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

The 27 Best Things to Buy at Trader Joe's

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

Trade Up

Quirky Trader Joe's has amassed a following among grocery shoppers who appreciate its unique offerings, low prices, and emphasis on natural and organic goods. There also always seems to be something new every season. But newbies may not know where to start. Here are more than two dozen can't-miss customer favorites to throw in a cart on the next TJ's run.

Note: Prices and availability are subject to change.

Related: 21 Most Expensive Products at Trader Joe's

Speculoos Cookie Butter
Amazon

Speculoos Cookie Butter

Price: $3.69
This is how big Trader Joe's cookie butter is: BuzzFeed's video of people tasting it for the first time has amassed more than 2 million views. "You could put this on my ex-boyfriend and it would make him better," one tester proclaims. The gingerbread-like spread can be slathered on everything from apple slices to bagels. Yes, please.

For more great shopping guides and grocery tips, please sign up for our free newsletters.

Gnocchi Al Gorgonzola
Cheapism

Gnocchi al Gorgonzola

Price: $2.99
These fluffy gnocchi filled with a gorgonzola sauce are this author's favorite, and one of the best bets in the frozen food aisle. But don't take my word for it: Reviewers at TraderJoesFan.com also give it plenty of love. It's super-easy to prepare: Just toss it in a pan with a little oil, stirring occasionally for about seven minutes. Then try not to eat the whole package yourself.

Mandarin Orange Chicken
Cheapism

Mandarin Orange Chicken

Price: $4.99
This frozen dish, a store staple since 2004, regularly beats out the rest of Trader Joe's extensive lineup to be shoppers' favorite overall product for in the grocer's customer choice awards. For a true takeout-like experience, TJ's recommends putting the thawed sauce in a hot pan instead of a microwave before tossing in the baked chicken. Yum.

Spiced Cider
Amazon

Spiced Cider

Price: $2.99
Trader Joe's famous spiced cider is usually around only while it's cold out, but Influenster reviewers say this seasonal treat is worth the wait. "This is delicious cold, but I love to simmer it on the stove with cinnamon sticks, lemon rind, and fresh cranberries for a festive treat," one devotee says. "Bonus points if you add in a shot of bourbon or whiskey to keep you extra warm."

Related: 45 Comfort Foods for a Cozy Fall Meal

Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Cheapism

Italian Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Price: $5.99
This organic olive oil (not to be confused with its non-organic counterpart) punches far above its weight. Experts at The Tasting Table say it's one of their favorite store-bought olive oils, beating out several name brands that are double the price. TJ's puts it among its "fruity and fresh" varieties, with a peppery pungency that will elevate almost any dish.

Related: Over 50 Store-Brand Foods That Deliver Quality and Savings

French Vanilla Ice Cream
Cheapism

French Vanilla Ice Cream

Price: $6.49
Who needs name-brand ice cream when there's Trader Joe's? That's the consensus of several expert taste testers, including our own. Setting the flavor apart from the competition: A custardy texture that makes for a richer taste and feel. TJ's also brags that it actually still sells half-gallons of this stuff for the price, while other manufacturers have shrunk their containers.

Related: Best Store-Bought Desserts From Costco, Trader Joe's, and Aldi

Pork Gyoza Potstickers
Cheapism

Pork Gyoza Potstickers

Price: $2.99
Serious Eats says Trader Joe's potstickers are "the only one we'd stock in our home freezers" of the store brands they tried, and The Daily Meal says they're No. 1 among TJ's appetizers. To fancy things up a bit, try TJ's recipe for potsticker soup -- you'll need some chicken broth, baby spinach, soy sauce, and a mirepoix, among other ingredients.

Everything But The Bagel Seasoning
Amazon

Everything But the Bagel Seasoning

Price: $1.99
For a relatively new product (it was introduced in 2017), Everything But the Bagel has become a customer favorite quickly: Just look at its reviews on Influenster. TJ's recommends using this blend of sesame seeds, poppy seeds, garlic, onion, and sea salt on everything from popcorn to grilled chicken to baked potatoes.

Charles Shaw Wine
Cheapism

Charles Shaw Wine

Price: $3.99
Yes, this is the infamous "Two Buck Chuck." And no, it's no longer two bucks. Still, Charles Shaw remains one of the best wines at a cheaper-than-cheap price point. A sommelier even gives the merlot, shiraz, chardonnay, and cabernet sauvignon respectable reviews during a taste test (you may want to steer clear of the white zinfandel, though).

Related: 15 Best House Wines From Costco, Aldi, and Trader Joe's

Unexpected Cheddar
Cheapism

Unexpected Cheddar

Price: $3.99
What's so unexpected about this unassuming block of cheese? Perhaps the fact that it marries the goodness of cheddar with hints of parmesan. Or perhaps the love it inspires among food writers and customers. Today calls it a "knock-it-out-of-park pick for any cheese plate," and shoppers rate it their favorite cheese in the chain's recent customer choice awards.

Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches
Cheapism

Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches

Price: $4.49
Another author's favorite here. These things are just decadent: Creamy vanilla ice cream is sandwiched between chocolate chip cookies, and then more -- lots more -- chocolate chips are sprinkled along the side. These frozen treats also made the list of TJ's top 50 products of all time, released for the grocer's 50th anniversary.

Curious about how Trader Joe's sandwiches stack up against other brands? Check out our ice cream sandwich taste test.

Soy Chorizo
Cheapism
Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate
Amazon

Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate

Price: $7.99
Adding water or milk to this Cold Brew Coffee Concentrate yields a more refreshing way to get a java buzz, and a 32-ounce bottle yields about three times that in drinkable beverages. Influenster reviewers are fans of the price -- it's way cheaper than a lot of the competition -- and the taste.

Related: How to Make Your Own Cold Brew Coffee and Save

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups
Amazon

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

Price: $3.99
This sweet treat shows up as a favorite on TJ's most recent customer choice awards and its list of 50 all-time favorites. It even merits the No. 1 spot in a taste test that pits store brands against Reese's. What makes them so good? TJ's says it's actually what's not in them: artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.

Related: Chocolate Chip Cookie Taste Test

Green Dragon Hot Sauce
Amazon

Green Dragon Hot Sauce

Price: $2.99
Another staple that shows up on current and all-time favorite lists, this hot sauce is set apart from the competition, devotees say, by the fact it's so well-balanced. "It's not just heat and nothing else," says fan blog What's Good at Trader Joe's. "There's plenty of roasted sweetness from tomatillos with some added flavor depth from lime juice and garlic … and cilantro to add a herby twist."

Related: 24 Condiments From Around the World to Add Zing To Every Meal

Coconut Body Butter
Amazon

Coconut Body Butter

Price: $5.49
Trader Joe's has a more limited selection of toiletries and household goods than some shoppers may be used to. But one standout in that aisle, shoppers say, is the lightly scented Coconut Body Butter. Aside from pure coconut oil, other skin-pampering ingredients include vitamin E, aloe vera, and shea butter. "This stuff is magic," one Influenster reviewer raves. "This cream is thick, rich … and comes at a steal of a price."

Brewed Ginger Beer
Cheapism

Brewed Ginger Beer

Price: $3.99
Another beverage that made TJ's all-time and recent customer favorites list, this ginger beer with hints of lemon and lime is non-alcoholic -- but much more intense than the average ginger ale, reviewers caution. (TJ's fan blog Eating at Joe's calls it "the whiskey of the soda world," made for sipping rather than guzzling). True ginger lovers can look for the seasonal Triple Ginger Brew, an even more intense concoction, during the holidays.

Related: 30 Holiday Treats From Trader Joe's You Don't Want to Miss

Just Mango Slices
Amazon

Just Mango Slices

Price: $2.99
This longtime customer favorite is as simple as it sounds: a bag of dried mango slices, and that's it. There are no artificial flavors, preservatives, or other junk, and fans like it that way. Influenster reviewers say this simple treat is healthier than most, affordable, and most importantly, tasty: "They're sugary sweet with tons of fresh mango flavor," one devotee says. "The texture is even better than other dried mangos."

Black Bean and Jack Cheese Burrito
Cheapism

Black Bean and Cheese Burrito

Price: $2.99
Looking for a cheap, filling meal that's easy to eat on the go or during a quick lunch break? Try the Black Bean and Jack Cheese Burrito, available with other prepared foods in the refrigerated section. These 10-ounce burritos are easy to zap in the microwave and top with a favorite salsa. Freezer Meal Frenzy calls these "about as basic as it gets, but by no means is that a bad thing. In fact, this burrito is fantastic."

Chunky Salsa
Cheapism

Chunky Salsa

Price: $1.99
Speaking of salsa, TJ's makes some of the best cheap stuff you can buy, according to Cheapism testers. Its Chunky Salsa "is bright with tomato acidity and spicy but not too hot." If you're in the mood for something less mainstream, there are other varieties on the shelf, including a well-regarded tomato-free corn and chile salsa and an uber-hot habanero ghost pepper salsa.

Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
Cheapism

Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips

Price: $2.99
There should be some delicious chips to soak up some of that salsa. 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. These chips get a mention on several fan blogs as among the best of TJ's chip options, too. (Don't confuse them with the Organic Stone Ground Blue Corn Tortilla Chips, which are thicker and intentionally grainier, as they feature amaranth, quinoa, and chia seeds.)

Everything But the Elote Seasoning
Amazon

Everything But the Elote Seasoning

Price: $2.49
This riff on the oh-so-popular Everything But the Bagel, a new addition to TJ's this year, is a mouthwatering mix of chile pepper, sea salt, cheese, cumin, and chipotle. Amazon reviewers can attest to its popularity: "I went through my first bottle so fast and I'm not even ashamed," one writes.

chocolate covered bananas
Tatiana Volgutova/istockphoto

Gone Bananas!

Price: $2
If you're the type of person who always puts your chocolate in the freezer, this might be the treat for you. TJ's frozen, chocolate-dipped banana pieces are simple but toothsome customer favorite, and since there's fruit inside, they can't be that bad for you … right?

Related: Trader Joe's 25 Best Buys for Packing Your Freezer

Cauliflower Gnocchi
Amazon
Ketchup-Flavored Spud Crunchies
Amazon

Ketchup-Flavored Spud Crunchies

Price: $1.99
Canada has long had ketchup chips, and Trader Joe's answer to this north-of-the-border flavor is the eponymous Ketchup-Flavored Spud Crunchies. Skeptical? Consider this near-perfect review from What's Good at Trader Joe's: "I don't know why I don't like ketchup, and after having about half the bag of these stick shape snacks, I still couldn't tell you. These are great."

Related: 18 Beloved Canadian Foods Every American Should Try

Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls
Trader Joe's

Kung Pao Chicken Mochi Balls

Price: $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.

Plantain Chips
Trader Joe's

Plantain Chips

Price: $1.79
This year's No. 1 customer-loved 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.