Best Almond Milk (Chocolate Almond Milk, Too!)

The best almond milk shouldn’t make you long for the days before you gave up dairy milk. Yes, almond milk can seem like one of those things you buy because it gets the job done when you need to lighten your coffee or moisten a bowl of cereal, but the best tasting almond milk is much more than that. It’s lightly creamy (if you always hated whole milk, you’re probably into almond milk), wonderfully neutral, and has just enough nutty flavor to remind you that almonds are involved. 

Over the course of two separate taste tests, we set out to find everything from the best unsweetened almond milk, the best almond milk for coffee, and even the best chocolate almond milk. I guess what I’m pleased to report is that despite its ubiquity and the shrug it can get for being the lesser alternative to other milks, there’s a surprising amount of nuance to almond milk. Shelf-stable almond milks tend to be a little creamier than refrigerated almond milks. Sweetened almond milks are dramatically different from unsweetened varieties. And flavored almond milk is such a treat it feels like a cheat. We bid dairy adieu and sipped more than a dozen of these nutty milk alternatives to find the best almond milk brand at the grocery store. Here’s where the shells fell.


Best Sweetened Vanilla

First Street Vanilla Almondmilk

We all went nuts for this sweet budget beverage, pun absolutely intended. As one taste tester put it, “This is like liquified vanilla pudding.” Its thick, luscious consistency rivals heavy cream, making it some of the best almond milk for coffee, especially if your usual order is a vanilla latte.  On its own, it’s like dessert in a glass. If you don’t want to drink pudding, we just can’t relate. If you do, First Street is the best almond milk brand for vanilla lovers.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Plain Unsweetened

Trader Joe’s Organic Unsweetened Almond Beverage

Shelf-stable milks (even nut milks) are a little weird. Maybe it’s because they come in the same cartons that soups and broths come in? I don’t know, but this almond milk from Trader Joe’s ended up being the best unsweetened almond milk we tried in our taste test. It’s thick, creamy, and actually tastes like almonds. This would be great in an at-home latte, especially if you don’t like your coffee sweet. All in all, this is the best almond milk if you don’t want it sweetened—and you can store it in your panic room. 

Credit: Ryan Martin

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best chocolate almond milk

Best Chocolate

Friendly Farms Chocolate Almond Milk

Okay, I have to admit something: All chocolate almond milk is good (or at least all the chocolate almond milk we taste tested). You kind of can’t go wrong with this stuff. Still, we wanted to find the best chocolate almond milk and I think we pulled it off. While most chocolate almond milk has a Hershey’s syrup sort of chocolate flavor, Friendly Farms chocolate almond milk has an actual cocoa flavor. It has ten more calories per serving than Almond Breeze or Great Value (the other brands we tried), and I think those ten calories really make the difference. It’s the creamiest chocolate almond milk by far. If you want something that’s more like chocolate milk than it is like Yoo-hoo, then head to Aldi for the best almond milk.

Credit: Merc / Aldi

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best for Baking

Sprouts Organic Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Full disclosure: We did not bake anything with this. But we imagine this would be the best almond milk to use in dairy-free cakes or cookies. Creamy and refreshing, Sprouts Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk has a marshmallowy flavor that suggests sweetness without actually being sweet, so it won’t throw off the sugar content in whatever you’re cooking up. It would also be great frothed up in a latte or poured over a bowl of Lucky Charms or Lucky Charms dupes.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Best for Smoothies

Silk Original Almond Milk

We liked Silk’s Original variety just about as much as we liked Almond Breeze’s (our number one pick, spoiler alert), but we also agreed that there’s something slightly odd about the fact that all of Silk’s fake milks sort of taste the same—whether they’re made with soy, almond, or oat. The good news is, they all taste good. While other almond milks smack of the bitter, papery part of an almond, this one is pleasantly sweet and really smooth—this is the best almond milk for loosening up a smoothie. Or, if you have some dairy-free ice cream in the freezer, you can really go nuts and make a bangin’ vegan milkshake with this.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Best of the Best

Almond Breeze Original Almondmilk

Almond Breeze is a fridge staple for millions—it’s the top-selling almond milk in the U.S. by a landslide—and it’s also the best almond milk brand we found in our taste test . Its mild, nutty flavor and silky consistency make it highly drinkable and super versatile. One taste tester thought this tasted the most like dairy skim milk with just a touch of sweetness. If you’re looking for the best almond milk, you’re sure to find Almond Breeze. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Instacart

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Great Value Vanilla Almond Milk, Silk Vanilla Almond Milk, Califia Farms Original Almond Milk, Simply Almond Vanilla Almond Milk, Pacific Foods Organic Unsweetened Almond Milk, Malk, Kirkland Signature Vanilla Almond Milk, Elmhurst Unsweetened Almond Milk, Open Nature Almond Beverage, Great Value Chocolate Almond Milk, Almond Breeze Chocolate Almond Milk

The 7 Best Oat Milks

Sure we live in hell, but we’re also in a golden age for alternative milks. Oat milk is making serious gains among socially conscious consumers, and for good reason. It’s the most allergen friendly of the alt milks, it’s vegan, and it’s only second to almond milk in lowest carbon emissions.


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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  • You sghould revisit the taste test and add Plantfolk to it its better than bluediamond in my opinion and you find it at the 99c store.

    Reply
  • I completely agree with Blue Diamond being the best. I use the shelf stable unsweetened chocolate in my coffee daily and won’t use anything else unless I’m forced to

    Reply