After much debating and delay, we finally present our undisputable top ten breakfast cereals of all time. First off, I'd like all of you to know I did some honest to God research on this. I checked out Consumer Reports, cereal fan sites (yes, they exist!), and sales figures. Sure, some judgment was involved, but I didn't entirely pull these from my rear. Just mostly.
Now, the hardest part of this list is deciding between healthier options and classic sugar cereals. Now, we all agree that sugar cereals are far more awesome, and that healthy cereals, as a rule, suck. You're not going to see Wheaties on this list, no matter what athlete they put on the box. Because Wheaties taste like cardboard.
However, there is a lot of value in being just healthy enough. You could slide some sugary cereals past your mom if she wasn't on her game, and that bumps those cereals up in the ratings. Your ability to sneak them in the cart is a huge factor in cereal quality. Anything to avoid Kix.
10. COCOA PUFFS
Chocolate cereals seem like such a great idea, but they never quite work. That chocolate milk mixture you get at the end of a bowl never tastes as good as actual chocolate milk, and chocolate milk is awesome. Cocoa Puffs is the best of the chocolate cereals because of the low amount of bullshit. No marshmallows or terribly designed pebbles that break your teeth. Just beautiful balls of chocolate-y goodness. I'm a huge chocolate fan, and this is as high as I can put a chocolate cereal, which means cereal scientists have not yet cracked the code. Keep working on this.
9. GOLDEN GRAHAMS
A good, solid cereal that has most of its value tied up in being able to slip it past Mom. There are more sugary cereals, but you could reliably get the Grahams from market to table, unlike some of the other cereals on the list. And honestly, one of the few sugary cereals I can eat as an adult without my teeth hurting within five minutes. The perfect level of unhealthy.
8. LUCKY CHARMS
Marshmallows in cereal are a mistake. In regular life, marshmallows are delicious, fluffy orbs of sugary goodness. In cereal, they are diamond-hard rocks that pack the flavor punch of a Grape Nut. Don't be fooled. This is my only concession to marshmallow people. You get one on the list, but really, they all suck. Cereal marshmallows are the Russell Shepard of cereal ingredients: a much-hyped recruit that honestly isn't very productive.
7. CAP'N CRUNCH
A good, dynamic cereal that has all sorts of flavor options. You can get it fruity or, my personal favorite, peanut butter. Its major drawback is that it can rip the top of your mouth to shreds, so you have to let it get a little soggy. Don't hurry, man. The Cap'n will still be there. A cereal that rewards patience, much like a good Scotch.
6. COOKIE CRISP
My mom never, ever let me have a box of this stuff, and I can see why. It is literally mini cookies in a bag. Who needs milk, anyway? That's the biggest drawback, that it honestly isn't as good in milk as it is straight out of the box, probably while you are really drunk or baked. I can't believe this stuff is sold to children.
5. SUGAR CRISP
Yeah, they call it Honey Crisp now, but we know it is really Sugar Crisp. Actually, in Canada, it is still Sugar Crisp, so that's one good thing about Canada. This is the foundation of all sugar cereals. Almost all cereals are just some variation of Sugar Crisp, in a subtle nod to its dominance. Also, and this is absolutely true, the cereal is nearly 50% sugar by weight. FIFTY PERCENT. All of your other sugar cereals are just poseurs. This is the real deal: a sugar cereal so great that it warranted a scolding from Consumer Reports. Hail to the Sugar Bear.
4. FROOT LOOPS
Just an awesome cereal. I particularly enjoy how none of the fruit flavors taste anything like actual fruit, just the artificial version of the flavor. When we would go on vacation, this was the first cereal my brother and I would run for, knowing it was the only time all year we'd get it's sugary goodness. It never failed to disappoint.
3. FROSTED FLAKES
Mr. Breakfast's community voted this the best cereal overall, and it's easy to see why. The corn flake is still the grandfather of all cereals, and who among us has not gotten a bowl of Corn Flakes and poured a metric ton of sugar on it? Frosted Flakes just cuts out that step, and gets an even coat on all of the flakes. There's also that pile of sugar at the bottom of every box that you could just mainline. Good times.
2. CINNAMON TOAST CRUNCH
Most cereals are just variations of each other, but credit to General Mills to coming up with a unique cereal. While most cereal manufacturers keep doubling down on chocolate, the artificial fruit, or marshmallows, General Mills doubled down on cinnamon. Cinnamon is awesome, and it works great for breakfast. Think about it, almost all great breakfast products are cinnamon: coffee cake, cinnamon toast, cinnamon apples, hot cider... It is the official spice of breakfast. I once got in a long argument of what constitutes a breakfast food (seriously) because I held that cake was not a breakfast food. However, after a long discussion (we weren't sober), we determined that cinnamon transforms any pastry into a breakfast food. It's magical. God bless this cereal.
1. HONEY NUT CHEERIOS
First things first, it's Omar's favorite cereal. If you want to come at the king, you best not miss. Also, this flies past the mom objections and you could have an unlimited supply at your house. But the greatest thing about the Cheerio is that these things are like toddler heroin. Any parent that does not have a container full of Cheerios on them at all times is a damned fool. They can get a child to do just about anything. Heck, you can even use it to potty train them. Good luck doing that with cinnamon. Honey Nut Cheerios are not just delicious, they are a godsend. On the list of mankind's greatest inventions, Honey Nut Cheerios rank right behind fire and the internet. Seriously, how did people have kids before bribing them with Cheerios? If you took my cup of Cheerios, I would straight up murder you. I'm not even kidding. I would lose all sense of myself, and kill you in some sort of bezerker rage. No other cereal gets anywhere near that level. Cheerios are so great that lower case cheerio gets past my spell checker. Take that, Froot Loops. I owe Honey Nut Cheerios my very sanity. And for that, they are the greatest cereal of all time.