The 8 Best Dill Pickles You Can Buy at the Grocery Store

dill pickles taste test

Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

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dill pickles taste test
Wilder Shaw / Cheapism

A Superior Pickle

To transform a cucumber into the salty, sour, shelf-stable snack we’ve all come to love is an art. A little bit of dill, vinegar, and Kosher salt is only the beginning of most pickle recipes; every brand and every company has its own style. 

The best dill pickles can transform a sandwich, light up a good tuna salad, and even provide some positive health benefits (like improving digestion and easing muscle cramps). But which brand is the best?

I bought eight different jars of pickles and ranked them by taste and flavor for a taste test. Not interested in homemade pickles? Here are the best pickle brands you can buy at the grocery store.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Grillo's Pickles
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Best: Grillo's Pickles

$6.99 at Target

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I grew up eating in Jewish delis. Of all the brands I tried, Grillo’s tastes the most like the type of pickles you’d get in a deli, and for that, I'm sold. The alleged 100+ year-old recipe still holds strong, and even though it’s a few bucks more than other brands, it’s probably worth it. This is a great pickle. Nothing else to say.

Wickles Dirty Dill Baby Dills
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2. Wickles Dirty Dill Baby Dills

$11.99 at Amazon

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Beware, ye who enter!

Nowhere on the jar does it say that Wickles pickles are this spicy, but mama-mia, that's-a-spicy-pickle. The ingredients list “chili pepper,” but that’s as far as I’m able to discern.

They start much like a Vlasic; small, medium crunch, and a little bumpy on the outside. Then, a first wave of heat. And then a second. I began to sweat after just one tiny pickle, and I have a high tolerance. Then I saw it: the gigantic red pepper at the bottom. It looked like a Thai chili to me. A real wolf in sheep's clothing over here.

Wickles won’t find customers as forgiving as me, but oh well. I love these. I'm giving Grillo’s the victory because you can actually consume more than one of them before needing a glass of water, but that’s the only reason. Bite for bite, I prefer these, but they’re simply too spicy to be the best pickles in the game.

Cleveland Kitchen Classic Dill Pickle chips
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3. Cleveland Kitchen Classic Dill Pickle Chips

$5.99 at Target

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I’d absolutely buy these again for a burger. I like the rigid crinkle cut of Cleveland’s fresh pickle chips, and they’re incredibly tart. I found myself going back for more and more. Really excellent tang. If you need to pack a lot of flavor with just a few simple ingredients, keep Cleveland Kitchen in mind.

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Vlasic Snack’mms Kosher Dill Pickles
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4. Vlasic Snack’mms Kosher Dill Pickles

$4.94 at Walmart

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I’m going to assume you already know what you’re getting here. Vlasic is classic: classic crunch, classic bumps, and classic dill taste, just slightly too sweet and not far from a bread-and-butter pickle.

These particular “Snack’mms” are small pickles, perfect for a little snack. It’s all in the name, really. Vlasic is Old Reliable, so if you don’t trust me, trust the stork. He knows what he’s talking about.

Boar's Head Kosher Dill Half Cut Pickles
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5. Boar's Head Kosher Dill Half-Cut Pickles

Available on Instacart

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I really like the crunch on these, but they lack any true depth of flavor. If they came next to a deli sub, I’d be OK with that, and I’ll admit I like the few pickled carrots floating in the jar. Otherwise, I’m reaching for a different brand before I reach for these.

Related: 11 Best Snacks for When the Munchies Hit

Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Spears
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6. Mt. Olive Kosher Dill Spears

$2.73 at Walmart

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This is simply not it. I do not care for a pickle that has skin so tough you have to actively focus on tearing through it, and that’s what Mt. Olive is all about. These are the brightest of the green pickles I tasted, and it’s quite unappealing. Mt. Olive almost tastes more like pickle flavor than an actual dill pickle. Does that make any sense?

Trader Joe’s Kosher Dill Pickle Spears
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7. Trader Joe’s Kosher Dill Pickle Spears

$3.99 in-store at Trader Joe's

Meh. I expected more from Trader Joe’s. I wanted dill and garlic flavor, or something interesting, but that’s not happening. The skin is super tough, but the rest is awkward and soft. Stick with TJ's cornichons, since they're the best pickles on the planet anyways.

claussen Kosher Dill Spears
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8. Claussen Kosher Dill Spears

$4.66 at Walmart

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So many unappealing things happened when I tasted this. For starters, when I opened the pickle jar, the surface of the pickle juice started bubbling like that cartoon dip from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?,” and all the pickles suddenly came floating to the top. For a minute, I actually thought they were going to shoot out of the jar toward my face.

Claussen’s dill pickles are pretty soft, very vinegary, and lacking any distinctly enjoyable flavors. I’m a fan of Claussen’s sauerkraut, but you won’t see me picking up this jar of dill pickles any time soon.