The Definitive Ranking of Berries, From Worst to Best
If you think all berries are the same, think again.
This goes way beyond blueberries, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries. Scroll down to see our definitive ranking of berries and discover all the varieties you have to try.
You simply have to look at the name of this berry to see why it falls at the very bottom of this list. The taste is reminiscent of a raw cranberry if you dialed the bitterness way up. While chokeberries are super good for you, they just don't taste that good. They're much more palatable when cooked down, or masked with other berry flavors.
17. Goji Berry
Raw goji berries look pretty tasty, resembling tiny tomatoes, but they're far too bitter to eat right off the vine. Normally they're dried, making them a little tastier—but even then, they're still not our faves. While they have a super tempting aroma and the drying process does bring out a little sweetness, these berries are still tart and bitter. They're also filled with tiny seeds, so make sure you have a toothpick handy.
Elderberries are super popular in England, so knowing this fruit might give you some anglophile cred, but before they're cooked, they're terribly bitter. Visually, they resemble tiny, ultra-juicy blueberries, but you have to cook them to make them taste any good. Elderberry jams and syrups can be pretty delicious, but that's thanks to lots of added sugar. And did we mention they're poisonous before they ripen?
We wouldn't even know about lingonberries if it weren't for Ikea's preserves and lingonberry drink concentrate, and while we think they're delicious in those incarnations, the raw berry isn't one of our favorites. If you haven't had it, imagine an extra-tart cranberry flavor.
We adore acai bowls as much as the next person, but when it comes to raw acai, we're not fans. These big berries are bitter and unpleasant, plus they're gritty and packed with seeds. Still, acai does deserve a little credit because once you process it, it's packed with a tart berry flavor, with a hint of dark chocolate. We just wish the raw berries were as good as the bowls.
Like all of the berries we've already mentioned on this list, raw, sour cranberries are no good. But we can't help but feel a fondness for them because cranberries have so many amazing applications beyond that. We look forward to indulging in some brightly tart cranberry sauce every Thanksgiving, and we're obsessed with dried, sweetened cranberries in sandwiches and salads. If only the raw berries were tasty, too!
We're not exactly sure why blackberries are so popular. They're incredibly tart and full of way too many seeds. Though they're beautiful, they just don't do it for us flavor-wise until they're cooked down and mixed with lots and lots of sugar.
Salmonberries are pretty weird. If you dislike seeds, stray far away from these, because they're more seed than fruit. They're not particularly juicy either, but they do have a unique floral taste on top of the tartness. We definitely prefer the more brightly colored orange berries over the red ones, as we usually find that they're sweeter.
Loganberries are a hybrid between raspberries and blackberries, but unfortunately for us, we find that they lean closer to the blackberry side. Like we've stated above, we're not huge fans, though this berry is improved a bit by a raspberry-like brightness.
Gooseberries are ultra sour and sharp, but in a way that totally tantalizes our taste buds, thanks to a hint of sweetness. It tastes a bit like a green grape before it's ripened fully and attained its full sweetness.
You may be surprised to see strawberries ranked this low on the list, but we find that they're ridiculously inconsistent as a fruit. The ones you buy at the grocery store manage to be flavorless while also tasting far too sour, but sometimes the ones you buy from a little stand on the side of the road can be the best berries you've ever eaten. The issue is that you can't rely on strawberries, which is why we've placed them squarely in the center of this ranking.
Mulberries look a bit like raspberries, and they come in a number of varieties, from white to red to black. We find that they're a little citrusy, with a sour and sharp bitterness, but it's balanced with a nice hint of sugar. They're also quite big, and packed with juice.
Tayberries are another hybrid of blackberries and raspberries, but we definitely prefer these over loganberries because they have a lot of the raspberry qualities we enjoy in a fruit. They're typically quite large and super sweet.
We love raspberries because they're pretty consistent. They usually taste fresh and are bursting with flavor. When they're sour, they're not too sour, and when they're sweet, they're absolutely heavenly. Though the seeds might deter some people, we don't mind raspberry seeds as much as we dislike the seeds in other clustered berries.
These flowery, tart berries are extremely juicy, and they absolutely burst when you bite into them. They're only found in the wild, so there's something a bit exotic about them, and they're so pretty that they might help you become Insta-famous.
Some people dislike blueberries because they're not that consistent, but we happen to love them every step of the way. When they're overripe, they can be a little flavorless and squishy, and when they're unripe, they can be tough and sour. Still, when they're right in the middle, they're sweet and sour perfection, and both ends of the spectrum are just fine by us, too.
Huckleberries are basically wild blueberries. They aren't as sweet as the cultivated varieties, but we think they're even better—if you can get your hands on them. They don't seem to vary as much when they're not at just the right amount of ripeness, so they're always ready to be nibbled on.
Boysenberries are a hybrid of raspberries, blackberries, dewberries and loganberries. That may sound like the Frankenstein's monster of the berry world, but this combination actually results in the tastiest berry there is, grabbing the best traits from each. They have an amazing scent when they're ripe, and just the right balance of sweet and sour to make for a refreshing experience every time.