There are tonnes of great reasons to try going vegan. From trying to lead a healthy lifestyle, to moral choices and environmental factors the benefits are undeniable. Vegan food is becoming more and more popular at restaurants and grocery stores alike but there’s still a long way to go.
Starbucks have been making big steps to up their game when it comes to vegan options and it’s not going unnoticed! Despite these big steps it can still be a bit of a minefield when you set out to order one of the more complex menu options.
Even if it’s not vegan as such but you’re trying to skip dairy for another reason (i.e. allergies) it can be tricky to know where to start. If only someone could compile a guide to show you which ingredients are and are not vegan safe.
Well, good news! We have just this coming up for you. I’ve created a guide of all the classic Starbucks syrups, sauces, and toppings and; whether or not they’re vegan. I’ve included the vegan milk substitutes and which options on the menu are best avoided.
All this is coming up soon but to start we have 14 awesome vegan Starbucks drinks options to whet your appetite.
Vegan Starbucks Drinks
Nothing beats the simple charm of a delicious espresso coffee. This simple drink is intense in flavor and gives you a buzz that’s sure to last for hours. If you’re a fan of delicate flavor notes, why not opt for the blonde espresso roast. Topped up with hot water this drink turns into an americano which is also 100% vegan.
If you’re looking to shake things up, you can order a shaken espresso but ask for non-dairy milk to replace the cow’s milk so you keep things vegan.
Nitro Cold Brew
If you’re a fan of iced coffee or just need something that’s refreshingly cool to sip on then nitro cold brew is a perfect choice. This drink serves bold yet sweet cold brew coffee through a nitrogen-charged tap. This creates a thick and creamy texture to the coffee without adding any dairy.
Steer clear of the sweetened options as these have cream or honey added so lose their vegan status.
This drink combines strawberry acai, passionfruit, and coconut milk. It’s super refreshing, absolutely delicious, and tastes like springtime in a glass.
Iced Matcha Green Tea Latte
Packed full of healthy antioxidants, matcha green tea is the perfect pick-me-up if you’re looking for something a bit different from the standard cup of java. To keep the order vegan, ask for non-dairy milk to be used alongside no whip topping.
Vegan-Friendly Specialty Coffee
Start with espresso and add steamed milk in various combinations of milk froth and milk foam. This gives you a flat white, caffe latte, macchiato, or cappuccino. These menu items are not typically vegan but you can order them this way if you ask for non-dairy milk to be used. Enjoy almond milk flat white, soy milk espresso macchiato, oat milk cappuccino, or coconut milk latte.
If you like it a little sweeter you can ask for flavored syrups to be added as these are vegan-friendly options.
Why not take the caramel macchiato and make it vegan by asking for non-dairy milk and make sure you leave out the whipped cream and caramel drizzle.
Dairy-Free Hot Chocolate
The classic hot chocolate combines mocha sauce (which is vegan friendly) and cow’s milk. You can ask for non-dairy milk to be used instead and leave out the whipped cream. Avoid the white chocolate version as the white mocha sauce is not vegan.
Very Berry Hibiscus Refresher
Take green coffee extract and combine it with real fruit juice and whole blackberries. This is all shaken over ice to give a truly refreshing taste. Hints of hibiscus, lemongrass, and ginger add a touch of spice to this refreshing beverage.
Vegan Mocha Frappuccino
The mocha frappuccino is the perfect choice if you’re after a chocolaty, creamy experience. Ask for non-dairy milk to be substituted and avoid whipped cream and other non-dairy toppings. Watch out for the caramel frappuccino as the caramel drizzle is not vegan and the java chip frappuccino is also best avoided as java chips contain dairy.
London Fog Tea Latte/Iced Tea Version
If you’re really more of a tea person then this is the drink for you. The London Fog takes earl grey tea which is a combination of black tea, bergamot, and lemon. The aromatic sweetness is then topped with steamed milk and vanilla syrup, delicious enjoyed hot or served over ice. Swap out the milk for a non-dairy option and it’s all vegan-friendly!
A lesser-known relative of the ‘pink drink’ this option combines the very berry hibiscus refresher with coconut milk to give a drink that’s refreshing on every level. The beautiful purple color makes this option Instagram friendly and well as vegan-friendly!
Vegan Caffe Mocha
The classic Caffe mocha takes espresso and combines it with mocha sauce and steamed milk to give a rich and tasty experience to the drinker. You can make this drink vegan by asking for non-dairy milk and avoiding any whipped cream on top.
Chai tea is a mix of spices and black tea that’s traditionally brewed in cow’s milk. You can enjoy this drink with simply hot water to give a warming treat that’s 100% vegan. Avoid the chai latte as the chai concentrate used contains honey.
Vegan Vanilla Bean Creme Frappuccino
If you’re a fan of the creamy taste of a frappuccino but want to avoid coffee then you can turn a creme frapp vegan by swapping out the dairy milk. Ensure no whipped cream is added on top. This drink is absolutely delicious as is or why not add a shot of espresso on top for an affogato-style treat?
Iced Matcha Lemonade
This drink is vibrant in color and phenomenal in taste. It combines matcha green tea and crisp refreshing lemonade and all this is shaken over ice. It’s a taste sensation as it dances over your tongue and will brighten up any dull day many times over.
Complete Guide To Vegan Options When Ordering Starbucks Drinks
A good general rule to keep things vegan is to stay away from chai lattes, protein powder, and pumpkin spice latte variations. Here are all the essential ingredients in most Starbucks drinks so you can order your own take on the secret menu.
Vegan/Non-Dairy Milk Options
Swap out any dairy for coconut milk, almond milk, soy milk, or oat milk. These options elevate the majority of Starbucks drinks to vegan-friendly in an instant. Just watch out and ensure the drink you choose doesn’t come with whipped cream added!
Vegan Topping Options
If you’re looking to make your drink a little extra special with some topping here’s a list of all the options Starbucks has to offer and whether or not these are safe to add to your plant-based creation.
- Pumpkin spice topping – Vegan
- Vanilla bean powder – Vegan
- Java chips – NOT Vegan
- Cinnamon Dolce Topping – NOT Vegan
- Barista Cocoa Powder – Vegan
- Powdered Sugar Funnel Cake Topping – Vegan
- Cinnamon Powder – Vegan
- Whipped Cream – NOT Vegan
- Cookie Crumble Topping – NOT Vegan
- Frappuccino Chips – NOT Vegan
- Spiced Apple Drizzle – Vegan
- Strawberry Drizzle – Vegan
- Caramel Drizzle – NOT Vegan
All the simple syrups offered by this coffee chain fall into the vegan category. This is very helpful if you’re trying to modify your favorite Starbucks concoction.
- Caramel syrup – vegan
- toffee nut syrup – vegan
- brown sugar syrup – vegan
- Cinnamon Dolce Syrup – vegan
- Funnel Cake Syrup – vegan
- Hazelnut Syrup – vegan
- Peppermint Syrup – vegan
- Raspberry Syrup – vegan
- Vanilla Syrup – vegan
- Sugar-Free Vanilla Syrup – vegan
The sauces and drizzles are usually best avoided when trying to keep things vegan as only the mocha sauce falls into this category.
- Mocha Sauce – vegan
- Dark Caramel Sauce – non-vegan
- Pumpkin Sauce – non-vegan
- White Mocha Sauce – non-vegan
There are loads of great options when it comes to Starbucks drink options suitable for a vegan diet. Swapping out the dairy for vegan alternatives is only the start and once you get the hang of which ingredients pass the vegan test you’ll be on to a winner in no time. I hope I’ve inspired you to get out and try some vegan options for yourself. you don’t need dairy to enjoy a taste sensation!