Every Flavor of Doritos, Ranked
We settled Cool Ranch vs. Nacho Cheese once and for all.
Fact: Doritos are the greatest mass-produced snacks in the world. They make everything better, from Christmas to Taco Bell. They are, and will always be, the perfect snack chip: crunchy, salty, flavor-packed, and, as all great things should be, slightly dangerous due to their combination of jaggedness and binge-ability.
As a lifelong devotee, taking on the extremely biased task of ranking every flavor of Doritos was particularly daunting. But it was with science and humanitarianism on my mind that I grabbed every available flavor and, in one mighty session, tasted them all. Here's how each flavor stacked up.
16. Simply Organic White Cheddar
These things are nearly flavorless, which is fine and all, but if somebody offers me white cheddar, I expect to taste it. With each bite, I wonder whether I bought a faulty bag of Doritos that were sprayed by a cheese machine that had run out of powder the night before. And look, I’m all for healthier organic stuff, but if we’re being honest, I would still eat cheesy Doritos even if somebody told me they were fried in arsenic and powdered with ground puppy bones, so given there are so many explosive flavors in the roster, these are a hard pass.
Sorry. I just don’t get it. I also don’t get why I can’t stop eating them, but I’m not sure I’ve ever eaten a taco that tastes like this. The retro bag is cool... even though the window is actually fake. It's like the Doritos version of The Truman Show.
14. Simply Organic Spicy White Cheddar
Unlike the White Cheddar Organic Doritos that occupy the last spot on this list, the cheese here is front and center, and the (not very spicy) spice blend kicks it into high gear. It also makes a strong case for a quesadilla-flavored Dorito variant. Sometimes, it appears, two wrongs do make a right.
13. Cool Ranch
You're probably taking this more personally than psychologically reasonable. Well, Angry Internet Friend, there’s a simple answer to the low ranking: I don’t like ranch. And it’s my ranking, damnit. In this world, you're either a Cool Ranch person or a Nacho Cheese person. I am on the side of right.
12. Blazin' Buffalo & Ranch
This tastes more like buffalo than ranch, which is good for me, a person who you've now learned is averse to all things powdered-ranch. I wouldn't really describe the flavor as blazin'—it's closer to a simmerin'—which means it has a kick, but not much. That's a good thing for me.
These suckers really are pretty spicy. There’s a hint of lime, though, which cuts through it and mellows everything out. Me gusta! Although, I’m not sure I could house a bag of these after a night of drinking. (Note from future self: You can, you will, and it's gonna be great.)
10. Flamin' Hot Cool Ranch
These are even spicier than the bag of Flamas, which is hard to believe because cool ranch implies some sort of cooling effect. Not here though—this bag of chips is a full-on oxymoron. The heat from the Flamin' Hot dust pervades everything, yet I can't stop reaching for another chip. It's spicy, tangy, mildly funky, and worth the panting that will commence from the heat.
9. Poppin' Jalapeño
The little flames on the bag are some bullshit. Which is actually a relief because the extremely light spice on these things means this is a “spicy” chip that my weak ass can really get behind. There is virtually no heat whatsoever here, but the pepper flavor remains, along with a slight hint of cheese that the bag tells me is cheddar and Romano. The best part, though, is that you can open these in front of a bunch of other spice-averse people and guarantee the whole bag to yourself. You'll look like a big tough guy when you're just being a selfish child. That, friends, is the dream.
8. Spicy Sweet Chili
The spice on these suckers is pretty minimal, and the sweetness here is where it’s at. It’s almost like Thai chili sauce, except a lot more mellow. More alarmingly, though, this is a rare instance where the lack of cheese is welcome.
7. Dinamita Chile Limón
They’re a lot like the Flamas, except rolled into little taquitos. They’re wonderful. The only negative is that they’re the most colorfully seasoned Doritos, painting your fingers like Easter egg dye and making it impossible for you to lie to your wife about quitting Doritos and eating healthy.
6. Flamin' Hot Limón
Doritos really leaned into this Flamin' Hot thing and no one should be mad at that. If you prefer your chips in rolled form, you'll like the prior entry better. If you like cramming and entire triangle of tortilla chip into your mouth, than these are where it's at. They're spicy but not abrasive, with a bright zip of limon to really get your salivary ducts working overtime.
The man in the sombrero finally mated with the corn chip. And the result is the closest bagged approximation to my favorite hot sauce that I know.
4. Flamin' Hot Nacho Cheese
For a chip awarded the flamin' hot designation, these are really not that spicy. These are basically an amped-up version of the classic Spicy Nacho, with a heat level closer to Flamas but with the undeniably perfect Nacho Cheese flavor front and center and that unmistakable neon-orange hue that makes Flamin' Hot Cheetos so recognizable. They're hot, but not debilitatingly so. Most importantly they maintain the classic Doritos flavor.
3. Salsa Verde
Is it weird that I kind of would rather crush some of these up and sprinkle them on a taco than eat regular salsa verde? That's weird, right? Yet, I kind of wish my favorite burrito joint would figure out a way to liquefy these. Or at least I wish that Taco Bell would make this the next Doritos Locos Taco.
2. Spicy Nacho
They’re exactly like Nacho Cheese. Except very slightly spicier. They represent a rare instance where a person who is spice-averse can actually eat something labeled "spicy." Mostly because they're not very spicy at all. But that's a confidence builder, Doritos! That alone would make them the best of the bunch, except...
1. Nacho Cheese
Oh, come on. You knew it was coming. You know the iconic flavor like you know the scent of your own home. You’ve likely caught a shard between the teeth, and still crunched through the blood. My love for Nacho Cheese Doritos began as a child, and each time I eat one, it’s like experiencing them all over again. I’m not going to belabor the point too much here, but know this: most people look forward to their child’s first day of school, or their first word. Me? I counted the days until my daughter had enough teeth to taste her first Dorito. And when she did, her pupils dilated, she smiled, and signaled for more. But she didn't get any. Because, um, they're not healthy snacks. And also, those were mine.