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It’s 2022, so there’s a vegan version of just about every meat- and dairy-dependent food out there—and cream cheese is no exception. Though anyone who’s bought a bar can attest not all brands are created equal (and some are not even close to tasting like the real thing). That’s why we made it our mission to seek out the best vegan cream cheese you can buy, whether your intent is to smear the condiment on bread, use it as a dip for crudités or even make it the star of a fish-free lox bagel board for Sunday brunch. There’s a plant-based product on our list for every preference and dietary need, including nut-free, flavored and silky-smooth options. Read on for everything there is to know about our top picks.

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The Best Vegan Cream Cheeses, at a Glance:

Scroll down for in-depth reviews of each.

The Methodology

Before we get into our top picks, here’s how we determined the best vegan cream cheeses for every need:

  • Value: Is the vegan cream cheese worth the money for how it tastes and what’s in it? Is it a bargain?
  • Quality: Are the ingredients in the vegan cream cheese high quality? Does it contain any weird preservatives or fillers?
  • Spreadability: Does the vegan cream cheese spread easily like real cream cheese? Or does it require toast-ripping, cracker-breaking force?
  • Texture: Is the vegan cream cheese smooth and creamy like real cream cheese? Or is it unpleasantly gritty, chalky or clumpy?
  • Flavor: Does the vegan cream cheese taste good? Does it taste like real cream cheese? If it’s flavored, does it taste how the packaging suggests it should?

1. Kite Hill Cream Cheese Alternative

Best vegan cream cheese overall

  • Value: 19/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Spreadability: 19/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Flavor: 19/20

TOTAL: 94/100

The unknowing eye would have no clue that this number wasn’t regular cream cheese just from the look of it. Kite Hill’s vegan cream cheese spreads very easily (sort of like whipped cream cheese) without being watery or separating in its container. So, feel free to use it on the most delicate crackers and crostini. It’s creamy, velvety and light in texture, much like the real thing. Its flavor is rich, pleasantly tangy and just salty enough without tasting artificial. Its main ingredients are almond milk and salt, which offer the alternative a boost of protein and fiber in every serving. Other ingredients include xanthan gum and guar gum, which are used to prevent separation and to thicken the spread. Mushroom extract is also added to preserve freshness.

Buy it ($6.50)

2. Violife Just Like Cream Cheese

Best textured vegan cream cheese

  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Spreadability: 19/20
  • Texture: 20/20
  • Flavor: 18/20

TOTAL: 93/100

Violife’s vegan cream cheese option is made mainly from filtered water, coconut oil, potato starch and sea salt. Its flavor is convincingly tangy and salty with a hint of coconut. While the taste of the coconut oil could be a giveaway that the spread is dairy-free, we think it’s also the secret to its uncanny texture and spreadability. The fat content in the coconut oil makes it feel rich and substantial on the tongue, just like real cream cheese. Other ingredients include glucono-delta-lactone, which is a vegan acidity regulator, vegan flavors, olive extract and vitamin B12.

Buy it ($5)

3. WayFare Dairy-Free Cream Cheese

Most spreadable vegan cream cheese

  • Value: 20/20
  • Quality: 17/20
  • Spreadability: 20/20
  • Texture: 18/20
  • Flavor: 17/20

TOTAL: 92/100

So. Darn. Smooth. Even your kids could schmear this plant-based beauty on a bagel without ripping holes in it. The secret to its rich texture, savory flavor and soft spreadability? WayFare’s dairy-free base of water, organic butter beans and organic oats. Like chickpeas, butter beans are a great ingredient to use in rich vegan spreads, but they tend to create an even creamier final product. This pick also includes coconut oil, a touch of agave syrup, organic gum Arabic (a plant-based emulsifier), konjac root powder (a thickener), sea salt and natural flavor, as well as a few natural preservatives.

Buy it ($3)

4. Grounded Hemp Seed Cream Cheese with Onion & Chives

Best savory vegan cream cheese

  • Value: 19/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Spreadability: 19/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Flavor: 16/20

TOTAL: 91/100

This allium-rich, nut-free, keto-friendly spread is begging for a spot on your breakfast table. The first thing you’ll notice once you open this savory stunner from Grounded is the smell of fresh chives, which is sure to scratch your itch for dairy-laden scallion cream cheese. Its texture and spreadability are impressively like real cream cheese, as it’s easy to scrape up with a butter knife but not so much that it feels questionable to any bona fide bagel connoisseur. Its flavor is decidedly oniony, but there’s a notable nutty undertone, thanks to the hemp seed base and sunflower oil. Other ingredients include filtered water, coconut oil, and less than 2 percent of rice starch, tapioca starch, citrus fiber, guar gum, sea salt, lactic acid, chives, dill, garlic powder, onion powder and spices.

Buy it ($6)

5. Treeline Dairy-Free Strawberry Cream Cheese

Best sweet vegan cream cheese

  • Value: 18/20
  • Quality: 19/20
  • Spreadability: 19/20
  • Texture: 17/20
  • Flavor: 18/20

TOTAL: 91/100

This fruity offering from Treeline will not disappoint. It’s smooth, sweet and, most importantly, pink, so your picky kids won’t be tipped off in the least. Cashew cream and sunflower oil as the base make for a slightly nutty flavor, but they also give the vegan cream cheese an easy-to-spread texture that any toast or cracker can hold its own against. Other ingredients include cane sugar, sea salt, dried strawberries, cultured brown rice and natural strawberry flavor. You have beet powder to thank for the spread’s blush color, as well as cultures and lactic acid for its tasty tang and consistency. We’ll take ours on a cinnamon-raisin bagel, please.

Buy it ($7)

6. Spero Foods Smoked Salmon Sunflower Cream Cheese

Best lox-flavored cream cheese

  • Value: 19/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Spreadability: 19/20
  • Texture: 17/20
  • Flavor: 20/20

TOTAL: 93/100

Holy fish-free lox spread, Batman. When we say this savory, umami-laced gem from Spero tastes *exactly* like smoked salmon, we mean it. The smell alone will make you read the ingredients a second (and third) time like we did, because you won’t believe it’s actually vegan. A base of sunflower seeds and water is zhuzhed up with coconut oil, liquid smoke, salt, onion powder, chipotle peppers, natural vegetable-derived colors and xanthan and guar gums to create a copycat that tastes nearly identical to its predecessor (minus the salmon, of course). This fishy fave also boasts probiotic cultures, so your gut can still reap some of the benefits of real cream cheese without you having to eat dairy.

Buy it ($5)

7. Miyoko’s Creamery Organic Cultured Vegan Cream Cheese

Best nut-based vegan cream cheese

  • Value: 19/20
  • Quality: 20/20
  • Spreadability: 18/20
  • Texture: 16/20
  • Flavor: 16/20

TOTAL: 89/100

We’d already fallen hard for the vegan pizza mozzarella from Miyoko’s Creamery, so we were psyched to try this cashew milk-based cream cheese alternative. If you don’t have a nut allergy, this is an affordable, solid option as far as vegan cream cheeses go. But full disclosure, we felt the flavor was excessively tangy, so much so that any dairy eater would immediately know it wasn’t real cream cheese. There was also a slight chalkiness to its texture that sort of leaves a film on your tongue. On the bright side, the ingredient list is the simplest of the lot: organic cashews, filtered water, organic coconut cream, sea salt and cultures. It’s also easy to spread, albeit being a bit thicker in consistency than some others on this list. We’d recommend trying it in baked goods or frostings too, since the sugar or sweetener will likely balance out the tang.

Buy it ($6)

8. Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese

Best nut-free vegan cream cheese

  • Value: 20/20
  • Quality: 18/20
  • Spreadability: 19/20
  • Texture: 19/20
  • Flavor: 15/20

TOTAL: 91/100

Tofu was once the king of vegan substitutes, but as plant-based eating became more popular over time, it took a backseat to other alternatives, like beans, seeds and nuts. Nevertheless, if you’re allergic to nuts, the soybean-based product is a total lifesaver. Tofutti is made mostly from water and an expeller-processed blend of soybean, palm fruit and olive oils, along with soy protein and tofu. Four natural gums and non-dairy lactic acid are added for preservation and consistency, while organic sugar and salt are blended in for flavor. Aesthetically, it looks and spreads much like real cream cheese. Its texture is satisfyingly luxurious and smooth, but its flavor is unavoidably tofu-like instead of tangy or cheesy. We’re betting if you top your toast with everything bagel seasoning, seasoned cukes, vegan bacon or even nutritional yeast, it’ll make a big difference in the taste department.

Buy it ($4)

The PureWow100 is a scale our editors use to vet new products and services, so you know what’s worth the spend—and what’s total hype. Learn more about our process here.

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