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Pair Starbucks Salt And Vinegar Chips With Hot Coffee

It's an unusual Starbucks menu combo, but it works.

Although I have been going to Starbucks less since writing this review, the other day I found myself back at the 'Bucks in need of a quick coffee. While in line, I stood behind two loud men who ordered Frappuccinos. Business as usual. Then, out of nowhere, one of these jokers reached over and grabbed a bag of salt and vinegar chips. I almost said, "What the fuck?" audibly, but instead just kind of chuckled to myself. Chips and coffee—not exactly a pairing I see going mainstream anytime soon.

In my opinion, Starbucks simply has no business selling its own proprietary brand of potato chips. The chain should just source them from another well-known company like Miss Vickies or Dirty—a trusted name in the potato chip stratosphere that already delivers a quality product. Starbucks isn't known for chips, or really even its sandwiches, which I'm guessing the chips are supposed to accompany. The packaging looks too sleek, like the bag is filled with air pods or power adapters instead of salty, greasy chips. Still, seeing these two Los Feliz clowns munch on chips as they waited for their drinks, I felt compelled by a screwy curiosity to also order chips and coffee. I got influenced.

What do Starbucks Salt & Vinegar Kettle Potato Chips taste like?

The first thing I noticed was that these Starbucks chips actually have a pretty pleasant potato flavor. There's an earthy quality here that shines through, and it's hard not to enjoy it. These aren't like Lay's chips, which don't really taste very much like potato at all.


Some salt and vinegar chips (I'm thinking about Wise here), tend to lean way too far into the vinegar flavor. Others, meanwhile, don't have nearly enough vinegar. These Starbucks chips strike the balance just right, and might as well be Kettle brand, which are also pretty damn good. Salt and vinegar chips are one of those snacks I deem "idiot-proof," impossible to screw up. But there is a spectrum of quality, and Starbucks is right in the middle of the pack.

But how do they taste with coffee? Salty and bitter, and not much else—I actually love the combo. Chips and coffee are an absolutely sick pairing, and definitely the type of thing that's going to ruin your teeth inside and out. Yet as I stand here taking shelter in the rain, sipping my coffee and munching down on these pungent Starbucks potato chips, I can't help but smile at how ridiculous and satisfying it is. Some things don't have to make sense to be enjoyed.