I love cereal. Like, love-love it. I eat three to four bowls of cereal a day. Am I proud of that fact? Yes, of course I am. But just eating a lot of it didn't make me an expert, so I have spent the last few months really digging into all sorts of cereals, expanding my milk-soaked palate to include Whole Foods specialties, little weird boxes of fancy cereal from England and Switzerland, and even Wheat Chex. And after all is said and done, here is my definitive ranking of all the important cereals in the world. Note: if there are endless variations of a cereal (see: Cheerios, Honey Bunches of Oats, etc.) I only included the vital ones.
After reading, please join me in the comments section for a healthy discussion of why I'm stupid for putting Cookie Crisp where I did, but for now, dig in:
88. Kellogg's All-Bran
If they were trying to replicate rabbit poo, they did an exceptional job.
87. Post Shredded Wheat
I refuse to believe anyone has actually eaten this.
86. Weetabix Whole Grain Biscuit Cereal
It's the highest-selling cereal in Britain. NOTE: NOT a compliment.
85. Post Bran Flakes
At least they're flakes?
84. General Mills Fiber One
Also rabbit poo shaped, but somehow slightly more palatable.
83. General Mills Wheat Chex
The Stephen Baldwin of the Chex family.
82. Kellogg's Product 19
Quick story! In 1967, Kellogg's developed a flake to compete with Total, but the creative assigned to name it couldn't think of anything. But, in a flash of whatever the opposite of creative genius is, he opted for Product 19, because -- get this -- it was THE 19TH PRODUCT THEY WERE DEVELOPING THAT YEAR. Anyway, it's not that great.
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81. General Mills Total
Slightly better than 19.
80. Quaker Cap'n Crunch Oops! All Berries
In high school, I had a box of these in my locker, and would occasionally eat them for lunch. People thought it was awesome. It wasn't. The berries without the normal Crunch are just too damn sweet, but I was just insecure enough to not want to mention that, so I ate the whole damn box and felt sick. High school is difficult.
79. Kashi GOLEAN Crunch!
Stale, hardened Honey Smacks.
78. Uncle Sam Cereal Original
I have nothing against a cereal that has existed since 1908 and remains extremely patriotic. I do, however, have an issue with just eating whole wheat kernels, whole flaxseed, salt, and barley malt.
77. Kellogg's Chocolate Krave
As you'll soon see from the rankings, I don't like chocolate cereals much, so I'm not 100% fired up about a cereal that just stuffs a fun-size chocolate bar into normal cereal. Although I guess I probably should be?
76. Kellogg's Smart Start
This cereal came out in 1998. That's the most positive thing I can say about it.
75. Kashi 7 Whole Grain Nuggets Cereal
Rich man's Grape Nuts is just not as good.
74. General Mills Wheaties
Sorry Michael Jordan.
73. Familia Swiss Muesli Original Recipe
At least it's better than the one with no sugar added.
72. Nature's Path Heritage Flakes
71. Kellogg's Nut N Honey
Great "Who's On First"-style commercials in the '80s.
70. Post Grape-Nuts Flakes
The Joey spinoff of Grape-Nuts.
69. Food for Life Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin
"Take also unto thee wheat and barley and beans and lentils and millet and spelt and put them in one vessel... then maybe add some cinnamon and raisins or whatever the kids are eating these days." - Ezekiel
68. General Mills Basic 4
No one really cares if they're getting something from each of the four food groups.
67. Cascadian Farm Cinnamon Crunch
Just a little too healthy tasting, though I respect the effort.
66. General Mills Frosted Cheerios
Proves frosting doesn't always solve everything.
65. Trader Joe's Just The Clusters Vanilla Almond Granola
64. General Mills Reese's Puffs
This is the cereal version of when you like the book, and then see the movie, and you're like, "why did they make that into a movie?".
63. Post Cranberry Almond Crunch
62. Corn Chex
The Daniel Baldwin of the Chex family.
61. Kellogg's Raisin Bran Crunch
The flakes are different and somehow harder, the raisins don't have nearly enough sugar on them, and the honey-oat granola clusters are too sweet. Other than that, I love it.
60. Gorilla Munch
Health(ier?) Kix almost got bumped up several spots due to gorilla images, but then I came to my senses/realized I'm terrified of gorillas because they're eventually going to take over the planet STARTING IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.
59. General Mills Apple Cinnamon Cheerios
There's only one Apple-based cereal that matters, and it's not this one.
58. Post Alpha-Bits
Just okay, though I like the premise of spelling things in my spoon.
57. Barbara's Bakery Puffins Original
Puffins = not as cool as gorillas, though somewhat ironically the cereal tastes better.
56. Post Banana Nut Crunch
[EDITOR'S NOTE: I refuse to discuss Post Selects until we get to the really good versions. This one and the one following are simply JV Post Selects, and don't warrant the full treatment. Apologies for any confusion.]
55. Post Blueberry Morning
This just sounds like a particularly sad James Taylor song.
54. General Mills Cookie Crisp
You know what's kind of spectacularly dastardly? When you Google "Cookie Crisp" the first thing that comes up is an ad that says "Tired of Cookie Crisps Cereal?" and it's all about trying Kellogg's Krave. I don't think I realized the cold (milk) war going on between General Mills and Kellogg's until I did this story. Anyway, I want to love Cookie Crisp so badly, but I've dropped them, like, 45 spots based on the fact that, if you don't eat the cereal within the first 120 seconds of it hitting the milk, these things get slimy and gross. Also, the original version made by Ralston had free baseball cards inside, and a mascot wizard named Jarvis with a red hat covered with cookies. Those were the f*cking days, man.
52. General Mills Cocoa Puffs
I just realized, thanks to the Internet, that these things are chocolate Kix. And that Trix are essentially fruity Kix. And that I still don't love chocolate cereals and there's really no way to change that.
51. Kashi Bear Naked Granola
See all the cereals in the top 50 -- including a controversial #1 pick -- all on Thrillist!
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