There’s a BIG difference between Aunt Jemima-style “pancake syrup” (which is just corn syrup masquerading as something edible) and real maple syrup that comes from real maple trees, with leaves and branches and big sugary hearts. Read the fine print and know that anything in a plastic squeeze bottle is probably fake and should be avoided like the plague.
Also: Maple is a syrup of many colors. The darkest (and cheapest) kind, Grade B, is actually the most maple-y and the best bet for most of the baked goods and drinks here. Grade A “amber” syrup (which is lighter because it’s made from thinner early-season sap) is more delicate and can get lost unless you’re drizzling it straight on fruit, pancakes, or a sundae.
As long as it comes from an authentic tree, basically any maple syrup will taste good, but here are some especially delicious brands to try: