Trader Joe's foods you need to try before you die

From their low prices to their fun nautical theme, there are many reasons to visit a Trader Joe's. However, the most important reason why you should visit this chain of grocery stores is the fact that there is food within each store that you should absolutely try before it's your turn to die.

The first Trader Joe's opened its doors in Pasadena, California. The year was 1967 and the first store had the same nautical theme that has survived the subsequent 50-plus years. As time has passed, Trader Joe's has concentrated on its own private label. Not only has that cut costs for the grocery chain, it has allowed them to ensure that the quality remains as high as possible.

Today, there are more than 500 Trader Joe's grocery stores spread across 42 states. It would be a shame if you didn't find each of the items on this list of the best foods sold at Trader Joe's and let your taste buds enjoy the ride — at least once in your life.

Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken

If you're planning a shopping trip to Trader Joe's, the item that must be in your cart is their Mandarin Orange Chicken. It's no accident that it was voted by Trader Joe's customers as the favorite entree for 2019. This orange chicken is the best Chinese food you can find at a grocery store. In fact, it might even be better than the famous orange chicken served at Panda Express. All you need to do is bake it, add the sauce, and then prepare yourself for a next-level Chinese meal.

Trader Joe's Unexpected Cheddar Cheese

Another extremely popular item at Trader Joe's is their Unexpected Cheddar. This cheese is absolutely marvelous. Buy it once and you'll never be able to leave a Trader Joe's without it again. On your first bite, you'll be confused by Unexpected Cheddar's sorcery. It tastes like aged Cheddar in the first moments it's playing with your taste buds. But then, out of nowhere, you will swear that you're eating aged Parmesan. By the time you swallow, all you will be able to think about is the next bite, so that you can hop on the delicious roller coaster all over again.

Trader Joe's Sriracha Seafood Potstickers

If you find regular potstickers to be too bland, Sriracha Seafood Potstickers from Trader Joe's is a flavorful alternative you should try. These potstickers are packed with shrimp and crab that has been expertly spiced with Sriracha. Water chestnuts and mung bean noodles come along for the ride to add the right amount of crunch. The dough for the wrapper is bolstered by the addition of carrot and red pepper. While you usually need dipping sauce for potstickers, these things from Trader Joe's are perfect as-is.

Trader Joe's Turkey And Stuffing Kettle Chips

Who doesn't love Thanksgiving? Thanks to these Turkey And Stuffing Kettle Chips, Trader Joe's allows you to celebrate Thanksgiving on any day of the year — as long as you stock up during the holiday season, when they're in stock. While you may be skeptical that the taste of Thanksgiving can be transferred into a potato chip, all it will take is one chip to be completely convinced. The first flavor you will taste is the stuffing. Then, after a couple of seconds, the turkey taste hits — and you'll be in complete Thanksgiving bliss. These kettle chips sell out quickly so buy a whole lot of bags whenever you see them available at Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's Pesto Gouda Cheese

Your first reaction when you see this unique cheese at Trader Joe's may be to recoil in disgust. That's understandable because this cheese looks like it's moldy from a distance due to its green color. But after you get over the initial shock, make sure you purchase the Pesto Gouda Cheese. You will end up loving this cheese so much that it will be a life-changing experience. Basil pesto gives the cheese its green taste and its strong, rich flavor. The powerfulness of the flavor is something you will soon learn to enjoy and eventually crave.

Trader Joe's Cookie Butter Ice Cream

Cookie Butter Ice Cream is a conglomeration of some of the tastiest ingredients to ever enter the world of frozen desserts. Trader Joe's begins the process with a rich base of vanilla ice cream. Next, soft European style cinnamon cookies are blended in to add to the flavor and the texture. Finally, a splash of cookie butter is added to the frozen fiesta, which results in a spectacular gingerbread-like taste. All told, Cookie Butter Ice Cream is something to always have in your freezer, because it can make any day bearable, even the worst of days.

Trader Joe's Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies

Eating a basket full of fries with a tub full of ketchup has become an American pastime. Trader Joe's has made this process a whole lot easier. No longer do you need to slice the potatoes, cook the fries, and then manually dip each fry into the ketchup. Simply buy a bag of Ketchup Flavored Spud Crunchies and all the work has been done for you. These things are basically potato chips that have been shaped to look like fries and then covered with a ketchup-flavored coating. It may sound strange but it tastes wonderful.

Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi

For a healthier spin on gnocchi, you must try Trader Joe's Cauliflower Gnocchi. Imported from Italy, it's crafted by gnocchi experts. The only difference is that cauliflower is used in order to make it healthier. Amazingly, not only is this gnocchi healthier, it arguably tastes even better. Compared to traditional gnocchi, Cauliflower Gnocchi has fewer carbs, calories, and fat. You can saute it in a pan, boil it, or even microwave it. No matter how you prepare it, you'll be blown away and may give up traditional gnocchi forever.

Trader Joe's Almond Nog

If you've considered going vegan but have hesitated due to your love of eggnog during the holiday season, Trader Joe's has the answer. Almond Nog tastes just like eggnog but it doesn't have any egg or any dairy, making it safe for vegans to drink themselves silly. Even if you're not a vegan, you should try Almond Nog at least once. Despite relying on almond milk, it's satisfyingly creamy and has the perfect amount of both ginger and nutmeg. Buy a quart of this holiday goodness and you'll have a difficult time putting it down.

Trader Joe's Cinnamon Bun Spread

Buy Cinnamon Bun Spread at Trader Joe's and you'll have the magic of cinnamon buns with you no matter where you venture. It's amazing how much this stuff tastes like a cinnamon bun in the form of a smooth spread. You can taste everything from the sugary icing to the freshly baked cinnamon bread, with hints of butter, vanilla, and honey. Put the Cinnamon Bun Spread on waffles or pancakes for a breakfast treat. If you're at the office, spread it on a piece of toast for a midday snack. It's so good that you'll be tempted to just pull out a spoon, open the jar, and get to work. And there's nothing wrong with that.

Trader Joe's Organic No Joke Ginger Juice Shot

Finding juice shots that haven't been packed with sugar or watered-down is difficult. But at Trader Joe's, the Organic No Joke Ginger Juice Shot gives you the full flavor experience without the excess water. This cold-pressed juice shot is made with a mix of lemon juice, coconut water, and ginger root juice. To add a pleasant but unmistakable kick, the Organic No Joke Ginger Juice Shot also has a dash of cayenne pepper in it. The result is a juice shot that is all organic, amazingly tasty, and right on track with some of the hottest health trends. Give yourself a boost by downing one of these shots at every chance you get.

Trader Joe's Key Lime Pie

At least once in your life, go to Trader Joe's for their Key Lime Pie. This is one of the very best store-bought pies available anywhere. The key to Trader Joe's Key Lime Pie is its authenticity. The custard is perfectly smoothed, given the proper amount of tartness by way of real Key lime juice, and then sweetened just right. The custard rests happily inside of a graham cracker crust that adds the optimal amount of crunchiness. To get it ready to eat, all you need to do is thaw it in your refrigerator for a couple hours and it'll be ready to enter your mouth.

Trader Joe's Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip

Dip made from spinach and artichoke has become a popular appetizer at restaurants around the country. You can now take that appetizer you love and bring it into your kitchen at home. Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip from Trader Joe's is not only a good substitute for what you find at restaurants, it's even better. In addition to spinach and artichoke, this stuff has Parmesan cheese, Swiss cheese, and all the right spices to finish the job. Once you heat it up, the consistency of this dip makes it perfect for tortilla chips, but it's also spreadable enough to easily add it to your favorite type of bread.

Trader Joe's Tequila Blanco

Tequila Blanco arrives in Trader Joe's from a Mexican distillery where making tequila has become an artform. This crisp tequila goes down smooth with a fruit-filled taste that is highlighted by a hint of lemon. You can also taste a bit of black pepper, which helps to diversify the flavor and add some fun. Tequila Blanco is an 80-proof tequila that is extremely budget-friendly and available exclusively at Trader Joe's. This stuff mixes well but is also flavorful enough to sip on.

Trader Joe's Roasted Plantain Chips

Plantains are extremely popular in many Caribbean countries and in some parts of Africa and South America. The United States has been slower to realize just how good plantains taste. If you want to join those who love plantains, go to Trader Joe's and seek out their Roasted Plantain Chips. You may think twice before ever switching back to potato chips. Plantain chips are healthier and have a richer taste. Before you know it, you'll be eating these chips and frying plantains on a daily basis like they do in the Caribbean.

Trader Joe's Carne Asada Autentica

Whether you're in the mood for fajitas or burritos, Carne Asada Autentica is the meat you should buy. Trader Joe's marinates this meat with the perfect mix of spices and citrus juice just like they do in Mexico. While it's possible to cook this carne asada on your stovetop, you really need to grill it to unlock the most amount of flavor. While you're at Trader Joe's, don't forget the tortillas, cheese, avocados, tomatoes, and onions so you can have an epic Mexican meal once your grilling is done.

Trader Joe's Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon

Charles Shaw wines at Trader Joe's are known as "Two Buck Chuck" because you can get your hands on this wine for about $2 (depending on your location). You may think this wine is garbage due to its low price tag but you'd be wrong. Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon, specifically, is a wine you should taste at least once. It's legitimately very good and, considering the cost, it could easily become your go-to wine. Charles Shaw Cabernet Sauvignon has a bold taste that will surprise you at first, but that you will grow to enjoy.

Trader Joe's Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese Bowl

That teenage voice still inside of your head will rejoice when you take your first bite from this Pepperoni Pizza Mac & Cheese Bowl. While it's not exactly health food, this bowl combines the best parts of pepperoni pizza and macaroni and cheese into one groovy dish. You'll find macaroni, Cheddar cheese, mozzarella cheese, pieces of tomato, and pepperoni slices. You may have never pondered this particular marriage before, but once you take a big, heaping bite, you'll realize it's a relationship you should have demanded years ago.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Coconut Almonds

Before you find yourself at the pearly gates, be sure to visit your local Trader Joe's and buy their Chocolate Coconut Almonds. These are spherical gifts from the snack gods above. To create these goodies, almonds are roasted until they are perfectly crunchy. Next, a coating of pearly white coconut is applied to the almond. The coconut has an authentic texture and a sweet (but not too sweet) taste. The final piece to the puzzle is a layer of chocolate. With each bite you take, you'll struggle to pinpoint whether you love the top layer of chocolate, the middle layer of coconut, or the inner roasted almond the best.

Trader Joe's Organic Pomegranate Hibiscus Kombucha

Due to health benefits including lots of antioxidants and probiotics, many have recently jumped on the kombucha bandwagon. Trader Joe's now offers kombucha and their Organic Pomegranate Hibiscus Kombucha hits it out of the ballpark. This stuff is basically fermented black tea mixed with pomegranate and hibiscus. You may first drink it due to how it can supercharge your health, however you will keep drinking it because the Organic Pomegranate Hibiscus Kombucha at Trader Joe's tastes really, really good.

Trader Joe's Bloody Mary Salsa

Trader Joe's has taken the best aspects of a Bloody Mary and put it in a form that you can scoop up with a tortilla chip. Whichever foods you typically add salsa to, you can confidently add Bloody Mary Salsa and you'll be entirely satisfied. The ingredients used to create this masterpiece are numerous: tomatoes, green chile pepper, jalapeno peppers, capers, onions, pickling brine, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and, of course, horseradish. It may sound complicated but you won't be complaining once you buy this salsa and can add Bloody Mary taste to everything under the sun.

Trader Joe's Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Fans of chocolate peanut butter cups should get in their car right now and head to the closest Trader Joe's. Their Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups have a cult following and many have named it the best chocolate peanut butter cup on the market. While many of their competitors underwhelm when it comes to the amount of peanut butter that is in each cup, that's not the case at Trader Joe's. You get a sufficient amount of naturally tasty peanut butter surrounded by dark chocolate that manages to balance the right amount of sweetness and bitterness.

Trader Joe's Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings

While you can add these bad boys to a soup, the Steamed Chicken Soup Dumplings from Trader Joe's are actually at their best when they are all alone with you and a large spoon. And, surprisingly, the best way to cook them is in the microwave. In just two minutes, you will have perfect soup dumplings. When you take a bite, broth erupts from the dumpling and the savory taste will hug your taste buds. Then the chicken will melt on your tongue as it joins the lovefest. As you chew the dumplings, the splashing of all the rich flavors in your mouth will make you long for the next bite.

Trader Joe's Buffalo Style Chicken Dip

Trader Joe's has transplanted the great taste of buffalo chicken into a dip that you can eat with tortilla chips or a stalk of celery. Buffalo Style Chicken Dip is everything you're imagining — and more. Yes, there are even chunks of chicken inside of the dip. Joining the chicken in the dip are Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, cayenne pepper sauce, and sour cream. Heat it up and you and your guests will be overjoyed by how good it tastes. Before your next gathering, this is what you need to get at Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's Cold Brew Coffee

You can cold brew your own coffee at home, but it takes time and there's no guarantee that the result will be pleasing. Instead of wasting your time, just go to Trader Joe's and get a bottle of Cold Brew Coffee. Made with 100 percent arabica beans, the flavor is bold, but this coffee goes down smooth. You can add some milk or cream if you wish but be sure to taste it first because you might not need to add anything.

Trader Joe's Soy Chorizo

When you see the Soy Chorizo at Trader Joe's, you probably won't have high expectations. That said, you should prepare to be blown out of the water when you taste it. The texture of this faux meat is very close to that of a chorizo made from pork. But where the Soy Chorizo really shines is its spices. The flavor isn't just that of a regular pork chorizo, it's beyond. Even if you eat meat, this Soy Chorizo is something you should add to your culinary rotation. Taste it and you'll see why.

Trader Joe's Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns

This heat and serve meal from Trader Joe's is something you deserve to eat at least once in your life. Philly Cheesesteak Bao Buns are filled with memorable shredded beef, flavorful bell peppers, and tasty onion. That combination is so authentic that you'll think that you're on the streets of Philadelphia. Surrounding the cheesesteak is a bun that is soft and delicate but not too flaky or crumbly. Each box contains four buns. Prepare not to be able to share.

Trader Joe's Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl

If half of your heart is in Havana, give your heart a taste of home with the Cuban Style Citrus Garlic Bowl from Trader Joe's. The bowl is blessed with chicken thigh meat that has been marinated in a garlic and citrus sauce, plantains, black beans, yellow rice, red bell peppers, onions, and cilantro. All the flavors in this bowl offer an authentic Cuban flavor that is perfectly zesty. Find it in the freezer section at Trader Joe's, take it home, heat it up, and you'll be back in Havana in no time.

Trader Joe's Kentucky Best Straight Bourbon Whiskey

If you like your bourbon to be classified as wheated, you're in luck. Trader Joe's has Kentucky Best Straight Bourbon Whiskey that is among the best wheated bourbons you can find anywhere. For four years, this stuff is aged in oak barrels. When it's ready, this whiskey is destined to be sipped until you can sip no more. While the flavor doesn't hold back any punches, the punches you receive are enjoyable. A few sips in and you'll be able to taste the slight flavors of raisins, honey, plums, and butter making a subtle yet notable appearance.

Trader Joe's Milk & Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn

If you truly wish to experience the finer things in life, you need to enjoy the flavor explosion that can be had from the Milk & Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel Popcorn at Trader Joe's. While there are a lot of different flavors working at the same time, the execution is flawless. The base of this snack is delicately popped popcorn that remains soft and chewy. That popcorn is treated to a mixture of caramel and sea salt. From there, half get a milk chocolate cover and the other half gets a dark chocolate cover.

Trader Joe's Angus Beef Chili with Pinto Beans

You can buy a can of chili at a superstore and be underwhelmed by what you get. Or, if you're smart, you'll go to Trader Joe's and buy a tub of their Angus Beef Chili with Pinto Beans. Your life will be better for making this decision. First of all, the beef in this chili is of excellent quality. It's angus beef that is antibiotic-free and hormone-free. In the chili you will find pinto beans and some refreshingly tangy lime juice. To add some spice to your life, the chili has multiple peppers at work including chipotle peppers and poblano peppers.

Trader Joe's Non-Dairy Oat Beverage

Non-Dairy Oat Beverage from Trader Joe's is not the most appetizing name ever invented. Even when you see this milk substitute you'll still be skeptical. But once you give Trader Joe's oat milk a taste, you'll be sold. You won't be stunned to learn that Non-Dairy Oat Beverage was named by Trader Joe's customers as their favorite beverage. This drink is surprisingly creamy, surprisingly sweet, and goes perfectly with cereal or inside of milkshakes. It's so good, in fact, that your best bet is just to drink it straight.

Trader Joe's Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

Speaking of the favorite foods at Trader Joe's, the winner for the overall favorite in 2020 was this Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. If you're wondering how a seasoning blend got top honors, you've obviously never tried it. Everything But The Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend is so good that there's virtually no limit to what you can put it on. From grilled chicken to steamed vegetables and everything in between, this stuff will enhance your food. It has sesame seeds, dried garlic, sea salt, dried onions, poppy seeds, and a whole lot of goodness.

Trader Joe's World's Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs

It's debatable whether these corn puffs are indeed the puffiest in the world. It's not debatable, however, whether they are the yummiest in the world. World's Puffiest White Cheddar Corn Puffs from Trader Joe's are unbelievably light but even more unbelievably tasty. Each puff of cornmeal is completely covered with real white cheddar cheese. Be warned that all other cheese puffs you find elsewhere will be ruined once you start munching on this Trader Joe's snack.

Trader Joe's Chocolate Dilemma Cheesecake

The dilemma you'll face when you buy Chocolate Dilemma Cheesecake at Trader Joe's is which of the eight slices you will eat first. Chocolate Dilemma Cheesecake has two slices of four fantastic options: triple chocolate, chocolate chip, tuxedo, and plain. When solving your dilemma, don't overlook the plain cheesecake, as there's nothing plain about how great that cheesecake tastes. If you love chocolate and can never have too much, the triple chocolate is enough to send you to chocolate heaven within two or three bites. If you're hopelessly unable to solve the dilemma, go with the tuxedo cheesecake because that one offers a little bit of everything that makes the rest of the options so amazing.

Trader Joe's Chili Onion Crunch

Don't miss out on Chili Onion Crunch from Trader Joe's. What can you use this stuff on? It'd be easier to list what Chili Onion Crunch doesn't go well with because it's the perfect condiment for all situations. From potstickers to pizzas and from tacos to sub sandwiches, it can all be made better with some love from this Chili Onion Crunch. The base of this sauce is olive oil. From there, chili flakes, onions, garlic, and red pepper are added. The result is a condiment with universal appeal.

Trader Joe's Honey Nut O's

While you can find a wide variety of breakfast cereals at Trader Joe's, when making your selection you should keep it simple and opt for the Honey Nut O's. Imagine Honey Nut Cheerios but with an even better taste and even more pleasing texture. These magical little O's even hold up better in milk, which allows you to sit back and fully enjoy your breakfast. Honey Nut O's are also a perfect snack to take on the road with you or put in your backpack the next time you hit the hills to go hiking.

Trader Joe's Truffle Honey Mustard

Truffle Honey Mustard from Trader Joe's tastes like honey mustard made for billionaires. It's so fancy that you will have to double-check your receipt to verify you don't spend an arm and a leg. Truffle Honey Mustard begins with tasty dijon mustard and the mustard is first mixed with white wine. Next, pieces of truffle are added for taste and texture purposes. Finally, when everything else is ready, a spoonful of honey completes the concoction. Add it to anything you usually eat with honey mustard. And do it without guilt, as this mustard is surprisingly inexpensive at Trader Joe's.

Trader Joe's Ash Rind Brie

Ash Rind Brie from Trader Joe's is a ripened cheese with a flavor that you will learn to cherish. If you have never eaten brie before, it may take your taste buds a while to adjust. However, once your taste buds are given a chance to acclimate, they'll be begging for more and more of this cheese. Ash Rind Brie remains soft enough to spread on crackers or a piece of toast with just a butter knife. Pro tip: This cheese tastes the best when it's cold. For that reason, you should keep it in your fridge until the very moment you are ready to eat it.

Trader Joe's Crunchy Curls

The description on a bag of Crunchy Curls at Trader Joe's could scare you off. It says this is a snack made with potatoes and lentils. Yes, lentils. But go ahead and let your skepticism fade away because Crunch Curls are so good that you'll have a full-blown addiction after you finish your first bag. That addiction won't be a bad thing because these actually qualify as a healthy snack. You won't get much sweetness or saltiness but the richness will leave you begging for more. Crunchy Curls are a good source of fiber and 31 curls only have 130 calories, so you can snack without fear of blowing your diet.

Trader Joe's Queso Fundido

Queso Fundido from Trader Joe's is a cheese dip with such flavorful spiciness that it can even put you in a good mood on a Monday morning. All it needs is a few minutes in your microwave and it's ready to eat with tortilla chips, veggies, or anything else that can use a cheesy upgrade. This Queso Fundido has queso fresco, poblano peppers, and the very same Soy Chorizo that's on this list. Once it's heated, the cheese is perfectly creamy — not too soupy and not so thick that it'll snap your tortilla chips. Never settle for bad queso again when you can just go to Trader Joe's and get this gloriously cheesy dip.

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Butter

Pumpkin Butter tastes great all year long. But like all things pumpkin, it tastes even better in the fall. Pick it up at Trader Joe's when it's in season and you can use Pumpkin Butter to give everything a taste of autumn no matter what your calendar says. You can use it to make pumpkin soup, put it on toasted bread, drizzle it on your ice cream, or even use it to glaze your Thanksgiving turkey. Don't you even think about leaving this Earth before giving Pumpkin Butter from Trader Joe's a taste.

Trader Joe's Organic Stone Ground Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

So many of these items from Trader Joe's that you should try before you die can use a high-quality tortilla chip to make the experience better. At Trader Joe's, there's one option that stands apart from the rest: Organic Stone Ground Blue Corn Tortilla Chips. These chips aren't only healthier for you, the texture and crunch are amazing and the flavor will make you fall in love. Be sure to purchase these chips the next time you're at Trader Joe's, especially if you're buying the Creamy Spinach & Artichoke Dip, Bloody Mary Salsa, Buffalo Style Chicken Dip, Queso Fundido, or anything else that can be enhanced by the best tortilla chips on the market.