Vegan cheese has come a long way from the days of bland slices of sadness that you covered in loads of condiments and told yourself, this isn’t that bad! But it was and it made it that much harder to ditch the love affair with the creamy dairy-filled delight. I first became a vegetarian in my early teens and never thought I would kick cheese to the curb, it was just so good, I remember telling people that I could never give up dairy! Which is funny to think about today. But those days are long gone, thanks in part to the amazing selection of vegan cheeses that are available in the US.
New vegans will never know the perils of lackluster vegan cheese because today they are delighted with wheels of buttery dairy-free brie, tangy chevre, and spicy cheddar, just to name a few. You’re probably wondering where do I find these creamy, dreamy delights? If you’re looking to find vegan cheese, you have come to the right place. Here are the 15 vegan cheese shops in the US that you must visit. Hopefully one is near you, if not, I think you have a road trip in your future!
But first, if you’re not familiar with vegan cheese, you’re probably wondering, what the heck is it!?
Take us on your cheesy adventure! Share your photos on Insta using #veggiesabroad! We can’t wait to see all the tasty things you find to eat.
What is Vegan Cheese?
Vegan cheese has come a long way, starting in Asia in the 1500s it was made with fermented tofu but today there are many ways to create this sandwich topping, meal enhancing sidekick.
Vegan cheese is 100% animal-free—no dairy, no animal byproducts (casein, rennet), or sweeteners like honey. It is generally made with a base of oats, nuts, or seeds like almonds, cashews, sunflower seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, and more! It can also still be made with tofu—but I will say nowadays, I mostly see vegan cheeses with nut bases. It is then enhanced with coconut milk or oil, nutritional yeast (for a nutty, cheesy flavor), thickening agents (arrowroots, tapioca), and spices. It can also range in texture, from soft and spreadable to hard-aged cheese like parmesan.
The process to make vegan cheese ranges from simply whipping up queso or spreadable cheese in your blender to adding natural enzymes to culture it for a tangy flavor or even taking it a step further and aging it.
The market for vegan cheese has been on the rise and continues to grow—according to Business Wire, by 2027 it is expected to grow by 15.5%. Many people decide to ditch the dairy-filled product due to lactose intolerance (according to the National Library of Medicine in 2018 approximately 65% of the population is unable to digest lactose), and of course, others, like myself, kick it to the curb because of animal welfare issues (and I am sensitive to casein, but even if I wasn’t, I’d still say no to dairy).
Now that you know all that, let’s explore where you can find these tangy delights in the US.
Vegan Cheese Shops You Need to Visit
88 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
Welcome to NYC’s vegan cheese heaven! If you only make it to one spot on this list, make sure it’s here for an epic cheese experience. The glass display case shines proudly showing off wheel after wheel of artisanal cheese. You won’t believe your eyes! Their cheese selection ranges from house-made cashew and oat cheeses to well-known cheese brands, and snacks. They offer multiple assortments and charcuterie boxes—perfect for a party or just for yourself! They also sell a variety of sandwiches dripping with gooey, delicious cheese as well as packaged cheeses, jams, “meats,”—everything to create your own charcuterie board. Many of the cheeses are gluten-free, but some are made with beer – to ensure it’s safe just ask to see their ingredients list.
135 Pierce St, Birmingham, MI 48009
This beautiful little café located in a chic metro Detroit suburb will make your jaw drop. Everything is a little work of art—it’s almost too pretty to eat! But, you will because it’s delicious. The vegan cheeses are all hand-made, gluten-free, organic, free of refined sugars, and made with fair-trade ingredients. Whatever you’re craving from savory to sweet, Planthropie has it! Their cheese menu includes spicy jalapeno, savory white truffle, and many others. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, they can help you with that too. They also have an amazing selection of mouth-watering cakes and cheesecakes. Check out the mini Snickers cake—you won’t be disappointed!
915 Main St. Clarkdale Arizona 86324
Virgin Cheese is taking the Southwest by storm with its delicious selections of house-made artisanal cashew cheeses with minimal ingredients. This woman-owned business is making ditchin’ dairy a breeze with their amazing selection of cheeses like pepper jack, smoked gouda, lemon dill, feta, and many more. Their cheese has been so popular that it is available in many markets in Arizona, Las Vegas, California, Texas, and New York City. And if your travels don’t take you to any of those spots you can also order it through Vegan Essentials and GTFO It’s Vegan.
7988 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046
Located in West Hollywood this vegan creamery has created a cult following for its expertly crafted savory and tangy delights. The creamy mozzarella and tangy veganzola (veganized gorgonzola) are made with a base of pine nuts, cashews, pumpkin, and sunflower seeds. The cheesy menu features up to 10 varieties that you can enjoy with nuts and fruit or sample on a fresh salad or an open-faced sandwich on French sourdough.
507 1st Ave NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413
A vegan butcher?! Yes, you read that correctly—a 100% vegan butcher specializing in out-of-this-world cheeses and “meats.” The deli counter is lined with thick cuts of bacon, slices of pastrami, ham, and much more! But what you can’t miss is the cheese. Their house-made cheese-less cheeses include pepper jack, gouda, dill, Havarti, cheddar, feta, queso, and more! You should make sure you come very hungry when you visit.
#6 Rebel Cheese
2200 Aldrich St Suite 120, Austin, TX 78723
This vegan deli, cheese, and wine shop is shaking up the Austin food scene with its indulgent grilled cheeses, flaky croissant sandwiches, and epic vegan cheese menu. Aside from a delicious all-day menu, their cheese menu is jaw-dropping—it features over 40 varieties of house-made and imported vegan cheese like a sweet and salty Honee Pistachio Chevre or a classy and decadent truffle brie. Try out a few of their favorites with a Rebel cheese board complete with dried fruits, olives, crackers, and jam. Oh, and don’t forget to pair it with a glass of rose or a sparkling pinot grigio.
1038 White Street SW Atlanta, GA 30310
The next time you’re in Atlanta, you must stop by The Cultured South Taproom to try out Pure Abundance’s creamy cashew creations. These cheeses are known for the rich and tangy flavor that comes from their aging process—you won’t believe they only use a few ingredients. You can sample the cheeses in a couple of ways—the Taproom menu features it on a grilled cheese with a house-made chimichurri and if you’d rather go au naturel, try the cheese board complete with locally sourced jellies, pickles, crackers, and more.
645 Boston Post Rd, Guilford, CT 06437
Hyped by Oprah in The O Magazine as a vegan option that is “deliciously close to the real deal!” If Connecticut wasn’t on your travel list, it is now! This vegan creamery creates small-batch artisanal cheeses that can be found in its hearty eggplant pesto rolls, calzones stuffed with a cheesy trio of mozzarella, ricotta, and parmesan along with meatballs, peppers, and whatever else you want to stuff in there. If comfort food isn’t up your alley, you can grab wheels of their addictive and spicy chipotle cheddar, creamy mozzarella, or a buttery Havarti dill.
1815 Spring St, Paso Robles, CA 93446
This is a vegan paradise; not only is there a never-ending lineup of smokey cheddar and tangy chevre, but you’ll also find cheese-loaded paninis, salads, and decadent charcuterie boards! The charcuterie or small grazing boxes come with your choice of cheese, crackers, nuts, and fruit, but you would be missing out if you didn’t add some fig salami from Hellenic Farms or Prime Roots’ Harvest Pate! There is no way you’re getting out of here and only ordering one or two things — this spot has so many staple and specialty items you must try. They also sell products online and ship nationwide if you can’t get there in person.
Vegan Cheeses Available Online & Select Retailers
These vegan cheese companies don’t have a stand-alone shop (just yet!) but you can sample their delicious creations by visiting select retailers or ordering them online. It’s never been easier to sample such a wide variety of cheeses—I feel like a vegan cheese party is in our future!
Select retailers in Ybor City, St. Pete, Sarasota, Orlando, & Miami Florida and available online through Vegan Essentials
This woman-owned creamery is whipping up delicious nut-free vegan cheeses with hemp seed. If your travels don’t take you down to sunny Florida, no worries! You don’t have to miss out on their five-alarm ghost pepper and fried onion, nutty muenster, or tangy dill Havarti—just order it from Vegan Essentials!
Available in retailers and markets in NYC and online through Vegan Essentials
Ooh la, la! The pungent and sharp flavor of French-style cheeses is no longer off-limits for vegans! Rind has transformed the vegan cheese market with its innovative French-style bleu cheeses from their traditional Cambleu to layered cheeses like nutty porcini with a layer of earthy mushrooms in the middle. In the winter, don’t miss their seasonal favorite, cranberry. The tart pops of berries blend well with the rich and buttery cheese. This would be perfect for a holiday charcuterie board!
Available in all Chicago Whole Foods locations as well as Dill Pickle Co-op, and online at Vegan Essentials
Born from a desire to create vegan cheeses that pack a flavor punch and can delight even the most discerning palate. Cheeze and Thank You has a wide range of cheesy products from dips and spreads to wheels and blocks of flavorful creations. You can find their products throughout retailers in Chicago or check out the assortment on Vegan Essentials like herbed feta, mustard seed smoked gouda, and black garlic truffle.
Available in a literal ton of retailers in North Carolina as well as South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, California, Florida, and online at Vegan Essentials
This artisanal cheese is made using traditional cheese-making techniques and then aged to give it a unique and memorable flavor. Their cheesy selections include a roasted garlic brie, gouda, mozzarella, and French onion cream cheese. They also create their coconut milk kefir.
Available at select retailers in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, and online at Vegan Essentials
This small-batch cashew-based vegan cheese doesn’t compromise on anything! It is made with organic and ethically traded ingredients without the use of any fillers or added saturated fats. Their cheese menu is impressive—it’s hard to choose between their limited-release strawberry balsamic or crowd favorite cracked pepper dill. I say you get both!
#15 Vtopian Cheese Shop
Available in select US retailers and online at Vegan Essentials
This Portland-based vegan cheese creator is whipping up rich aged white cheddar with a little peppery spice, creamy and sweet caramelized onion camembert, smokey cheddar, and many more. You can find their cheeses at many markets throughout the US.