Trader joe's
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Trader joe's
ablokhin/istockphoto

Tasty Temptations

There are few places that can satisfy a snacky mood as well as Trader Joe's. Sure, not everything is a winner, but for a store with a relatively small footprint, TJ's sure packs a lot of worthy impulse buys into its aisles. Need a primer on what's worth your dough? Here are some of our favorite nibbles, from chips and appetizers to nuts and dips.

Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: The Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe's

Trail Mix
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Happy Trekking Trail Mix

$6.49
Trader Joe's has never been lacking for trail-mix options, and this one has been around a while for a reason. A blend of almonds, pistachios, cashews, cherries, chocolate, and cranberries, it achieves that elusive balance of salty and sweet, and it has a satisfying crunch best paired with a long hike … or a day watching Netflix. No judgment.

Related: Most Expensive Products at Trader Joe's

Peanut-Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets
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Peanut-Butter Filled Pretzel Nuggets

$2.49
Personal story: On a pre-pandemic trip to a waterpark, three picky 8-year-olds demolished a bag of these in 5 minutes flat. There must be something magical about the pretzel-to-peanut-butter ratio, because a subsequent imposter from Costco was flatly rejected by the same crowd.

Related: Why Trader Joe's Workers Are So Happy

Cha Siu Bao Chinese Style Pork Buns
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Cha Siu Bao Chinese-Style Pork Buns

$3.49
No, they'll never replace the cha siu bao at your favorite dim sum place. But for a quick heat-and-eat snack at home, TJ's pork buns are an admirable stand-in, popping out of the microwave with a properly soft, bready exterior filled with sweet and savory pork.

Related: Trader Joe's Best Buys for Packing Your Freezer

Speculoos Cookie Butter
Speculoos Cookie Butter by StarsApart (CC BY-SA)

Speculoos Cookie Butter

$3.69
Don't argue with us about whether this is a snack or simply a snack component — it's too legendary for such semantics. Whether you spread it on fruit, toast, bagels, or something else altogether, it's the sweet, gingerbread-like treat that's perfectly acceptable to eat any time of year.

Related: Store-Brand Products With Cult Followings

Plantain Chips
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Plantain Chips

$1.79
This beloved snack is a longtime TJ's staple and a less-fatty alternative to potato chips. Sweet and salty, they're imported from Peru and have only three ingredients: plantains, sunflower oil, and salt. If you want a little more heat, Trader Joe's also introduced a jerk-style flavor last year.

pastry pups
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Parmesan Pastry Pups

$4.49
These are basically just elevated pigs in a blanket, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. The addition of puff pastry and parmesan cheese totally takes them from "yawn" to "ooh, fancy" — plus they're kid-pleasers, too. 

Related: Finger Foods for Game-Day Entertaining and Beyond

Ketchup-Flavored Spud Crunchies
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Ketchup-Flavored Spud Crunchies

$1.99
This seasonal summer favorite has become a cult sensation in just a couple short years. Skeptical? Consider this Amazon reviewer's take: "If I lived close to a Trader Joe's, I would fill my cart to the brim and never look back … I may ask for them for Christmas and birthdays and Mother's Day."

Related: The Best Things We Bought in 2019

Spinach Artichoke Dip
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Spinach Artichoke Dip

$3
Nothing groundbreaking here: This microwavable dip is a perennial crowd pleaser that's great for those before-dinner or during-the-game nibbles. If you're feeling fancy, put it in a bread bowl or serve it with some crostini. Otherwise, grab a bag of tortilla chips and go to town.

Related: Low-Carb Snacks from Trader Joe's You'll Actually Enjoy

Brazilian Style Cheese Bread
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Brazilian Style Cheese Bread

$3.99
Anything with "cheese bread" in the name is an automatic winner in our book. But these crispy-but-chewy treats, made with tapioca flour and parmesan, are just different enough to distinguish them from the other cheesy, bready products of the world. "If you chomp these down when they're still warm, they're a dream to eat," notes Freezer Meal Frenzy

Movie Theater Popcorn
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Movie Theater Popcorn

$2
Yep, it's just popcorn. However, the salt-to-butter ratio is on point, and it's way cheaper than what you'll get at the theater. Staying home? Honestly, we still prefer it to Pop Secret, Orville Redenbacher, and the rest of 'em. 

Related: Ways to Get Creative With Your Popcorn

PB&J Bars
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PB&J Bars

$2.69
You don't have to be a kid to appreciate this gluten-free twist on this classic combo, but it certainly wouldn't hurt. Think Nutrigrain bar, but better: The oaty exterior surrounds a yummy, creamy combo of peanut butter and strawberry. "I'm not sure what they have against good ol' grape, but strawberry has always been my second-place choice for pairing with peanut butter, and it totally works here," writes What's Good at Trader Joe's.

Mini Chicken Tacos
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Mini Chicken Tacos

$4.49
Long one of the unsung heroes of TJ's freezer section, these bite-size snacks are the kind of finger food you want to eat on a game day, Taco Tuesday, or … well, any day. They're a simple mix of chicken, jalapeno, and green chile tomatillo sauce, and while they're plenty good on their own, we love 'em with a dollop of sour cream. 

Related: Delicious and Inexpensive Mexican Dishes

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

$1.99
We just keep going back to this longtime chip-aisle staple, as much for the satisfyingly puffy, light texture than the cheesy zing. In fact, the texture is so light that you may just eat an entire bag of these things before you realize it. Don't say we didn't warn you.  

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Parmesan Pastry Pups
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Pastry Bites With Feta Cheese and Caramelized Onions

$4.99
The fact that these have been around for at least a decade in a store that delights in constantly shaking up its inventory should tell you all you need to know: They're yummy, they're easy to make, and you might want to pass them off as your own when you serve them as finger food at your next get-together.

Thai Lime and Chili Cashews
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Bamba Peanut Snacks
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Party Size Mini Meatballs
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Party-Size Mini Meatballs

$4.99
We're big fans of TJ's turkey meatballs for easily transforming our boring pasta nights into something more satisfying. But when it comes to snacky finger food, it doesn't get much easier than this satisfyingly seasoned, flame-broiled blend of pork and beef. 

Related: Best Game-Day Foods From Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe's

Hold the Cone
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Hold the Cone

$2.99
Look, they're not big enough to be a full-fledged dessert, so we put these delectable little chocolate-covered ice cream cones firmly in the snack category. They're great for portion control, when you just want something small but sweet.

Related: Best Store-Bought Desserts from Trader Joe's

Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers
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Organic Elote Corn Chip Dippers

$2.29
These crunchy delights debuted to near-universal praise a couple years ago. And yes, they're a fantastic conduit for your condiment of choice, but the surprisingly complex seasoning means they're plenty good enough to nosh on by themselves. As What's Good at Trader Joe's raves: "There's habanero spice and good pepper bite and all sorts of other things really going on that I'm not 100% sure how to explain except … dang."

Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls
Trader Joe's

Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls

$3.99
Exactly the type of zany, off-beat product Trader Joe's is known for, Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls are certainly a mouthful to say — and to eat, in the best possible way. Tough critics on Reddit give the sweet and spicy new concoction, filled with chicken and veggies, sterling reviews.

Spanakopita
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Spanakopita

$3.99
One of The Kitchn's best Greek-inspired dishes from TJ's, this is a longtime favorite that might not quite match your Yaya's version, but it's still pretty darn tasty. Savor the blend of feta, spinach, and ricotta wrapped in crispy phyllo as a side dish, appetizer, or snack.

Related: Savory Pies From Around the World

Burrata, Prosciutto, and Arugula Flatbread
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Burrata, Prosciutto, and Arugula Flatbread

$4.99
If you're a pizza lover who's feeling a little fancy, we can personally vouch that this flatbread is up to the task of wowing your tastebuds. The blend of cheeses, from burrata to fontal, is impressive enough, but layering on the thinly sliced prosciutto puts it over the top.

Fig & Olive Crisps
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Fig & Olive Crisps

$3.99
Crackers can be criminally boring, but these delicate, high-brown crisps definitely are not. They rightfully claim a place on PopSugar's list of the best Trader Joe's crackers, and while the savory-sweet blend is compelling enough on its own, these are also a great conduit for dips and soft cheeses.

Scallops Wrapped in Uncured Bacon With Brown Sugar Glaze
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Trader Joe's Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

$2.99
They've been on the shelves at TJ's forever, and there's a good reason. Our taste testers give two thumbs-up to TJ's Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, calling them surprisingly flaky and light, unlike other blue corn chips that can be heavy and grainy.

Related: Store-Brand Foods That Deliver Quality and Savings