The Best Premium, Artisanal Vegan Cheese Brands For Gourmet Foodies
9 Mins Read
There are umpteen brands making plant-based cheese, but they don’t cater to everyone’s tastes. Some prefer an elevated, luxurious, high-end, gastronomic cheese-eating experience. And in an increasingly crowded, there are a handful of companies that deliver just that. Here are some artisanal vegan cheese brands that are truly a cut above the rest.
A lot of us have eaten the blocks masquerading as plant-based cheese that don’t melt, and taste like no cheese ever has. And that’s okay – there’s a place for those alternatives in a vegan cheese market that’s set to reach $4.4B in 2027.
But there’s also a place for the ultra-cheese fans – the camembert dippers, the burrata savourists, the mozzarella melters and blue cheese aficionados – and these brands are catering to this space with premium, artisanal and mind-bendingly good vegan cheese offerings. Below, we round up some of the best.
Editor’s Note: Wow! The response we got for this piece has been incredible and great to know that so many of you were looking for a list just like this, BUT we also had a lot of folks write in to ask why certain brands or companies weren’t mentioned, so we wanted to clarify a few things. This list is focused on ultra-premium, mostly whole-food, mostly nut-based cheese brands that have established retail presence in grocery stores in their respective markets. There are some incredible smaller or non-retail premium vegan cheese brands that we love (shoutout to Purezza’s mozzarella and pioneering concepts like London’s La Fauxmagerie), but the focus here is on brands you can purchase in food stores and supermarkets.
Julienne Bruno (UK)
London-based Julienne Bruno is up there with the very best. Founded in 2020, the brand has three Italian cheeses in its portfolio: a vegan ricotta called Crematta, a stracciatella alternative called Superstraccia, and its flagship burrata substitute, Burrella.
The latter was a winner at the 2023 World Dairy Innovation Awards. All the cheeses are made with soy milk and coconut oil, and naturally fermented through a bespoke system. They also have vegetable fibres and vegan cultures. The company, which raised £5M last November, says this is Collection 01 – so it stands to reason that we can come to expect more premium Italian cheeses.
I Am Nut OK (UK)
Founded in 2017 by an American-Italian couple living in east London, I Am Nut OK produces artisanal nut-based cheeses. It has a vast portfolio of Italian dairy-free delights, including a buffalo mozzarella, parmesan, stracciatella and herb-infused wedge.
The brand also sells aged cheeses like those infused with black truffle, paprika, smoky charcoal, and Cabarnet Sauvignon, alongside an extra mature C’é Dairy? version. Additionally, I Am Nut OK makes a black pepper log, smoky vegan melted cheese, and a plant-based feta. All cheeses are made using a base of cashews and coconut oil.
You can find I Am Nut OK’s dairy-free cheeses online and at various retailers and restaurants in the UK.
Speaking of Italy, organic brown-rice-based cheese maker MozzaRisella hails from Veneto. Since launching in 2017, it has expanded to retail and foodservice both domestically and in the UK. Its flagship product is a mozzarella alternative, which is shaped like a cylindrical log, so you can cut circular slices reminiscent of mozzarella in Caprese salads.
Now, its product portfolio is vast, with vegan smoked, spreadable and medium-hard mozzarella alternatives, as well as blue cheese, ricotta and mascarpone substitutes. MozzaRisella also sells Cheddar and basil-infused mozzarella slices, and has a range of ready meals as well as a basil pesto made with its cheeses.
You can find MozzaRisella online, as well as pizza and fast-food chains across Italy and the UK.
Co-founded by award-winning chef Margaux Riccio – who developed a dairy allergy as an adult – Vertage is another US brand making artisanal vegan cheese, but solely for foodservice (as of now). The main ingredients for most of its cheeses is fermented cashews and coconut oil, and the cheeses leverage mycelium fermentation and microbial bio-design.
Vertage’s lineup includes a sliceable mozzarella log (which also contains aquafaba and coconut oil), American Cheddar and Pepper Jack slices (both without cashews, but using shiitake-fermented pea protein), and classic and Everything But the Bagel cream cheeses.
You can find Vertage’s cheeses at various restaurants and retailers across the US.
Miyoko’s Creamery (US)
One of the pioneers of the alt-dairy movement, Miyoko’s Creamery has been around for a long time (at least for the artisanal vegan cheese world). While its namesake founder, Miyoko Schinner, is no longer at the brand, the 2014-launched company is still going strong with its range of vegan dairy products.
In terms of cheese, Miyoko’s makes a host of cashew- and coconut-based cultured alternatives. This includes chive, sundried tomato, garlic and herb, European truffle, smoked English farmhouse, black ash, herbs de Provence, and smoked Gouda flavours.
Miyoko’s also makes three mozzarella varieties (classic, smoked and liquid), as well as four cream cheeses, in classic, scallion, cinnamon-raisin and everything seasoning flavours.
Kinda Co. (UK)
Back to the UK, Kinda Co. is an award-winning plant-based cheese brand from Somerset. Also championing cashews, its ingredient lists are as limited as its cheese lineup is vast and varying.
Kinda Co.’s dairy-free cheeses can be divided into blocks and jars. The former comprises smoked (with smoked water), summer truffle, farmhouse, garlic and herb, chilli, blue and feta varieties, while the latter includes a grated parmesan, a nacho dip, and cream cheeses in lemon and dill, farmhouse and sour cream and chive flavours.
The brand also sells limited-edition flavours (the latest was a sundried tomato block), and is very transparent with its consumers. It currently sells an alternative farmhouse block made with a different culture than its regular counterpart – the cheesemonger says it isn’t as happy with its flavour, but to avoid waste, it is selling the cheese at a cheaper markup.
Palace Culture (UK)
A fully organic vegan cheese brand based in south London, Palace Culture was launched to battle the dairy intolerance of the founder’s son and the conception that plant-based cheese is bland.
Palace Culture makes dairy-free cheese wheels, creamy cheeses and feta from cashews, coconut milk and/or almonds. The wheels contain the former two, with flavours ranging from the European-inspired Sácre Bleu, Ubriaco, truffled camembert, herbs de Provence and mouldy goat’s cheese, to the Korean-influenced Kimcheeze and a minced truffle ash and black pepper variant.
The brand also makes a feta with all three aforementioned base ingredients, alongside a cashew- and miso-based range of cream cheeses in smoked, chives and shallots, truffle and black pepper flavours. On top of that, it offers a ricotta made with just almonds, live cultures, water and sea salt.
You can find Palace Culture’s range of plant-based cheeses online, at various UK retailers, and at London’s Borough Market on weekends.
Spread’em Kitchen Co. (Canada)
Canadian brand Spread’em Kitchen Co.‘s vegan cheese range switches up the cashew-coconut bromance with a third ingredient that really does take it to the next level: cocoa butter.
The company’s lineup is divided into two sections: cheese blocks, and dips/spreads. The cheese blocks pair the cashew-coconut-cocoa trifecta with only a handful of ingredients (seasonings and cultures). There’s a classic feta alternative (which also comes marinated with garlic and pink peppercorns), and there are three other block flavours in garlic and herb, applewood-smoked, and apricot and chilli.
In the softer cheese category, there’s a classic cream cheese alternative made from cashews and coconut oil. Meanwhile, there are a host of cashew-based dips, in flavours like French onion, chive and garlic, dill pickle and truffle, spinach and artichoke, and jalapeńo and lemon. There are also vegan alternatives to a garlic tzatziki, beet and balsamic dip, and coriander and pumpkin pesto.
You can find Spread’em Kitchen Co.’s cheeses online and at various health stores in Canada.
Climax Foods (US)
Californian startup Climax Foods uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for research into the flavour, texture and nutrition of foods that we love. Starting with cheese, it managed to develop what is the world’s first plant-based casein that mimics the functionality, flavour, texture, meltablity and stretchability of the traditional dairy protein.
Climax Foods, which has partnered with French dairy giant Bel Foods to develop vegan cheese and also raised $26.6M in funding, has launched its own plant-based cheese line, which includes brie, blue cheese, feta, and chèvre. The range is nut-free, instead using seeds, legumes and plant oils in combination with the vegan casein.
You can find Climax Foods’ cheeses at various restaurants across the US.
Honestly Tasty (UK)
Launched in 2018, Honestly Tasty is another London-based startup making artisanal vegan cheese. The brand has four cheeses in its range, made with multiple bases using a combination of traditional and modern cheesemaking techniques.
Its bestseller, the Shamembert, has an identical ingredient list to the Bree. Both use a base of shea butter and rice bran oil, alongside potato and tapioca starch, carrageenan, and fava bean, pea and potato protein. Miso, nutritional yeast, salt, natural flavourings and lactic acid blend with the vegan cultures to round out the taste profile.
Its award-winning blue cheese is made with real penicillium roqueforti, with a base of coconut oil complemented with the same starches and proteins as above. The Garlic and Herb, meanwhile, lasers in on coconut oil and potato starch, with sunflower lecithin and citrus fibres adding to the seasonings.
Honestly Tasty keeps experimenting and updating its lineup. The Garlic and Herb replaced a former herb-based cheese, while their latest cheese, a spreadable cheddar is now undergoing a transformation.
You can find Honestly Tasty’s cheeses online and at various health stores around the UK.
Les Nouveaux Affineurs (France)
French startup Les Nouveaux Affineurs makes cashew-based artisanal cheeses using traditional local cheesemaking and culturing techniques. The brand’s lineup includes cheese wheels and cream cheeses.
The cheese wheels include L’Affiné de Margot, a cashew-based cheese that can be used both raw and to top hot dishes like pizza and risotto) and L’Affiné d’Albert (an award-winning soy milk and cashew cheese that can be used raw as well as in creamy pasta sauces). There’s also a log-shaped cheese, La Bûche), a harder cashew and coconut milk cheese that can be sliced raw for sandwiches or grated on toast.
The spreadable collection features plain cream cheese with Camarague salt, as well as garlic and herb, shallots and chives, kampot pepper, and thyme and rosemary flavours. All are made from soy milk and cashews.
You can find Les Nouveaux Affineurs’ cheeses online and at various retailers across France.