Wondering which Starbucks drinks can be made dairy free? To make ordering hassle free, we've put together this vegan Starbucks guide so you know exactly what your options are!
We won't lie, Starbucks has saved us on multiple occasions around the world.
As avid long-term vegan travelers, we’ve ended up in countless situations where our food options have been limited. In most cases, that means waiting until the next time we can eat, but if there is a Starbucks around, there is always a vegan option.
One of the examples that stands out the most was when we spent a few nights on Langkawi in Malaysia where the food options were more than limited. Combined with the cheapest Starbucks drinks we’ve ever come across, a grande hazelnut soy latte was the obvious choice when lunch didn’t fill us enough.
On another occasion, we had to spend more time than we were comfortable with at a hospital in Bangkok and since McDonald's was the only restaurant serving food, Starbucks quickly became our go-to spot.
Not to mention the countless airports without vegan food that we’ve spent time at where Starbucks has been our only savior. And let's be honest, sometimes a visit to Starbucks is required just for the air-conditioning and WiFi alone, right?
Thanks to our many Starbucks encounters all over the world, we've put together this handy vegan Starbucks guide to make ordering as easy as possible.
Find out which Starbucks drinks are dairy free and how to veganize your favorites as well as what ingredients you need to steer clear of.
Starbucks Milk Alternatives
Lately, Starbucks has become increasingly vegan-friendly, and the change is happening rapidly. But the real reason why it’s so easy to order dairy free drinks at Starbucks is because of the milk alternatives.
For the past ten years, every Starbucks location has had soy milk on offer. In some countries, such as the US, Starbucks charges extra for dairy free milk, but it's often free elsewhere.
In addition, Starbucks also offers regional vegan milk favorites in certain areas. For example, in the US, you can order your drinks with soy, coconut or almond milk, and in Sweden, oat milk is offered in addition to soy.
Not only is Starbucks suitable for vegans, but they offer great options for people that are lactose-intolerant or that just prefer to avoid dairy.
Naturally, this means that you can get all the classic drinks and coffees made vegan without much effort. Let us explain.
Vegan Coffee and Classic Dairy Free Drinks at Starbucks
- Espresso/Ristretto - Only coffee and therefore dairy free by default.
- Americano - Espresso with hot water and also dairy free by default.
- Macchiato - You can get your espresso Macchiato with any dairy free milk of your choice.
- Cold Brewed Iced Coffee - Victoria’s favorite which is also vegan by default but best served with a splash of soymilk.
- Cappuccino - The timeless Italian classic can be ordered with soy milk all over the world.
- Flat Whites - As long as you change the milk, all the flat whites can be made dairy free.
- Latte - Same as above but if you feel adventurous you can try ordering it with some almond milk or vegan Starbucks syrup.
- Hot Chocolate - Although not a coffee drink, the hot chocolate can be made vegan if you order it with dairy free milk and without whipped cream.
- Green Tea Latte - Get it with coconut milk for a tropical experience.
In addition to this, all of the above drinks can be ordered in iced versions which are also vegan-friendly.
Note that most of the clear syrups are vegan (we’ve listed them below) meaning you have the choice to add several flavors to any dairy free drink at Starbucks. However, the sauces are usually not vegan except for the mocha.
For example, you could get a hazelnut latte with soy milk, an iced mocha cappuccino with almond milk, or maybe a gingerbread latte for Christmas.
Vegan Syrups at Starbucks
|Cinnamon Dolce Syrup|
|Coffee Frappuccino Syrup|
|Crème Frappuccino Syrup|
|Toffee Nut Syrup|
*Note: All of Starbucks sugar free syrups are vegan because they don’t contain animal derivatives. However, the sugar free syrups do contain Splenda which has been heavily tested on animals so definitely not cruelty-free. In the end, it’s up to you to decide.
Other Dairy Free Vegan Starbucks Drinks
Besides the above-mentioned vegan classics, Starbucks offers a range of specialty drinks and holiday specials, many of which can be made vegan or are vegan by default.
Better yet, Starbucks has actively veganized many of their latest drinks to meet the growing demand.
All the Starbucks frappuccinos can be made dairy free if you order them with dairy free milk and no whipped cream.
You also have to stay clear of the caramel sauce and the caramel drizzle as well as the java chips. Some of the vegan frappuccinos are available in bottles at stores, including Target, all over the United States.
Pink & Violet Drinks
The recently launched Pink and Violet refreshers from Starbucks are made with coconut milk and vegan by default. They are an absolutely divine treat!
Chocolate & Strawberry Smoothies
Starbucks smoothies can easily be made dairy free by opting for soy, almond, or coconut milk. Just remember to order the smoothie without protein powder.
Vegan Starbucks Holiday Drinks
We have good news for you. Some of the most popular Holiday drinks at Starbucks can be made vegan. For example, the Gingerbread Latte, the Juniper Latte, Starbucks Christmas Blend, Peppermint Mocha, Chestnut Praline Latte, Toffee Almondmilk Hot Cocoa, and Caramel Apple Spice.
Just don’t forget to check the ingredients beforehand so you can exclude things like whipped cream.
Non-Vegan Items to Avoid at Starbucks
One of the reasons Starbucks has managed to take over the world is thanks to their many exciting flavors and unique drinks.
Unfortunately, several of these fun and wacky Starbucks drinks aren’t dairy free so you need to be aware of what you should steer clear of.
The number one culprit to avoid is the whipped cream which is served on many of the cold drinks as well as on the hot holiday drinks.
To many people’s despair, Starbuck’s holiday classic the Pumpkin Spice Latte - often shortened to PSL by avid Starbucks fans - was not vegan for the longest time. However, in 2018, Starbucks started introducing a dairy free version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte in Europe.
Unfortunately, a vegan version of the Pumpkin Spice Latte is not yet available in the US, but rumors say it's coming this year.
Lastly, Starbuck’s chai spice mixture contains honey which eliminates all the chai lattes except for the Teavana brewed chai tea from the list of vegan Starbucks drinks.
Does it seem confusing? Here's what you need to avoid:
Ingredients to Avoid:
|Caramel Brûlée Sauce|
|Cinnamon Dolce Topping|
|Pumpkin Spice Sauce (although not everywhere so ask)|
|Chai Lattes (except for the Teavana Chai Tea)|
Vegan Starbucks Food Options
As you can see, Starbucks offers a rather varied range of vegan drinks but that is far from everything. Lately, Starbucks has started introducing vegan foods and we are usually surprised to find new items when we return.
However, unlike the drinks, the selection of sweets and food items offered at Starbucks varies from country to country. For example, when we visited Krakow in 2018 they were serving a generous piece of vegan apple pie, and in Lisbon, they have a vegan sandwich and a chocolate cake.
Although, so far, it seems like Starbucks chains in the US offer the most vegan food options and many of these are actually certified vegan.
Vegan Breakfast Options
- Classic Oatmeal
- Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal
- Overnight Grains
Vegan Bagels at Starbucks
- Sprouted Grain Vegan Bagel
- Plain Bagel
- Cinnamon Raisin Bagel
Vegan Cookies and Snacks
- Macadamia Oat Cookie
- That’s It Bar Apple & Blueberry Bar
- That’s It Bar Apple & Mango Bar
Vegan Meals and Bowls
- Lentils & Vegetable Protein Bowl With Brown Rice
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh Side Salad