add to your cart. That's why I asked our readers and editorial team for their top picks. We whittled it down. We fought (not really). And we finally have our top 10 list. Without further ado...
1. Almond Butter-Filled Pretzels
This year for Trader Joe's annual Customer Choice Awards the grocery store decided enough was enough—they weren't going to let past winners take the throne in 2023. This meant that the peanut butter-filled pretzel nuggets were finally pushed off the pedestal. The prized snack has won in the "best snack" category for years. And while our editorial team does think the nuggets deserve all of the accolades and more, we actually prefer the almond butter upgrade. Hear us out: they're just a little bit bigger and a little more crunchy.
2. Chili Spiced Dried Pineapple
Trader Joe's excels in the dried fruit department—and these Chili Spiced Dried Pineapple are one of our favorites. Food Editor Kristin Stangl describes these as "sweet, spicy, and a little salty," and that they "taste like a beach-side cocktail but suitable for workday snacking." Need we say more?
3. Everything But the Bagel Seasoned Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips
You could argue that Trader Joe's practically invented the Everything Bagel Seasoning craze that swept our kitchens in 2017. So it's no surprise that they'd keep riding that wave with these wildly popular potato chips. These chips are pungent with garlic flavor, perfectly flecked with both poppy and sesame seeds, and have just the right amount of salt. Oh, and the chips themselves are also perfectly crisp. What more could you want in a snack?
4. PB & J Snack Duo
This PB & J Snack Duo represents everything that makes Trader Joe's snacks so great. They're just so much fun to eat! In the same style as Dunkaroos, the snacker (that's you) is supposed to dip the crispy peanut butter-filled wafers into the raspberry jelly. Yes, it might be a little on the sweet side, but that's why it's perfect for the afternoon slump. And if you come at me and say these are meant for children, I can only assume that you don't want to be happy and I'm sorry.
5. Mini Hold the Cone Vanilla Ice Cream Cones
When we asked our readers what their favorite Trader Joe's snack of all time was, many of you didn't hesitate to mention the Mini Hold the Cone! Ice Cream Cones—and our editorial team completely agrees. These mini ice cream cones come in a variety of flavors—including vanilla, chocolate, and chocolate chip—and at just $3.79 for 8 mini cones, they're a complete steal. I personally love the nub of chocolate at the bottom of the cone, and was surprised to find that the ice cream itself is quite good. You know how sometimes premade cones taste...off? You won't get that here.
6. Quinoa and Black Bean Infused Tortilla Chips
These chips are literally designed to be used with dips. According to the product description on Trader Joe's website, "the hexagon shape allows for optimal grip when dealing with more formidable dips." How cool is that! Editorial Projects Manager Victoria Heydt would have to agree: "They're the perfect vehicle for all your salsa, queso, hummus, and nacho needs," she explains. We also love that by themselves they're just a little bit nutty, and supremely crunchy.
7. Soft and Juicy Mandarins
Senior Food Editor Meg Scott loves the Soft and Juicy Mandarins at Trader Joe's because "they deliver the bright flavor of mandarin oranges, but they're concentrated and delightfully chewy." She usually eats them with Trader Joe's Thai Lime and Chili Cashews, which is just brilliant.
8. Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
Not only were these rolled corn tortilla chips the best snack of 2023 according to Trader Joe's customers this year—it was also the most popular product. Period. What can you say, the grocery store knows how to make a good chip! The chili and lime seasoning is flavorful, plentiful, and actually has a pretty decent kick. The chip strikes the perfect balance between crisp and crunch, and the size of the chip itself makes them highly snackable.
9. Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Cups
These taste like if Reese's Peanut Butter Cups grew up, got a job, and then took a fabulous vacation somewhere expensive. Maybe Monaco. Or Tokyo. Or some island that you can only get to by boat. Okay...I might be exaggerating a little, but I need you to know that these are special. I love that they're less sweet than their peanut butter cup counterpart, I love that the dark chocolate is snappy, and I love that the almond butter is actually creamy instead of chalky. They're the perfect little everyday luxury.
10. Crunchy Chili Onion Peanuts
Yes, these peanuts are incredibly versatile—they're a great addition to noodle bowls, salads, and even on top of ice cream. But they're also just great a snack, all by their lonesome. The combination of the salty peanuts with the heat you get from Trader Joe's signature Crunchy Chili Onion condiment is just the perfect afternoon pick-me-up. No notes.