Starbucks: The Complete Guide to Dairy-Free and Vegan Options

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This dairy free Starbucks post was updated in 2018 with food and beverage changes and their new allergen notice! Before you listen to the rumors, read this.

Eat Dairy Free - Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and SweetsOh how Starbucks has evolved over the years. When I first posted about this mega coffee house chain, it was to share the dairy free versions of their “new” Vivanno Nourishing blends. Those have since vanished from the menu. And sadly, their wonderful Tazo tea menu has also been replaced by an overly sweet, floral Teavana line-up. However, for dairy free Starbucks coffee drinkers or a quick vegan nosh on the go, the options have actually expanded.

Dairy Free Starbucks Options - though ever-changing, Starbucks seems committed to milk-free and vegan offerings. See this post for specifics.

What’s New? The Latest Dairy-Free Additions

August 14, 2018 – Starbucks has added plant-based Protein Blended Cold Brews to their menus nationwide. These smoothie-like drinks are made with slow-steeped Starbucks Cold Brew, alternative milk beverage and plant-based proteins. The new beverages are offered in Almond and Cacao and are available at participating Starbucks stores across the U.S and on Mobile Order & Pay while supplies last.

Starbucks Almond Protein Blended Cold Brew

Starbucks baristas craft this beverage by blending Starbucks Cold Brew with Almondmilk, plant-based protein, almond butter, Banana Date Fruit Blend, and ice. It is 12 grams of plant-based protein.

Ingredients – ice, almondmilk (filtered water, almonds, sugar, tricalcium phosphate, sunflower lecithin, sea salt, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d2 (ergocalciferol)), brewed coffee, banana date fruit blend (coconut sugar, banana puree, water, apple juice concentrate, date juice concentrate, natural flavors, spice), plant-based protein blend (pea protein, banana powder, brown rice protein, xanthan gum, medium chain triglycerides (from palm oil), corn starch, natural flavor), almond butter (blanched almonds, sunflower oil).

Starbucks: The Complete Guide to Dairy-Free and Vegan Options

Starbucks Cacao Protein Blended Cold Brew

Starbucks baristas craft this beverage by blending Starbucks Cold Brew with Coconutmilk, plant-based protein, cacao powder, Banana Date Fruit Blend, and ice. It has 10 grams of plant-based protein.

Ingredients – ice, coconut milk (water, coconut cream, cane sugar, tricalcium phosphate, coconut water concentrate, natural flavors, sea salt, carrageenan, gellan gum, corn dextrin, xanthan gum, guar gum, vitamin a palmitate, vitamin d2 (ergocalciferol)), brewed coffee, banana date fruit blend (coconut sugar, banana puree, water, apple juice concentrate, date juice concentrate, natural flavors, spice), plant-based protein blend (pea protein, banana powder, brown rice protein, xanthan gum, medium chain triglycerides (from palm oil), corn starch, natural flavor), cacao blend (chocolate liquor, high fat cocoa powder, coconut sugar).

Starbucks: The Complete Guide to Dairy-Free and Vegan Options

Suggested Customization

  • Make the flavor yours: Request a whole banana in place of Banana Date Fruit Blend and adjust the amount of almond butter or cacao powder (or even add a little bit of both!).
  • Pump up the protein: Add an extra packet of plant-based protein to double the amount in your cup.
  • More coffee flavor: Add an extra shot or two of Starbucks Espresso Roast.
  • Enjoy it decaf: Add a shot or two of decaf Starbucks Espresso Roast in place of Starbucks Cold Brew.

Dairy Free Starbucks Drinks

We have all the details on the dairy free Starbucks beverages, including hot, cold, and pre-packaged. I have also added their new allergen information, which was sent out via an alert in July 2018. It doesn’t change much, but was intended for transparency and awareness.

Dairy-Free Milk, Always

All Starbucks locations now have coconut milk beverage and soymilk on hand for whipping up dairy-free lattes, mochas, and more. Most locations also have non-dairy almond milk available. The downside: you do have to pay extra for this “upgrade”.

But use caution with the add-ons. Syrup might seem like a dairy-free no-brainer, but a few Starbucks flavors contain milk. Not to mention the whipped cream toppers and powdered blenders. See this great post for specific tips on how to order vegan and dairy free Starbucks coffee drinks.

But Are They Allergy-Friendly?

Recently, I’ve heard many rumors about Starbucks changing their policies for handling allergens. As it turns out, they haven’t changed their processes, but they are trying to be more transparent. As before, pitchers should be rinsed and fresh pitchers can be requested, but the presence of milk is still abundant at each shop. Those with a severe milk allergy should use caution when ordering drinks and food, and might want to stick to safe pre-packaged and pre-bottled options. Many people, including myself, go basic with simple coffee or tea.

Here is their new allergen alert:

Starbucks reviews its practices on an ongoing basis to look for better ways to work and provide transparency to our customers and partners (employees). Starting July 10 [2018], Starbucks removed dairy labels from steaming and blending pitchers. Because our beverages are made using shared equipment (steaming wands, blender pitcher, rinsers) the removal of the sticker is more transparent and realistic of how the pitchers are used. As a beverage standard, our baristas use a rinsed pitcher for each handcrafted beverage. If you have questions or concerns, please ask your barista to remake the drink using a fresh pitcher and please remember that this does not guarantee that the beverage will be allergen-free.

Chill Out

In addition to hot beverages, there are many cool choices for dairy free Starbucks customers. For starters, several years ago, Starbucks reformulated their frappuccino formula to make it suitable for dairy-free and vegan visitors. But be sure to have your frappuccino prepared with dairy-free milk beverage and syrups. See this post for specifics.

Starbucks also offers “handcrafted” sodas and Refreshers. At last check, they were all dairy free, including some Pink Drinks made with coconutmilk. But double check before ordering, because the ingredients can change at any time. And of course, they always offer various iced teas for Teavana fans.

For pre-packaged options, Evolution Fresh juices and smoothies are available. But be warned that most of the smoothies from this brand now contains milk. Stick to their bottled juices (not protein drinks) and verify the ingredients. They’ve also started selling bottled Frappuccino Chilled Coffee Drinks with Almondmilk, in Vanilla and Mocha. The DoubleShot Smoothies with Almond Milk are also dairy-free, but these are being sold at grocers. We’ve been told they aren’t selling in Starbucks shops. Please check the packaging before purchasing to ensure that these products are safe for your needs.

Sip These Signature Beverages

You can request them to make many of their beverages without dairy, but they do have a few specialties that are specifically made dairy free. At last check, they were the Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte, Iced Vanilla Bean Coconutmilk Latte (these two contain no syrups), Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato and Matcha Green Tea Soymilk Latte. Use caution with some of the other specialty drinks containing “almondmilk” or “coconutmilk” as they might have dairy added.

Dairy-Free Starbucks Options - though ever-changing, Starbucks seems committed to milk-free and vegan offerings. See this post for specifics.

Dairy Free Starbucks Eats

On their website (below), Starbucks now includes allergen information for all of their standard food items. These can change often, but at last check (July 2018) they listed the following items as not containing milk:

Bakery Items

  • Pumpkin Bread
  • 8-Grain Roll (also vegan)
  • Plain Bagel (also vegan)
  • Sprouted Grain Vegan Bagel (also vegan)
  • Cinnamon Raisin Bagel (also vegan)
  • Macadamia Oat Cookie (also vegan)

Breakfast Items

  • Classic Oatmeal (also vegan)
  • Hearty Blueberry Oatmeal (also vegan)
  • Seared Steak, Egg & Tomatillo Wrap

Lunch Items

  • Lentils & Vegetable Protein Bowl with Brown Rice (also vegan)
  • Chicken BLT Salad Sandwich
  • Egg Salad Sandwich

Again, see their menu to confirm and for ingredient information.

Starbucks offers Dairy-Free Dream Pops at select locations.

Pre-Packaged Goodies

Depending on the location, you might find vegan Hippeas packs, Kind bars, and Justin’s dark chocolate peanut and almond butter cups. And they have Justin’s Classic Almond Butter and Chocolate Hazelnut Butter single-serve packets for topping their bagels. Starbucks also released 3D Dream Pops made with non-dairy ice cream (pictured above). But they were initially launched in just five Los Angeles area locations. Hopefully the distribution expands!

Please Note!

Starbucks regularly changes their menu, and we do our best to update this post. But please KINDLY comment if you see any changes or updates that need to be made. As always, verify that the ingredients and production are safe for your needs. Ingredients are subject to change at any time. And there is a lot of milk flying about in Starbucks, which can pose risks for people with a milk allergy.

Dairy Free Starbucks Options - though ever-changing, Starbucks seems committed to milk-free and vegan offerings. See this post for specifics.

Where to Find Starbucks

They have locations around the globe. To find addresses and hours, visit the website below.

Website: www.starbucks.com

Make Your Own Dairy-Free Coffee Drinks & Baked Good with Go Dairy Free:

Go Dairy Free 2nd Edition - The Ultimate Guide and Cookbook for Dairy-Free Living with Over 250 Recipes!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

11 Comments

  1. I had a dairy free breakfast sandwich there that wasn’t on the menu and it was SO GOOD That i didn’t miss the cheese one bit! I think it was called SMOKED SHOULDER BREAKFAST SANDWICH.

    • That’s awesome! I wonder if they make it dairy-free locally for that store? They have a smoked shoulder sandwich listed online, but it contains dairy. I have heard that many items are made regionally or locally though.

  2. Pumpkin spice lattes have dairy because they use sauce also for Christmas White Chocolate Peppermint Mochas have dairy. I was told any of the sauces have dairy in them, funny they don’t tell you this and I’m sure plants of people don’t know & they are drinking it.

  3. Does Starbucks also have Gluten-free options like their drinks and foods (due to me being Gluten-free and Dairy-Free) because I find it hard when I go out for lunch and dinner with my family or out with friends to find a place that caters for both requirements or else I just don’t bother going to the place?

  4. Robin Walker on

    I am so excited that Starbucks offer dairy-freel. My daughter took me there 3 days ago and said trust me Mom, you can drink this. She ordered me a mocha frappuccino w/ soy milk and I was in heaven! Mind you, I haven’t had anything like this in 40 years, when I found out i was lactose intolerant. Awesome! Now I called the Starbucks company today to find out if I can order this product (with soy) but to no avail. Disappointed for sure, so I’m gonna try to make my own, any suggestions!

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