My Town Monday: The Best Potato Chips!

Would you believe they come from Dayton, Ohio? Okay, “best” is subjective, but in my opinion, Mike-sell’s Potato Chips are the best!

Mikesells delivery wagon from 1911They’ve been around since 1910, and claim to be the oldest potato chip company in the U.S. A quick Google search will reveal other claims that go back further, but Mike-sell’s is still a venerable, established brand. If you’ve ever lived in Dayton, or even visited, you’ve probably eaten them. They have several yummy flavored varieties, too. My favorite is the Mesquite Smoked Bacon flavor Groovy style chips. These used to be hard to find, other than in pizza parlors, but now they’re sold in some grocery stores.

I can remember Mike-sell’s Potato Chips being in my house since I was a little kid. Usually, they were the original, in the red package, or the Groovy, in the blue package. When Mom was trying to diet, they weren’t in the house, because if they were, she’d eat them (I am this way to this day). Even now, if my dad wants them, he has to keep them stashed in the car so Mom won’t eat them. This is on her request, although she’s been known to go out to the car and get them! 

Mikesells original potato chipsMike-sell’s original potato and their Groovy chips contain three ingredients: potatoes, oil, and salt. One of Mike-sell’s distinctions is peanut oil. Until recently, the bags read “Made with 100% Peanut Oil… That’s Why They Are Delicious!” The bags still say “They Are Delicious!” but the ingredients now list “vegetable oil” in the ingredients, noting that it can include corn oil, sunflower oil, canola oil, and peanut oil. Considering how expensive peanut oil is, it’s no surprise – after all, there’s a lot of competition, and Mike-sell’s is not known as a gourmet brand, so a big price hike would kill sales. It’s kind of sad, because I can taste the difference: they’re a little-teeny-bit not quite as good. Still, they’re my number one choice, because yes, They Are Delicious! 

So now you know what to eat if you want snack food in Dayton. Mike-sell’s chips are sold in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan and Tennessee. The national brand that’s probably the closest to Mike-sell’s (the original red bag variety) is Lay’s Original. But Mike-sell’s Groovy is nothing like Ruffles – Groovy is big ripples, and The Best Chip for dips. 

Does your region have its own snack foods I should try, if I visit? Do you have any fun memories of them? Please share!

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5 Responses to \

  1. Mmmm…potato chips. I must admit to being a traditionalist in the chip sense. I like salted chips, or sometimes salt and vinegar or salt and pepper, but that’s as far as I am willing to go. I like “Dirty” chips best, pretty much any “kettle cooked” chip after that. But next time I am in the area, I am definitely going to give Mike-sells a shot!

  2. Back when I could eat anything (before I moved to Cincinnati), I used to scarf whole bags of Grandma Shearer’s Potato Chips, which were at fine Giant Eagles eveywhere in Cleveland.

    Cincy has Husman’s, but alas, too many Husman’s have contributed to my not being able to eat potato chips very often these days.

    Baltimore has Utz, which I tried because Laura Lippman told me it was required on your first visit. They’re pretty good. I recommend the crab chips.

  3. LOL @Jim – I can’t keep chips in the house, or else I’ll eat them! They’re a special, once-in-a-while buy.

    @Barrie and Laura – definitely do try them – and thanks for stopping by!

  4. I’m like you. I can’t keep chips in the house. I WILL eat them!

    I’ve only lived in Dayton for 20 years and Mike-sells is pretty good. But my favorite is Snyders Hawaiian Sweet Onion. We jokingly call them the heroin chips – they’re very addicting!