20 Popular Snacks Small Bar Owners Should Consider

20 Most Popular Bar Snacks

Popular bar snacks remain a critical topic for small business owners seeking to open such an establishment. The options might not always be the healthiest in the world but will definitely rank up there among the tastiest. The number of unique American bar snacks alone can seem intimidating.

So think long and hard if you run a bar as your small business and want to provide a variety of snacks for your patrons.

Popular Bar Snacks

To help bar owners decide which kind of snack food they want to serve at their bar, here is a list of 20 of the most popular American snack food items to serve at a bar.

Buffalo Wings

Usually deep fried and spicy, Buffalo sauce-covered chicken wings finish at the top for popular bar snacks. The name ‘Buffalo’ derives from Buffalo in New York, where this delicious flavor combo was invented.

Chicken Strips

While wings might be the most popular part of a chicken to deep fry, don’t ignore the rest of the bird as all manner of crispy fried chicken remains popular, especially in the deep south. Chicken strips and fingers are probably the best poultry-based alternative to Buffalo wings, though be sure to have plenty of dips and condiments to serve them with.

Nachos and Chips

While chips and nachos are never going to bring in huge amounts of profit, they do provide a cheap and cheerful snack for bar patrons, especially groups of friends who want to share some finger food without bothering with a bigger snack or meal.


Often found in small bowls along bars, a plentiful supply of peanuts is a good idea for many bars as they can prevent some patrons from leaving to find food as well as increasing their thirst with their saltiness, resulting in increased drink sales!


When patrons are in the mood for a burger but couldn’t eat a whole one, or maybe they can’t decide exactly what kind of burger they want, then sliders are the perfect solution.

Bacon Cheeseburger

If you’re going to serve mini burger platters for sharing, then be prepared to serve the full bacon cheeseburger too. One of the most enduringly popular American-style burgers is the classic hamburger with melted cheese and smoky bacon.

Clam Chowder

Clam chowder soup is great as a starter or as a quick snack all by itself. There are various ways to serve it too, including New England-style with cream, or Manhattan-style with tomatoes.

Corn Dogs

What else can you do with hot dogs in ground corn batter but deep fry them on a stick? These are perhaps most popular at carnivals and county fairs, but their enduring popularity makes them a good bet for any establishment looking to serve popular snacks, especially if your bar has an outdoor area.


Of course, if we’re going to start talking classic American food, then barbeque ribs will have to enter the conversation at some point. Pork or beef is good as long as they are drenched in a smoky barbeque sauce and the meat practically slides off the bone.


The United States has adopted plenty of international cuisine into their snack repertoire of course, with the ever popular tacos inspired by Mexican food. Just fill the taco with some ground beef, diced tomatoes and sour cream, then add a little bit of lettuce to make it healthy!

Chicken Noodle Soup

Another soup dish that serves as an excellent snack food is the classic chicken noodle. With noodles and vegetables and that tasty chicken flavoring, this is a great alternative soup snack offering to clam chowder.

Chili Beef

Another soupy dish worth offering as bar snack food is the classic chili. Some beef and tomatoes with a few beans in a bowl is all you need for a filling and healthy snack.

Sloppy Joe

If you’re not in the mood for soup but do fancy yourself some beefy goodness, tuck into a Sloppy Joe ground beef sandwich. The tangy flavoring is mouth-wateringly tasty, though the sandwich can get a bit messy!

Reuben Sandwich

For a more refined and manageable sandwich, try the internationally-flavored Reuben featuring Swiss cheese on salt-cured beef with Russian dressing drizzled over German sour cabbage. Eat with rye bread for an exceptionally tasty sandwich snack.

Peanut Butter and Jelly

While we’re talking about sandwiches, no list of American bar snacks is complete without the vintage peanut butter and jelly version.  The creamy and salty peanut butter complements the fruit jelly perfectly.

Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Melted cheese on toasted bread is the stuff of dreams for many a bar-frequenting American. Add a slice or two of tomato for the healthier option, or a bit of bacon for the extra tasty option.

Onion Rings

Deep fried onion rings in a tasty batter can make for excellent bar snack food. You want your ready-to-eat onion rings to lean heavily towards being crunchy rather than soggy though. Non-crunchy onion rings have their place, but as a bar snack they will likely be more popular if they crunch a bit.

Mozzarella Sticks

A tasty cheese stick will always be popular as a bar snack, with mozzarella sticks being a particularly good choice. They are fun and will appeal to the patrons who perhaps are not so enamored with the likes of chili beef and chicken strips.

French or Curly Fries

Another great dish to share at a bar is a bowl of French fries, or their extra tasty twisted cousins, the curly fries. They are not expensive for a bar to stock and are often the common food choice that a group of friends can agree to share.

Pizza Snacks

There’s no need to install a massive stone oven to serve up traditional Italian pizza, but the popular flavor combination of bread, cheese and tomato will always have a place among the most popular bar snacks in the United States. Serve as mini pizzas or in slices to best accommodate your bar patrons.

Image: Depositphotos.com

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".