The Best Honey: Our Taste Test Revealed These Favorites

Updated: May 24, 2024

After combing through grocery shelves and sampling 11 brands, we're abuzz about finding the best honey. Check out our pros' favorites.

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Tkp Honey Test SqTMB Studio

A squeeze of the best honey has the power to take everything from a cup of tea to a loaf of challah to the next level. Honey provides sweetness, of course, but also additional depth of flavor with floral, herbal or even fruity notes.

So how do you know which honey to buy at the supermarket—especially with more and more honey imposters filling the shelves? You can take our Test Kitchen’s word that they’ve found the very best real honey options out there.

In storage, honey can change color and crystallize—but check does honey ever expires.

Golden Blossom Honey
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Best Basic Honey

Golden Blossom Honey

Shannon Norris in the Test Kitchen describes Golden Blossom honey as having  “a bright scent and a really clean honey flavor without any strong fruit or floral notes.”

This honey isn’t anything fancy—you won’t detect any exotic flowers or medicinal herbs. Instead, it’s delightfully sweet and ideal for drizzling over cornbread or for stirring into a cup of tea. It also has just the right texture—the type that slowly oozes out of the bottle and into your hot toddy.

Simply put: “It tastes pure,” according to Shannon.

Local Hive Honey
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Best Wildflower Honey

Local Hive Wildflower Honey

For honey with a delightful floral flavor, our team can’t recommend Local Hive Wildflower Honey enough.

Local Hive’s honey is wonderfully floral (without being perfumey), and it has a distinct maple syrup-esque hue that makes it stand out from other honey options on the shelf.

“This has a rich flavor—perfect for finishing dishes,” says the Test Kitchen’s Ellie Crowley. “I’d drizzle it over toast or brush it over a cake for even more honey flavor.” You can give it a try with this rustic honey cake or milk and honey toast.

And remember: Honey doesn’t expire! So feel free to stock up on an extra bottle.

Sandts Honey
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Best Citrusy Honey

Sandt's Golden Honey

As we all know, tartness is a great match for sweet. You’ll get that in a bottle of Sandt’s Golden Honey. This honey has that classic sweetness but paired with a citrusy tang our team loves.

Sandt’s honey is bright and sweet with no lingering bitterness. Instead, this ultra-thick honey was universally enjoyed by our Test Kitchen pros. “I’m really digging it!” says Ellie.

Because of the vibrant, citrus tang here, this honey would be a great way to liven up marinades and dressings. Try it in this honey-lime coleslaw, honey mustard chicken or Asian-inspired short ribs.

Zach And Zoe Honey
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Best of Both Worlds

Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm Raw Wildflower Honey

While this is labeled as wildflower honey, our team found that Zach & Zoe Sweet Bee Farm Raw Wildflower Honey delivered great floral and fruit flavors.

If you check out the label, you’ll find that this honey is a blend of honey harvested all year—meaning the bees pick up pollen from a variety of flowers and plants. That floral diversity lends this honey a delightful flavor.

The result is honey that our testers described as having some light floral notes as well as hints of apple, pear and orange. The experience is “subtle,” according to Ellie. “But the flavor lingers—and I like it a lot.”

This honey would lend itself well to any honey recipe. Get in the kitchen and experiment with how it can take your baklava to the next level.

How We Sampled Honey

For this taste test, our team pulled together a lineup of 11 different honey brands. These options included some bottles you can find right at the grocery store and some smaller companies with devoted online followings.

Each honey was sampled on its own—no labels, no bottles, no extras to interfere. Every option was judged according to these three categories:

  • Appearance: Honey can vary widely in appearance. Some may be a pale straw color and others can verge on molasses-like. No matter the color, honey should have a warm hue and a pleasant appearance.
  • Texture: A good honey should be thick and sticky. While you can decrystallize honey at home, it shouldn’t come out of the bottle that way when you pick it up at the grocery store.
  • Flavor: Much of honey’s flavor comes from the sorts of pollen bees collect to make it. You’ll see all kinds of honey ranging from wildflower to clover to sage to eucalyptus. The latter tend to skew more medicinal. For our test, our team sampled more traditional flavor profiles in search of honey that was sweet without being treacly and flavor-forward—all without bitter notes. That’s a tall order!

In the end, a few brands had our hive of testers excited:

Learn more about what has our Test Kitchen team buzzing below.

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