The Best Kefir That You’ll Actually Want to Drink

The best kefir is like grown-up Go-Gurt. It’s essentially drinkable yogurt. (It’s actually more complicated than that, so if you want a primer on what is kefir, go ahead and give our explainer a read.) We tasted 14 different types of the fermented dairy-based beverage to find the very best kefir brands out there.

Here’s what we were looking for in the best store bought kefir: creaminess, tang, drinkability, and real fruity flavor (if applicable). Let’s start with the creaminess. Kefir might be a somewhat healthy beverage but that doesn’t mean it should feel indulgent. In terms of tang, we were looking for Greek yogurt-level tanginess. This is fermented dairy! It should be tart! When we say drinkability, we mean consistency. While some of the kefirs on this list are on the thicker end—almost nearing yogurt—they’re all liquidy enough to be sipped. Kefir should not necessitate a spoon. And, finally, fruit. Way too many of the fruit-flavored kefir brands we tasted like fake fruit. If I’m drinking kefir I am channeling my crunchy, low-grade hippie alter ego. I’m wearing all natural fibers. I’ve got a crystal in my pocket. I want my kefir to taste like real fruit, not candy or chemicals.

After a taste test that got our gut going, for sure, here’s the best tasting kefir you can buy.


Lifeway Probugs Kefir Goo-Berry

Best Kefir for Kids

Lifeway Probugs Kefir Goo-Berry

I really don’t like the name “Goo-Berry.” Just call it berry. But I do like the attempt to market kefir to a kiddo crowd. These kefir pouches are tangy but not too tangy—though definitely more tangy than a regular yogurt pouch or a Danimals. And they’re fruity in a way that, I guess, can only be described as a goo-berry sort of way. I gave one of these to my 3-year-old and he happily drank it down. 

Credit: Merc / Sprouts

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Lifeway Organic Kefir Plain

Best Thin Kefir

Lifeway Organic Kefir Plain

If you want a classic, super-tangy, super-gulpable kefir, then this is the best kefir for you. You will not mistake this liquidy kefir for yogurt. You can easily pour it into a glass and take a big swig of some seriously tangy but still quite creamy kefir.

Credit: Merc / Kroger

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir

Best Goat Kefir

Redwood Hill Farm Goat Milk Kefir

This goat kefir tastes like liquid goat cheese. If you hate goat cheese, that is going to sound absolutely disgusting. But if you love a fresh, creamy, grassy chevre like I do, then this is the best kefir for you and your particular palate. Goat kefir is a unique experience. It’s almost savory, it’s very creamy, and it’s not too tangy. There’s no way around it, it tastes like drinkable goat cheese and that’s really all you can say.

Credit: Merc / Sprouts

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Lifeway Kefir Mango

Best Mango Kefir

Lifeway Kefir Mango

Not only does this mango kefir taste like actual mango, it tastes a bit like green mango—slightly grassy and tart. It works really well with the tang of the kefir. It’s not a mango lassi dupe—it’s much tarter than any mango lassi I’ve tasted—but it could still serve a similar purpose if you’re looking for a creamy mango beverage to pair with spicy Indian food. Mostly, though, it’s a zesty way to start the day—but not every day. Tart as it may be, it still has 18g of sugar per serving. (Plain kefir has around 8-9g, for comparison.)

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Maple Hill Strawberry Kefir

Best Strawberry Kefir

Maple Hill Strawberry Kefir

This strawberry kefir is extremely mildly flavored but the faint strawberry flavor that is there is very good. It’s like it met a strawberry once and is telling you about it. It’s like whipped cream on top of strawberries—but after the strawberries have all been eaten. It’s a bit mysterious. Out of the kefir brands we tried, it is definitely the best strawberry kefir.

Credit: Merc / Sprouts

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Green Valley Organic Kefir Whole Milk Plain

Best of the Best

Green Valley Organic Kefir Whole Milk Plain

It’s tart. It’s tangy. It’s just thin enough to be drinkable but you could totally eat this kefir with a spoon if you poured it over some granola or fruit. It’s the best kefir we tasted. This is a great start to the day and kickstart your gut. It’s a perfect blank canvas on which to add your own flavors or not. If you’re new to kefir or a seasoned pro, this is the best kefir brand to try next. 

Credit: Merc / Sprouts

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

Other kefirs we tried: Lifeway Kefir 1%, Raw Farm Golden Raw Keir, Lifeway Kefir Peach, Lifeway Kefir Strawberry, Lifeway Kefir Mixed Berry, Lifeway Kefir Blueberry, Maple Hill Plain Kefir, Kalona Super Natural Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir


About the Author

Justine Sterling

Justine Sterling is the editor-in-chief of Sporked. She has been writing about food and beverages for well over a decade and is an avid at-home cook and snacker. Don’t worry, she’s not a food snob. Sure, she loves a fresh-shucked oyster. But she also will leap at whatever new product Reese’s releases and loves a Tostitos Hint of Lime, even if there is no actual lime in the ingredients.

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  • Maybe include Trader Joe’s Goat Milk Kefir next time?

    Reply