I eat breakfast every single day, and most days I eat cereal. When I say cereal, I don’t mean that dog food stuff that some people eat or the cardboard that others eat. I eat cereal that tastes great, and may or may not be that great for me, though mostly the fact that I’m eating breakfast is what is really important.
The rules for this list are simple. First, every cereal on this list is still manufactured and sold in stores. Someday I may do a tribute to great cereals that are no more. Second, every cereal on this list I have personally tasted. While you’d think this would severely shorten my list, you’d be wrong. I’m a cereal lover and connoisseur. Finally, I’ll add there are not many cereals on this list one would consider healthy. I usually steer clear. Cereals like Special K, Total, Kashi, etc. are not on this list because I don’t eat them. And I probably won’t in the future, unless you convince me otherwise in the comments.
Without further ado, here is my list of breakfast cereals, ranked:
61. Fruity Cheerios
I expected these to resemble the flavor of Fruit Loops or Trix, but the fruity flavor is super weak. It is trying to be a “healthy” sweet cereal and it fails catastrophically. Also, honestly, this cereal doesn’t even look good. Pass on this one.
60. Chocolate Cheerios
Even worse than Chocolate Chex.
59. Chocolate Chex
Weak chocolate taste that actually makes the Chex flavor (that I typically enjoy) worse.
58. Chocolate Frosted Mini Wheats
I know many people who like this, including my son, but I struggle to understand why. There are so many better chocolate cereals out there, and regular Frosted Mini Wheats cereal is vastly superior.
57. Wheat Chex
Awful hard texture. Meh taste. Wheat Chex.
56. Peanut Butter Cheerios
Biggest disappointment ever. I remember being really excited to try this and it just was so weak. I don’t want that plain cheerio taste with a touch of weak peanut butter flavor.
55. Corn Flakes
I remember as a kid one time thinking these were Frosted Flakes and being severely disappointed. The only real use for this cereal is to add some crunch to certain casserole recipes.
54. Honey Smacks
I don’t know anyone who likes this cereal. And what’s up with the frog mascot? A frog? Really? No thanks.
53. Frosted Mini Wheats Maple Brown Sugar
This cereal looks good on the box and by name, but the flavor is so meh. It is nowhere near its Frosted older brother in the taste department.
51. Crunchy Nut Golden Flakes
There’s very little to bother with here due to the uninteresting flavor. It does have pretty decent crunch for a flake-base cereal. Whenever I see this sub-par cereal, I’m reminded of the much better tasting and textured Crunchy Nut Roasted Nut & Honey O’s, which has unfortunately been discontinued.
50. Peanut Butter Toast Crunch
This cereal is ok at best. It has decent crunch, but the worst raw peanut butter flavor out of any peanut butter cereal I’ve tried. At least it is bold enough about its flavor, unlike the castrated taste of Peanut Butter Cheerios.
49. Raisin Bran
This is definitely tolerable, especially for a bran cereal, as long as there are enough raisins. Interestingly, Raisin Bran is really not that great for you due to the high calorie count. The other funny part is that every brand makes “Raisin Bran”, and while Kellogg’s is the most popular (with awesome commercials), Post’s is almost indistinguishable from Kellogg’s at first glance. Both purple boxes. Both simply named “Raisin Bran”.
In theory I’d like Crispix, which is just a combination of Corn Chex and Rice Chex. But somehow Kellogg’s did a sub-par job of copying General Mills and this cereal gets soggy really fast. Good for a few bites, but quickly disappointing.
47. Multi-Grain Cheerios
These are actually pretty good. The key is “lightly sweetened”. Not as good as some of the flavored counterparts, but certainly better than Plain and some of the other flavors.
46. Honey Roasted Honey Bunches of Oats
This has a good medley of texture, but the flavor isn’t good enough to deal with the soggy flakes half-way through your bowl. The granola clusters are what get me to eat it, though, even though the flakes always disappoint.
45. Cap’n Crunch
This cereal is fine for the first few bites, but really lose a lot of its crunch pretty quickly. I’m not sure if the recipe changed, because I don’t remember this problem until a few years ago. Cap’n Crunch is a great mascot though, which a long legacy of commercials.
A decent choice, though annoying “Mom Approved”. That’s probably worst advertisement for a kid. Who wants something that Mom thinks is ok? That pretty much means there isn’t enough sugar. Just eats some Corn Pops instead.
43. Rice Krispies
I think this is the only cereal on this list (that I’d choose to eat) to which I’d sometimes add some cinnamon sugar. Why doesn’t Kellogg’s make Cinnamon Krispies? I’d eat it. Oh, and Snap, Crackle, and Pop grace my presence every morning on my cereal bowls (which are nice and big).
42. Corn Chex
There’s really not much to say about Chex. It is what it is and has always been that way. Corn and Rice Chex are not all that different in flavor or texture, but I just prefer Rice over Corn.
41. Jiff Cereal
This is a newcomer and a pretty good peanut butter cereal. Texturally it doesn’t have enough of a crunch when submerged in milk; otherwise it would beat Reese Puffs since I prefer Jiff’s peanut butter taste. It still falls well short of Peanut Butter Crunch in both flavor and texture.
40. Frosted Toast Crunch
This is another newcomer that is similar to its older brother, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but General Mills replaced the cinnamon with vanilla and plain sugar. The texture and flavor hold up pretty well in milk, just like Cinnamon Toast Crunch. I definitely enjoy this cereal, but don’t crave it as much its older brother.
39. Corn Pops
This one has moved up a bunch in my rankings very recently. I actually enjoyed eating a box of these, where in the past I hadn’t. Not my favorite by any stretch of the imagination, but still good. Also great is the old tagline…Gotta have my Pops!
I very much enjoy the fruitiness that is Trix. It is lower on this list because a few years ago they changed from fruity shapes to just ball-shaped, and the flavor really took a dive. Here’s what they used to look like.
37. Berry Berry Kix
I’ll be honest, I’m working off of memory here because I haven’t had this in many years. I remember really liking this stuff, but I also know it isn’t as widely carried in grocery stores as it used to be.
36. Frosted Mini Wheats
Lots of good fiber with a nice frosted coating on one side. This cereal doesn’t get soggy super fast, but when it is soggy, you won’t even want to finish. On the bright side, it keeps you regular!
35. Krave Chocolate
This relative newcomer is good, but not perfect. The outer crunchy shell has little milk repelling power, and will get soggy quite fast. Fortunately the inner gooey chocolate is unaffected and delicious.
34. Frankenberry (Seasonal)
As much as I like this cereal, I came to the conclusion this year that Boo Berry is better. The free mask on the box this year looked great on my son, though.
33. Fruity Pebbles
Once upon a time I would have ranked these higher, but either there was a recipe change or my tastes have changed. Fruity Pebbles are still good, but just not for every occasion.
32. Honey Bunches of Oats Cinnamon Bunches
This has the same great mosaic of texture that the Honey Roasted version has, but with the delicious addition of cinnamon that helps me ignore soggy flakes.
31. Count Chocula (Seasonal)
One of the best cereal mascots (and was even topical a few years ago during the Twilight/vampire craze). Decent chocolate cereal.
30. Rice Chex
About as simple as it gets.
29. Cocoa Pebbles
Not as good as Cocoa Krispies due to higher rate of sogginess, but still a fine choice.
28. Reese’s Puffs
Talking to my coworkers about cereal, this one was mentioned more than once as being a favorite. I certainly enjoy it, but I’ve found it doesn’t match my favorite peanut butter cereal, Peanut Butter Crunch. The biggest downfall is its comparative lack of crunch.
27. Cocoa Puffs
A classic, with great commercials, a great tagline, and great chocolatey taste. Also, it was in the news recently.
26. Cap’n Crunch Crunch Berries
This is a classic and is much better than the original, because of its crunchiness and fruit flavor.
25. Cap’n Crunch Oops! All Berries
The berries are awesome. Great crunch as well.
24. Cocoa Krispies
I really just like the snap, crackle, and popping in a chocolatey package. Somehow the Rice Krispies family of cereals can get a little soggy and still have an acceptable texture.
23. Cookie Crisp
A cereal that imitates something and actually tastes like the thing it is copying. They always tried at commercials, but pretty much always failed. Good crunch and longevity in milk.
22. Boo Berry (Seasonal)
Every fall I stock up on these Halloween cereals. After careful research and consideration, I’ve determined that Boo Berry is tops. The first time I had these were boy pioneer camp in 2nd or 3rd grade the morning after a big storm hit and I’ve liked them ever since.
21. Lucky Charms
One of the best mascots and the cereal that really understands how to use marshmallows. As a kid, I would always eat the non-marshmallow pieces first and save the marshmallows for the end. (Now I only do that when I have extra time in the morning.)
20. Honey Nut Chex
Not quite as good as Honey Nut Cheerios, but still a solid choice.
19. Rice Krispies Treats
All the goodness of regular Rice Krispies, with added marshmallow goodness. I haven’t been able to find these for years, but according to Kellogg’s, they are still being made.
18. Fruit Loops
Great fruity taste, solid crunch, and great resistance to sogginess. Fun fact: I brought a zip-lock bag of these to the first Green Bay Packer game I went to as a 9 year old kid, since I didn’t like the peanuts my dad and uncle eat at Packer games.
17. Honey Comb
Nice simple flavor and crunch. Weird commercials though.
16. Krave S’Mores
Almost as good as its Double Chocolate older brother but not quite. It needs more graham flavor and sweeter marshmallow filling. I really miss Smorz cereal, which this inferior cereal replaced.
15. Krave Double Chocolate
Chocolate cereals usually aren’t my favorite, but Krave does it right with its crunchy outside and gooey chocolate inside. The only issue is you can’t stall, because it will get soggy.
14. Apple Jacks
Why do I like apple jacks? I just do.
13. Honey Nut Cheerios
The best honey nut cereal and my first really venture into relative healthiness.
12. Apple Cinnamon Chex
Honestly this isn’t too much different than Cinnamon Chex, but it has weaker cinnamon flavor and a hint of apple.
11. Frosted Cheerios
Great classic 90s taste with great commercials. It tastes so good the box never closes.
10. Frosted Flakes
They’re GRRRRRREAT! Frosted Flakes has one of the best mascots and taglines and is my favorite frosted cereal. They’ve also improved the recipe at some point to lose less of the frosting in the milk. Maybe they used cereal varnish.
The original. Not as good as the cinnamon variety, but is always a go-to.
8. Cap’n Crunch’s Peanut Butter Crunch
The greatest of all the peanut butter cereals. This easily has the best crunch and will not easily get soggy. I’ll down half a box of these on a Saturday morning.
7. Cinnamon Chex
This was is a newer one, but inexperience doesn’t hold it back. I really love cinnamon cereals and Cinnamon Chex doesn’t disappoint.
6. Cinnamon Toast Crunch
This was my favorite as a kid, but it was partly because I didn’t ever get to have them, except at my grandma’s house. Also it produces the greatest cereal milk.
5. Golden Grahams
This one also has some nostalgia, as I remember my dad enjoyed these when I was a kid. Also, some great commercials through the years.
4. Cinnamon Life
There something great about the simplicity of the not overly sweet, but just sweet enough flavor of Cinnamon Life.
3. Cinnabon Cereal
This cereal is the best cinnamon cereal hands down. It has great crunch, it doesn’t really get soggy, and it tastes great. Oh the mall memories, walking past the Cinnabon stand….
2. Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
This one is a nostalgic pick, but one that has never decreased in awesomeness of flavor. I have early memories of this cereal and how it made me feel. It makes me feel the same today.
1. Waffle Crisp
Very few cereals match the level of greatness that is Waffle Crisp. The light syrupy flavor. The perfect crunch. The tiny waffle shape. This cereal is the complete package. There really is no competition.
There was one cereal that was just revived, but I haven’t been able to get my hands on it: French Toast Crunch. When I do find it, I will update this post accordingly.
Finally, thanks to all who responded when I called for your favorites!