Two million votes, 59 winners, and six incredible prizes—this year’s annual poll of the best plant-based products, people, and places really took the cake (or shall we say the CBD truffle-topped vegan doughnut). From food trucks and fashion labels to taquerias and TikTokers—you sounded off and rallied behind your favorites, and now the votes are in! So who did you vote as the best of the best? We present to you: the 2021 VegNews Veggie Awards. 

FOOD

Best Vegan Burger: Beyond Burger

This powerhouse plant-based burger just can’t be stopped. And with two new versions on the horizon (one juicier and meatier, the other leaner and more nutritious)—plus a lucrative McDonald’s deal inked—it’s not slowing down any time soon, either.

Best Vegan Meat: Impossible Foods

When this plant-based ground beef appeared in grocery stores, a whole world of DIY deliciousness opened up. Burgers and meatballs, sure, but arepas, bibimbap, and kabobs, we’re coming for you!

Best Vegan Chicken: Gardein

Whether it’s Nashville Hot, Teriyaki, or Gochujang Style, VegNews readers agree: Gardein’s lineup of plant-based chicken is clucking good.

Best Vegan Sausage: Field Roast

Nestled in a pretzel bun, sautéed in a scramble, or used to top a pizza—there’s no wrong way to enjoy Field Roast’s juicy, flavorful sausages

Best New Vegan Product: JUST Egg Folded

Eat Just’s mung bean-based liquid egg got a frozen, toss-in-the-toaster makeover, and our breakfast sandwiches have never been better.

Best Vegan Milk: Oatly

Oat milk remains the wildly popular alt-milk of the moment, and Swedish-born Oatly is arguably the company to thank. For our next-level frothy lattes, we’re forever grateful to you, Oatly!

Best Vegan Ice Cream: Ben & Jerry’s

This Vermont-based brand has been paving the way for ice cream since the ‘70s, but with yearly additions to its ever-growing non-dairy line (21 total!), it’s blazing a trail toward a plant-based future, too.

Best Accidentally Vegan Snack: Oreo

2021 marks the year Oreos went gluten-free, got a Lady Gaga makeover, and won its fourth consecutive Veggie Award for your favorite whoopsie-daisy vegan snack.

Best Kombucha: GT’s Kombucha

Good-for-you probiotics are all the rage right now, but GT’s refreshing, bubbly brews have been keeping our guts healthy and happy since the ’90s. Bottoms up!

Best Vegan Snack: Hippeas Chickpea Puffs

Our puffy, crunchy snack cravings stand  zero chance when we have these high-protein puffs on  hand, especially with craveable flavors like barbecue, sriracha,nacho, and white cheddar.

Best Vegan Energy Bar: LÄRABAR

For 21 years, the culinary pros at LÄRABAR have taken simple fruit, nuts, and spices and transformed them into clean-energy dessert-like bars no hike should go without. 

Best Vegan Cookie Dough: EatPastry

Oven-baked, air-fried (try it!), or straight out of the tub, EatPastry’s chocolate chip, peanut butter, and birthday cake doughs make for the best-ever 3pm snack break.

Best Vegan Chocolate: Theo Chocolate

Black Rice Quinoa Crunch, Grapefruit Ginger, Peanut Butter and Jelly … need we say more? Theo’s array of vegan bars, brittles, and baking chocolate has helped this Seattle company nab its first Veggie Award.

Best Vegan Staple Cheese: Violife

We love everyday options like mozzarella and cheddar, but Violife’s smoked provolone slices, colby jack shreds, and briny feta are next-level.

Best Vegan Yogurt: Kite Hill

Every day almond, high-protein Greek, and dessert-inspired, and even portable tubes for kids. Kite Hill has the vegan yogurt market cornered—and our mornings have never been the same.

Best Vegan Butter: Miyoko’s Creamery

European-style cashew-based butter on a baguette or pasta tossed with garlic parm oat milk butter—these cultured spreads can do it all.

Best Artisanal Vegan Cheese: Miyoko’s Creamery

From tangy, complex wheels to melty, Italian-style mozzarella, Miyoko’s Creamery is making our cheeseboard and panini dreams come true.

Best Vegan Candy: Justin’s Peanut Butter Cups

Justin’s classic combination of salty peanut butter and smooth dark chocolate proves unbeatable for vegans with a sweet tooth.

Best Vegan Cookie: Alternative Baking Company

For more than 25 years, ABC has specialized in giant, chewy vegan cookies (think Explosive Espresso Chip and Luscious Lemon Poppyseed) that the world can’t get enough of. 

Best Vegan CBD Product: CBDfx Vegan Gummies

Nostalgic, sweet, and infused with feel-good ingredients like turmeric, spirulina, melatonin, and apple cider vinegar—these chill-inducing chews are downright (CB)delightful.

Best Vegan Coffee Drink: Califia Farms & Starbucks (tie!)

From Califia’s cans of nitro caramel cold-brew Starbucks’ bottles of almond milk mochas, there’s no shortage of ways to get your java fix these days—no dairy required.

Best Vegan Protein Powder: Orgain

“But where do you get your protein?” Orgain, that’s where! This first-time Veggie Award winner’s powders—in flavors like vanilla bean and chocolate peanut butter—pack some serious flavor and power into our workout shakes.

Best Vegan Dog Food: Wild Earth

This plant-powered, sustainability-focused dog food isn’t just loved by our furry companions—it’s got the backing of Shark Tank’s Mark Cuban and VegNews readers, giving the company its first Veggie Award to boot!

BEAUTY & STYLE

Best Vegan Lipstick: Glossier

Pucker up, beautiful! With six  buildable shades that adapt to your natural lip color, this sheer, matte Generation G lipstick from the gurus at Glossier ensures you’ll never pout over dull lips again.

Best Vegan Makeup & Best Vegan Skincare: Pacifica Beauty

 Since 1997, in-the-know beauty lovers have turned to Pacifica not only to defeat any skin issue (thank you, vegan collagen eye cream!), but to help look their best (shimmery highlighter,we love you!), too.

Best Vegan Handbags: MATT & NAT

Shoulders all across the world have been made even more chic thanks to these high-quality leather-free bags that have earned the Montreal-based brand top marks with VegNews readers.

Best Vegan Drugstore Beauty Brand: e.l.f. Cosmetics

From Walmart to Target to CVS, there’s no hide-and-seek when finding e.l.f. Cosmetics’ affordable yet effective array of long-lasting primers, smoothing lip exfoliators, and shimmering eyeshadows.

Best Sustainable Fashion Label: Stella McCartney

As a pioneer of high fashion using eco-conscious materials, vegetarian designer Stella McCartney created her eponymous line 20 years ago—and fans continue to be obsessed with her innovative collection.

Best Vegan Haircare: LUSH

With low-waste shampoo bars, nourishing conditioners, and a product line specifically for curly, textured hair, it’s easy to see why LUSH is your go-to for keeping tresses shiny and healthy.

Best Vegan Apparel Brand: Herbivore Clothing Co.

With tees encouraging fans to “Eat Like You Give a Damn” and “Be Kind,” this Portland institution walks the talk with an ethos of social consciousness and commitment to ethical practices. 

Best Vegan Shoes: VEJA Shoes

It may seem contradictory to use “cool” and “upcycled corn waste” in the same sentence, but thanks to the sustainably made kicks from French shoe brand VEJA, you’ve found your vegan solemate.

PLACES

Best Vegan Doughnuts: Doe Donuts

Doe Donuts is committed to keeping Portland weird and delicious thanks to über-inventive flavors like orange CBD brownie batter, mint chip waffle cone, and mashed potato-filled pierogi.

Best Vegan Bakery: Vegan Treats

More than 23 years in the game earns this Pennsylvania bakery legend status. But its gourmet cannoli, meticulously decorated pastries, and irresistible cookies keep it as relevant and in-demand as ever.

Best Vegan Restaurant Chain: Veggie Grill

Fast food with a better-for-you, plant-based twist—that’s the allure of this trend-setting 15-year-old chain with a menu boasting everything from burgers and nachos to crispy orange cauliflower and masala curry bowls.

Best Vegan Ice Cream Shop: NadaMoo! Scoop Shop

The pints you love (we’re team Marshmallow Stardust), but served as scoops, shakes, floats, sundaes, and even taco cones! It’s all happening at this ATX shop. 

Best Vegan City: Los Angeles

From German beer gardens  and Ethiopian eats to Vietnamesefare in the heart of downtown, it’s clear the City of Angels is a bonafide vegan melting pot—and VegNews readers want seconds.

Best Vegan Fine Dining: Crossroads

Counting celebs such as Billie Eilish, Travis Barker, and Katy Perry as just a few of its many fans, this white tablecloth establishment run by celeb chef Tal Ronnen wows diners with a dazzling Mediterranean-inspired menu.

Best Casual Vegan Restaurant: Sage Vegan Bistro

With 11 years and four locations under its belt, this Los Angeles hot spot easily satisfies any craving with an extensive menu boasting bánh mì tacos, eggplant arrabiata, and mac and cheese-topped pizzas.

Best Vegan Burger Joint: Monty’s Good Burger

The plant-based answer to the iconic In-N-Out Burger, Monty’s has already served more than 2 million burgers, tots, and shakes. We’re responsible for about 1 million.

Best Vegan Pizzeria: Screamer’s Pizzeria

The famed New York-style slice gets a scream-worthy vegan spin at this Brooklyn institution known for its giant pies topped with macaroni and cheese, pickles, and even s’mores.

Best Vegan Taqueria: Jajaja

VegNews readers chose New York’s Mexican-inspired eatery—complete with an extensive tequila and mezcal menu, plant-based street food, and bright, playful décor—as our first-ever Best Vegan Taqueria. Now pass the guac

Best Vegan Food Truck: Slutty Vegan

Slutty Vegan owner Pinky Cole knows sex sells, and now so does veganism! So it’s no wonder why Atlantans are always on the hunt for her One Night Stand, SideHeaux, and SloppyToppy burgers.

Best Vegan-Friendly Fast-Food Meal: Chipotle’s Vegan Lifestyle Bowl

Vegan options are great. But fully vegan meals you don’t even have to modify (like this bowl of cilantro-lime cauliflower rice, tofu sofritas, black beans, crisp lettuce, and roasted salsa)? Chef’s kiss.

Best Vegan Grocery Store: Besties Vegan Paradise

Hollywood is full of stars, and Besties is no exception. What sets it apart from others? This LA destination sells products from exclusively vegan companies, accepts SNAP and EBT, and recently added a separate zero-waste shop.

PEOPLE & MEDIA

Favorite Vegan Celeb: Joaquin Phoenix

Oscar winner, new dad, vegan activist, and all around fantastic human being—Joaquin Phoenix is the real deal (and your favorite celeb two years in a row).

Favorite Vegan Athlete: Serena Williams

Serena Williams isn’t just the greatest female athlete, she’s the greatest athlete, period. And now she has 39 Grand Slam titles, 102 US Open wins, and two Veggie Awards to prove it.

Favorite Vegan TikToker: Tabitha Brown

When she isn’t rubbing elbows with Laverne Cox, Tiffany Haddish, or Jada Pinkett Smith, Tabitha Brown is sharing plant-powered wisdom and off-the-cuff recipes with her nearly 5 million TikTok followers … because that’s her business.

Favorite Vegan YouTuber: Sweet Potato Soul

For 10 years, Jenné Claiborne has been making veganism joyful and approachable through hundreds of recipe, fashion, and lifestyle videos. Pro tip: her sweet potato enchiladas are an absolute must-make!

Favorite Vegan Instagrammer: Haile Thomas

At just 20 years old, Haile Thomas has become a CEO, author, public speaker, and your favorite Instagrammer, thanks to a feed full of thoughtful affirmations, calming reels, and powerful reflection prompts.

Favorite Vegan Activist: Greta Thunberg

If the future of the planet lies in the hands of the youth, 18-year-old climate activist and Nobel Peace Prize-nominee Greta Thunberg may just be the vegan to save us all.

Best Vegan Cookbook: Plants-Only Kitchen

Forget hard-to-find ingredients and fussy techniques—British Chef and influencer Gaz Oakley keeps things low-maintenance and high-flavor in his drool-worthy third cookbook.

Best Vegan Podcast: The Bearded Vegans

Nothing is off limits for this thought-provoking podcast hosted by Andy Tabar and Paul Steller. Artificial intelligence, lab-grown meat, and the latest invegan pop culture? Kick up your feet and get ready to dive deep.

DELIVERY 

Best Vegan Subscription Box: Kinder Beauty & Vegancuts (tie!)

Between curated beauty picks from Daniella Monet and Evanna Lynch, and all the vegan snacks we could ever want, VegNews voters decided: why choose just one monthly subscription when you can have two?

Best Meal Delivery Service: Veestro

Golden chickpea stew, Moroccan mélange, country-fried chicken … bringing the dining out experience home is easier—and tastier—than ever with this heat-and-eat, plant-based meal delivery service.

Best Online Vegan Grocery Store: Vegan Essentials

Vegan fried eggs? Check. Cookie dough bars? Add to cart. Leather-free belts? Let’s do it! Vegan Essentials has made shopping a breeze for 24 years, earning a whopping 16 Veggie Awards along the way.

Best Vegan Bakery Delivery: Maya’s Cookies

This San Diego bakery’s meteoric rise last year (including a10,000-percent spike in sales and a storefront opening) means we can indulge in Double Chocolate Chunk, White Chocolate Espresso, and Caramel Pecan anytime we please.

To read our entire 2021 Veggie Award feature, get the Best of Vegan Issue at  the VegNews Store.

For more Veggie Awards, read:
2022 VegNews Veggie Awards
2020 VegNews Veggie Awards
2018 VegNews Veggie Awards

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