Top-Tier Gas Station Snacks

Undoubtedly the most important power ranking on The Talon


We’ve all been there. Running in to grab a bottled water, or maybe some nutritional fuel for a long car ride, we’ve all stumbled upon the vast array of processed goodies that decorate the shelves of a roadside gas station. Whether it’s a Circle K on a random highway in Columbia, SC, or the beloved Sphinx gas station adjacent to Academic Magnet, there are always some staple snacks stored away there.

If you’re even as slightly indecisive as I am, then I’m sure you would love a list of the best gas station foods, because, let’s be real, you don’t have the time, money, or functioning cells in your body to try everything in there.


25. Granola Bars 

Don’t get me wrong— these are fantastic. Clif Bars, Nature Valley, and all those other “healthy” brands taste delicious. But honestly, you don’t go to the gas station for a granola bar. And if you do, I highly recommend Kind Bars with dark chocolate, nuts, and sea salt.

24. Banana Nut Muffins

Just as delicious, these banana nut muffins provide an exceptional amount of satiation. However, as you’re eating them, you cannot help but wonder how many preservations are pumped into the yummy, aromatic bread.

23. Freeze Dried Fruit

Surprisingly, freeze dried fruit is highly addictive. Pairing the tangy and sweet flavors of the fruit with a cloud-like consistency, you are met with a brilliant and delicious snack that also gives you the impression of being healthy! I recommend the mango snack by Simply Balanced.

22. Rice Cakes

Chocolate, caramel, sea salt, there’s just such a nice variety of rice cakes. Yes, they admittedly look like coasters for your living room furniture, but they pair well with pretty much anything. Rice cakes and peanut butter are an amazing duo if you’re feeling adventurous.

21. Nutter Butters

Nutter Butters provide the perfect combination of nutty and salty flavors for your sophisticated palette. When asked for her opinion on these beloved snacks, Sarah Norman (Senior) says, “I like them! But I feel like you have to have milk with them.” I would have to agree— Nutter Butters have a tendency to dry out your mouth if you inhale them too quickly.

20. Sour Patch Kids

This snack is highly revered, mainly because, as the slogan goes, first they’re sour then they are sweet. As you’re all aware, there is a hierarchy of Sour Patch Kid flavors. After taking a small poll, 4 out of 4 surveyed students agreed that blue is the superior color. You cannot argue with that!

19. Trolli Gummy Worms

Following the gummy snack trend, Trolli gummies rank slightly higher due to their fun, elastic properties. While most consumers usually neglect the orange/green worms, the blue/pink flavor fully compensates for them.

18. Sour Patch Watermelon

Finally, we have arrived to the king of gummy snacks. No one is quite sure what makes them so enticing— the artificial watermelon flavor should naturally be a deterrent for all avid snackers. However, these bad boys are nevertheless incredibly addictive and a wonderful treat.

17. Cereal Cups

You’ve probably seen them in the stores, but never been inspired to actually purchase one. The cups of Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Fruit Loops, and Frosted Flakes unfortunately are underrated— the portion sizes are perfect for a hungry individual on the road, and are an incredibly opportunity to embrace the nostalgia that comes with breakfast from your youth.

16. Pringles Cups

If you’re not looking for a cup of sweet/crunchy combinations, then perhaps you would be more interested in Pringles, which provide a beautiful union of salty and crunchy sensations. The thin, uniform shapes of these chips are so soothing, almost comforting.

15. Carmellos

I personally have never tried these, but Max Windom (Senior) insists that “they are slept on”. I want you to envision a beautiful bar of milk chocolate completely filled with creamy caramel, and then pair that with the feeling of euphoria. That is a Carmello.

14. Yogurt Pretzels

If you do not like pretzels, such as Sam Maher (Senior) who claims that they “taste like burnt bread”, then I would not recommend these. However, for the remaining percentage of the population, yogurt pretzels are an amazing (and often overlooked) snack. Blueberry yogurt pretzels? A gift from above.

13. Goldfish

We must all thank Pepperidge Farms for blessing the human population with Goldfish. The original cheddar is amazing enough, yet the shelves never fail to produce brand new and exciting flavors. Pizza, Flavor Blaster, and Pretzel are my personal favorites, but with this snack, it’s impossible to discriminate.

12. Oreos

For those of you that don’t live under a rock, Oreos have recently aggregated some more popularity due to the campaign for Game of Thrones and its brand new season. Hopping on the GoT bandwagon, Oreos are currently flying off the shelves, and I understand why. If you pair a fantastic TV show with an equally impressive snack, you get a powerful duo.

11. Ice Cream Sandwiches

For some reason, ice cream sandwiches are snubbed in the gas station. I get it— they melt easily, they’re messy, etc. But, honestly, it’s so worth it. The classic brown-and-white sandwiches are great, but this also applies to chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches. As summer soon approaches, these babies will become more and more enticing.

10. Powdered Donuts

Once again, it’s time to take a trip down memory lane. Mini powdered donuts served as the foundation of most children, and to this day they continue to spark joy in whomever eating them. Some may argue that this high ranking is questionable, however its overlooked nature is what makes powdered donuts so appealing.

9. Cheez Its

Cheez Its, much like their wonderful cousin (Goldfish), come in several delicious variations. Classic, Extra Toasty, and Grooves are all quite enjoyable, but Cheez Its have recently released the Snap’d snack, which provides a nice, airy texture with the same appealing cheddar taste. With such a wide array of flavors, Cheez Its are an ideal snack for anyone perusing through gas station aisles.

8. Hershey Snack Mix

If you’re a snack connoisseur like me, who seeks out a harmonious blend of salt and chocolate, then I implore you to try the Hershey Chocolate Snack Mix. Composed of popcorn, almonds, pretzels, and mini chocolate bits, this ensemble will undoubtedly leave you as a happy customer.

7. Snappers

Many years ago, I stumbled upon this pretzel-chocolate-caramel combination. Since then, I have never looked back. Snappers never fail to amaze me because they encapsulate every delicious flavor that a chocolate-lover could ever want. Much like the Hershey Snack Mix, the different tastes balance one another perfectly, so you’re never overwhelmed by too much sugar or too much sodium.

6. Hot Fries

Maybe all of these crunchy snacks are not enough to satiate your drive for something with a little spice. Fortunately for you, every known gas station provides bags and bags of Hot Fries. Much like Hot Cheetos, these snacks are fairly spicy and are often too much for the average human. What places Hot Fries above their Hot Cheeto counterpart is their airy consistency, which is much more appealing to the palette.

5. Poptarts

Poptarts come in fifth place due to their vast range of flavors and alluring frosting colors. Appropriate for breakfast, lunch, or even two in the morning, these toaster pastries provide a relieving rush of nostalgia along with sweet fillings. Whether you prefer chocolate-y or fruity tastes, there is a Poptart flavor for everyone.

4. Snickers

Maybe you didn’t even come into the gas station with the intention of buying a Snickers. But as you’re waiting in line, you cannot help but notice the various Snickers bars beside the cashier countertop. With brand new editions, such as Snickers Peanut Butter, Snickers Hazelnut, and Snickers Maple, you’re doomed to succumb to your curiosity. Trust me, they are amazing.

3. Boom Chicka Pop

In my past experiences, Boom Chicka Pop has not lasted an hour into a road trip. The kettle corn flavor, my personal favorite, is the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Plus, who doesn’t love popcorn? If you’re looking for a large portion size, I would recommend that you go out of your way to get the family-sized bag from an adjacent grocery store. It’s very much worth it.

2. M&Ms

Coming in as the runner-up in this extensive gas station list, M&Ms take the cake. They are so versatile and come in so many different varieties, it’s hard not to love them. Even people that hate chocolate have no problem enjoying M&M flavors such as Cookies and Creme. For curious snackers, I recommend their brand new flavors such as Coconut Thai and Jalapeño. My personal favorites? Peanut Butter or Raspberry Crunch.

1. Puffcorn

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the holy grail of gas station snacks. Never in my life have I revered a processed food so much in my life. With its beauty almost ineffable, I have difficulty accurately describing just how delicious Puffcorn is. Each piece possesses the weight and consistency of a cloud, and don’t get me started on its perfectly moderate cheddar flavor. If you are craving something salty from the gas station, please treat yourself to this.