20 Coolhaus Ice Cream Flavors, Ranked Worst To Best

Everyone loves ice cream, except some vegans. But even among that population, the love for humanity's greatest confection runs deep, if afar. Their quest for a vegan ice cream that doesn't compromise principles about the exploitation of animals has thus far fallen short.

Good news, plant-and-protist-based consumers: your summer is now less sweltering. We tried every expression from Coolhaus, the hip-beyond-compare Los Angeles creamery that started in a broken-down van at Coachella. With that origin, it's no surprise the company partnered with Brave Robot to make a chemically identical dairy protein from microflora instead of cows. That's right — we're being loose with the term "ice cream" here, but this stuff isn't far off, and comes with numerous savings in emissions, energy, and water that shame other ice cream brands.

So there you have it. With all the vegan and non-dairy options on our list, you have no excuse not to be as ice cream-induced as the rest of America now, earthy eaters. Now let's get to the rankings, so we can help you spend your dollar wisely.

20. Salted Caramel and Snickerdoodle sammie

Given how hard salted caramel and cinnamon usually hit, it's quite a surprise that this combo fails to make much of an impression. The caramel never comes through, just the cookie, and we'll confess that your tasters aren't even the biggest snickerdoodle fans, yet the strength of this ice cream sandwich is its cookie component. It's ultimately a whiff, and from a surprising angle, saved only by its nice cookie textures. The sweetness comes off saccharine and coats the mouth and throat in a cloying manner.

This was one of the first cookies we tested and had us worried that we were in for a long march to completion. Happily, it proved to be the exception, since the other flavors, both gluten/dairy-free and traditional, didn't share this one's disadvantages.

19. Campfire S'mores pint

An early favorite for flavor, Campfire S'mores lost major points for the least satisfying texture. It had a very gritty feel we're going to ascribe to the graham crackers, which traveled on an oleaginous medium (perhaps caused by the marshmallow?) that resolved into a lingering chalkiness. Three strikes really took it down a few pegs.

Moreover, its very good flavor doesn't immediately bring s'mores themselves to mind so much as a satisfying blend. We'd love to give this one another shot if Coolhaus keeps the components larger and more discrete as mix-ins. Top that all off with this being a little too salty and we can't recommend it much. We blind-tested this early in the game and were worried that it was a failing of the vegan whey. It was kind of a relief to know milk could stumble in a way we'd fear for the more ethically sourced stuff. In fact, so far vegan ice cream is showing up more reliably than the standard stuff.

18. Dairy-Free Cookie Dough Lyfe cone

For whatever reason, Cookie Dough Lyfe also suffers this Splenda-esque taste that beleaguers Salted Caramel and Snickerdoodle. However, outside of that one factor, the ice cream itself is very, very good and the vegan proteins continue to impress. Like most of the lineup both dairy and non-dairy, the texture is creamy and fluffy without turning into Cool Whip.

As the main flaw on this one comes from the unexpected quarter of tripping on its own sweetness, we'd spot it higher, but for a second ding: the cookie dough itself doesn't really come through in texture. Given the small serving, you get some of its flavor, but none of that satisfying, grainy, clay chew from chunks of cookie dough. It's detectable only by its flavor, which starts to bury itself in the (admittedly tasty) chocolate and vanilla and cone.

17. Street Cart Churro Dough pint

Street Cart Churro Dough offers delicious butteriness and cinnamon without leaning so hard into the latter that it loses its cakey flavor. But for all that, it's also a victim of how deeply Coolhaus impresses from here on out. While it doesn't disappoint like Salted Caramel and Snickerdoodle did, it simply can't compete with the banging flavors to follow.

We feel the riff on churros reaches a higher peak later on with the cone edition, and that was far from a guarantee, given that the cones tend to have a chewier texture than they would have benefitted from. This is a flavor that probably ranks much higher if you're a fiend for churros, but if you are, you'd still be happier with the real deal from the corner than an ice cream edition.

16. Street Cart Churro Dough cone

Now this one tastes much more like its inspiration. We hate to say adding chocolate makes everything better, but fair's fair, since chocolate-dipped churros are a common find. Moreover, the chocolate only dominates briefly before letting the churro taste come out much more than it does in the pint. Now it tastes like more than just cinnamon.

Escalating a flavor simply because of the addition of chocolate feels like a nitro boost cheat, but in this case, it's not the taste and effects of chocolate so much as the beautiful crunch that it weaves through the cone. In some odd way, it plays a supporting role that makes the churro taste finally come into its own. Adding in the chew and crispiness definitely helps bring this one closer to its intention.

15. Birthday Cake sammie

The second sandwich we tried had a remarkably tender cookie, which would prove to be a theme once we'd completed our tasting. It will adhere to your fingers within seconds, so hold onto the wrapper if you can't wash your hands.

The birthday cake flavor is very present, and unlike a lot of the lower-scored flavors that missed their mark, this one goes just a little bit over the top. It off just vanilla and then ends up sort of in this negative stereotype of vanilla ice cream. If you like ooey gooey butter cake, you might find this more your speed than other brands' birthday cake flavors. It's just not very complex, and it doesn't really taste like vanilla bean so much as the essence of vanilla extract.

Now for the good: This was the first dairy-free flavor we tried, and right out of the gate it was on par or better than the regular ice creams we'd already sampled. It's also extremely filling. Nobody's finishing one of these and feeling like they could go for another.

14. Cookies and Cream cone

Oh dang, that hits. It's like some Claire Saffitz-elevated version of the best Oreo you've ever had. This is the first unabashed "Yes!" in the round-up. The sugar just hits right, it has a really nice textural balance between the chocolate crunch and ice cream that still lets the cookie aspect come through.

Its only flaw, and again, this is what all the cones share, is the cone itself is a little flimsy. Eating it, you become aware that Coolhaus makes its cones extra chewy to withstand freezing, but in this case that cookie cone comes off as a little bit leathery. Oh well, when the gut reaction is this much joy, we're willing to overlook it. We expect excitement, not perfection.

13. Dirty Mint Chip pint

Coolhaus's lineup is nearly fruit-free, making the herbaceous Dirty Mint Chip one of the bigger departures from its core focuses, but here's the thing; it's also a little different from the usual mint you're used to. It has more of a mint oil taste, a Wrigley's Doublemint take that's more spearmint than you might be used to if you're a devotee of mint chip ice cream. And you know something? It's really good.

To be clear: it doesn't taste oily. It's not suffering the Campfire S'mores problem. It's more like mint concentrate or a Junior Mint than, say, a Friendly's or a Breyer's sends your way. We'd argue the taste is more authentic, having successfully made a batch or two of the stuff at home.

After that surprise, the very welcome and characteristic Coolhaus creamy texture surfs over it. This would be a great scoop on a cone for slow consumption. It's a licking flavor to be taken in and analyzed rather than a mouth stuffer you want to chew.

12. Chocolate Molten Cake pint

They might have branded this as chocolate fudge brownie and come closer to a characterization than the actual thing, but nobody's complaining about the clearly superior fudginess over cakiness. The cake is dense and smacks of real cocoa. This might actually secretly dial down the sugar and just let the raw chocolate flavors do combat to see who is the chocolatiest.

When you do find the molten portion, it lands really nicely. This is definitely a recommended flavor if you want a little serving that goes a long way. You'll get very satisfied off of half a scoop. As with Dirty Minty Chip before it, this is an excellent one to put on a cone and lick as slowly as you can. You'll reach taste satiety long before caloric overload. But if you are someone who'd prefer to take a bite of your ice cream, you might wish there was just a little more molten component to mix up the textural experience.

11. Gimmie S'mores sammie

This is the cookie sandwich version of the Campfire S'more flavor and it has none of the chalky and gritty detriment of the pint. Is the recipe different? Is that why it has a slightly modified name? Regardless, the breadth between these two flavors' rankings really shows the improvement.

However the cinnamon here dominates, and the marshmallow isn't very evident. It can be hard for an airy component that's just sugar to make itself known, so we're not deducting a ton of pints for a narrow needle to thread. Ultimately, we marked this one up as very good without getting too scrutinizing about how much it expresses its supposed profile. If you're coming in here looking for s'mores flavor you're going to get something that doesn't even quite taste like the graham cracker cinnamon. But if you just like cinnamon with a touch of chocolate and aren't hung up on verisimilitude, it's a very enjoyable taste profile.

10. Dairy-Free Snickerdoodle and Horchata sammie

Well here are two pairings as natural as can be. If anything, this one tastes more like vanilla than the two straightforward vanilla flavors we sampled at the same time. The cinnamon is strong (a very common theme in the Haus of Cool) but not to the point of spicy intrusion, so a victory on that front.

This is a really great flavor for anybody who doesn't like, or feel like, chocolate. Whereas a lot of the Coolhaus flavors deal in chocolate to enhance or hit hard, horchata is a nice alternative that still ranks on par with them. It really shows how you can enjoy a little more nuance than the simple hit to your pleasure system that chocolate provides.

9. Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Tahitian Vanilla sammie

"That's impressive," murmured your taste testers at first bite. Dairy-free Coolhaus is indistinguishable from the real deal. There was some textural difference in the cookie itself, but this we attribute to its being gluten-free. It's much more stunning that the ice cream is matched point for point. If it weren't for the cookie and you ate these side by side in the same bowl, you would never tell these scoops apart.

Although the original article has a slightly better quality due to the cookie, the softer texture of the gluten-free version has a separate charm on its own. It's almost like the difference between getting a Chips Ahoy and a Chewy Chips Ahoy. All in all, we would probably take the more traditionally crumbly cookie for an ice cream sandwich, but it's actually kind of nice to have this doughy experience with Tahitian vanilla ice cream.

8. Dairy-Free Cookie Dough Lyfe sammie

As we're registered fans of the cookie dough and vanilla combination, this version that amps it up has a welcome home here with us. Not every dairy-free Coolhaus flavor is gluten-free, so don't blame the wheat proteins for this cookie being just a little bit soggy to the touch. Rather, it's the dough aspect of the sandwich, near as we can figure. It's possible this just uses a standard cookie that doesn't thaw brilliantly (as noted, all of the ice cream sandwiches tend to be very soft in the cookie department), but compared with the Vanilla Chocolate Chip Cookie sammie, we think this is a deliberate choice to prevent the Cookie Dough Lyfe flavor from losing its doughiness to a baked cookie. And so, regarding our eating, this aspect is not a fault against it.

We're happy to report that, unlike the cone edition, the ice cream in this one doesn't come across as saccharine, unctuous, or chemical. Since that only occurred in two flavors — one dairy-free, the other from cow's milk — we're going to chalk it up to some factor in production rather than a reason to be cautious of the dairy alternatives.

7. Tahitian Vanilla Bean sammie

Man, oh man, oh man ... this one really scratches that Chipwich itch, although truly nostalgic devotees may miss the thick layer of mini chocolate chips giving added crunch. Truth is as nice as that is, Tahitian vanilla isn't trying to be Chipwich and succeeds on its own merits. It doesn't need to be crunchier. When you're this creamy, you got your own textural razzmatazz to show off.

And it's also colossal. If you're going to pay some of the crazy prices out there for a single ice cream treat, get Coolhaus and you will never feel ripped off. You might just want to split it. You either choose to enjoy a giant, delicious ice cream cookie and not worry about the calories, or you eat it anyway but curse yourself the entire time. We know which one we prefer.

6. Love Out Loud Pride sammie

Coolhaus releases special Pride flavors that vary each year, and 2023's sits at the intersection of Birthday Cake and Farmer's Market Strawberry Cheesecake, though it comes across a little less sweet than either, to its benefit. It has a solid strawberry flavor that pairs mostly well with the sprinkle cookie housing it, due to the ice cream having a more subtle strawberry flavor than you're probably used to from other brands.

Love Out Loud Pride is a limited-edition flavor, so hop to it if you want to find it in 2023, but if you don't, you can very likely mock one up at home by Frankenstein-ing a Birthday Cake sammie to a pint of Farmer's Market Strawberry Cheesecake. What you do with the remaining sandwich contents is up to you, but may we suggest inventing the Cry Quietly Into Your Cake Lonely Birthday a la mode?

5. Dairy-Free Double Chocolate Cookies & Cream sammie

It's no fluke — the Brave Robot-engineered ice cream has a brilliant creaminess. There's no crystallization, and there's none of that lingering, earthy after-flavor that characterizes the usual vegan desserts. Frankly, a lot of traditional ice cream could stand to get up to this texture level. This is a real triumph for vegan foods, and you can consider us converted for life. There's no compromise anymore; this sandwich is top of the line in any category, let alone non-dairy.

In fact, if there's a fault, the cookie part is a little bit cloying, thought not as badly as when the ice cream was. Also, this might be better marketed as brownies and cream. Still, we tasted this flavor early and ranked it highly, and it stayed hard to beat throughout the entire lineup.

4. Farmer's Market Strawberry Cheesecake pint

Farmer's Market Strawberry Cheesecake has such a brilliant balance of fresh strawberry fruitiness with the tang of the cream cheese, you're already spinning before the chunks of crust (let's be honest, cheesecake is a pie) reach your eager teeth. It's all the right things in all the right ways and was a front-runner for a long stretch of this tasting experiment.

Like the Pride special release, the strawberry starts off subtly, though we'd testify it accelerates to a stronger level after a moment of warming up in the mouth. The cheesecake's wheatiness brings the strawberry back to earth, and now we're wondering if strawberry and cream cheese on a graham cracker isn't the smartest thing to make for an easy dessert when you can't get your hands on a pint of this.

It's interesting how Coolhaus does so little in the way of fruit flavors, but when it puts one out, it soars to the top of its output. Something to consider. We'll turn up whenever the next flavor drops from the tree. And given the focus on dairy-free, we wouldn't be at all surprised if a line of high-quality sorbets eventually dropped.

3. Dairy-Free Dirty Mint Chip sammie

 You are not ready for this one. Dirty Mint Chip was good; the dairy-free sandwich edition puts the "ama" in amazing for Ask Me Anything. Okay, how did you make such good ice cream without using technically real ice cream?

Just kidding — our mouths are too full of this sammie to ask a question. The second you take a bite, it's a struggle not to stuff the whole sando in your gob. The handheld version elevates Dirty Mint Chip to the next level's next level with a double chocolate cookie that was truly made for this pairing. Fudgy and then crunchy chips make it a three-punch combo of sweet satisfaction.

Dammit, this one was so good it made us angry while we ate it. It's confusing to the brain how anything can be this good, and knowing it had to end was a taste of mortality we weren't prepared for. Still, if you ate one of these after every meal, you might die young, but you'd have a smile on your face.

2. Bananas Foster pint

Good news, everybody who doesn't live near a Magnolia Bakery: you can experience the cold version of the famous cupcake shop's arguably more sought-after banana pudding. Banana is an overwhelming taste of course, but it's still remarkable how comparable this dessert is to that one.

The brown sugar swirl sends it to the moon, and we don't have a return trajectory plotted, but if we did it would be the unexpectedly distinct caramel. One of our testers refused to give the pint back and threatened to eat the entire thing.

We can't even remember ever trying a banana flavor before, and this thing just manifests from the mists to place silver? More than halfway into our tasting, and it held the top spot uncontested after we didn't even know if we'd like it! The one thing holding it from first was it could use more contrasting texture the way Farmer's Market Strawberry Cheesecake enjoys. Mix in some graham crackers or Nilla Wafers and you're smiling all day.

1. Midnight Munchies pint

Given how this list shaped up, we weren't expecting any surprises if a dairy-free or sammie stole the top spot, but in the end, a traditional-process pint took it. But if a dairy-free edition ever hits the freezer, you can bet we'll place it above its counterpart.

Till then, how could this one fail to be anywhere but the top? A basic pick, a shoo-in, a promise that does not disappoint, Midnight Munchies is fudgy chocolate with an immediate snap of salty pretzel cracker ... it's so good that by the time you get to the soft chocolate chunks, they feel extraneous but welcome, like a bass line guitar on a Black Keys single.

So there you have it. These flavors are a little pricier than the average pint, but it's worth its premium; especially when a clear conscience is worth a small bump in your grocery bill over the year. Great job, Coolhaus. No wonder we put you towards the top of our list of best ice cream brands. Now put out a dairy-free butter so we can complete the switchover.