I Tried (and Ranked!) Every Doritos Flavor I Could Find — And the Winner Is an “All-Time Favorite”
At any point in time, I hope you all can have one of those “I was born to do this” moments when you’re working. For me, it was this very assignment to rate all the Doritos I could get my hands on. Truly, this is what I was made for. Close to an entire lifetime of Doritos eating has brought me here, and it’s not lost on me.
Fanfare aside, isn’t it hard to deny just how delightful it is to hear a crinkling rip into a Doritos bag? It almost doesn’t matter the flavor; you’re going to rush over to whoever opened said bag and have a handful (or three).
Okay, fine, I concede — Doritos flavors totally do matter, especially when there are so many new kinds with the potential to overtake the classic Cool Ranch or Nacho. I ate through a whopping 10 bags and double-checked my findings with whoever came over to my apartment (shout out to all my brave friends I forced to blind-taste test the Flamin’ Hot varieties). Even though I could not locate this Garlic Steak flavor, there were some end-all, be-all winners you’re going to want to pick up when it’s time to re-up your snack stash.
10. Spicy Nacho
Personally, these chips made very little sense to me, in the sense that we don’t really need an intermediate chip between classic Nacho Cheese and Flamin’ Hot Nacho Cheese. Not quite spicy or cheesy enough to earn a winning spot, these chips felt like they had an identity crisis on their figurative hands. That being said, they were the first bag I ripped through (both in actual opening of the bag and eating), but they weren’t quite as memorable on their own — more so just riding on the coattails of its other chip cousins.
Buy: Doritos Spicy Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.75 ounces at Kroger
9. Dinamita Chile Limón
These are so good on first bite — they’re infinitely crunchable like their distant relative, Takis. Both chips share a lightning strike of bright, puckery citrus kick, and each rolled Dinamita Chile Limón chip is stacked with seasoning. What really tanked their points, for me, is the intense lime seasoning aftertaste; it reached an uncanny valley where my brain just registered it as the general lime flavor that’s also present in many fruity cereals, over a more fresh spritz of lime other lime chips have achieved.
Buy: Doritos Dinamita Chile Limón Flavored Rolled Tortilla Chips, $5.19 for 9.25 ounces at Target
8. Sweet & Tangy BBQ
BBQ is one of the most wonderful (and popular!) snack flavors of all time, and the Sweet & Tangy BBQ Doritos are, yes, a pretty great chip. Each one has a balanced sweet-mesquite smokiness that transports you to a saucy BBQ brisket joint. These taste essentially identical (albeit, a bit spicier) to the Fritos Honey BBQ Flavor Twists, which is why they’ve found themselves in the eighth spot.
Personally, I think this flavor is better suited to a rolled Frito (with a whole lot more crunchy intrigue and surface area) or even a kettle-cooked potato chip than the straightforward triangle of a Dorito. Doritos can do so many other flavors better (like cheesy and ranch-y), so this just isn’t their showdown to win.
Buy: Doritos Sweet & Tangy BBQ Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger
7. Salsa Verde
If I learned anything during my testing, it is that some Doritos are very situational. By that I mean, there are some everyday Doritos I’ll always keep around for all-time snacking, or a new flavor simply to surprise friends. The latter surprising bag would absolutely be the Salsa Verde flavor. I enjoy Salsa Verde and Doritos separately so very much, and together they make a wonderful, well-spiced, and vinegary chip that really does have the essence of a freshly made salsa.
But (there is a but here) while these are very tasty, they don’t quite feel like a Dorito to its core, more so a salsa-flavored corn chip. (Yes, I’m getting a bit philosophical for a moment.) We know a Dorito is much more than that, right?
Buy: Doritos Salsa Verde Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger
In a cabinet full of hot sauces, Tapatío is the one I’ll choose every day. So I went into the bag of Doritos Tapatío flavor with high hopes — and let me say, they are very good. These chips have the vinegary punch you’ll recognize immediately, coupled with the savory garlic and vegetal red pepper backbone.
While I love Tapatío as a sauce, the chips didn’t quite have that un-put-downable feeling some of the other bags have. That being said, this flavor did make me feel inspired to use the chips for all kinds of creations (like crumbling to coat chicken or topping chili, which I highly recommend you do ASAP).
Buy: Doritos Tapatío Flavored Tortilla Chips, $3.50 (on sale!) for 9.25 ounces at Walmart
5. Nacho Cheese
Before you come after me for putting Nacho Cheese smack dab in the middle, hear me out: Once I tasted the lip-tingling spicy glory that is Flamin’ Hot Nacho (more on that below), the original just fell a bit flat. I still love them, though! They’re the platonic ideal of a cheese-flavored chip, encapsulating the experience of corn chips dipped in nacho cheese (but without dripping it on yourself). I’ll absolutely still be crumbling them in a taco salad, on top of mac and cheese, and yes, in a sandwich, though. No hard feelings!
Buy: Doritos Original Nacho Cheese Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger
4. Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch
For the purposes of my very scientific tasting, I decided that if the flavor doesn’t match the description, some points need to be docked. Where this really shook out was the case of Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch. I did enjoy the jolt of heat at first, but it sort of landed with a whimper, with the ranch flavor winning in the arm wrestling match against the Flamin’ Hot. That being said, the bag was very easy to eat through, and reminded me a whole lot of eating a plate of hot wings with a side of ranch (a winning combo). But Flamin’ Hot they were not.
Buy: Doritos Flamin’ Hot Cool Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger Target
3. Flamin’ Hot Nacho
If there’s one thing that the mystical, magical flavor compound we call “Flamin’ Hot” makes better, it is crunchy, cheesy snacks (see: Cheetos). While I’m Team Cool Ranch in general, I can’t deny that there’s something special going on with Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho. They really live up to their name, with a subtle (yet very buildable) burn of heat that doesn’t detract from the cheesy flavor. Flamin’ Hot Nacho perfectly nails the spice factor that makes me go, “How am I still eating these?” in the best way possible.
Buy: Doritos Flamin’ Hot Nacho Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger
2. Cool Ranch
If the Doritos chips were all in a race, there would definitely be some very close photo-finishes when it comes to flavors. In a duel between Cool Ranch and Nacho Cheese, though, Cool Ranch wins by a hair/nose. Cool Ranch just is meant for the vehicle of a Dorito corn chip. Of course, there are ranch potato chips and ranch pretzels out there, but I sincerely believe the flavor wouldn’t be so iconic had Doritos Cool Ranch blazed the trail. Most importantly, a few of these become just the best of friends when stacked in a turkey sandwich on a pool day whether you’re 7 or 87.
Buy: Doritos Cool Ranch Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger
1. Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili
I ate through all of these Doritos flavors with one thing in mind: Will any dethrone my all-time favorite, the Spicy Sweet Chili flavor? Well, in short: No. The Spicy Sweet Chili still reigns supreme, knocking out the other nine flavors sampled.
Why is that? Well, it’s got a whole meal’s worth of flavor in each chip, packing in a sweet-umami Everlasting Gobstopper effect that reminds me of homemade pad Thai. The first time I had one of these chips, my friend brought it to a music festival and placed it in her boyfriend’s open backpack for all of us in the group to share. I don’t think you’ll have to guess who offered to hold the backpack … (I’m kind like that).
Buy: Doritos Spicy Sweet Chili Flavored Tortilla Chips, $5.49 for 9.25 ounces at Kroger
Do you agree with our ranking? Tell us about it in the comments below.