Sour Cream & Onion Chips, Ranked Worst To Best

Sour cream and onion may sound like an odd pairing to be such a powerhouse in the world of chips. However, this flavor combination has a history that dates back decades. In fact, barbecue chips and sour cream and onion chips were the first two flavored chips to hit the market in the United States.

While chips come in every flavor imaginable these days — from wasabi ranch chips to crab-flavored chips — sour cream and onion chips remain as popular as ever. Only two flavors of potato chips are eaten more often in America: plain and barbecue.

Although you can find sour cream and onion in just about every corner store, supermarket, and vending machine in the nation, they're not all created equal. Some of these chips are fantastic, while others are in desperate need of going back to the drawing board. To help you separate the best from the rest, we've ranked sour cream and onion chips — beginning with the worst.

French Onion Sunchips

It's difficult to be hyperbolic when describing how bad French Onion Sunchips taste. These things are terrible and should be banned for life from your shopping cart. If you happen upon these chips, don't even taste them — just toss them into the nearest trash can.

French Onion Sunchips are described as being a sour cream and onion whole grain snack. In reality, these chips taste like onion-flavored cardboard. To make matters worse, it's not a pleasant version of onion flavor. Instead, the flavor is more like rank, putrid onion breath from someone who can't remember the last time they brushed their teeth. Add in the cardboard-like qualities and these chips couldn't possibly be much worse.

When it comes to Sunchips, the lesson to learn is that only Harvest Cheddar Sunchips taste halfway decent. Every other flavor, including these French Onion Sunchips, is either gross or downright disgusting. Stray from this advice at your own peril.

Quest Sour Cream & Onion Protein chips

Quest Sour Cream & Onion Protein Chips will really screw with your brain. For the first second or two that one of these chips is in your mouth, you will actually be really impressed. It will taste like an authentic sour cream and onion chip that you know and love. However, things will soon take a 180-degree turn.

Once these chips start to melt in your mouth, the flavor transforms from sour cream and onion goodness to bland protein powder. It's actually quite shocking how quickly the transformation occurs. One second you are celebrating because you believe that you have discovered a healthy chip, the next second you're contemplating whether or not to spit it out.

It's too bad that these things take a turn for the worse because Quest Sour Cream & Onion Protein Chips are legitimately good for you. One bag has just 140 calories, a whopping 19 grams of protein, and only four net carbs.

Whole Foods 365 Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

On one hand, it's commendable that these Whole Foods 365 Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips are gluten-free and certified kosher. On the other hand, these sour cream and onion chips available at Whole Foods just don't taste good. At the end of the day, that fact will override everything else.

These chips are a swing and a miss when it comes to both the sour cream aspect and the onion aspect. Instead of sour cream, it just tastes like these chips have been coated with some powdered milk. Even worse, instead of tasting like onions, these chips have an overpowering parsley flavor. Parsley is listed in the ingredients, so it's not a total surprise. Unfortunately, the parsley flavor is just too strong.

The Whole Foods brand has some worthwhile items, however you should avoid their chips. The only exception is if you can find their chips that taste like pastrami on rye. Those chips are unique enough to try.

Sour Cream & Onion Popchips

Rather than dipping their chips in a deep fryer, Popchips are created inside of a pressurized chamber. While that strategy works well for other flavors, most notably Barbecue and Crazy Hot, it simply doesn't work for the Sour Cream & Onion Popchips. These chips just taste like a whole lot of nothing. The texture is relatively pleasing but without much discernable flavor, your taste buds will get so bored that they will beg you to put the bag of chips down.

Like the aforementioned Quest Sour Cream & Onion Protein Chips, the Sour Cream & Onion Popchips just about qualify as being a health food. These chips are free from synthetic colors or artificial flavors and there are only 120 calories, four grams of fat, and one gram of sugar per serving. Compared to potato chips that are fried, these chips have less calories and less fat — but the trade-off just isn't worth it. You and your taste buds would be better off eating a few really good sour cream and onion chips than a whole bag of this nothingness.

Sour Cream & Onion Lay's Stax

Lay's Stax are seen by many as a knockoff, low-class version of Pringles, which is probably because Lay's Stax debuted in 2003, while the history of Pringles dates back all the way to 1956. Although that might not always be a fair way to compare these two brands, it's definitely fair if you're talking about their sour cream and onion chips.

Sour Cream & Onion Lay's Stax are made from dehydrated potatoes — and that's exactly what they taste like. While it's a slight upgrade from Popchips' nothingness, it's safe to say that dehydrated potato is not a flavor you have ever craved. Imagine allowing McDonald's French fries to cool off and then eating the fries when they're cold and without any dipping sauce. That's basically the flavor you can expect when eating these chips.

Looking at the ingredients, these chips supposedly have sour cream and onion powder — and even buttermilk and cheddar cheese — but you can't taste any of that. All you will taste is potato.

Cape Cod Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

Cape Cod used to sell outstanding sour cream and green onion chips but, tragically, they were discontinued back in 2015. In early 2020, they decided to bring them back — well, kind of. The new version is called Cape Cod Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips. Looking back on it, the name change (from "green onion" to just "onion") should have been a hint that these chips wouldn't be the same as the ones that disappeared in 2015.

Instead of being a glorious blast from the past, these sour cream and onion chips by Cape Cod are a disappointment. It's extra disappointing because Cape Cod is one of the best chip brands in existence. Both the flavor and the texture of these chips are below average. Combine those two traits and they're simply not worth the price tag.

While their sour cream and onion chips are underwhelming, don't let that stop you from visiting the Cape Cod factory if you ever have an opportunity. You get free chips — and what's better than free, tasty food?

Market Pantry Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

When it comes to bang for your bucks, Market Pantry Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips can only be found at Target, and they're very competitively priced. These definitely have a sufficient amount of flavor, as both the sour cream and the onion flavors are unmistakable. The texture is also a plus, as these are sturdy chips that resist crumbling to pieces.

Sadly, the news isn't all good regarding Target's house brand of sour cream and onion chips. These chips are salty — super salty, to be exact. Before you're finished with your bag of chips, you'll be sick and tired of the saltiness and looking for a glass of water.

The good news is you can solve this issue by adding a dipping sauce. Given their sturdiness, you can successfully dip these chips in an onion dip without any of your chips breaking off inside of the dip. The result will be a snack that will no longer bombard your taste buds with saltiness.

Kettle Brand Sour Cream and Onion potato chips

If you have an insatiable sweet tooth, you will really enjoy Kettle Brand Sour Cream and Onion Potato Chips. Unlike all the other chips in this ranking, these Kettle Brand chips are actually quite sweet. The sweetness may stun you at first but those who love sweets will grow to appreciate these chips, especially because there's nothing else quite like it in the snack universe.

That said, if you think sweetness has no place in a bag of sour cream and onion chips, don't buy these. You'll be thoroughly disappointed and will stop chowing down after a chip or two. While you can taste both the sour cream and the onion when you're eating these chips, the sweet aftertaste dominates all the other flavors.

Why are these chips sweet? Kettle Brand claims they use sweet sour cream. A look at the ingredients points the finger at the inclusion of dried cane syrup.

Lay's Baked Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

Compromise is the name of the game when it comes to the Lay's Baked Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips. These baked chips are marketed as a healthy alternative to chips that are fried. With 65 percent less fat than fried chips, this baked snack has taken a big step forward in terms of being genuinely healthy for you. (or at least, not so bad for you)

As expected, there's a caveat that you need to factor into this healthier snack equation. While the Lay's Baked Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips have 65 percent less fat, they are about 75 percent less flavorful than their fried counterparts. If that's a compromise you're willing to make, buy these chips. Otherwise, if you think that's a bad deal, go with other sour cream and onion chips that pack a more flavorful punch.

Texture-wise, Lay's Baked Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips are hit and miss. Some of the chips are firm and have a satisfying crunch. Other chips in the same bag will fall apart in your fingers.

Sour Cream & Onion Pringles

While the previously mentioned Sour Cream & Onion Lay's Stax have an overwhelming flavor of dehydrated potatoes, that's not as big of an issue with Sour Cream & Onion Pringles. While these are also made with dehydrated potatoes, there's enough sour cream and onion to mostly mask that potato taste. In fact, you'll be licking your fingers when you're done eating these chips because the sour cream and onion flavor is really enjoyable.

Unfortunately for fans of Pringles, it's just impossible for chips made out of dehydrated potatoes to rise higher on this list. Ignoring the sour cream and onion coating, the chips themselves simply don't bring enough taste to the table to rise any higher in this ranking.

Once upon a time, you used to be able to buy Xtra Kickin Sour Cream & Onion Pringles and they were even better due to being supercharged with flavor. But while you can still find these chips listed on the Pringles website, they're seemingly impossible to purchase. That's too bad because they would be the Pringles that we'd recommend.

Clancy's Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

The best store brand of sour cream and onion chips can be found at Aldi. That's where you will locate Clancy's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips. While these aren't the best of the best, they blow all other store brand competitors out of the water.

Each chip comes equipped with a delightful zing of sour cream and onion flavoring. The texture is also a plus, as each chip is reliably crispy. The only downside is the consistency of these chips. Too often you will get a bag of these bad boys in which virtually all of the chips have crumbled and you're left with bits and pieces. It still tastes good — but it's annoying.

If a low price tag is what you're looking for, you can't go wrong with Clancy's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips at Aldi. These chips are cheap but are still well above average in terms of flavor and texture.

Herr's Kettle Cooked Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

You have to be very careful when you're shopping for sour cream and onion chips made by Herr's. Don't buy the Herr's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips that have ripples. These rippled chips aren't good at all. Their flavor is minimal, they have a soggy texture, and they're way too greasy. They're not worth the mess or the purchase price.

But not everything from Herr's should be avoided. Quite the opposite, really. Herr's Kettle Cooked Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips are awesome. These thick chips are cooked slowly and the result is a flavorful chip that tastes fresh and has a very good texture. The only issue is that these taste a lot more like sour cream than they taste like onion, which could be a turnoff for some people. If you value the onion flavor more than the sour cream flavor, you should probably forego both types of Herr's sour cream and onion chips.

Sour Cream & Onion Wise Ridgies

None of the chips on this list have as much flavor as Sour Cream & Onion Wise Ridgies. To say these chips are packed with flavor is an understatement. They have so much flavor, in fact, that it may actually be too intimidating for some individuals to deal with. That said, if you like sour cream to the extreme, onion to the extreme, and want a whole lot of saltiness added to the mix, these are the chips for you. If, instead, you would prefer chips that are more subtle and won't cause your taste buds to do somersaults, you can skip these chips made by Wise.

In addition to all the flavor, the texture of these chips is a massive positive. As their name suggests, these potato chips have ridges. While these kinds of chips can sometimes lack crunchiness, that's not a factor with these chips. All of Wise's chips have at least a satisfactory crunch — and these are no different.

Dirty Kettle Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

Don't worry, these chips aren't made from dirty potatoes and the kettles are actually really clean. Dirty Kettle Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips are fantastic. Their chips are cooked kettle style in peanut oil and you will absolutely adore them. The flavor of these chips is deep and rich — so much so that you'll take your time cherishing each and every one. Remember, peanut oil plays a key role in helping make Chick-fil-A chicken taste so delicious, so it's definitely a welcome addition.

Dirty Kettle Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips are also extremely crunchy and very filling. Eating a bag of these hearty chips is so satiating that they're all you'd need for a satisfying lunch. While that would be viewed as a positive trait by most people, this is not a snack you can mindlessly munch on. In fact, expect your jaw to get a workout while you eat these scrumptious things.

Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

When it comes to texture, no other chips on this list can compete with Ruffles Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips. These chips, with their famous ridges, are crispy but not too crispy. They're hearty but they're not a chore to eat. Even if you don't like sour cream or onion flavoring, the texture alone would make it difficult to turn down a bag of these chips.

When the creator of Ruffles acquired a patent on his potato-powered invention back in the 1950s, he noted that his uniquely sliced chips mysteriously acquire a cheese flavor. Taste these Ruffles and you will understand what he meant, as there is no cheese in the ingredients but these chips taste like they're sour cream, cheese, and onion. It may sound strange but it tastes great.

While these chips won't possibly disappoint you, they're not the best Ruffles you can find. That distinction goes to Ruffles Cheddar & Sour Cream Potato Chips. Those chips are truly magnificent.

Utz Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

Like Ruffles, Utz Ripples Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips have ridges in their chips. And although their texture isn't quite as perfected as Ruffles' texture, the taste is out of this world. Each rippled chip provides an explosion of flavor that is so magical that you won't be able to wait to reach back into the bag for the next chip. Before you know it, you'll need to open a second bag to get your fix.

These chips taste like they're extremely fresh and the balance between the green onions and the sour cream that is extra zesty is perfection. If you love green onions, these are the chips you should get. The sour cream is equally as stupendous and equally as memorable.

Utz has a history dating back nearly 100 years, so you can trust they know their way around potatoes. After you try their sour cream and onion chips, you'll be so impressed that you'll go out and try all of their other flavors.

Lay's Sour Cream & Onion potato chips

When you think about sour cream and onion chips, what likely pops into your mind is Lay's Sour Cream & Onion Potato Chips. These chips, which have been around since the late 1970s, set the bar for great sour cream and onion chips — and no competitor has ever come close to surpassing them. Many have tried but Lay's remains the king — and will be the king for the foreseeable future.

These amazing chips are light but still provide an outstanding crunch. They have enough oil to be yummy to the extreme but they never cross the line into being greasy. Flavor-wise, the sour cream is perfectly tangy and the onion is relatively mild but always enjoyable. The saltiness is also perfect. From chip to chip, you know exactly what to expect — and that's a chip worthy of the snack hall of fame.

Lay's, which has been around since 1932, far and away sells the most potato chips in the United States. Taste these majestic sour cream and onion chips and you'll understand why.