10 Popular Maple Syrup Brands, Ranked

There is absolutely nothing like a big weekend brunch full of all your favorite breakfast foods. One of those favorites has to be pancakes, waffles, French toast, crepes, oatmeal, or maybe all of the above. Whatever you pick, it will be better with plenty of maple syrup. And please don't grab the plastic container of Smuckers unless it's seriously the only one available. Look instead for a bottle of real, pure, 100% maple syrup.

It's extraordinarily hard to capture the sweet yet delicate taste of real maple in an artificially flavored pancake syrup. Usually, the result is a sticky, somewhat sickly, sweet product that tastes like viscous sugar, with all sorts of additives that make the flavor incomprehensible. True, some people just love the thicker texture, nostalgic childhood flavor, and the fact it's an admittedly cheaper substitute; and more power to them. But have you tried genuine maple syrup? Be careful if you do, because it's so much better that you'll have a very easy time making the switch. Get ready to tumble down the rabbit hole of researching tapping trees and the differences between each "grade."

Now that you're intrigued about pure maple syrup, here's a list of the best maple syrup brands at various grocery stores, price points, and tasting notes, ranked from the worst to the best. It's never too late to start living out your brunch dreams, or too late in the day to pour maple syrup on your meal (we will never judge).

10. HT Traders 100% Pure Maple Syrup

A slightly more budget-conscious option than many others on the list, this HT Traders 100% Pure Maple Syrup is delicate in taste and has a golden, prismatic hue. Pour some on homemade fluffy pancakes for guests and nobody will complain. Actually, you could probably pass it off as a much more high-end product, though if you pretend you tapped those maple trees in the backyard yourself, you'll probably get caught fibbing. Harris Teeter's entry to the maple syrup sweepstakes is a great choice for cooking and baking — just a few tablespoons of this liquid sweetener would lend its delicious autumnal warmth to any recipe in which you would typically use honey.

Are you having a tamer day? Drizzle maple syrup over plain old cinnamon-flavored oatmeal and take your basic breakfast to new heights. Why not give yourself another reason to hate Mondays a little less? Picking up a sample of HT Traders 100% Pure Maple Syrup at your local chain is a great way to get started on your maple syrup journey. If you're new to the game of cooking and baking with maple syrup, one easy thing to do is stir some of it into a glaze for baked apples, sweet potatoes, or even roasts. It's still everything you're looking for, including the Grade A quality, cloudless windowpane translucence, and sourcing from North American maple trees. It's fall in a bottle, but it's still not the best of the bunch on this list.

9. Simple Truth Organic Grade A Amber Color Maple Syrup

Simple Truth Organic always hits it out of the park with well-priced organic choices that sometimes prove to be even better than expected. The green and white label was created to make it easy to spot feel-good, organic, natural, and still affordable options even when racing through the grocery store in the middle of a busy day. Its tasty, wholesome food products usually offer a wide range of evolving flavors and reliably decent taste. The delicious mapley goodness that lands on today's list is no different.

Try Simple Truth Organic's Grade A Amber Color Maple Syrup and you'll never want to go back to basic "breakfast syrup" again. This syrup coats a morning flapjack elegantly and leaves a happy taste in your mouth as you go about your day. You'll feel a lot better about wanting to pour it over everything when it's organic, too — and it somehow tastes organic, too? But in a good way! The silky texture has a mild, enjoyable, sugary aroma that's a little light on maple flavor (which puts it lower on our list) but heavy-handed with the coziness notes, as though you were wearing a Taylor Swift-approved cardigan on a windy day somewhere between autumn and winter. Simple Truth Organic Grade A Amber Color Maple Syrup is pretty darn tasty, and undoubtedly a great value for a high-quality organic product.

8. 365 by Whole Foods Market Maple Syrup

Do you want the translucent hue and delicate sweetness of pure maple syrup to be all yours without having to leave the house? Yes, please. If you wake up on Saturday morning craving pancakes positively dripping with syrup but currently lack that key ingredient, whip out your phone, type the first couple of letters into your Amazon search engine, click "purchase," and roll back over to get another few hours of sleep. Then wake up to the best delivery ever. Sure, 365 by Whole Foods Market isn't going to be the most mind-blowingly fresh-tasting maple syrup as compared to other, smaller batch brands like Southern City Flavors or Butternut Mountain Farm, but it's going to be a world away from sticky, unappealing breakfast syrup.

Take your pick of Golden (the lightest and most ethereal flavor), Amber (a mid-grade syrup slightly more robust in taste and texture), and Dark (the maple syrup equivalent of rich black coffee). Once you've honed in on your personal favorite grade, you can have a reliably tasty maple syrup delivered, conveniently, whenever you need it. And you'll need it often once you get used to the real deal. If you decide to go big and use it to bake the tastiest baked goods of your life, better sign up for regularly scheduled deliveries!

7. Trader Joe's Maple Syrup

Trader Joe's is a national chain of neighborhood grocery stores with an avid fan base of "fearless flyers" who await the latest news and product launches with excitement. Committed to providing customers with high-quality but low-cost finds sourced from around the globe, it also provides a shopping experience like no other — communal, clean, airy, and decked out in its signature hand-drawn, Americana-style artwork since 1967. There's really nothing to not love about Trader Joe's, unless that is they decide to discontinue your favorite item or move on to the next seasonal items while you're still living by the calendar year. Luckily, this syrup and other maple-scented finds are available all year long, like the sweet Maple Leaf Cookies or legendary Pancake Bread.

There are always tons of exciting new products in fun flavors, so it can be easy to forget that classic staples are also often better from Trader Joe's. You can get as fancy as you want with pumpkin pancakes, chicken and waffles, or stuffed brioche French toast, but without great real maple syrup, there's a ceiling on how delicious the experience can ever be. The cute little mahogany falling leaves on the golden yellow label are a nice touch, too. Trader Joe's 100% pure maple syrup boasts a grade-A rating, vibrant amber color, and authentically maple taste that's just as affable and inviting as the store itself. This pantry staple retails at a relatively accessible $4.49 a bottle (price may vary).

6. Wegman's Pure Maple Syrup

Another one of the more affordable options, Wegmans is a stunning grocery store with an equally stunning array of its own name-brand options that always rival the rest. The appreciation runs deep: Business Insider reports that Wegmans regularly takes the top spot as customers' favorite grocery store in the United States. It houses a great customized product lineup for everyday use that doesn't sacrifice flavor or the peace of mind you receive when enjoying foods with a tad bit more precision than, say, a Target or Walmart one (but sometimes Good & Gather or Great Value really steal the show without warning, respectively).

Wegmans Pure Maple Syrup has a pleasant, farmstand taste that's won't steal the show from the rest of your meal. The texture is slightly more watery than other options, so if you're looking for that thick, rich, diner-style syrup, it's not here. Real maple syrups in general have much thinner pours than table syrup, but some pure varieties still have a more robust texture than others. But if you're just craving a step up from your corn syrup-laden breakfast of late, Wegman's will do the job with confidence.

5. Field Day Organic Maple Syrup

Field Day Organic Maple Syrup will make you a morning person in no time! The brand proudly sources non-GMO, organic products full of simple ingredients and pure good taste. With a "goal to fill your home with a wide selection of value-priced items that you can use and feel good about every day," the less-is-more approach really shines through and makes you feel confident about what you're consuming. Obviously, there are no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives, meaning that the only thing you'll taste is the rich maple flavor — and it's one of the best flavors one can find. While Field Day isn't the best bottle you can get on the market, it's certainly a contender for everyday use.

The delectable sweetener is a great choice, especially when warmed up. Drizzle the fragrant Field Day Organic Maple Syrup over your favorite sweet breakfast recipes, or even pair it with savory foods like sausage or bacon. Field Day believes that "with the cost of living and organic food on the rise, we believe that healthy eating should be an achievable lifestyle for every family," a sentiment that anyone can appreciate as pieces continue to rise. You'll always be in your happy place when it comes to some maple syrup. You might even say that you're having a field day! (Never let a good pun go to waste).

4. Southern City Flavors Pure Maple Syrup

From Southern Biscuit Mix to Beef and Grits Spice Mix, this brand knows itself well. Southern City Flavors doesn't seem, at first glance, to be a go-to source for something like real maple syrup, a product that conjures up snowy scenes of a Vermont country village. Especially when the product comes in a tall, bold bottle full of mahogany syrup and a classy minimalist label. But just you wait; it's definitely in the running for best of the bunch. It was quite difficult to even rank it below the top three, but some of the next maple syrups have a few special qualities that gave them a slight bump ahead.

Today, Southern City Flavors is a fully family-run endeavor with a story that began generations ago. "Mamaw & Papaw" rose every day at 3 a.m. to diligently milk and care for their cows. With the hardest part of her day's work behind her, Mamaw would cook up a massive down-home breakfast of bacon, eggs, and homemade biscuits & gravy. "Memories were made, hard work was rewarded and family time was cherished." The BBQ sauce was their bread and butter, but it's likely a little maple syrup was more common at those breakfasts, right? This is a deep, dark syrup, full of molasses-y flavor and dripping with decadence. It's worth tasting at least once in your life, Southern or not, and while it may not be your cup of sweet tea, it's definitely someone else's.

3. Spring Tree Organic Pure Maple Syrup

Spring Tree is an encouraging brand founded in 1976 in Brattleboro, Vermont. The company named its products after the trees themselves. It nods nicely to the time-honored tradition of tapping trees and then transforming the findings into pure maple syrup once the warmer, sunny days of spring set in. Today, Spring Tree offers both pure maple syrup and sugar-free pancake syrup, but there's no substitute for the real stuff, so if possible, stick to the former for all your syrup needs (or wants).

Spring Tree has a custom-designed bottle with sparkling, clear, fluted glass that shows off the gorgeous shades of pure maple syrup. Hints of brown sugar give this one a special touch. It doesn't just taste great poured into every little cubby of a thick Belgian waffle, but it also looks great displayed between meals on your counter. One of these pretty containers can practically serve as high-end decor. Obviously, it tastes fantastic, with a delicacy across all grades that befits the bottle it comes in. While the appearance alone isn't a reason to rank it high, Science Direct does validate the old adage that "you eat with your eyes," at least at first. Once you've eaten with your eyes, and your tastebuds, and are ready to incorporate the stuff into every meal of the day, find unexpected, creative recipes on the brand's site to make the most of this liquid gold.

2. Butternut Mountain Farm Organic Maple Syrup

For a good old-fashioned, stick-to-your-ribs kind of morning meal, add this gem to your menu. Try anything from the delectable line of infused syrups, like Sweet Chai Infused or Sweet Heat Infused Maple Syrup. Just look at that sunny color; so clear that it seems like ambrosia, far too pretty to eat. But don't even consider missing out on Butternut Mountain Farm maple syrups, because it's one of the best you'll ever try. Butternut Mountain Farm in Morrisville, Vermont is one of the largest maple processors and distributors in the United States. The mighty team of over 80 hardworking employees carefully stewards their prized products, from local trees to food ingredient manufacturers, distributors, retailers, and consumers worldwide.

Butternut Mountain Farm is rooted in science-backed discovery thanks to Dr. James Wallace Marvin, a research professor who dedicated his career to understanding the mechanism of sap flow in sugar maple trees. He saw the potential for a tasty outcome, and inevitably his work led to the creation of the tubing and vacuum systems commonly used today in sap harvest. He even co-founded the Proctor Maple Research Center and the Vermont Maple Industry Council. Basically, these people have a better understanding of maple syrup than conceivable for even the loudest breakfast-for-dinner aficionado. For a delightfully nerdy look at building your perfect breakfast, read the blog article on the best pairings of different varieties of pancakes and maple syrups!

1. Crown Maple Syrup

Crown Maple raised the bar and raised everyone's standards for maple syrup in 2010. Nestled in New York's picturesque Hudson Valley, the 800-acre maple farm protects an orchard of stunning trees, which leads to estate-produced, quality maple syrup gracing tables like yours. Crown Maple puts plenty of science to work in creating the elite maple syrup. The brand combines both traditional, artisan craftsmanship and efficient state-of-the-art technology. This syrup rises to the top of the list with a more nuanced taste. Bright, floral, citrusy notes come through in the Golden Color, while the Very Dark Color Strong Taste delivers a dark and woodsy profile. If you decide to purchase this elevated product, be sure to treat it right by only gently warming it when consuming, and refrigerating it after finishing your meal.

Husband and wife team Robb and Lydia Turner were a match made in maple heaven. Robb leveraged his expertise in power and energy, while Lydia realized just how versatile, healthy, and sophisticated pure maple can be. Here are some quick hits: Maple syrup is actually an all-natural endurance booster that easily replenishes tired muscles; the low glycemic staves off blood sugar spikes; and it contains a myriad of antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Oh, and the practice is also highly eco-friendly while supporting sustainable forestry. So just in case you're skeptical that all this sweetness can make your health a little sweeter too, remember that science supports the evidence.