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

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

Oh 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 And sadly, their wonderful Tazo tea menu has also been replaced by an overly sweet, floral Teavana line-up.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.

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.

9 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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?

  3. 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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