FIELD ROAST CHAO CREAMY ORIGINAL SLICES
This has been my favorite vegan cheese for over a year! It's the only cheese I can enjoy without melting it first; it can be eaten cold on crackers and I've even nibbled on a slice on its own (no, I'm not proud of it). The coconut flavor is detectable but not overwhelming, especially if you put it in a sandwich or on a pizza with other robust flavors. The Creamy Original flavor is mild and somewhat reminiscent of provolone. The other flavors are also great – the Tomato Cayenne reminds me of pepper jack.
FOLLOW YOUR HEART AMERICAN STYLE SLICES
I was a Kraft Singles addict as a child – this is no exaggeration. This cheese tastes exactly the same as "the real thing" when melted into grilled cheeses or paninis, but I actually like the texture better! It's a little more firm.
SO DELICIOUS SHREDDED CHEESE
For the better part of the year, I stuck to Daiya cheddar and Trader Joe's vegan mozzarella for my shredded cheese needs. In November I tried the So Delicious shreds and they have become a fast favorite. They don't taste or melt 100% like real dairy cheese, but they are slightly more convincing than Daiya – a little less artificial in flavor.
BEN & JERRY'S NON-DAIRY COCONUT SEVEN LAYER BAR
Allow me a moment to express my deepest and most heartfelt gratitude for Ben and Jerry. I feel as if their first 4 nondairy flavors raised the bar for everyone else, and now there are so many amazing nondairy options available. It was hard to choose my favorite B&J's flavor (it was a close tie between this one, the Caramel Almond Brittle, and the Coffee Caramel Fudge), but the Coconut Seven Layer Bar has all my favorite things: coconut, chocolate, nuts, caramel and graham crackers. The nondairy flavors are now widely available at "normal" supermarkets and Target stores, which is a huge plus.
HAAGEN DAZS NON-DAIRY ICE CREAM: CHOCOLATE SALTED FUDGE TRUFFLE
This year Haagen-Dazs released 4 nondairy ice cream flavors (Target-exclusive at the time of this writing), and all four are fantastic. They're completely indistinguishable from dairy ice cream, in my opinion. They aren't the most natural option (they're primarily made of oil, sugar and thickeners), but for an occasional treat I don't mind.
SILK ORGANIC UNSWEETENED SOYMILK
I almost always have a carton of this in my fridge to cook with; personally I find almond milk too thin, and think it takes on a strange flavor when heated. This soy milk has a nice creamy texture and neutral flavor – it doesn't taste "beany" like some other soy milks.
TRADER JOE'S SOY MILK CREAMER
There are lots of nondairy creamers on the market these days, but this no-frills variety by Trader Joe's is my favorite. It has a nice creamy mouthfeel and doesn't separate in hot coffee. It's only very lightly sweetened, so I can add a good amount to my coffee or tea without making it sickeningly sweet. You can also add a splash to savory items such as pasta sauce or curry to make them creamier.
MIYOKO'S CULTURED VEGAN BUTTER
I love this stuff so much that it's kind of a problem. This tastes indistinguishable from real butter to me in most contexts, unlike Earth Balance, which has a strong artificial flavor. It's so delicious that I use it not only in my cooking, but also as a spread for my bagels and English muffins. If you're a former bread-and-butter lover, ditch the other options and buy this stuff. Another plus: it's palm oil free! The only con I can think of: it's pricier than Earth Balance and less widely available. I buy mine at Trader Joe's. Whole Foods also carries it and other Miyoko's Kitchen products.
HAMPTON CREEK JUST MAYO
As a lifelong mayo fanatic, I can confidently attest that this stuff tastes like the real thing. It's available at most supermarkets now, in addition to Whole Foods and Sprouts, and if you purchase at Wal-Mart it's substantially cheaper for some reason. Hampton Creek also offers a wide array of flavors (chipotle, sriracha, garlic), all of which taste great.
KITE HILL CREAM CHEESE
I personally have yet to find a vegan cream cheese that is 100% accurate (I used to be that girl who would slather 1/2" of cream cheese on her bagel). However, my favorite option is the Kite Hill Cream Cheeses. The texture is fantastic and it has a nice tang as it's a cultured product. What I love best is its honest ingredient list; it's made of almonds, unlike the Daiya and Tofutti cream cheese alternatives, which are highly artificial. This isn't to say I don't sometimes purchase and enjoy those other brands, but the Kite Hill is my top pick.
I don't purchase vegan yogurt all too often. I used to love nonfat Greek yogurt and haven't found a plant-based alternative that is truly up to par (although the Kite Hill Greek-style yogurt comes close). However, for regular yogurt, there are plenty of great options: Silk soy and So Delicious coconut yogurt are solid options, but my personal favorite is Forager Project cashewgurt. The flavor and texture are spot-on, and I love the simplicity of the ingredients list.