This week on the blog I interview an expert to find out ALL the details of the very best stuff to order as a vegan at Starbucks. Learn how to avoid common hidden dairy pitfalls and how to get the tastiest drinks and vegan snacks.
Marlowe is a shift supervisor at Starbucks, and she seriously knows her stuff!
- Let’s start with coffee. I’m talking the hot stuff! What can I order that is vegan?
All drip coffee at Starbucks is vegan ! Ask for soy/coconut/almond as a replacement for dairy. Also, lattes (flavoured as well), mochas (ask for no whip), caramel macchiatos (ask for no caramel drizzle), latte macchiatos, espresso macchiatos, flat white, Americanos are all vegan if ordered with non dairy milk. All of these are available iced as well!
2. Let’s cool this down. What are my iced coffee and Frappuccino options?
All our iced coffee is vegan and can be ordered with classic syrup, vanilla, caramel, hazelnut, peppermint, toffee nut and cinnamon dolce syrup. (Not cinnamon dolce sprinkles are not vegan). Ask for soy, almond or coconut as the milk option. There are a few options for cold coffee: iced coffee, cold brew, nitro cold brew and iced americanos. All are vegan and can get any syrup or milk that you desire. Make sure not to order the sweet cream cold brew as that has heavy cream in it.
For Frappuccinos, mocha, any syrup Frappuccino (vanilla, hazelnut, caramel, toffee nut, peppermint, cinnamon dolce), espresso Frappuccino, vanilla bean Frappuccino, coffee Frappuccino are all vegan if ordered with soy, almond or coconut. Make sure to ask for no whip and no caramel drizzle. You can always sub caramel drizzle with mocha drizzle! All iced lattes are vegan as well. My absolute favourite iced drink is the Starbucks double shot on ice with caramel and soy ! Try it it’s delicious if you love a really strong coffee taste.
3.What about the teas? What are the hot and cold vegan tea options?
All our teas are vegan and all iced teas as well. Tea lattes (matcha, London fog or English breakfast tea lattes) can be made vegan by asking for soy, almond or coconut milk.
4.Are there any traps we need to avoid? Any drinks we think would be vegan, but actually are not?
Caramel macchiatos are a big culprit. The caramel drizzle is not vegan. The chai concentrate we use for chai tea lattes has honey in it. But you can order a tea bag chai which would be vegan. Most limited time offering beverages are not vegan either. Always make sure to ask your barista if a special drink that’s limited time has any dairy in it. It’s best to ask for allergens instead of saying you are vegan. Many baristas feel unsure about what veganism includes.
5.What about food? What can a hungry vegan can order to eat at Starbucks?
For food, you can order bagels (plain and sprouted grain). We offer two vegan options for bagels: jam (free of charge) and the avocado spread. There is one vegan salad that is the baby greens protein salad. You can get kettle cooked chips (salt and vinegar, sweet potato, salted and bbq) as well as apple chips, kale chips and the coconut clusters (my personal fave!). There is oatmeal with brown sugar and fruits and nuts as well. Vegan options that are smaller (snack size) include the roasted almonds and the peppercorn almonds. My favourite thing to order is the sweet potato chips with avocado spread. Delicious snack !
6.Tell us! Is there really a secret menu? Any special secret vegan drinks we can order?
There is no such thing as a secret menu by the company. We are not trained on these items but if anyone has the recipe to them we can surely make it for you. There are a lot of options which I don’t know off the top of my head. However, if ordered with non dairy milk, no whip and no caramel drizzle, any of these magical drinks can probably be made vegan. A very old and popular secret menu drink is the cotton candy Frappuccino. To order it just order a vanilla bean Frappuccino with soy, almond or coconut and add raspberry syrup. Ask for no whip and you’re golden !
7.What is your favourite Starbucks drink?
I go through phases. Depending on my mood I can order a simple drip coffee or get fancy and order a flat white. On days I want a little bit of sweetness I order an espresso Frappuccino.
Thank you, Marlowe!! I know I feel much better prepared to give my order, next time I visit Starbucks. I’m not much of a coffee drinker myself, so my hot tip is that the Starbucks hot chocolate mixes are vegan! Just order with almond, coconut or soy milk.
If you are looking to take your ethics one step further at Starbucks, try bringing your own drink container and/or reusable straw. Remember that Starbucks drinks can pack a sugar punch, so keep it simple, or treat it as a special treat. Whatever you do, be sure to enjoy your little taste of vegan indulgence.
More about Marlowe! Hi everyone ! I’m my name is Marlowe and I am a shift supervisor at Starbucks. I’ve been working for the company for over 2 years and I absolutely love it. It’s a great way to express my creative mind as well interact with people all day. I’ve been vegan for over 5 years now and I am originally from Montreal, Quebec. I moved here and began my dream of working with people and really making a difference. When I don’t work I love to cook. I am hoping to open my own catering company in the near future (look out for KaleJoy it’s slowly starting to come along) which caters to people with limited income who still want to eat healthy.