around the world ranch sampler at twisted ranch in the central west end photo by christina musgrave

All 34 ranches at St. Louis' Twisted Ranch, ranked

Sauce took a deep dive on all of the Central West End restaurant's offerings – so you don't have to

There’s no wrong time of year for ranch, but our intake of the salty, herbed and spiced buttermilk-based dressing spikes with the Midwestern summer’s whirl of barbecues and backyard parties. To fine-tune our taste buds for ranch season, we headed over to Twisted Ranch in the Central West End to try their Around the World ranch sampler and sort its 34 diverse dressings into the ultimate ranch leaderboard. 

1. Jalapeno Popper
This all-conquering ranch combines many of the strengths displayed by its fiercest competitors into one platonic ideal. Salty, cheesy, spicy and earthy, the flavors of this ranch quite simply stand apart from the rest of the pack. It’s also an exemplary team player that gets the best out of veggies, chicken, fries or whatever else you want to pair it with. 

2. Cajun
Falling just short at the last, our runner-up is a genuinely interesting take on a ranch, with its thick texture, warming spices and near-perfect balance of salt and sweetness. There’s a lot going on here, but the Cajun never feels overpowering. 

3. Cheesy Bacon
The Sauce bronze medal goes to this salty, smoky ranch, whose pleasing thickness and bold flavors live up emphatically to the name (although it’s vegetarian-friendly – the ranch doesn’t actually contain bacon or any meat product). Fries, chips and tater tots were made to be dipped in a condiment like this. 

4. Double “D”
This deviled egg in saucy form is a gamble that pays off with fun results: There’s lots of Dijon, it’s eggy and rich, but it’s still unquestionably a ranch at heart. We loved it, even if it falls just short of the top three. 

5. Cilantro Lime
Fresh citrus notes vaulted this ranch above much of its competition to land in the top five, but the cilantro is an equal partner. Even our cilantro-skeptic panelist expressed grudging admiration for this one.  

6. Truffle Shuffle
Less is often more when it comes to truffle, and this ranch has enough truffle to impress without overwhelming. There’s a chunky quality to the Truffle Shuffle, thanks to the addition of Parmesan. 

7. Pesto
This tangy pesto split opinion. It feels a little basic, it’s not the most interesting or nuanced flavor, but it was likable enough to break into our top 10. 

8. Curry Yogurt
Smooth, thick and creamy, the yogurt gives this ranch an extra dimension, while the curry adds a flavorful punch.

9. Sunny in Fetadelphia
Thick, creamy, smoky and sharp, this ranch combines sun-dried tomato, garlic and feta in one satisfying dip. 

10. Srirancha
A ranch with real personality: We loved the texture, we loved the heat level and, yes, it tastes like Sriracha.

11. Buffalo
The Buffalo fell just short of the top 10, but it has a slow, lingering heat that builds and builds. It doesn’t taste particularly like a Buffalo sauce – perhaps because it also includes blue cheese and celery – but it does go well with chicken. 

12. Kemowasabi
This thick, honey-sweetened ranch is rich and fun: It’s everything the Asian Zing ranch (mentioned later) wants to be. Have it with chicken. 

13. Chip’s Verde
Once we figured out why this ranch isn’t actually green – lots of chipotle peppers, we’re told – there wasn’t much left to debate. It’s a solid performer, with smoky notes and good heat from the peppers. 

14. BBQ
All the flavor of a barbecue potato chip or a standard barbecue sauce, distilled into the form of a thick ranch. It’s reliable, if not particularly exciting. 

15. Steakhouse
This tangy, vinegary and peppery ranch felt like a Mayfair dressing crossed with Raising Cane’s sauce. Its sweet nature pairs better with salty french fries or tots rather than with vegetables. 

16. Castaway Ginger
This zippy ranch, which Twisted Ranch customers voted to add to the menu in a contest a few years back, tastes like it has been mixed with freshly grated ginger, and it’s our pick for veggie dipping in particular.  

17. Roasted Garlic
Very garlicky and sweeter than we expected, this was one of the most divisive ranches on the list. “Your breath is going to stink – and I love that,” said our resident garlic lover.

18. King of the Dill
This ranch is very close in flavor profile to the Twisted Ranch, but an extra dose of dill and a more flavorful all-round package gives the King of the Dill a slight edge.  

19. Twisted Ranch
The restaurant’s flagship ranch lands squarely in the middle of our ranking, which feels about right to us. It’s a simple, dill-forward ranch, nothing fancy. 

20. It Takes 2 to Mango
This is one of the spiciest ranches at Twisted Ranch, but the raw habanero heat smothers any hint of mango flavor. A real palate-cleanser. 

21. Avocado
The avocado was an early favorite, but faded to the middle of the pack as the competition heated up. It’s a little on the bland side, but benefits from a thicker and creamier texture than some of its peers, with a subtle ranch flavor and an absence of sweetness. 

22. Greek
We felt the Greek lacked saltiness and longed for citrus, but if a collision of tzatziki and feta sounds up your alley, you’ll like it. 

23. Parmesan Peppercorn
We found this a little confused. The Parmesan is present as a texture more than a taste, and the texture smothers the discernable notes of black pepper. But it’s certainly peppercorn and it’s certainly ranch. If you love both those things, you’ll probably love this. 

24. Southwest
Very cumin-forward, with a suggestion of citrus, but let down by a dustiness that screamed “taco seasoning.” 

25. Buttermilk Basil
A traditional ranch with overwhelming notes of dry basil and a bit of a licorice flavor. We liked it initially, but there are much better flavors on the list.  

26. Ruffalo
The best of three similar ranches we ranked consecutively. However, once we figured the name was a portmanteau of “roasted garlic” and “Buffalo” rather than a tribute to the guy who plays the Hulk, there wasn’t much to say about this cheesy, peppery and rather bland ranch.

27. Jack the Ripper
In spite of the notes of onion, and in spite of the kick from pepper jack, this sauce lacked personality and clarity. 

28. Red Billy Goat 
This was among the thinner ranches, which generally landed toward the lower end of our ranking. There were hints of bell pepper and cheese, and it tasted like a cousin of both the Ruffalo and Jack the Ripper ranches. Sadly, it appears that anonymity runs in the family.  

29. Asian Zing
This one shows up with honey mustard-style levels of sweetness, with a little dill flavor coming through and a hint of spice at the end. 

30. Caesar
One of our team described this as, “A nice, mild and inoffensive Caesar.” But who wants nice, mild or inoffensive? As it turned out for our team, nobody. It has lots of dried spice, but the spices don’t hang together, muddying the overall flavor. 

31. Smoked Tomato Basil
Another ranch that tasted like a dry spice rack drowned in a sea of ranch. We liked the texture, but this one wasn’t for us.  

32. Creamy Balsamic
This vinegary dip is a little overwhelming for fries and tater tots. It’s as if a creamy balsamic dressing snuck into the party in disguise to hang out with the ranches. “Ranch would not enter my vocabulary to describe this,” said one of our panel. Call security to take this one back to the salad section. 

33. Luau
The closest flavor association we made for the luau was “canned pineapple.” That wasn’t a good thing. 

34. Carter’s Smoke
There’s a lot of smoke, but nothing fire about the ranch that props up our ranking. It lacked the saltiness we want in a ranch and was weighed down by liquid smoke flavor that made the whole thing a bit of a one-note experience. 


14 Maryland Plaza, St. Louis, 314.833.3450,