Starbucks 2023 Vegan Spring Guide (Drinks & Food)

Vegan Options at Starucks

Spring has sprung, Starbucks 2023 spring specials are available and we have gone thru each menu item to tell you if it is vegan or not and if it can be veganized. 

Starbucks’ 2023 Vegan Spring Guide

What Drink(s) Have Been Added?

  • Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew
  • Cinnamon Caramel Cream Cold Brew

Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew

Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew contains a cinnamon & caramel syrup, topped with a cinnamon caramel cream cold foam then dusted with cinnamon dolce sprinkles. 

This drink is NOT vegan as-is!

The cinnamon caramel cream cold foam is made with cinnamon sweet cream (cow-based dairy) and cow’s milk. And the cinnamon dolce topping contains dairy.

HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order a Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew. Ask to SUB the sweet cream and milk in the cold foam with your choice of non-dairy milk (we liked oat milk best) and NO cinnamon dolce topping.

Your barista does not have a non-dairy cold brew button so they have to customize the order. I clarified with my barista that she understands that I want the cold foam to be made with the non-dairy milk I had chosen.

Since this was our first time ordering a non-dairy cold foam at Starbucks, I ordered one with soy milk and the other with oat milk. 

Big difference!!

I had read that no matter how you slice it, a cold foam made with non-dairy milk is not going to taste the same as one made with cow’s milk. 

I wouldn’t know the difference so all I can go by is what our tastes were between the oat and soy. I personally thought soy would be a winner for me but it wasn’t. 

Not only did the oat milk foam but it tasted really good. Much better than the soy milk. The soy milk did foam a little but immediately began to bubble and like I said, didn’t taste as good. 

We suggest going with oat. We did not try almond milk but I have read a lot of mixed reviews on it. Some swear by it; others didn’t like it at all. If you prefer almond milk, give us your review. I’m curious. 

Vegan Options at Starbucks
Starbucks’ Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew, veganized. The left is made with oat milk and the right with soy.    3/2022

Cinnamon Caramel Cream Cold Brew

The only difference between this drink and the last one is it is not nitro-based.

What does that mean?

A nitro cold brew boils down to taste preference. Nitro means that nitrogen is infused into the cold brew. While it does not have alcohol in it, I have read where people compare it to a Guinness–smoother and fuller in body with a richer taste to it than a regular cold brew. 

As above, the ingredients for the Cinnamon Caramel Cream Cold Brew are NOT vegan as-is. You can modify it the same way.

HOW TO ORDER VEGAN: Order a Cinnamon Caramel Cream Nitro Cold Brew. Ask to SUB the sweet cream and milk in the cold foam with your choice of non-dairy milk (we liked oat milk best) and NO cinnamon dolce topping.

Your non-dairy milk choices at Starbucks are:

  • oat
  • soy
  • almond
  • coconut

The ingredients for the Cinnamon Caramel Cream Cold Brew (with the modifications) are:

Your choice of non-dairy cold foam +


Did We Like It?

As I’m writing this, I realize I never answered if we even like the cinnamon caramel flavored syrup…

Honestly, we have mixed feelings. I personally cannot taste the cinnamon which is what I was looking forward to. Ryan said he can a little. I think the syrup does do a decent job of balancing out the richness of the nitro cold brew. 

But as for the complete drink tasting like a cinnamon roll, as Starbucks has promoted, we personally did not get that.

And the reason may be that this special, ordered as-is, has the cinnamon dolce topping. As vegans (and dairy-free folks), we have to order it without since the topping contains dairy.

Would we order it again? No.

In our opinion, it’s nothing special and with that many modifications, we might as well order an Iced Brown Sugar Oatmilk Shaken Espresso. SUB the brown sugar syrup with cinnamon caramel syrup then sprinkle a little cinnamon powder on top. 

What Food Has Been Added?

Another season, another disappointment that Starbucks chose to bring an animal-based menu item (back) but nothing animal free.

How many hot breakfast sandwiches do they have now that are NOT vegan? 

Eight. They have 8 and yes that includes the Impossible Sandwich but if you have been around long enough, you already know it is NOT vegan and cannot be made vegan. 

If you did not know… the ciabatta bun contains dairy, the egg is an animal-by product and the cheese is of course dairy. 

The Impossible Sandwich is vegetarian, not vegan-friendly.

What Do We Suggest In Addition To Starbucks’ Spring Menu?

Since Starbucks’ 2023 spring menu is leaving a lot to be desired, we’ll give you a couple of other drink and food suggestions.


Starbucks Pink Drink
Starbucks Pink Drink

Pink Drink

The pink drink screams spring has sprung. While it’s not a caffeine-based drink, it’s just too good not to put on the list.

If you’re new to Starbucks’ Pink Drink, it is a combo of Strawbery Acai and Coconut Milk with Freeze-Dried Strawberries.

Sweet & creamy goodness!

Iced Peach Green Tea.

We rarely highlight any of Starbucks’ teas and thought our spring guide would be a good place to mention that they offer various teas. This Iced Peach Green Tea sounds so refreshing. Plus you have the option to add a sweetener to it. Starbucks suggests cane sugar for their iced teas. 

You can also order this one with lemonade–an Iced Peach Green Tea Lemonade. And no need to add sugar to it since the lemonade already contains sugar. 

Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

If you’re like me and were looking forward to more cinnamon notes in the cinnamon caramel flavored syrup, we can make that up by ordering an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte.

HOW TO MAKE IT VEGAN: Order an Iced Cinnamon Dolce Latte with your choice of non-dairy milk and NO whip or cinnamon dolce topping.

As mentioned above, the cinnamon dolce topping contains dairy.


Rolled & Steel Cut Oatmeal

Recently, I ordered the rolled & steel cut oatmeal at Starbucks and was pleasantly surprised. It came with so many toppings I had leftovers for the next time I made oats at home.  The oatmeal comes with whole grain oatmeal, brown sugar, dried fruit and a nut medley. 

You used to be able to order it with blueberries (which is what I actually had done) but I just noticed that option is no longer available. It is not labeled vegan but contains no animal-derived ingredients:

Oatmeal [Water, Whole Grain Oatmeal (Whole Grain Rolled Oats, Whole Grain Steel Cut Oats, Whole Grain Oat Flour, Salt, Calcium Carbonate, Guar Gum)]

Plain, Cinnamon Raisin or Everything Bagel

You can ask for your bagel as-is or for it to be warmed. Look for packaged Organic Avocado Spread to spread on. Justin’s Hazelnut Butter or Classic Almond Butter may also be an option–check with your location for availability.


Starbucks always has a decent amount of vegan snacks available. Look for fruit, mixed nuts, Hippeas Chickpea Puffs, Kettle Corn and Kale Chips. Always look at the ingredient list on the package to verify no animal ingredients are in it. 

Starbucks Vegan Guide

If none of these options sound good to you or you just want to see our complete vegan guide for Starbucks, we have it here. It’s broken down and very detailed; with categories for food, drinks and even an FAQ section if you have additional questions we may have answered. 

We hope you found our Starbucks 2023 Spring Vegan Guide helpful.
And if you haven’t heard, Starbucks is adding olive oil to their menu… but starting only in their southern California stores. We’ll see if it gets expanded and will update the guide when available. 

Happy spring to you! 🙂



VeggL (Jen and Ryan)

VeggL is the passion project of Jen & Ryan. Both vegan (Jen since 2012, Ryan since 2018), they wanted to help other vegans & plant based folks through an incredibly frustrating process--trying to figure out what you can eat & where in the US. Pictured w/ our pups, Mia & Chompers.

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