Vegan Options at Starbucks

Since it took little more than a decade for Starbucks to double in size to over 32,000 stores globally, it is great that there are more vegan options at Starbucks than ever. Not every option is vegan unless you ask for it to be made a little different, even the most popular vegan Starbucks has to be made to order.

The most popular vegan Starbucks is their coffee. We are going to look at what food options there are, and how you can have your pick of the most popular drinks made vegan.

Drinks

Not every Starbucks drink can be made vegan. However, there are ways of changing it up to meet your needs. We’re going to see if the following drinks can be made vegan.

Frappuccino

Blended coffee and ice over more ice are always tempting, but only if made with a milk substitute. There are on-the-go options available now that are suitable for a vegan diet. We go into more detail on how to order a Starbucks Frappuccino that is truly vegan.

Hot Chocolate

Hazelnut 

A popular nutty beverage to warm the soul that can be made vegan. Just be sure to order with any non-dairy milk that you prefer, and with no whipped cream as this contains dairy. The hazelnut syrup is vegan and one or two pumps will be included depending on the size ordered. 

Toffee Coconut

Order with coconut milk to get an authentic taste. The toffee nut syrup is vegan friendly and one or two pumps will be added. Again, be sure to ask for no whipped cream. 

Matcha

Starbucks Matcha can be made vegan with a non-dairy substitute. If the barista doesn’t ask, remind them that you do not want whipped cream.

Pumpkin Spiced Latte

Order with a non-dairy milk substitute and forgo the whipped cream to have a vegan version. The on the go ‘creamer’ option is made from almond and oat milk and is also vegan.

Chai

Starbucks Chai is made with a mix that contains honey, so it is not vegan. However, it is possible to ask for Teavana Chai Tea and use a non-dairy milk substitute. 

Pink Drink 

Anyone vegan looking to post this popular pink drink across all their socials can do so without any backlash as it is already vegan. It is made up of coconut milk, acai, strawberry, and passionfruit so it is good to go.

Chestnut Praline

The Chestnut Praline is a holiday favorite that can be made to order vegan. Change the milk for something non-dairy and say no to the whipped cream and you have a vegan version.

Coffee

All of the regular Starbucks coffee ranges can be made vegan with a milk substitute such as oat milk, coconut milk, or soy. Just ask for it in the quantity you prefer if it’s an Americano, and you’ll be fine.

Iced Coffee 

There are plenty of options for the vegan iced coffee lover at Starbucks. The following syrups are vegan to make it a little different: vanilla, caramel, toffee nut, hazelnut, raspberry, or any of the cinnamon dolce options.

Soy Latte

The name says it all but a soy latte is already vegan and doesn’t need to change. If there is the option of whipped cream, turn it down to keep it vegan. 

Starbucks Syrups and Sauces

Vanilla

As a general rule, a lot of the clear syrups in Starbucks are vegan. When it comes to vanilla, you can rest assured that it does not contain dairy or other ingredients you would want to avoid as a vegan.

It is made up of sugar, water, natural flavor, potassium sorbate, and citric acid. There is nothing in there that should be of concern to a vegan.

Caramel

Caramel is another vegan sauce. Both the sugar-free and regular versions are vegan. This opens up plenty of options on the menu as it is a popular syrup or can be used as a substitute for another.

Mocha Sauce

The mocha cookie crumble is vegan which is a surprise to a lot of people. A lot of the other thick sauces are not vegan, but this one is. This is because most of the other sauces contain dairy, but Mocha does not.

Classic Syrup

This is much like a regular syrup and is therefore vegan. Most of their drinks are sweetened with this, so if you could do without the extra calories, ask for your beverage without it. 

However, as a liquid sugar with only a few ingredients that include sugar, water, natural flavor, potassium sorbate as a preservative, and citric acid, there is no reason to be concerned from a vegan point of view.

Hazelnut Syrup

It might not contain hazelnuts, but it also does not contain dairy. This makes Starbucks hazelnut syrup vegan. Rest assured you can enjoy that Hazelnut Hot Chocolate with a non-dairy milk substitute, as long as you turn down the whipped cream.

Toffee Nut Syrup

Whether you’re having it in your non-dairy toffee nut latte, or a frappuccino, toffee nut syrup at Starbucks is vegan. It contains the same basic ingredients as the other clear syrups and no nuts for those with allergies.

Marshmallow Syrup

Another that can be enjoyed in a holiday drink, Starbucks Marshmallow syrup does not contain dairy and is vegan. Enjoy it in a toasted marshmallow hot chocolate that uses a combination of mocha sauce and marshmallow syrup. 

To make sure it is vegan, use non-dairy milk and have it without whipped cream.

Vegan Milk Options

Coconut Milk 

There are plenty of vega options that have kept growing since this alternative to dairy was introduced in 2015. Because there is a risk of cross-contamination due to the way each drink is made in Starbucks, some people think their drinks cannot be vegan.

This removes a lot of options and since the non-dairy milk is kept separate, it seems more than ok to most. 

Almond Milk

The almond milk options at Starbucks have grown due to the encouragement of PETA. So much so, that there are now on the go options. These vegan Frappuccinos are mixed with almond milk and include flavors mocha and vanilla. Both are available in Target among other stores nationwide.

Chocolate Almond Milk

It is difficult to say if this is a friendly option but it does contain barley so it is not ok from a gluten-free perspective. There is no milk in the cocoa powder but there is cane sugar.

The issue from a vegan point of view is whether or not Starbucks uses bone char to color their sugar. This uses cattle bones to give sugar its white appearance and although not every company uses this method, and there are no traces found in the sugar, it does raise cruelty issues for many vegans.

Soy

Another vegan option that can be used as a non-dairy alternative in various drinks. Soy latte is a popular option but it can be used in just about any Starbucks beverage.

Foods

It’s easier to eat vegan at Starbucks than many people think. They may not have been the first coffee house to introduce plant-based food onto the menu, but the following selection shows the progress made. 

Bagels 

Cinnamon Raisin

These bagels are boiled and served in New York style. As the name suggests the main ingredients are raisins and cinnamon which are mixed in. 

The ingredients are made up of the following: niacin, malted barley flour, what flour, riboflavin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, folic acid, water, sugar, salt, raisins, wheat gluten, yeast, cinnamon, guar gum, vinegar, ascorbic acid, sunflower oil, monoglycerides, and enzymes. 

Plain

Starbucks plain bagels are vegan. There are even fewer ingredients here and the plain chewy bagels are a bit of a classic. Another NY-style option that can be enjoyed plant based on the right filling.

The ingredients are as follows: enriched wheat flour, salt, sugar, rye flour, water, vegetable oil (canola or soya bean), yeast, preservative (calcium propionate).

Everything

These never used to be suitable because of the cheese content, but since Starbucks removed the ingredient, they are now vegan. Those onion topped bagels with a hint of garlic are fine to eat for a plant-based diet. 

The ingredients do have a bit of everything and are as follows: Unbleached Enriched Flour [Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid], Water, Sugar, Sesame Seeds, Contain 2 Or Less Of Dehydrated Onion, Dehydrated Garlic, Salt, Wheat Gluten, Yeast, Toasted Chopped Onion, Poppy Seeds, Distilled Vinegar, Guar Gum, Ascorbic Acid, Enzymes, Monoglycerides

Blueberry

Another vegan option that is both chewy and New York style. There is nothing more than blueberries added to the plain version and depending on what is available, can be enjoyed with Justin’s Chocolate Hazelnut Butter.

Oatmeal

Their hearty Blueberry Oatmeal is vegan. It is not labeled as vegan but as there are no animal-derived ingredients. The plain version is also vegan and can be taken with soy milk or any other non-dairy alternative available. 

Pumpkin Bread

The simple ingredients in Starbucks Pumpkin bread make it surprisingly vegan. There are only a handful of ingredients that include pumpkin, flour, and oil. In some places, the pumpkin loaf contains egg so be wary and check the ingredients before purchasing.

Impossible Sandwich

These are not typically vegan, but some places are starting to sell a vegan-friendly option. Washington was the first to trial the new, vegan version and it has since found its way into other Starbucks stores.

Finding vegan breakfast sandwich options in Starbucks might be like stumbling across a unicorn, but this option is being spotted in more and more stores. 

Other Options

Hot Chocolate Mix

Available in both a packet or a tin, they come in both original and peppermint flavors. Not all of the Starbucks Hot Chocolate Mix is vegan. So, be wary about different flavors such as caramel and read the label before purchasing. 

To make a creamy version, use soy or coconut milk and add to the richness.

Whipped Cream

It’s only typically available in the UK throughout fall and winter, but there is a vegan whipped cream being trialed. It is uncertain as to whether this is going to be commonplace in the USA, but hopefully the future we will see it as an option for that pumpkin spiced latte.

Sweeteners

The Starbucks classic sweetener is included in a variety of hot drinks and is essentially water and sugar. 

This makes it vegan but it is easy to ask for a drink without it should you wish to lower the calorie content of the meal. 

Company Overview

The original shop was opened in 1971 at Pike Place Market, Seattle by founders Jerry Baldwin, Zev Siegel, and Gordon Bowker. 

Since then, Starbucks has become the world’s largest coffee brand with over 350,000 employees around the world. Their coffee sizes may be confusing (grande means ‘large’ in Spanish, yet is the medium size in-store), but clearly, people keep going back to their 32,000 plus stores in over 80 countries for a reason.

Final Thoughts

With a growing number of vegan options, the future looks bright for plant-based diets at Starbucks. A few years ago, none of the above options would be available so it is good to know that one of the world’s biggest food and drink brands is making positive changes to its menu.

The next time you are looking for an ever-popular frappuccino, you know what changes you need to ask for to make it vegan.