We’re eating our way through every aisle at Trader Joe’s. Here are the best things to buy in each category.

Collage of Trader Joe's products including seasoning, cheese, ice cream, ravioli, and peanut butter cups on a pink background with flowers and the Trader Joe's logo surrounding them.
Insider has tasted more than 100 Trader Joe’s foods. Savanna Swain-Wilson; Skye Gould/Insider

Table of Contents: Masthead Sticky

  • Insider has rounded up a list of the best items to snag from Trader Joe’s.
  • Seasonal foods like the pepita salsa and sweet-corn, burrata, and basil ravioli are worth the buy.
  • You should always pick up fan-favorites like the Unexpected Cheddar and soy chorizo.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Insider has tried and reviewed over 100 Trader Joe’s products so you don’t have to.

Here are some of the best foods from the beloved chain, from seasonal offerings to classic fan favorites:

Fan favorites

Every year, loyal Trader Joe’s shoppers vote on their favorite products during the Customer Choice Awards.

Insider has tried 18 of those award-winning staples to see if they were truly worth the hype – and some definitely are.

The Unexpected Cheddar Cheese is the perfect addition to any charcuterie board

Trader joe's unexpected cheddar
Trader Joe’s Unexpected Cheddar Cheese. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

At just $US5 ($AU7), this chunk of cheddar has been crowned the chain’s best cheese seven years in a row.

It tastes like something you could find on a cheese plate from a fancy wine bar, with a distinct, yet nuanced flavor that boasts notes of Parmesan.

This cheese would make an excellent addition to sandwiches or pizzas, but also has a great enough texture – both crumbly and soft – to hold its own on a platter.

For a full review, read I tried Trader Joe’s 7-time award-winning cheese, and it’s the best $US5 ($AU7) I’ve spent in a long time.

Trader Joe’s soy chorizo is a tasty and versatile staple

Trader joe's soy chorizo
Trader Joe’s soy chorizo. Paige Bennett for Insider

This vegetarian/vegan winner may taste even better than its meat counterpart.

Trader Joe’s meat alternative is flavorful enough to spice up any dish and sports the texture of a cross between pork sausage and ground beef.

This soyrizo is also incredibly versatile – it would work well in breakfasts, like scrambled eggs, and dinners, like vegetarian tacos.

For a full review and recipe ideas, read My 5 favorite ways to enjoy Trader Joe’s soy chorizo, the best vegetarian food at the chain.

The chain’s Everything but the Bagel seasoning is a game-changer

Trader joe's everything but the bagel seasoning
Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

Insider’s Savanna Swain-Wilson dubbed this staple a “kitchen superpower” for its ability to elevate any dish.

Consisting of toasted sesame and poppy seeds, minced onion, dried garlic, and sea salt, this umami blend tastes great on avocado toast, burgers, and more.

For more fan-favorite recommendations, read I tried 18 of Trader Joe’s award-winning foods, and would buy at least 14 of them again.

Seasonal offerings

Trader Joe’s is known for its seasonal products, perfect for everything from summer cookouts to Halloween festivities.

Trader Joe’s pink-and-white shortbread cookies would be great at any spring picnic

Trader joe's pink and white cookies
Trader Joe’s pink-and-white shortbread cookies. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

These colorful cookies are both adorable and tasty, with a cute floral shape, creamy yogurt coating, and rainbow sprinkles. Swain-Wilson compared them to the “frosted circus-animal cookies” she ate as a kid.

In addition to their sweet taste, they sport a crumbly texture similar to that of a graham cracker.

For more spring recommendations, read I tried 13 of Trader Joe’s seasonal spring products, and there are only 2 I wouldn’t buy again.

The summer sweet-corn, burrata, and basil ravioli may be the chain’s best

Trader joe's sweet corn and burrata ravioli in its original clear bag against light wood
Trader Joe’s sweet-corn, burrata, and basil ravioli. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

Swain-Wilson wrote that this pillowy ravioli “captures the essence of the perfect summer pasta.”

This delicious blend of sweet corn and creamy burrata boasts a fresh flavor and holds up in the cooking process.

Mix with a simple, buttery sauce and fresh herbs to serve.

For more summer recommendations, read I tried 15 of Trader Joe’s seasonal summer products, and there are only 2 I wouldn’t buy again.

The pepita salsa is a delicious fall staple with a kick

Trader joes pepita salsa
Trader Joe’s pepita salsa. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

A typical mix of garlic, onion, and tomato, this salsa relies on chipotle powder for its source of spice.

The red pepper also balances the heat with a welcomed sweetness, making this the perfect addition to any fall snack table.

For more fall recommendations, read I tried 20 of Trader Joe’s fall foods, and would buy at least 15 of them again.

Trader Joe’s candy-cane Joe-Joe’s ice cream is like a winter wonderland

Trader joes candy cane joe joes ice cream
Trader Joe’s candy-cane Joe-Joe’s ice cream. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

This seasonal vanilla ice cream combines peppermint flavor, dark-chocolate fudge, and chocolate-peppermint Joe-Joe cookies into a delicious winter dessert.

It also sports a rich texture while maintaining the right amount of softness, making it difficult to put down.

For more winter recommendations, read I tried 19 of Trader Joe’s holiday foods, and would buy at least 13 of them again.

Snacks

Trader Joe’s is known for snacking staples that are worthy of space in your pantry or freezer, ranging from spicy and salty to creamy and sweet.

The chili-lime corn chips are packed with flavor

Chili Lime Chips
Trader Joe’s chili-lime rolled corn chips. Paige Bennett for Insider

These rolled corn chips deliver on both spice and flavor.

Perfect for snacking and dipping, the chili-lime flavor pairs great with many of the chain’s popular salsas and dips.

Hold the Cone ice-cream treats are a perfect snack or nightcap

Trader joe's hold the cone
Trader Joe’s Hold the Cone ice cream. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

These miniature ice-cream cones come in an array of flavors – like coffee, chocolate chip, and vanilla – making for the perfect, versatile dessert.

And each cone has a velvety chocolate coating that automatically takes this sweet treat to the next level.

You should buy tubs of the dark-chocolate peanut-butter cups

Trader joe's chocolate peanut butter cups
Trader Joe’s dark-chocolate peanut-butter cups. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

These delicious bites are a shopping-list staple for many since they’re wonderfully creamy and make a convenient nightcap or dessert.

The iconic combo of peanut butter and dark chocolate is always a winner, so they’re the perfect thing to satisfy your sweet tooth.

For more snack recommendations, read I tried Trader Joe’s award-winning sweet and savory snacks, but the runner-ups were even better.

Dips

No cookout or party is complete without an array of dips – a specialty of the grocery chain.

The caramelized-onion dip is a mouthwatering blend of creamy onion and garlic

Trader joe's caramelized onion dip
Trader Joe’s caramelized-onion dip. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

With actual chunks of caramelized onion, this dip is the epitome of everything Trader Joe’s does right.

Rich and creamy, it may not be a refrigerator staple, but it certainly deserves a spot on any and every snack table or platter.

Trader Joe’s tzatziki tastes like something from a fancy restaurant

Trader joe's tzatziki
Trader Joe’s tzatziki. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

Swain-Wilson wrote that she considers the chain’s tzatziki the most balanced store-bought option she’s tried.

It’s not as dill-forward as many others, with fresh herbs backing up the lemon and garlic flavors instead of taking the front seat.

And the ribbons of refreshing cucumber make it the perfect, cool treat to enjoy at a picnic or with a fresh dinner.

The jalapeño pub-cheese dip is extremely snackable and tasty

Trader joe's jalepeno pub cheese dip
Trader Joe’s jalapeño pub-cheese dip. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

This dip is the perfect combination of cheesy and spicy.

The bold and sharp cheddar from the real cheese pairs wonderfully with the minced jalapeño mixed in throughout.

Plus its thick texture makes it ideal for dipping.

For more dip recommendations, read I tried 19 of Trader Joe’s popular dips, and I would buy at least half of them again.

Frozen Entrées

Trader Joe’s freezer aisle is a wonderland of easy lunches and dinners.

Even though the Mandarin orange chicken won best entrée at the 12th annual Customer Choice Awards for the seventh year in a row, the chain also offers some worthy contenders.

The Mandarin orange chicken is impressively good

Trader joe's orange chicken
Trader Joe’s Mandarin orange chicken. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

An award-winning favorite, this entrée captures all of the best parts of the iconic chicken dish.

The breaded pieces of meat crisp up nicely in the oven, and the balanced sweet and tangy sauce perfectly clings to every bit.

It’s great paired with rice or on its own.

The chicken Tikka masala is a must-buy

Trader joe's chicken tikka masala
Trader Joe’s chicken Tikka masala. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

This dish comes together in four minutes in the microwave, filling any kitchen with the mouthwatering aroma of Tikka masala.

The perfectly cooked chicken, flavorful rice, and balanced spices hit all of the marks, making this option the ideal comfort meal.

Trader Joe’s sweet-potato gnocchi tastes homemade

Sweet potato gnocchi trader joes
Trader Joe’s sweet-potato gnocchi with butter-and-sage sauce. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

This meal is delicious and so easy to throw together since everything, including the sauce, comes premixed.

The natural sweetness of the potatoes pairs beautifully with the peppery sage sauce, making it the perfect convenient dinner or lunch.

For more entrée recommendations, read I tried Trader Joe’s award-winning entrée, but some of the runner-ups were as good as the winner.

Breakfasts

From fresh takes on cereal to mouthwatering pastries, Trader Joe’s has a range of breakfast options worth trying.

Trader Joe’s date, coconut, and chocolate bar is the perfect on-the-go breakfast

Trader joe's coconut date bar
Trader Joe’s date, coconut, and chocolate bar. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

Swain-Wilson described these tasty bars as an impressive “cross between a brownie, Clif Bar, and luxurious candy.”

The unsweetened chocolate bring out the caramelly undertones of the dates without being too sugary, and the coconut serves as a great binder.

The strawberry-yogurt O’s are a unique twist on classic cereal

Trader joe's strawberry yogurt o's
Trader Joe’s strawberry-yogurt O’s. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

This morning treat combines circular cereal with tasty strawberry-yogurt bites, and the addition of freeze-dried strawberries takes this meal to the next level.

Just pair with your milk of choice to serve.

These cinnamon rolls strike the perfect balance of buttery and sweet

Trader joe's cinnamon rolls
Trader Joe’s cinnamon rolls with vanilla icing. Savanna Swain-Wilson for Insider

Swain-Wilson wrote that these rolls “smelled and tasted like something I’d buy from a bakery,” yet they sell for just a fraction of the price.

Each tasty bun sports a generous amount of cinnamon on every layer, which balances the sugary glaze.

They’re great for hosting friends and family for brunch or enjoying with a cup of coffee.

For more breakfast recommendations, read I tried 18 of Trader Joe’s popular breakfast foods, and I’d buy most of them again.