Everything That’s Vegan at Starbucks, Including What’s Not on the Menu
America’s national coffeehouse, Starbucks, has come a long way in the dairy-free and vegan department, and while it used to be that if you were seeking plant-based snacks, you'd be happy to find a sleeve of nuts at the checkout, now there are so many options on the menu, it's a great stop for plant-based customers who need a bite or a drink on the fly.
Coffee drinkers are increasingly choosing non-dairy creamers in their drinks, and although the surcharge for these non-dairy options is known as the "vegan tax," and has animal-rights advocates like Alicia Silverstone up in arms and calling for consumers to boycott the chain. Still by every other measure, Starbucks has made big gains in offering a wide range of items for its plant-based or vegan consumers.
Starbucks recently partnered with Oatly to begin serving the company’s signature oat milk, adding to Starbucks’ existing line of dairy-free alternatives. The national coffee chain almost immediately experienced a shortage when it rolled out Oatly nationwide.
Here is a list of everything that's vegan at Starbucks, from hot drinks to a bite to eat.
Dairy-Free Milk at Starbucks
Starbucks’ specialty beverages typically have lots of dairy ingredients, but as of recent, the chain has leaped into the dairy-free market. Now, the coffee chain offers almond, coconut, oat, and soy milk to supplement the demand for plant-based specialty coffees. However, it is important to be careful when ordering specialty drinks because several of the flavored sauces contain dairy.
The clear flavored syrups are safe to drink, but steer clear of the caramel sauce, caramel brulee sauce, white mocha sauce, and pumpkin spice sauce.
To ensure you can get the best plant-based latte or frappuccino, we’ve made a list of the tips and tricks to order your favorite drink.
Dairy-Free Hot Drinks at Starbucks
Here are vegan modifications for your favorite hot drinks at Starbucks.
Salted Caramel Mocha: Ask for any of the non-dairy milk alternatives and substitute the caramel sauce for a few pumps of caramel syrup. Make sure you ask for no whipped cream to make it completely dairy-free.
Butterbeer Latte: When ordering this item, starts with a basic soy latte then ask for pumps of caramel syrup, toffee nut syrup, and cinnamon dolce syrup, depending on how sweet or which flavors you want to stand out most.
Toffee Nut Latte: Make sure that you ask for the latte with any of the four milk substitutes. Order this drink without toffee nut sprinkles and whipped cream.
Hazelnut Mocha Coconut Macchiato: This coconut milk-based drink is the perfect rich specialty drink that people want from Starbucks. The chocolatey drink is fully vegan, using frothed coconut milk that mirrors conventional steamed milk.
London Fog Tea Latte: When ordering the London Fog Tea Latte, it is as easy as choosing between the four milk alternatives. Just let the barista know which milk substitute you want in your drink.
Coconut Coffee Cake Latte: The Coffee Cake Latte is a top-tier, personalized pick from the Starbucks selection. Order a Coconut Latte and then ask to add a few pumps of toffee nut, cinnamon dolce, and caramel syrups so give it the full-bodied taste.
Samoa Cookie Latte: Another Coconut Latte modification is the Samoa cookie flavor. When you order a Coconut Mocha Latte, all you need to do is add a few pumps of the caramel syrup to mimic the legendary girl scout cookie flavor.
Blonde Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Latte: One of the easier items to order from any Starbucks location, the Blonde Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Latte is the perfect treat for a cold morning. The drink presents everything that a consumer wants from a Starbucks specialty drink with none of the hassle and none of the dairy.
Classic Hot Chocolate: Everybody wants classic hot chocolate, and Starbucks will make one with your milk alternative of choice. Make sure to remember to ask the barista to nix the whipped cream to make it fully vegan.
Cinnamon Dolce Creme: Order this signature Starbucks drink without the whipped cream and cinnamon dolce topping. Ask for your favorite milk substitute (and we suggest oat or coconut for this hot beverage).
Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate: If the classic hot chocolate isn’t enough, add some salted caramel syrup to your drink. The salted caramel hot chocolate is served with any milk alternative and brings all the joy the cold weather drink deserves.
Dairy-Free Cold Drinks at Starbucks
All Frappuccinos and Iced Lattes can be made vegan by replacing the milk base with one of the dairy-free alternatives offered at the coffee chain. Make sure you ask for the drink without whipped cream as well to avoid all the dairy products served at Starbucks. Alongside the regular drinks, here are some suggestions for your next trip to the national coffee shop.
Matcha Lemonade: This drink is one of the most refreshing and energizing drinks on the menu. Order one of these on a hot summer morning or as an after-work refreshment.
Ice Shaken Espresso: One of my all-time favorites on the Starbucks menu is the shaken espressos. Any of the shaken espresso drinks can be made dairy-free when asked for milk alternatives. The best two options for the dairy-free shaken espressos are Brown Sugar Oatmilk or Chocolate Almondmilk.
Iced Vanilla Bean Coconut Milk Latte: A classic drink from any Starbucks location is the Vanilla Bean Latte. The best alternative for this drink is coconut milk, but the iced beverage is just as refreshing with almond or oat milk.
Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte: Order one of these on a blazing hot summer afternoon when coffee would be too much. The Iced Matcha Latte is a clean drink that is both energizing and delicious. The best options are the oat milk or almond milk variety but work perfectly with any of the milk substitutes.
Vegan Nutella Frap: The hidden jewel of the Starbucks menu is the Vegan Nutella Frappuccino. The regular Mocha Frap is ramped up with a soy milk base mixed with hazelnut syrup. Make sure to ask without whipped cream when you get this delicious, plant-based drink.
Dairy-Free Juices and Refreshers at Starbucks
Here is a quick list of juices that can be perfect for the upcoming summer. All of the items below are completely vegan and equally as delicious as the signature coffees offered at the company’s locations nationwide.
- Iced Teas and Lemonade
- Vegan Dragon Drink
- Pink Drink
- Guava Passion Fruit Drink
- Violet Drink
- Matcha Pink Drink: Pink Drink with Matcha and Coconut Milk
- Iced Golden Ginger Drink
Vegan Food at Starbucks
Starbucks may not have the biggest selection of vegan baked goods and foods, but the company is dedicated to releasing new, nutritional foods for customers looking for a snack on the go. The Impossible Breakfast Sandwich hit stores last year but contains dairy and egg. It is possible to get the sandwich with just the sausage patty on a bagel, but we are hoping that Starbucks decided to develop a more plant-based sandwich option.
Meatless Meals at Starbucks
Chickpea Bites & Avocado Protein Box: The box is a quick, easy, and filling to-go meal. The pre-packaged meal brings a nutritious and protein-heavy option for any Starbucks patron. The meal box is the perfect purchase if you need a cheap lunch or a mid-afternoon snack.
Bagels: Plain, Sprouted Grain, Multigrain.
Bagel Spreads: Organic Avocado Spread, Hazelnut Butter, or Classic Almond Butter.
Lentils & Vegetable Protein Bowl with Brown Rice: The high-protein bowl of vegetables contains a delicious mixture of beets, cabbage, peas, tomato, and black lentils. If you want another nutritious option other than the Chickpea and Avocado Box, then this is the perfect healthy option for a quick lunch.
Hearty Blueberry or Classic Oatmeal: The Starbucks oatmeal is not marked vegan, but do not pass over this classic breakfast item. Order the oatmeal bowl with any of the dairy alternatives or hot water and it will be a delicious, plant-based breakfast bowl to start your morning off right.