Julio's Tortilla Chips Review

Julio's Chips are the best I've found outside of the freshly made chips found at Mexican restaurants.
Julio's Chips are the best I've found outside of the freshly made chips found at Mexican restaurants. | Source

Julio's are the best packaged corn tortilla chips I've found!

Let me start by saying there is not going to be too much emphasis on the negative in this review. I love tortilla chips in general, and although these chips are not perfect – and I will eventually get to the negative – Julio’s tortilla chips are easily my favorite of those you can buy in a store. (Among the contenders for "best," I’m not counting hot, freshly made tortilla chips from a restaurant.)

I live in Texas and discovered Julio’s chips at my local Brookshire’s grocery store several years ago. I was already hooked on Julio’s salsa and was in the store buying my fix of at least two or three little tubs of the freshly made, refrigerated stuff. The checker noticed I was buying Julio’s salsa and asked me if I had ever tried Julio’s chips. I didn’t even realize the company made chips, but with salsa that delicious, I suspected the chips must be good.

On impulse I grabbed a bag of Julio’s chips and paid for them along with my salsa. I tore the bag open as soon as I got home. After carefully tasting and considering one or two chips, I wondered how in the world I never knew these chips existed before. They’re just so much yummier than any other bagged grocery store chip I’ve found.

What makes Julio's Chips so special?

There's just something about these chips! At first glance Julio's Chips seem like all the rest. Like most tortilla chips, Julio’s chips start out as corn tortillas. Also like most other tortilla chips, they’re cut into triangles and fried to a crispy crunch.

One trait I like is that the chips are not too thick and not too thin. Also, they have no traces of greasiness. They are dusted with a reddish-brown, lightly spiced salt. According to the company's website, Julio's Tortilla Chips are seasoned with a combination of garlic, paprika, cumin and lime. The four seasonings must be very equally used, because I don't not taste any of these specifically, nor does one overpower the rest.

In my opinion, some chips are undercooked to a pale yellow, or perhaps these less delicious chips are made of white corn. Julio’s chips are made from flavorful yellow corn, and rather than being undercooked they have that toasted corn taste that my taste buds just find so irresistible.

Just look at the yummy seasonings on these chips! Some chips are more heavily seasoned than others. Personally I prefer the more lightly seasoned ones, which works out perfectly, because my kids prefer the super salty ones.
Just look at the yummy seasonings on these chips! Some chips are more heavily seasoned than others. Personally I prefer the more lightly seasoned ones, which works out perfectly, because my kids prefer the super salty ones. | Source

So how do they taste?

In my opinion, these are bagged chip perfection. The toasted corn taste, combined with the salt, special spice blend and crunchy texture are way better than most foods on the planet. They are fried in corn oil. Many of the old-school Tex-Mex restaurants fry their chips in beef lard, or so I am told, and supposedly that is one reason restaurant chips are so delicious. However, corn oil is a healthier option and there's not a thing I would change about the flavor of Julio's Chips.

Julio’s Chips are delicious on their own, with a crock of my special recipe for the Best Queso Ever, crumbled into a hot big bowl of the Easiest Homemade Pinto Beans on the Planet, made into a big plate of nachos, served alongside a big bowl of Easy, Healthy Chilli, or dipped into Julio’s salsa.

Nachos made with Julio's Chips are the best! Julio's Salsa and sour cream perfectly complement the chips-cheese-green onion combination.
Nachos made with Julio's Chips are the best! Julio's Salsa and sour cream perfectly complement the chips-cheese-green onion combination. | Source

Mmmmmm... nachos.

Perhaps my favorite way to eat Julio’s chips is as nachos. I place a generous layer of chips on an oven-safe dinner plate, sprinkle them with a good helping of shredded sharp cheddar cheese, and pop them into a 350° oven until the cheese is melted and slightly bubbly. After removing the plate from the oven, I sprinkle the nachos with green onion slices and serve them with a large dollop of sour cream and plenty of Julio’s salsa. Julio’s nachos are certainly a treat at the end of a difficult day or a guilty pleasure in place of the healthy, low-fat lunches I am doing my best to eat.

So... what are the negatives?

If you have read this far into my "Ode to Julio's Chips," you can surely tell that I love them. The only negative is that sometimes, although rarely, I will end up with a bag that is extra salty, to the point of being too salty to be enjoyable. Also, as I'm finishing up a bag, the chips at the very bottom are usually too salty for my taste. This is especially disappointing because I can't bear to throw any of them out, and I don't want to share any of them with my kids, who love the extra-salty chips. I want them all for my own personal consumption, and I want the last chip in the bag to be just as delicious as the first.

Julio's History

Julio Garcia was a chef at several restaurants in Del Rio, Texas, back during the 1970s and 80s. He eventually started catering, and found his catering clients would call back a day or two after his jobs, asking for more chips and salsa. He started delivering chips and salsa, and also making them fresh every morning and delivering a daily supply every day to local grocery stores. Obsessed customers would also come to his house to purchase chips and salsa.

His special recipes were in such demand that he was finally started a commercial chip-cooking operation in his garage. Demand was so great that in 2002, the Garcia family opened a large-scale production facility in Del Rio, which produces 2.5 million tons of chips per day. Additional San Antonio production facilities followed.

Today, Julio's sons and other family members run the bulk of the business, but Julio is still very much involved. Their products, which include chips, salsa and their special seasoning blend, are available not just in Del Rio but also throughout much of the large state of Texas.

While Julio's Chips are available from Amazon.com for those who live outside of the company's Texas distribution areas, Julio's Salsa is fresh, not cooked, and requires refrigeration, which means it is not available through Amazon.com.
While Julio's Chips are available from Amazon.com for those who live outside of the company's Texas distribution areas, Julio's Salsa is fresh, not cooked, and requires refrigeration, which means it is not available through Amazon.com. | Source

Julio's Salsa

At this point you’re probably tired of me bringing up Julio’s salsa again and again. I decided it deserved it’s own mini review here with the chips review.

Julio’s salsa reminds of the salsa that was available on the tables of the Mexican restaurants I went to as a kid here in Texas during the 1970s. It is fresh, not cooked, and like Julio's Chips, has basically spoiled me for any other salsa outside of restaurant salsas. Cooked, jarred salsas now remind me of ketchup and just won't do at all since I have discovered Julio's salsa.

Julio's Salsa is tomato heavy, like most salsas. Whether you go with "mild" or "medium," you'll find that just the right amount of jalapenos and seasonings are blended into this smooth salsa.

While Julio’s chips can be purchased from Amazon.com and shipped just about anywhere, the salsa, unfortunately, requires refrigeration and is available only in grocery stores. I suppose you could call the company headquarters in Del Rio and beg for some to be shipped by air. If you're lucky, they will work something out.

The perfect antidote to a stressful day: a Margarita on the rocks and your own personal bowl of Julio's Chips. (Tell the kids to get their own bowl).
The perfect antidote to a stressful day: a Margarita on the rocks and your own personal bowl of Julio's Chips. (Tell the kids to get their own bowl). | Source

I give Julio's Tortilla Chips 5 stars, which is the highest rating possible.

5 stars for Julio's Tortilla Chips

More by this Author


Comments 8 comments

John 3 years ago

Are their products gluten free?


SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

Hi John, I'm assuming their hot sauce is gluten free, because it is made of only vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, onions, etc.

Here are the ingredients in the corn chips, per the Julio's website: Corn, Water, Lime, Salt, Black Pepper, Garlic, Paprika, Comino, Monosodium Glutamate, and corn oil.

As I understand it, corn is gluten free but does seem to bother some people who have issues with gluten. I hope these chips work for your diet, as they are simply delicious! Thanks for reading and asking.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

Awesome! I have recently started eating gluten free. My son's therapist told me that the safest junk food for gluten free is fritos because they are made from corn chips, salt, and oil.

I have a thyroid problem so I can't eat soy. Vegetable oil is made from soy. It's really difficult to find products made from other oils. Even chocolate (my favorite) has soy in it.

Corn oil is great because it is gluten/soy free.

I can certainly eat this! What a bonus! Now, unfortunately, I live in the northeast, and I haven't noticed this brand before. But my sister lives in Texas! I'm going to give her a call. :D


SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

Awesome, Crafty! If you get them shipped all the way to the NE I hope you won't be disappointed. I am a tortilla chip lover, and these are the best other than going to a restaurant. I love Fritos, too! With bean dip! Have you ever had Frito salad? That would be gluten-free, also.


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

No, I haven't tried frito salad, but it sounds yummy. My son's therapist said she uses pork rinds instead of bread crumbs, so I thought rolling chicken in crushed fritos would be yummy too! LOL I haven't tried it yet though.


SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

That sounds really good! I make baked chicken fingers by rolling them in cornflake crumbs. Fritos would be good, too, I think. I don't care too much for wheat in general, so maybe it's just me. Have you ever tried the World Table rice crackers they have at Walmart? Those are really yummy. Garlic is the best, but the lime and black pepper are good too. He might be able to eat those. I think the name is World Table. It is Walmart's brand. I know you shop there, I saw your Walmart article last week, LOL. I meant to comment on it. Going there now. :)


CraftytotheCore profile image

CraftytotheCore 3 years ago

LOL! No, I haven't tried those rice cakes. My daughter loves them, but I usually buy her the sweet kinds like caramel. I'll look for them next time I go.


SmartAndFun profile image

SmartAndFun 3 years ago from Texas Author

These are little snack crackers in the cracker aisle. They're in a little bag, not a box. They are super thin and crisp and crunchy and I am addicted to them. They are really good plain or with onion & chive cream cheese.

    Sign in or sign up and post using a HubPages Network account.

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No HTML is allowed in comments, but URLs will be hyperlinked. Comments are not for promoting your articles or other sites.


    Click to Rate This Article
    working