Although the association between fruit consumption and CHD risk has been well studied, few studies have focused on flavonoid-rich fruits (FRF), in particular strawberries and grapes. We aimed to verify the association of total and specific FRF consumption with risk of CHD by a large prospective cohort study. A total of 87 177 men and women aged 44–75 years who were free of CVD and cancer at study baseline were eligible for the present analysis. FRF consumption was assessed using a FFQ. Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to estimate the hazard ratios (HR) of CHD in relation to FRF consumption with adjustment for potential risk factors and confounders. During a mean follow-up of 13·2 years, we identified 1156 incident CHD cases. After full adjustment for covariates including demographics, lifestyles and dietary factors, the HR were 0·93 (95 % CI 0·77, 1·11), 0·91 (95 % CI 0·75, 1·11), 0·84 (95 % CI 0·67, 1·04) and 0·78 (95 % CI 0·62, 0·99) for the second, third, fourth and fifth quintiles compared with the lowest quintile of FRF consumption. Regarding specific fruits, we observed a significant inverse association for citrus fruit consumption and a borderline inverse association for strawberry consumption, while no association was observed for apple/pear or grape consumption. Although the associations appeared to be stronger in women, they were not significantly modified by sex. Higher consumption of FRF, in particular, citrus fruits, may be associated with a lower risk of developing CHD.