All of the Party Dips, Ranked

These are the dips you need to reach for on Game Day.

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Need a hand navigating the snack table on Game Day? With a spread worthy of the year’s biggest sporting event, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with choices. However, it’s a pretty safe bet that every spread will include the world’s greatest topping for chips, pretzels and veggies – dip. Though all of these dips are great in their own right, there are definitely options that we reach for more than others. Here’s a few of our favorites, in order:

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Sure, this black bean, corn, onion, bell pepper and tomato salad has all the components to make an enticing side dish, but the reality is the choppy texture and lack of scoop-ability makes it a dip easy to pass by. I mean, imagine dipping a carrot or piece of celery into this dip? It’s basically good for chips and nothing else. 

Food Network Kitchen’s Hummus Dips, Lemony Dill Hummus

Photo by: Kate Mathis

Kate Mathis

Hummus is great, don’t get us wrong. But hummus is more of a mid-work-day, pick-me-up type of dip. It’s not going to be our first selection when approaching the snack table, but certainly wouldn’t be our last. 

Bean dip is great when you are craving a hearty dip, but the table has already run out of all the good stuff. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s just …  there. 

Food Network French Onion Dip

Photo by: Marshall Troy ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012,Television Food Network,G.P.

Marshall Troy, FOOD NETWORK : 2012,Television Food Network,G.P.

A combination of sour cream and onion, this dip does have its benefits. It pairs excellently with a wavy potato chip and can bring some life to your veggie platter. But it’s certainly no stand out.   

Photo by: David Malosh

David Malosh

I get it, for some people queso is life. We agree that few things top cheese, and when you melt that cheese into a delicious cheese sauce you pretty much have euphoria. But (yes, there’s a but here), sometimes queso can feel a bit overpowering. 

It’s absolutely incredible for the first few bites, but after that point you are pretty much fighting an already-occurring stomach ache just to finish the dish. And, call us crazy, but maybe we actually want to taste the food I’m dipping, not just the rich cheesy coating. Listen, queso is great, it’s just that there are better dips out there. 

Salsa gets its middle-tier ranking for reasons that we assume are obvious. It's like the free bread at an Italian restaurant — you're usually happy to see it (and always annoyed if it's not there). But you forget about it the moment something better arrives. 

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Boasting an impressive ingredients list — refried beans, guacamole, sour cream, salsa, cheese, black olives and ground beef — this dip gives us the best of pretty much every world. 

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Be honest, have you ever seen spinach artichoke dip on a restaurant appetizer menu and not ordered it? That’s what we thought. 

It’s basically a vegetable dip + queso hybrid that has developed a well-deserved cult following. 

Guacamole can elevate just about any dish, double as a condiment and offer a lighter option (when compared to some of its cheese-filled counterparts, that is). 

And it’s all those reasons and more that justify its high accolades. 

It’s also a safe option. Guac is something that everyone is familiar with — you can put on the table and odds are it is gone before you have time to get a bite yourself. Packed with simple yet delicious flavor, it’s pretty hard to find anything negative to say about this avocado dip. Keep bringing guac to the party, your friends deserve it.   

And now ... *drumroll please* ... your No. 1 dip. 

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©© 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, © 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

More often than not, dip is a placeholder. It’s something to tide us over while the main course cooks, something we mindlessly eat while staring absent-minded at the TV. It’s usually not the star of the show, rather an entertaining supporting role. We have to argue that the one exception to this rule, however, is our No. 1 ranking: Buffalo chicken dip. 

Let us put this simply. A party is not a party if buffalo chicken dip isn’t involved. If you and your friends aren’t fighting over who gets the honor to bring this coveted dish, you aren’t doing it right. 

The combination of cheese, chicken and — most importantly — buffalo sauce makes this a dip for everyone. It pairs perfectly with chips and pita bread, offers a kick of flavor to any vegetable and can honestly be enjoyed on its own (don’t knock it ‘til you try it.) 

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