Eat

Dairy-Free Ice Creams You Should Try Based on Your Favorite Flavor

You don’t have to be vegan to enjoy plant-based ice creams.

vegan ice cream dairy free guide flavors
Design by Grace Han for Thrillist

Dairy-free ice cream has come a long, long way. If you’ve had a version in the past that was chalky, icy, crumbly, and a far cry from what ice cream should taste like, we urge you to give these new iterations a try. These days, dairy-free ice cream can go toe-to-toe with its animal product counterparts—and often taste even better.

Whether you’re lactose-intolerant, looking to decrease your intake of animal products, or just want to try something new, here is a guide to our favorite plant-based frozen desserts based on your favorite traditional flavor or ice cream.

If you like chocolate, try So Delicious Dark Chocolate Truffle

Chocolate ice cream can sometimes be too milky and lose the richness that makes chocolate so special. That is not the case for So Delicious’s Dark Chocolate Truffle flavor. Made with a cashew milk base and loaded with flecks of chocolate, this plant-based chocolate ice cream really captures the depth of dark chocolate and is perfect for any chocolate lover out there. Trust us, you will not miss the dairy.

If you like vanilla, try Van Leeuwen Vegan Vanilla Bean

All of Van Leeuwen’s dairy-free ice creams are exceptional, but sometimes simplicity is the way to go. A blend of cashew milk, coconut cream, and cocoa butter makes for an extremely creamy ice cream with speckles of Tahitian vanilla beans. Top it with hot fudge, nuts, strawberries, or just eat it straight—it’ll be satisfying regardless. 

If you like strawberry, try Eclipse Simply Strawberry

Eclipse describes its ice creams as “cowlessly creamy” and we’d agree that that’s an accurate tagline. The strawberry flavor has the perfect balance of sweet and tart, with chunks of strawberries studded throughout. There are no crazy bells and whistles here—just a genuinely delicious strawberry ice cream made from actual strawberry puree. It’s also vegan and non-GMO. 

If you like mint chip, try Ben & Jerry’s Mint Chocolate Cookie

Ben & Jerry’s blew our minds when it introduced sunflower butter-based, dairy-free ice creams. The texture is still full-bodied, as if it was made using heavy cream, and yet it’s magically free of animal products. The addition of cookies rather than chocolate chunks is a fun twist on a classic with a subtle mintiness—just don’t expect mutant-green artificial coloring in this pint. 

If you like cookies and cream, try NadaMoo! Cookies & Creme

NadaMoo! has been crafting coconut milk-based ice cream since 2005 so the company has the experience it takes to perfect plant-based ice creams. This sweet pint isn’t permeated by coconut flavors. In fact, the cookies & creme pint is practically indistinguishable from genuine cream-based versions and loaded with chocolate cookie sandwiches we all know and love. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and just as good—if not better—than regular ice cream.  

If you like coffee, try Oatly Coffee

Oatly took the coffee world by storm with its creamy milk-alternative. Now, the brand is doing the same in the frozen dessert aisle. It only makes sense that Oatly would make an incredible coffee ice cream; this pint is bold without being bitter, creamy without being overwhelmingly sweet. Would it be wild to suggest adding a scoop of this ice cream to your morning coffee?

If you like peanut butter, try Salt & Straw Peanut Butter Captain Munch

The beauty of peanut butter ice cream is that peanut butter already has tons of fat in it to maintain that tongue-coating, thick texture of dairy ice cream. Salt & Straw takes it up a notch by adding peanut butter to its oat milk base before folding in peanut butter-covered cereal bits for added crunch. The ice cream is finished with a ribbon of even more peanut butter. 

If you like salted caramel ice cream, try My/Mochi

Mochi ice cream is so fun! For the uninitiated, a pre-portioned sphere of ice cream is wrapped in a glutinous rice paper, resulting in a textural wonderland for your tastebuds. The mochi wrapper remains sticky and chewy, while the ice cream gives with each bite. My/Mochi’s salted caramel flavor has the perfect balance of salty and sweet and is newly made with an oat milk base. It’s a unique take on salted caramel and because the mochi arrives with six pieces per container, this is also a great ice cream to pick up for sharing. 

Want more Thrillist? Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, TikTok, and Snapchat!

Kat Thompson is a staff writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @katthompsonn
Our Newsletter
Feast Your Eyes
The best in food and drink delivered daily.
By Signing Up, I Agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy.