Cheese—the number one food the vast majority of non-vegans say they can’t live without. While plant-based versions of popular cheeses have been around for quite a while, these up-and-comers represent a new wave of vegan dairy. They’re bold and adventurous, yet familiar in the sense that they expertly replicate the taste, smell, look, and texture of our favorite dairy cheeses. Pour yourself a glass of red and get your credit card ready; here are ten vegan cheese brands to put on your party list. 


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1. Riverdel Vegan Cheese, New York, NY
Yes, vegan cheese options abound, but more often than not they’re surrounded by an even larger selection of animal cheeses. At Riverdel, vegan is the only option. Step into this intimate boutique cheese shop and enter a wonderland of plant-based cheese, glorious cheese. Order a few wheels to keep at home or opt for a virtual tasting or cooking course. Not in NYC? With nationwide shipping, the vegan cheese of your dreams is only one click away.  


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2. Herbivorous Butcher, Minneapolis, MN
This brother-and-sister-run company is well known for its vegan meats, but their cheese game is just as strong. In addition to the plant-based steaks, ribs, and deli slices they create, this duo also makes a medley of “cheese-free cheeses” from gouda to brie to havarti. Visit the Minneapolis-based deli for a monstrous meat-and-cheese sandwich (so good they’ve been featured on the hit Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives); order a few blocks online (they ship nationwide), or visit the partner’s page to find these products in your neck of the woods (the company distributes to vegan and health food stores from California to New York). 


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3. Rind, New York, NY
For the funk-seekers, cheese connoisseurs, and vegan cheese skeptics, there is Rind. The company worked for years to develop its top-of-the-line product which it claims is “the cheese of the future.” Ironically, the ingredients undergo a primordial process involving a proprietary blend of microbes that break down the fats and proteins to create a vegan cheese unlike any other. This is serious cheese business. Rind is now available online through Vegan Essentials. Bonus: nationwide shipping!  


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4. Pure Abundance, Atlanta, GA
Cheese made with kombucha? Just trust the system—it works. These gourmet cashew-based, probiotic cheeses come in three distinct flavors including Luna (the most mild), Pan (a smokey, sharp, ash-coated variety), and Sol (a versatile cheese sauce that can be used on anything from pasta to nachos). Atlanta locals can find this cheesemonger’s products at Whole Foods, Cultured South, and select restaurants, but they are also available for nationwide shipping online. 


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5. Vromage, Los Angeles, CA
This vegan cheese is fit for royalty. No, really, the shop is featured in the royal wedding album of the now-Duchess Meghan Markle and Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex. Founder Youseff Fahouri and his shop received a full-page spread in this gilded memoir because of the Duchess’ fondness (ahem, addiction) for his plant-based products. His camembert, feta varieties, and melty mozzarella have attracted other celebrity clientele including Alicia Silverstone, Jeff Bridges, Al Pacino, and Ellen Degeneres. Stop by the unassuming strip-mall shop for a cheese platter or simple yet perfect sandwich—prepared by Fahouri himself—or order online. 


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6. Jule’s Foods, Davis, CA
Between the dozens of vegan cheese companies, there seems to be a plant-based equivalent of nearly every kind of cheese—except the elusive brie. Jule’s Foods has finally hacked the recipe, and in fact, that’s all they do—luscious, creamy, melty, beautiful vegan brie. The husband-and-wife-run company is small, but they have successfully expanded their coveted brie over the years to two California-based upscale restaurants, multiple independent grocers nationwide, and online retailers. Pro tip: spread a bit of jam on the brie, wrap it in puff pastry, and bake it. There is no better appetizer. 


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7. Nuts for Cheese, multiple locations, Canada
This artisanal vegan cheese company is the Canadian equivalent of America’s Miyoko’s—it’s beloved by all, headed by a powerhouse vegan lady boss, and deserves to be prominently featured on your next cheese board. Sold in wedges instead of wheels, look for the Super “Blue” blue cheese marbled with spirulina, the sophisticated Black Garlic coated in a rind of activated charcoal, or the Smoky Artichoke and Herb flavored with lemon pesto and vibrant herbs. Find your new favorite cheese via the company’s store finder or their online directory


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8. Rebel Cheese, Austin, TX
Locals only—this new vegan deli, cheese, and wine shop opening in late 2019 doesn’t sell its nut-based products online, but the gourmet cheese and assortment of vegan provisions are well worth the trip. The small company makes its own vegan cheeses and will showcase other brands as well. Expect flavors such as Shropshire Blue; Boursin-Style Garlic & Herb, and Spanish Paprika Chevre. Let the vegan wine flow and bring on the cheeseboard. 

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9. Parmela Creamery, multiple locations, US
Cultured, aged cashews never tasted so good. The most widely distributed of the bunch, Parmela products are all aged a minimum of 30 days to replicate the subtle funk and umami flavors of dairy cheese. And for the brand’s newest Batch 36 line, products are aged a minimum of 60 days for perfect creamy, meltable everyday slices and shreds. Stock your pantry with Parmela by visiting a Whole Foods, Publix, Gelsons, or one of its other natural food store partners


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10. Misha’s Kind Foods, multiple locations, Southern California
These tub fulls of creamy, spreadable almond- and cashew-based cheeses are almost too good to be true. Chef-crafted flavors include Seven Point Five, flavored with strawberries, habanero, and jalapeños for a fiery kick; Black Truffle, made with shallots and truffle oil; and smoky Lox, flavored with a blend of dill, capers, and roasted carrots. SoCal locals can find this Black-owned brand at farmers’ markets and select retailers. Pro tip: after one taste, you’ll want to stock up. 

Photo credit: Rind

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