The Best Vegan Cream Cheese for Your Plant Based Bagel

The best vegan cream cheese should taste like its non-vegan counterpart because cream cheese is one of the most perfect dairy products known to humanity. It makes sense that vegans and the lactose intolerant want to get in on the delicious dairy fun. I learned about the wonders of vegan cream cheese when I moved to New York for college and found out every bagel shop stocks plenty of plant based cream cheese options. To my surprise, they were always as good as the real deal. Despite knowing where to get the best vegan cream cheeses at bagel shops in Brooklyn, I don’t know much about store bought dairy free cream cheese.

Over the course of two separate taste tests, the Sporked team tried an extensive list of non-dairy cream cheeses in an attempt to figure out which are actually bagel worthy. I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by the creaminess and flavor of the best plant based cream cheese, and I think you will be, too.


best vegan cream cheese

Best Fruit Runner-Up

Daiya Strawberry Cream Cheeze

Daiya Strawberry Cream Cheeze is a good fruit-forward vegan cream cheese option if you prefer a sweet bagel breakfast (a thing I cannot wrap my mind around). The flavor is 100% fake strawberry but in a way that’s very nostalgic and tasty. I also think it would be good if you subbed this in for jelly in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. One thing to note is that the strawberry flavor of Daiya non-dairy cream cheese is the only Daiya cream cheese flavor I’d buy.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

plant based cream cheese

Best Chive

Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese

Whether it’s chives or scallions or caramelized Vidalias, I want onions in my cream cheese—and that goes for vegan cream cheese, too. Luckily, Kite Hill Chive Cream Cheese has a great onion flavor thanks to the abundance of chives peppered throughout the tub. They have a nice bite that contrasts the creamy, convincing dairy substitute. This is what I’m reaching for when I make myself a bagel. Then, I add even more raw onion on top because I am an onion goblin. If you’re an onion goblin, too, this is the best plant based cream cheese.

Credit: Merc / Target

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

vegan cream cheese

Best Plain Runner Up

Violife Original Cream Cheese

Voilife Original Cream Cheese gives all of the best vegan cream cheese a run for its money, including the vegan cream cheese that landed in the top spot on our list (spoiler: it’s Trader Joe’s). It’s a great plain non-dairy cream cheese option. It’s dreamy, creamy, and melts in your mouth, but it loses out to Trader Joe’s because it’s not as spreadable. That being said, I think this could also fool a full-fat dairy cream cheese lover if it was smeared onto an everything bagel with raw onion, lox, capers, and sliced tomato.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

non-dairy cream cheese

Best Savory

Kite Hill Everything Cream Cheese

It’s a little expensive, I know, but Kite Hill Everything Cream Cheese is so good. Each person that tried it immediately went “Wow!” because the taste is so unexpectedly delicious. It’s so creamy and flavorful that it comes off as more than just a cream cheese. Obviously you could slather this onto a bagel, but it would also make an incredible dip for veggies or a luxurious sandwich spread. The creaminess and sesame seeds give it a tahini-esque vibe while maintaining a distinct everything bagel energy. And, unlike most of these cream cheeses, no toppings are needed. This just might be the best vegan cream cheese to enjoy on its own on a warm bagel.

Credit: Merc / Instacart

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best vegan cream cheese

Best Fruit

Philadelphia Plant-Based Strawberry Non-Dairy Spread

This is the best plant based cream cheese for any lovers of non-plain cream cheese. It has such a good strawberry flavor! I think fruitiness covers up any weird, fake dairy funk. Plus, it’s really creamy and spreadable. This is the best vegan cream cheese if you prefer a sweet breakfast.

Credit: Merc / Target

Rating:

9.5/10

Sporks

best plant based cream cheese

Best of the Best

Trader Joe’s Vegan Cream Cheese Alternative

Trader Joe’s deserves huge props for this tasty spread. In the past, their vegan cream cheese has tasted like cold coconut oil, but they’ve really stepped up their game. This new iteration of their plant based cream cheese is incredible. It’s totally spreadable, not too hard, and super creamy. It has no weird coconut or chemical aftertaste. I think you could easily convince someone that this was real cream cheese. The entire Sporked staff all agreed that this was the best vegan cream cheese we tried.

Credit: Merc

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other Products We Tried: Spero, Tofutti, Oatly, Philadelphia, Open Nature, Trader Joe’s

best vegan cheese

The 5 Best Vegan Cheeses for All Your Vegan Cheese Needs

Over the past few years, the category of plant-based, non-dairy cheeses has grown alongside the explosion of plant-based meat alternatives. Of course it makes sense—you want to maintain your plant-based lifestyle while enjoying an Impossible cheeseburger or a Beyond meatball sub.


About the Author

Jordan Myrick

Jordan is an L.A.-based writer and comedian who believes all food should come with extra sauce. When they're not writing for Sporked, Jordan is at the movies or sharing an order of french fries with their elderly chihuahua.

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  • This is a joke. Mist of these are just coconut oil with zero protein. Try Treeline. It’s way better than any of them.

    Reply
  • I have tried many vegan cheeses and cream cheeses as a turned-lactose-intolerant-suddenly-in-my-life person, and Miyokos and Violife cream cheese are my favorites

    Reply
  • Y’all should try Miyokos, Plant-based Philadelphia, and Nurishh. I’m vegan and those are my go-tos. Tofutti is a classic. Everyone seems to love the TJ’s one except for me lol.

    Reply
  • Excellent list. The Spero comment is spot on because while it absolutely is not cream cheese it is very tasty.

    Reply
  • Love these so damn much!
    I am not a vegan or vegetarian, but I do enjoy vegan food when it is done right.

    Reply
  • Oh man I have never seen Trader Joe’s vegan cream cheese at the TJ’s near me! I will keep my eyes peeled!!!

    Reply
    • They used to make a really bad one, but this new rendition is really great! I hope you find it!

      Reply