Cheap caviar is rarely good caviar. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t good, cheap caviar out there. We tasted eight different types of caviar, each of which cost less than $25, to find the best cheap caviar on the market.
Let me just start by cautioning that none of these caviars taste like osetra caviar. The only way you’re getting that for cheap is if you have some questionable connections. So, you’re not going to get that certain je ne sais quoi (or whatever the equivalent of that phrase is in Russian) that really good, fancy, expensive caviar has. But these caviars are still special enough and tasty enough to buy for a celebration—and some of them are cheap enough to buy for a Tuesday. Whether you’re looking for salmon caviar, bursting with fishy flavor, or tiny black caviar, perfect for garnishing, we found the best caviar under $25 that you can buy.
- Plaza Black Capelin Roe
You’ll find this black caviar near the tinned fish in World Market (a true revelation of a store, especially when it comes to affordable luxuries like this). Though it looks the most like an expensive caviar out of our four picks, it is actually the best caviar on this list for garnishing. It tastes a bit like the flying fish roe you get on sushi rolls (aka tobiko), so use it similarly. The tiny fish eggs provide crunch and pops of salty, rich flavor. Use it on your own, DIY sushi rolls, sprinkle it onto deviled eggs or latkes with sour cream, or stir it into some creme fraiche for a luxe dip.
Credit: Merc / World Market
- Whole Foods Salmon Caviar
Whole Foods’ salmon caviar is the best caviar for cooking. It pops with so much flavor—perhaps a bit too much to enjoy on its own—and the skin of the fish eggs is a little thick (sorry to make you think about fish egg skin), but that means these vibrantly orange eggs will hold up to some mixing and stirring. This is the best salmon roe to use in a creamy pasta dish like this one from Food & Wine. Though this salmon caviar is more pungent than the other salmon roe on this list, it is also less gloopy, which is a big plus.
Credit: Merc / Whole Foods
- Plaza Saffron Whitefish Caviar
Another caviar from World Market, this saffron-flavored whitefish caviar is so wild—but it works. It has a great texture. The eggs are small but delicate and silky—a lot like more expensive caviar. And the flavor is totally strange. It tastes like paella…but it’s also caviar. This is a great addition to any charcuterie or seacuterie board. If you can’t get the good stuff, at least get the fun stuff. And this cheap caviar is fun.
Credit: Merc / World Market
- Echo Falls Wild Salmon
The best caviar under $25 is salmon caviar. Specifically, this salmon caviar from Alaska. The eggs have a great pop and a wonderful, rich salmon flavor—but they aren’t overly salty. Each bite ends on a deliciously oily, palate-coating note. The skins are thin and the eggs taste super fresh. Serve this as you would fancy caviar, with blini or little potatoes and creme fraiche or sour cream. Use them to top baked potatoes or scrambled eggs (my favorite way to eat caviar). Or put a spoonful on your hand and take a bump like the cool foodie influencers do. If you’re looking for the best cheap caviar, look no further.
Credit: Merc / Instacart
Best Black Caviar
Best Salmon Roe
Best of the Best
Other caviar brands we tried: Plaza Wasabi Whitefish Caviar, Romanoff Black Lumpfish Caviar, Romanoff Vodka Lumpfish Caviar, Romanoff Red Salmon Caviar