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Canada’s Best All Dressed Chip: A Definitive Ranking

We tried every major-brand version of this kickier cousin to the ketchup chip to find you the very best in all dressed.
Canada’s Best All Dressed Chip: A Definitive Ranking

Photo illustration by Isie Yang.

For all the praise Canada gets for creating the ketchup potato chip, I think we could use a little more credit for its kickier cousin, the all dressed. Thought to have originated in Quebec in the late 1970s, they’ve since become a cross-country snack staple that, in the U.S., was only available in jail commissaries until Frito Lay expanded its offering of the flavour to Americans in 2016. Our neighbours are still relatively new to what we’ve known for decades: a mix of sweet, sour, spicy and a tiny hint of smoke, these chips hit every point of the palate when the seasoning is balanced well. 

And balanced well is the key descriptor here. When the Chatelaine team got together to find the best version of an all dressed chip, we learned that seasoning style in this category varied widely, with some brands leaning into one or two notes of the spice blend—sometimes to the detriment of its overall flavour. Read on to find out which chip came out as best dressed.

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A bag of Doritos brand all dressed chips.

We’re sorry, Doritos: taste testers unanimously decided all-dressed seasoning does not belong on a corn chip. The two flavours compete with each other, making for a strange taste experience that starts out like a Cool Ranch Dorito and then morphs into something else, a sour note that, as one tester put it, was “not up to competition standard.”

A bag of Compliments brand all dressed chips.
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A few taste testers were underwhelmed by the quality of the crunch in these chips, which felt softer than the others. And the flavour? “A little too vinegary,” wrote one editor.

A bag of Selection brand all dressed chips.
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A perfectly serviceable all dressed chip, a little on the sweet side, that few tasters had comments for, beyond “it’s fine,” or “the flavour is OK.” 

A bag of Lays brand all dressed chips.
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For one of the original all dressed chip makers, Lay’s did not pour on the seasoning with this product. “I have no idea what flavour these are,” wrote one tester, while another described them as “barely dressed.”

A bag of Great Value brand all dressed chips.

Wal-Mart’s all dressed featured a much thicker chip than the other non-ruffled versions, which seemed to divide tasters. A few pitched their vote for this crunchy, mildly flavoured take as a favourite, while others described the texture as spongey and too soft.

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A bag of Old Dutch brand all dressed chips.

Everyone was a little thrown by Old Dutch’s sweeter, smokier take on all dressed chips—more than a few noted that they could have mistaken these chips for barbecue flavoured if they didn’t know better. While the flavour itself was fine, if you’re looking for a classic all-dressed chip these may not be your first pick.

A bag of Miss Vickie's brand all dressed chips.
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Even the conditions of a blind taste test couldn’t hide Miss Vickie’s signature kettle-cooked feel from the Chatelaine team. It had the crunchiest texture of the bunch across the board, but every taster agreed that their take on all dressed could use a lot more, well, dressing. “I’d describe this as partly dressed,” wrote one tester. We hate to say it Miss Vickie, but these chips are too light on flavour!

A bag of All Dressed brand all dressed chips.
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This Loblaws brand suffered from the inverse problem of Miss Vickie: excellent flavour, but flat texture. Vinegary, salty, a balanced sweetness—and a spongy, almost nonexistent crunch. 

A bag of Ruffles brand all dressed chips.
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Our runner-up had a clear advantage in texture—every taste tester seemed to prefer their all-dressed chips in ruffle form over flat—and an excellent salty crunch to boot. One commenter: “I could see myself eating a whole bag of these!” 

A bag of PC LOADS OF brand all dressed chips.

When I flipped over the papers that concealed the brand identity of each bowl of chip, our Creative Director, Sun, did a little yell when she saw the runaway winner of this taste test. “WHAT?!” And most testers were, in fact, surprised that what they were voting for as the best all dressed chips was not the Ruffles brand. The title of PC’s product here does not lie: these chips boasted the strongest all dressed flavour of all the options we tried, which is what the people wanted. “Pleasantly aggressive,” wrote one editor, describing its sweet and sour notes that held up well to the chip’s crunch. The best of both qualities!

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