Editors' Picks: The Best Foods We're Eating Right Now

“Every few weeks I decide I’m a vegetarian but I always end up going back to my meat-eating ways. Needless to say, I’m picky when it comes to beef, chicken, and pork, but these are always a win for me. Offering a healthier version of the New York street food favorite, BKHDCO hot dogs are all natural—so no added nitrates, or meats with hormones or antibiotics, and they’re gluten free. I’m a fan of their Classic Beef Dog, but they also come in flavors like Gyro Dog, Pepperoni Dog, and Buffalo Chicken Dog. They even offer “Wiener Delivery,” so you don’t even need to leave the house.”

—Emily Strohm, Senior Writer

$37 (for 3-pack); brooklynhotdogcompany.com

“Just like your favorite childhood treat, but they’re made with all organic, natural, non-GMO ingredients. If none of that matters to you, all you have to know is they taste really, really good. The ice cream is velvety smooth, while the cookie achieves that just-soft-enough texture that is the mark of a good ice cream sandwich. My personal favorite is the classic vanilla-chocolate combo, but they also come in double chocolate, peanut butter-chocolate and lavender-lemon flavors.”

—Shay Spence, Food Editor

$79.99 for a bundle of 16, toocoolchix.com

“Sugarfina has been known to do fun collaborations, but when I saw that they teamed up with Disney to celebrate 90 years of Mickey Mouse, I was instantly transported back to my childhood. Not only is there a giant Mickey ear filled with different flavored gummies (yum!), Sugarfina also created three different chocolate bars with Mickey-shaped sprinkles and a 3D black and white diorama shaped like a vintage television set. The rush of nostalgia makes this collection the perfect gift (or treat yourself moment).”  —Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter 

Starting at $8; sugarfina.com

“I’m one of those people who puts ketchup on everything I can, from eggs to burgers to fries and then some. But I’ve recently been trying to cut my sugar and carb intake, meaning ketchup, which typically contains 5g of sugar and 5g of carbs in 1 tablespoon, has had to go—or so I thought. After searching for alternatives, I discorvered Heinz' No Suger Added ketchup. To my surprise, it tastes exactly the same (for the same price, too). And the best part is 1 tablespoon contains only 1g of sugar and 1g of carbs, which means I can have five times as much!” —Dave Quinn, News Reporter

$2.58, amazon.com

“As a devoted fan of Nashville hot chicken, I was definitely skeptical of a potato chip version—but I must say, these deliver on their promise. At first bite, you’re hit with the bold spice blend (which somehow tastes like chicken, but maybe that’s in my head), and then it finishes with the very distinct flavor of briny pickles. Pretty top notch.”

—Shay Spence, Food Editor

$1.50, Dollar General stores nationwide

“I’m a condiment queen. My (incredibly messy) desk is peppered with at least two dozen bottles of ketchup, soy sauce, barbecue sauce, finishing oils, and more hot sauces than I’ll be able to eat in a year. But my most favorite of the lot is chef David Chang‘s sweet-and-spicy Korean Ssäm Sauce, made with a mixture of gochujang, miso, sake, soy sauce and rice vinegar. It’s a sauce I believe can elevate just about any sad work lunch—and it’s also the secret to my crazy-good chicken wings. (Chang claims it’s particularly good drizzled on pizza, which he says is the true test for any hot sauce. Noted.) Unfortunately, the sauce has always been a little annoying to buy—only at certain locations or the Momofuku online store—but starting today, three flavors of Ssäm Sauce (Original, Spicy and Smoky) are available exclusively on Amazon.” —Sonal Dutt, Food & Lifestyle Director 

$7.19 each; amazon.com 

“When it comes to baking and cooking, I’m pretty indiscriminate about the type of butter I use. But if I’m going to spread something on my morning toast, it’s got to be special. This small-batch butter is my most recent obsession, and like most things in life, the secret is in its simplicity. Made with just two ingredients (heavy cream and sea salt), the original flavor has a slight tang reminiscent of a European butter that cuts through the richness and keeps you coming back for another bite. It also comes in three flavors—maple (perfect for pancakes and waffles, obviously), lemon (a great finish for fish and chicken) and sriracha (for my fellow spice lovers out there.)”

—Shay Spence, Food Editor

$49 (for a 4 pack), goldbely.com

“My coworkers Brittany, Jackie and I are on Whole30 right now — cue eyerolls from everyone else at PEOPLE HQ — and we’ve been looking for compliant snacks to keep on-hand. Enter these little packets of heaven, which are new to the RX brand this May. I can only speak for the vanilla almond variety, as peanuts are off-limits on the plan (no legumes allowed!), but oh. my. god. is it good. The combination of ingredients come together for a cookie-butter-like flavor and texture that tastes amazing spread on an apple, or straight out of the packet — and with only 3g of sugar! The calorie and fat count is on the high side, so these will be an occasional treat, but it’s worth it. Oh, and peanut flavors — I’m coming for you soon.” — Lindy Segal, Style Social Media Editor

$15.99 (for box of 10), rxbar.com

“I am all about a cold beer in the summer, but not when it comes with bloating, so I was thrilled when I learned that Corona’s first new beer in 29 years was their lightest to date. With only 90 calories, I can sip it worry free in my bikini and shorts. But I know what you’re thinking: it probably doesn’t taste as good, right? Wrong. The taste is seriously delicious and refreshing, and I actually prefer it over any other light beer.” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

$7.99 (for six-pack); totalwine.com

“I am a really big fan of candy — especially gummy candy, which is exactly why I fell in love with SmartSweets. These low-sugar, high-fiber gummies come in fruity and sour flavors and are totally guilt-free.” —Grace Gavilanes, Associate Editor

  • $48 per 12-pack; amazon.com

“If you’re a chip and dip kind of person like me, you’ll love these delicious and creamy variations from CAVA. Available in flavors like Crazy Feta, Spicy Hummus and Traditional Hummus (and many more), each spread is the same as you’d find being served at CAVA restaurant locations around the U.S. But these individual containers are conveniently sold at Whole Foods, which means you can dip whatever you find in your fridge in the privacy of your own home.” 

—Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter

“I have to admit, I did not like the idea of dairy-free cheeses when they started gaining popularity. In my mind, I’d rather just avoid cheese all together rather than eat something that’s trying to be something it’s not. But man, was I wrong. This almond-milk spread, which is beloved by Kourtney Kardashian, is really good—and I used to be the kind of person who would welcome the ridiculous portion of full-fat cream cheese New York bagel shops smear on their bagels. I find the plain to be a bit chalkier than regular cream cheese, but the flavored kinds get an A+ in my book.” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

  • $6.31; amazon.com

“Although I try my best (keyword: try) to eat healthy, there’s no denying I have a mega sweet tooth. I’m a sucker for ice cream, specifically, so I just had to try Magnum’s newest offering—and was blown away. Unlike an ordinary pint, this tub comes coated in a chocolate shell (or white chocolate shell if you’re into that instead), which you get to crack with your spoon to reach its delicious ice cream center. I’m already craving more.”

— Grace Gavilanes, Associate Editor

“Although ‘plant protein’ might sound like a turn-off to some people, it can be a good alternative to those who are sensitive to dairy. Since I can’t drink a cup of coffee without a little creamer, I tried replacing my go-to almond milk with this pea protein version. Now I can’t go back to the bland stuff. Even though unsweetened almond milk and this creamier both version have zero grams of sugar, this milk was much sweeter and even packs 10 grams of protein.”

—Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter

“I like beer. Correction, I really, really like beer. But gluten-free beer hasn’t ever been something I’ve liked to drink because it’s always tasted, well, awful. But now it is. Sufferfest has three delicious g-free beers that taste just as good as any other beer I’ve ever had … and I’ve had a lot of beer. The Taper IPA is hands-down my favorite, gets me buzzed but it won’t upset my or anyone else’s restrictive diet. Because let’s face it, dietary restrictions aren’t fun. But beer should be.”

—Joe Rodriguez, Senior Associate Photo Editor

  • $3 for 16-oz. can; craftcity.com

“My sweet tooth basically starts as soon as I wake up, so when I heard they were serving up limited edition breakfast cupcakes covered in classic cereals over at Sprinkles, I nearly keeled over. The bakery founded by Candace Nelson will offer a different dessert-cereal mashup every week during the month of January, each one more amazing than the last. If we’re handing out awards, I’d give the Strawberry Lucky Charms an honorable mention, but the Banana Cocoa Puffs combo wins gold.”

—Collier Sutter, Contributing Writer/Reporter

“I’ve never been a huge fan of sparkling water until I tried Spindrift — now I’m addicted. At first sip I was shocked at how flavorful it was knowing it has no added sugar or artificial flavors. Each can simply contains carbonated water and a bit of real fruit juice. I now drink one to two cans a day in place of soda because I love the guilt-free fizz in the afternoon.”

—Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter

  • $31 for a case of 24; amazon.com

“Have you ever dreamed of a healthy cheese puff? You’re in luck. I always keep a bag of these snap pea crisps at home for when I need to satisfy that salty, crunchy craving. They offer a nice serving of fiber and plant-based protein and have an ingredient list I can pronounce (a big plus for me). They’re even nutritionist approved!” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

  • $13 (for a variety pack); amazon.com

“I already loved Kodiak Cake’s pancake mix because it’s filled with protein (and the whole grain kind, not the weird aftertaste kind), but because I prefer sleep in the mornings, I wasn’t going to whip them up before work. Enter their frozen waffles, which I can just pop in the toaster for a few minutes and enjoy. Someone tell Eleven there’s a new Eggo in town.” —Julie Mazziotta, Writer/Reporter

  • $4.99 for a box of 10; target.com

“Is it weird to have daydreams about granola bars? Because these are all I think about. Not only do they melt in your mouth like a chocolate bar would, purchasing a box helps support farmers transitioning to organic farmland in the U.S.”—Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter

  • $3.98; amazon.com

“Alcoholic seltzer is the drink of summer. At 140 calories, the low carb, gluten-free beverage is the perfect alternative to boring vodka sodas, while still being a waist-friendly choice. The bottles and cans are adorably designed (who doesn’t love a mermaid?!) and come in six different flavors—though the grapefruit is a standout favorite for me.”—Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

$24.99 for 12-pack; drizly.com

“For treats made without wheat, eggs, milk, nuts or gluten, Partake Foods’ mini cookies taste like grandma-made, old-fashioned goodness. The new allergen-free, kid-friendly snacks recently hit stores in time for back-to-school and as a mom I am totally obsessed. My toddler son doesn’t suffer from food allergies, but he has so many pals who do. Now I have a gluten-free vegan snack that’s playdate safe and no less tasty. And yes, thanks to flavors like carrot oat and chocolate chip, my husband and I have depleted a few boxes on our own, so they’re great for big kids, too.” —Janine Rubenstein, Staff Editor

  • $30 (for 6 boxes); amazon.com

“With four kids, my family is always on the hunt for affordable food experiences that we can enjoy together. Grubstick takes the ultimate fireside food — s’mores! — and makes them sweeter than ever, thanks to interchangeable attachments that allow you to get creative. (Think gooey banana foster s’mores, pictured, or even savory items like burgers.) Bonus: Everything is dishwasher safe. Perfect for kids and parents.” —Michelle Tauber, Senior Editor

  • Grubstick intro kit, $29.95 at amazon.com

“Ever eaten a dessert that looked incredibly yummy but tasted like cardboard? This ain’t that. MdoughW‘s Doughies are soft-baked cookie cups stuffed with different fillings and decorated with fun toppings. The deliciously gooey treats come in a variety of flavors, including classics like Oreo Cookies & Crème, but I’m currently loving Peanut Butter Fudge Crunch, Frosted Animal Cracker and Pistachio Halva. In fact, I might have gotten a bit doughy from eating all of them in one sitting.” — Mark Marino, Contributing Editor

  • $30 for 6, at mdoughw.com and saksfifthavenue.com 

“I’ve tried about every wheat-free pasta under the sun—red lentil, black bean, brown rice—you name it, I’ve tried it. My main complaint about those noodles is that they’re basically inedible the next day, and when you bring leftovers for lunch in an effort to save money, that just won’t do. Enter Banza. The chickpea-based pasta—which just launched a bunch of new shapes (rigatoni is my favorite)—is filled with protein and fiber and actually tastes just like good old fashioned pasta. And most importantly, it’s equally delicious the next day.” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

  • $25 (for pack of 6); amazon.com

“This is a snack you can feel good about because each pack is made with only three pieces of fruit — and no additives. When I get my 3 p.m. craving for something sweet I grab a pack of these from my desk drawer instead of sugar-packed gummy bears.” —Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter

  • $34.17 (for 40 pouches), kindsnacks.com

“Working at PEOPLE is an exciting flurry of nonstop activity. Some days I’m so busy that I’ll look up at the clock assuming it’s around noon and it’s well past 3 p.m. … and I haven’t had a single sip of water since breakfast. So I’ve learned my lesson. This writer needs to stay hydrated! I now pick up a big bottle of LIFEWTR on my way to work in the morning and keep it right next to my computer. Not only does the water taste clean and refreshing (it’s actually purified water that’s pH balanced with subtle-tasting electrolytes), but the new colorful labels catch my eye while I’m concentrating on my computer screen, helping to remind me that water is my friend. The design series is focused on women in the arts—specifically Trudy Benson, Lynnie Z and Adrienne Gaither—which fits just right in our creative media office.” — Elizabeth Murray, PEOPLE contributor

  • $2, at grocery stores or lifewtr.com 

“Okay, so these are technically for kids but if you’re watching your weight, shopping in the baby food aisle is the ultimate life hack. Instead of replacing a whole meal like the standard size bars, these smaller guys—which contain no gluten, soy, dairy or added sugar and have 7 grams of protein thanks to egg whites—are the perfect mid-day snack. Chocolate chip is my favorite flavor, and the Berry Blast is a close second.” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

  • $5.99, target.com

“Raw Manuka honey is said to have many nutritional benefits, including B vitamins and anti-microbial properties. Some celebs even use it in the beauty routines! These individual ‘pods’ by Wedderspoon (filled with high-quality honey from New Zealand) come in the most genius portable packaging: You snap them in half and squeeze out a perfect mouthful from the sides. They’re perfect on their own when you need a little something sweet, and they provide just the right size spoonful for tea at the office.” – Catherine Kast, Editor

Buy it! $25.50 for 24 pods; amazon.com

“I love popping one of these mini bags of chewy granola bites into my bag for when I’m on-the-go. Plus, nutritionist Joy Bauer is the founder, so you know they’re a smart choice. They come in five different delicious flavors but chocolate banana is my favorite.” —Jessica Fecteau, Writer/Reporter

  • $18 (for 12 pack), amazon.com

“Bagels are my favorite food of all time. I could l.i.t.e.r.a.l.l.y eat them for every meal of the day—but I’m also acutely aware that I wouldn’t fit into my jeans if I did so. Enter this seasoning. The blend of salt, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried garlic and onion makes you feel like you’re eating a bagel without any of the carbs. Don’t get my wrong, it’s definitely not the same thing but it does the job. I sprinkle it on everything: meat, fish, veggies or a slice of Ezekial toast if I’m really feeling crazy.” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

  • $12.20 (for 2), amazon.com

“As a food editor, I’m often asked about my favorite foods in New York City—which is almost impossible to answer with so many delicious options around everywhere. But when someone asks where to find the best chocolate chip cookie in the city, I am quick and confident with a response: Maman bakery. The crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside cookies are stuffed with macadamia, walnuts, almonds and big chunks of chocolate. They’re sweet, salty, crunchy and soft all at the same time—everything what you want in a cookie. And now you can order the bakery’s famous treats—which come wrapped in boxes decorated with their trademark rose-and-peony print (hint: the perfect gift!)—and have them shipped to your door.” —Sonal Dutt, Food & Lifestyle Director 

  • $40 for 12 cookies, mamannyc.com 

“I sit right next to the treat table at work—where we display everything from donuts to ice cream for everyone in the office to sample. It’s tempting, but since I’ve recently cut back on sugar (it makes me meaner) I’m on the hunt for office-friendly snacks that don’t make me crash after I eat them. These chocolaty bites have 5 grams protein and 7 grams fat from cashews, collagen protein, and Bulletproof’s Brain Octane Oil, so it helps satiate hunger and cravings. As if by magic, they also contain less than 1 gram of sugar. Oh, and if you care about calories, these chewy little babies only have 100.” —Catherine Kast, Editor  

  • $43 for a pack of 15, amazon.com (also available at bulletproof.com)

Big Spoon Roasters‘ super-nutty spread is flecked with chewy chunks of ginger, making it ideal for slathering over a hunk of crusty bread or, you know, just eating it straight from the jar. We don’t judge. (See even more of our editors’ picks from small-batch, independently owned food makers by clicking here.) 

  • $16.75, mouth.com 

“I’m very into Naked’s Pressed Apples to Lavender juice for early summer. It’s got all the benefits of cold-pressed beets without the mess (for those of us who turn their kitchens purple when they try to make their own), and an interesting hint of floral flavor. Plus, the Pressed line is non-GMO and doesn’t contain added sugars or preservatives. I love to freeze my beet juice in ice cube trays and add the cubes to my seltzer—it turns beautifully pink and adds just a little natural flavor. If beets are too much for you, try my ice cube hack with the Citrus Lemongrass juice: It’s like a much more complex, healthier lemonade!” —Catherine Kast, Editor

“I’ve been on a health kick lately (summer’s only a few weeks away, you know!), trying to eat less refined foods like the soybean oil that’s used to make most store-bought mayos. That’s why I was so excited when a friend recommended this mayonnaise made with avocado oil. The avocado flavor is not overpowering at all—not that I’d mind if it was—it’s subtle, creamy and delicious. I mix it with canned tuna, chopped celery and a bit of salt and pepper for a lunch I can feel good about eating.” —Ana Calderone, Associate Food Editor

  • $11.49, jet.com

“No nuts? No problem! Kids with nut allergies are in for a treat with A La Mode ice cream. Even though it’s made without nuts, sesame seeds or eggs, it still has that rich, creamy taste you crave in an ice cream treat. With five delicious flavors to choose from (my favorite is Wired: coffee ice cream with chocolate chips!), it’s available in containers, single-serve cups and bars.” —Erin Hill, Senior News Editor

“I’m a seltzer water addict, but I’m actually not big on the flavored stuff. These ones changed all that—they’re just subtle enough and not too sweet. My personal fave is Black Raspberry!”–Shay Spence, Food Editor 

  • $20.99 for a 12-pack, amazon

“Rosé and chocolate have come together in one beautiful bar, and I couldn’t be happier. Compartes’ Roses & Rosé Chocolate Bar is infused with French wine and contains edible crystalized rose petals. Even better? It’s pink! I love having my go-to summer wine and my all-time favorite candy in one delicious sweet treat.”

Michelle Ward Trainor, Food Staff Writer

  • $9.95 per bar

 

“See ya, pumpkin spice! This fall, I’m all about Nabisco’s limited edition Cinnamon Donut Chewy Chips Ahoy! The seasonal treats taste just like the real deal, and even better, the opened package smells like the inside of a doughnut shop. These are the kind of cookies that are best enjoyed on a cool autumn weekend, when you’re relaxing with a cup of coffee and your favorite book. Or rolling around in a pile of leaves. But that’s just getting crazy!” —Mark Marino, Homepage & Content Director

“I’m not gluten-free. If anything, I’m gluten-full. But my friend wouldn’t stop raving about Barely Bread, this new line of grain-free bread (made with good-for-you ingredients like almond, coconut, sweet potato and flax), so I tried it out of curiosity. I popped an everything bagel in the toaster then basically frosted it with cream cheese (I thought I’d need extra schmear to make up for the lack of real carbs). I was wrong. It turned out exactly as it should: crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside. I’ll take a dozen!” —Andrea Lavinthal, Style and Beauty Director

• $13.99 for a box of 4 bagels

“Blueberries are one of my favorite summer fruits, so I feel like I’m staying true to the season by snacking on these sweet nothings. Though they look like chocolate-dipped berries, they’re actually fruit-flavored centers “enrobed” in dark chocolate, which sounds as decadent as they taste.” –Mark Marino, Homepage & Content Director

  • $5.49 for a 5-oz. bag

 

“We all know that Sprinkles is one of the best cupcake shops in the game, but most people don’t realize they serve killer ice cream, too. My personal fave is the Cap’n Crunch flavor, which has caramelized bits of the cereal running throughout. And if you really want to go for it, make a sundae – a scoop of ice cream sandwiched between two halves of a cupcake. Even if you don’t have a store in your area, you can order by the pint online.” –Shay Spence, Food Editor 

  • $10 per pint plus shipping

“We can all agree that candy is great. What sets Hi-Chews apart from, say, a Starburst, is its smooth, never-tacky texture and the subtlety of its flavor—sweet and fruity, but not overpowering. The mini-rectangle chews come in bags or packs, but really, regardless of the vessel, Hi-Chews (mango, in particular) are so irresistible to me that  the only way I’ll stop eating them is if I throw my stash in the fire.”

–Maria Yagoda, writer-reporter

  • $9.60 for a pack of 10

“I’m that girl. You know, the one who burrows down to the bottom of the popcorn bowl to dig out all the partially-popped kernels. This is why my office desk drawer is currently stuffed with several bags of HalfPops. The air-cooked snacks mimic the texture and flavor of semi-popped kernels, but are not hard enough to break a tooth when you bite down. There are several new flavors but I’m partial to the classics: butter and sea salt, kettle corn and spicy chipotle.” —Sonal Dutt, Food & Lifestyle Director 

“I’m all about Summer Water! Not only is this rosé refreshing and so pretty to look at, but it’s also my go-to gift for housewarming parties in the summer.” –Grace Gavilanes, writer-reporter 

  • $13 per bottle

“My household grills almost every meal in the summer. This marinade is the easiest, most delicious way to add flavor to any meat, stat. Chicken, burgers, salmon, steak—it’s all made extra lovely by this stuff. It’s my ‘secret sauce,’ and now yours.” –Marquaysa Battle, People Food Intern

  • $14.06 for a pack of 5

“A delicious mass of birthday cake vanilla cookie and much more. With most satisfaction and goodness. You will find a new world of delicious cookie-ness. You find yourself a new type of cookie…Fudge Stripes!” –William Wickware, 8-year-old son of Editorial Operations and Finance Director Alex Brez (and we all agreed).

  • $2.50 per box

Living in a small New York City apartment (read: a closet playing the role of an apartment), I’ve had to make some space sacrifices—like a liquor cabinet with more than two drink options. Want a gin and tonic? I got you. Anything more complicated? Go around the corner to the bar, please. That’s why I’ve made room for these Be Mixed cocktail mixers. Just pick your favorite flavor—I’m partial to the ginger lime and margarita mixers—and add your spirit of choice. The mixers are light, flavorful and make it seem like I’m a much more sophisticated entertainer than I really am. —Sonal Dutt, Food & Lifestyle Director 

  • $33 for 12, be-mixed.com 


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