When I first went vegan, the food that I was most scared of giving up was ice cream! As expected, I've found better luck finding dairy-free options at the grocery store than at my local scoop shop. I tried eight different dairy-free ice cream brands and ranked them based on texture, taste, chunk-to-cream ratio, and overall ~pleasurability~. 

8. Valsoia Dairy-Free Gelato 

I must admit, I was very disappointed at Valsoia's dairy-free gelato. I first purchased the sandwiches ($7.99); the cookie made up about 90% of the package while the gelato was a thin 10%! Not only was the packaging grossly misleading, but the gelato was just plain bland. Would not recommend. 

7. SoDelicious Dairy-Free

SoDelicious offers a the largest variety of flavors and bases out of all the dairy-free options on this list. I personally didn't find their brand to be all that flavorful though. The Cappuccino (cashew milk) was bland and the "cookie dough" flavor didn't have enough chunks in it. Not impressive.

6. Talenti Dairy-Free Sorbetto 

Talenti recently expanded their dairy-free offerings to include Cold Brew Coffee, Dark Chocolate, Peanut Butter Fudge, and Strawberry Hibiscus (along with their iconic Roman Raspberry and Alphonso Mango). Although I really admire the effort, I found their sorbetto to taste really metallic-y and icy. This might be personal preference, but I really enjoy a fun, chunky, and really in-your-face frozen desert- and Talenti sorbetto just isn't it

5. Haagan-Dazs Dairy-Free

Haagan-Dazs is known for their richness and creamy dairy flavors, and I can certainly say that it carries over to their non-dairy flavors as well! The only reason why this brand didn't score higher on my list is because of how limiting the flavor selection was. I enjoyed the Amaretto Black Cherry Almond Toffee (say that ten-times fast) the most and I hope that they come out with more dairy-free options soon. 

4. Halo Top Dairy-Free   

I approach this brand with caution; it doesn't taste anything like your traditional ice cream. While some might say that "light" ice cream should only be considered "good" if it is indistinguishable from its non-light counterparts, I disagree. I like the flavor of Halo Top, but it is an acquired taste.

Their dairy-free pints range in calories from 280 to 380 and come in seven flavors. I am disappointed that they got rid of my favorite dairy-free flavor (oatmeal cookie), and the current options are kinda plain. 

3. Alden's Organic Dairy-Free 

Alden's is one of the creamiest dairy-free ice creams I've eaten! It's made of a coconut oil, pea protein, brown rice, and oat flour base, so the coconut flavor is subdued in many of its flavors.  Something that Alden's does really well is making sure that the ratio of chunk to ice cream is relatively even.

My favorite flavors include caramel almond crunch, cookie crumble, and muddy brownie. If you're more of a "portable" ice cream person, Alden's has vanilla and caramel drizzle ice cream sandwiches! Their dairy-free ice cream is 100% vegan AND 100% delicious. 

2. Enlightened Dairy-Free 

"Light" ice cream often gets the short-end-of-the-stick. I personally like an ice cream I can enjoy at the end of the day without feeling super bogged down by sugar. Each 1/2 cup serving is between 70 and 100 calories; this rounds out to between 320 and 400 calories for the entire pint. 

My favorite flavor is easily the Triple Shot Espresso, but the Chocolate Almond Macaroon hits the spot too once in awhile. I hope Enlightened comes out with more dairy-free flavors soon! 

1. Ben & Jerry's Dairy-Free Ice Cream 

There's no surprise that Vermont's most iconic brand comes in at #1. By no means is Ben & Jerry's dairy-free the healthiest option on this list, but it's too good to pay attention to calories at this point. Their three newest dairy-free flavors (Creme Brulee, "Milk" & Cookies, and Mint Chocolate Chip) are made with sunflower butter.

Some of their older flavors are made with almond milk and are my personal favorites. They include Caramel Almond Crunch (swoon), Netflix & Chill'd, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, and Chocolate Caramel Cluster, and PB Half-Baked. Something that Ben & Jerry's clearly does well is mix-ins; while other companies try to focus their product on the base, Ben & Jerry's focuses on adding a whole lot of swirls, fudges, caramels, and chunks. If you want to try vegan ice cream without deviating from powerful punches of flavor, Ben & Jerry's is undoubtedly the way to go.