Let’s be honest, nachos should be their own food group. One of my favorite dinners is nachos with all the fixings (I love being an adult!), which I eat at least once a month. It’s an easy meal (you can make them on a sheet tray in the oven) that’s endlessly customizable with different flavor profiles, depending on your toppings. There’s the classic: tortilla chips, cheese (at least three kinds), beans, guacamole or avocado, salsa or tomatoes, pickled onions, grilled chicken or steak, tons of sour cream, and then you repeat. If I’m feeling fancy, I whip up dessert nachos or a breakfast version with scrambled or over-easy eggs, bacon or sausage, potatoes, cheese, and the rest of the classic toppings. The only thing that’s constant is the tortilla chips that make up the bottom layer.
But a truly perfect plate of nachos is often hampered by its chips: the ones that break in dips, get soggy under all the toppings, or are too thin to withstand them. The last thing I want for a game-day nacho is a chip incapable of balancing the desired ratio of toppings to chip, or one too weak to scoop up whatever has fallen onto the tray. After a long quest to discover the perfect tortilla chip for nachos, I can confidently say the absolute best are Vista Hermosa Totopos, a brand by the ever-growing New York City chain Tacombi.
The packaging on these chips — they come in a bright, John-Deere-green-and-yellow bag with a clear cutout that shows off the chips — markets them as “capable and crunchy,” and that claim is legit. They’re super crunchy with a good thickness, and admirably consistent: each gold-colored chip is similar in shape. Most importantly, when they arrive in my Fresh Direct order, most, if not all the chips are still intact: Usually, you get a bag full of broken pieces and disappointment. These are not that.
I first used these to make a tortilla soup for dinner, and after adding them on top, I was shocked that they stayed crunchy even after sitting in the broth throughout the meal. So nachos were the obvious next step: I layered on the queso, sour cream, guacamole, more shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and grilled chicken. The chips held up with each bite and did not get soggy over time. They’re hearty enough that you can create that perfect cheese pull without breaking the chip. To me, Totopos are the perfect vessel for nachos and are my new staple tortilla chip.