Trader Joe’s is home to many of our favorite snacky foods. From dark chocolate peanut butter cups to dried mangos and allll the dips, we can’t resist the siren song of a good snack. Trader Joe’s also has a fairly robust ice cream selection, so we set out to find the best Trader Joe’s ice cream flavors and which to avoid.
Joining us for our taste test was Corrine from Mint Arrow, an unofficial ice cream connoisseur (hey, we aren’t going to argue with someone whose favorite food is ice cream). While Trader Joe’s does rotate their flavors often and typically has something seasonal in the frozen case, we sampled all 12 flavors available on the date of filming. Flavors were ranked based on flavor and texture, with creaminess being ultra important.
- Golden Caramel Swirl
- Vanilla Fudge Chip
- Mint Chip
- French Vanilla
- Ultra Chocolate
- Speculoos Cookie Butter
- Soy Creamy Vanilla
- Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip
- Coconut Milk-Based Chocolate
- Oat Milk-Based Strawberry with Almond Brittle
- Almond Milk-Based Vanilla
- Mango Sorbet
Least Favorite Trader Joe’s Ice Cream
Soy Creamy Cherry Chocolate Chip
While we wouldn’t buy this soy-based cherry chocolate chip ice cream over a traditional dairy version, it was the least of the worst non-dairy TJ ice cream flavors, as the soy aftertaste was masked by the other flavors going on. Not the creamiest or the iciest out of the non-dairy options, either.
Soy Creamy Vanilla
With nothing for that typical soy aftertaste to hide behind but mild vanilla, this ice cream just wasn’t great. However, it did manage a fairly impressive creamy texture if traditional dairy ice cream isn’t an option.
Coconut Milk-Based Chocolate
While we’ve had great coconut-based vegan ice cream before, this chocolate version was a huge miss. While the chocolate flavor was somewhat ok, the texture was all wrong. Avoid this one.
Oat Milk-Based Strawberry with Almond Brittle
This oat milk-based ice cream was surprisingly creamy but leaned heavily into artificial strawberry flavoring, and the almond brittle was soggy. It just wasn’t good.
Almond Milk-Based Vanilla
This almond milk-based frozen dessert can hardly be called ice cream as it mostly tasted like very mediocre frozen almond milk with a dash of imitation vanilla extract thrown in. It was icy and definitely the worst of all the flavors we sampled.
Favorite Trader Joe’s Ice Cream
Golden Caramel Swirl
This TJ flavor is a three-in-one combo: creamy vanilla ice cream, rich chocolate ice cream, and a decadent caramel ribbon all swirled together in each quart. While this was a solid option, we would rank it squarely in the middle-of-the-road category.
This mint chip ice cream was surprisingly enjoyable thanks to no artificial green food coloring, a subtle and pleasant mint flavor, and fudgy slivers of dark chocolate scattered throughout. A big victory for all you mint fans out there.
Super premium french vanilla is an all-around solid vanilla ice cream. It’s super smooth and fluffy without being too airy and has a great vanilla flavor. This ice cream is the perfect accompaniment to pies and crisps.
To be quite frank, this mango sorbet blew us away. It sports an amazingly intense mango flavor and has a silky smooth texture unmatched by any other non-dairy option. We will be eating this straight out of the freezer all summer long.
Vanilla Fudge Chip
While this vanilla fudge chip might look like your average chocolate chip ice cream, its premium vanilla ice cream base and rich and chewy fudge flecks prove to be anything but. A step up from french vanilla, this would make a great hot fudge sundae.
Speculoos Cookie Butter
If speculoos is your jam, run to TJ’s and grab this ice cream ASAP. With nice big swirls of cookie butter in essentially every bite, the only way that you will not like this ice cream is if you don’t like cookie butter. We are big fans.
This is THE chocolate ice cream for a bad day, a great day, or really any kind of day in between. Its base is a very intense dark chocolate without being too bitter. The fudgy, almost chewy texture is perfection, and it stands on its own as a 100% satisfying dessert, no cookie or hot fudge needed.
Bonus: Hold the Cone
Trader Joe’s is full of delightful little treats, and Hold the Cone ice cream cones are one of the most delicious. These mini cones are filled with chocolate, stuffed with ice cream, and dipped in a shatteringly thin coat of more chocolate. All flavors are delicious and super similar; the chocolate had a slight advantage in our book.