From breakups to stressful workdays, ice cream has always been a reliable coping mechanism. Given the year 2020 has shaped up to be, the world has self-soothed with this sweet treat more than ever. Nothing can reverse the events we’ve all been forced to face, but digging a favorite spoon into a freshly cracked, perfectly thawed pint of vegan ice cream can offer a moment of temporary bliss. To celebrate the flavors that got us through, we combined our Veggie Awards winners and VegNews staff insight to feature the top 10 vegan ice creams of 2020. Keep reading to find if your favorite made the list. 

Note: this list is not ranked in any particular order; it was hard enough to pick just 10! 

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1. Ben & Jerry’s Netflix & Chill’d
The antithesis of vanilla, this pint is every flavor and texture you could crave in one blissful bite. Peanut butter ice cream is ribboned with a sweet-and-salty pretzel swirl and laden with chunks of fudgy brownies; suffice it to a say, there’s a lot going on, but the result is pure harmony. An honorable mention goes out to the brand’s “Milk & Cookies” sunflower butter-based non-dairy option. Loaded with chocolate chip cookies, chocolate sandwich cookies, and chocolate cookie swirls, this equally decadent dessert surprised us with its impossibly thick and creamy texture and complete lack of sunflower seed flavor. 

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2. Archer Farms Vanilla Cake & Cookie Dough
Affordability meets indulgence in this over-the-top vegan Target-brand ice cream flavor. We were floored when we first heard of its existence and turned absolutely giddy after giving this sweet treat a try. With a vanilla cake batter base, chocolate swirl, and gobs of cookie dough and cake pieces, this flavor speaks to our inner child. VegNews Senior Editor Richard Bowie is a huge fan. 

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3. So Delicious Cashewmilk
We reached a stalemate in the debate over which So Delicious Cashewmilk flavor to feature in this roundup, so we agreed to highlight our top three. VegNews New Products Editor Sarah McLaughlin fought for the Salted Caramel Cluster stating, “It’s simply the greatest of all time. This pint has the perfect balance of chocolate, cashews, and caramel in each bite.” She also vyed for the Dark Chocolate Truffle flavor. VegNews Digital Editor Tanya Flink was adamant about her love for the nostalgia-inducing Snickerdoodle pint. In the end, all agreed that cashew milk ice cream reigns supreme.  

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4. NadaMoo! Organic Mint Chip
This coconut-based ice cream currently offers 15 different flavors, and while Marshmallow Stardust and Cookies & Creme were highly praised, the classic Mint Chip simply could not be excluded. This isn’t your nuclear-green thrift-store variety—the creamy cool ice cream base is white and perfectly speckled with flakes of dark chocolate. It’s the grown-up version of mint ice cream that has definitely gotten us through some grown-up issues. 

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5. Van Leeuwen Vegan Chocolate Oat Milk Cookie Dough Chunk
While we struggled with choosing a NadaMoo! favorite, this Brooklyn-based ice cream company presented an even greater challenge. Since the launch of its first vegan flavor in 2013, the business has expanded its non-dairy line to 18 incredible flavors. The Oatmilk Cookie Dough Chunk won out because an ice cream roundup without a cookie dough option would be remiss. The decadent chocolate base is blasted with bits of tender cookie dough plus and unexpected crunch of vegan honeycomb. It’s phenomenal. 

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6. Häagen-Das Amaretto Black Cherry Almond Toffee
Most desserts are better with booze, and ice cream is no exception. A part of the Häagen-Das Spirits collection, this flavor had Bowie drooling with the description alone. Lightly spiked amaretto almond milk ice cream is laced with a sophisticated black cherry jam and studded with almond toffee pieces. The whole pint contains less than 0.5 percent alcohol, so don’t expect a buzz, but the flavor will definitely elevate your mood.

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7. Alden’s Organic Dairy-Free Muddy Brownie
One bite and you’ll be transported back to the childhood days of wolfing down Mississippi Mud from a cup or cone. True to its name, this chocolate ice cream is rich, sweet, and decadent—an experience only amplified by the chewy chunks of brownie generously spread throughout. It’s borderline chocolate overload, which is exactly what we’re looking for in an indulgent chocolate frozen treat. Pro tip: it’s ridiculously good when topped with vegan whip and a maraschino cherry. 

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8. Oatly Strawberry
VegNews intern Jocelyn Martinez raved about this simple pleasure. She accurately pointed out that while strawberry is a classic ice cream flavor, there are very few vegan versions available at the market. Martinez gushed, “Oatly does this flavor so well! It’s ultra-creamy and tasty!” It’s magnificent by the spoonful, but it also makes for a delightfully retro strawberry milkshake. 

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9. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert Made with Almonds
Before you pass up “boring vanilla,” hear us out. TJ’s got the labeling on this one wrong. It doesn’t taste like vanilla, it tastes like birthday cake. The new flavor is the grocer’s first venture into almond-based frozen desserts, and while the revived Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip still holds a special place in our hearts and stomachs, this flavor takes the cake. 

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10. SorBabe’s Pistachio & Caramel
Pistachios can be polarizing, but for those who can’t get enough, this gelato-like sorbet is spot-on. The pistachio butter base makes for a super thick and creamy texture without a hint of off-putting iciness, and the crunchy pistachio pieces and sweet caramel ribbon make it easy to polish off a pint. Don’t be alarmed once you’ve hit the bottom—it’s only 430 calories per pint! 

Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.

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