The 13 Best Vanilla Ice Creams You Can Find at The Grocery Store

Vanilla is undoubtedly the most popular ice cream flavor in the world. Every brand of ice cream has a signature vanilla ice cream flavor.

Organic Vanilla Ice Cream with Mint

I like to test out a brand of ice cream based on how good their vanilla is, and then try some of the whackier flavors.

Below, I’ve compiled a list of the best vanilla ice cream from numerous well-known and artisanal ice cream brands for you to try.

Best Vanilla Ice Cream

Find your favorite store-bought vanilla ice cream from these top-notch ice cream brands.

Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla

Ben & Jerry’s is a Vermont-based creamery that opened in 1978 and is known for its whimsical and extravagant ice cream flavors.

While you may be familiar with Chunky Monkey, Phish Food, or Half-Baked with their dozens of ingredients, Ben & Jerry’s also honors the classics with their plain Vanilla ice cream.

In accordance with Ben & Jerry’s commitment to fair trade, they source their vanilla beans from family farmers in Uganda.

Ben and Jerry’s Vanilla ice cream is especially rich and creamy due to the addition of egg yolks and a double dose of vanilla in both extract and bean paste. 

Häagen-Dazs Vanilla

Haagen-Dazs may sound like a Danish ice cream company, but it actually originated in the Bronx in 1960.

According to history, founders Reuben and Rose Mattus came up with this Danish-sounding name to honor Denmark.

Before Haagen Dazs became a global sensation with shops in every city and town, the founders started the creamery with three main ice cream flavors, including vanilla.

Their vanilla flavor has thus been a tried and true staple for over 60 years. It is a simple 5-ingredient recipe using Madagascar vanilla. 

I also love their newer vanilla flavors, including vanilla bean and vanilla swiss almond.

Breyers Natural Vanilla

One of the oldest ice cream brands in the nation, Breyers started as a hand-cranked home project that founder William Breyer would sell to his Philadelphian neighbors in 1866.

Over 150 years later, Breyers is a household name. 

Breyers makes numerous vanilla ice creams, from dairy-free oat milk vanilla to homemade vanilla, to extra-creamy vanilla.

Their Natural Vanilla, however, is the original vanilla flavor created by Breyer himself. It consists of Rainforest Alliance-certified vanilla beans along with locally sourced dairy.

It is perfect in its simplicity and, with its responsible sourcing, is a product I always feel good about purchasing.

Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla

Blue Bell is a creamery out of Central Texas and a beloved Texas brand since 1907.

Named for the native Texas wildflower that grows rampantly in the creamery’s native Brenham, Blue Bell started as a butter manufacturer to salvage unused milk from surrounding dairy farms.

Their production of ice cream became far more lucrative, so the Blue Bell creamery began focusing on ice cream full-time by the late 50s.

You can now find Blue Bell in over 20 states around the US. Their homemade vanilla ice cream is their top seller and the first flavor they ever produced.

It has a golden hue and the creamiest texture. It’s the perfect scoop to smother with chocolate sauce or any of your favorite ice cream toppings.

Graeter’s Madagascar Vanilla Bean

Graeter’s is a family-owned ice cream company that started as a humble street cart in Cincinnati in 1870.

Fast forward 150 years, and Graeter’s is in its fifth generation of family owners.

Graeter’s still uses the unique small-batch French pot production that founders Louis and Regina Graeter used in the 1870s.

Graeter’s Madagascar Vanilla Bean sources vanilla bean paste and extract from Madagascar.

Madagascar vanilla has a much more complex flavor profile that many consider the cream of the crop of vanilla varieties.

Graeter’s Madagascar Vanilla Bean ice cream showcases the vanilla variety’s creamy, smokey, and spicy complexity.

Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla

Named for the rural Oregon town in which its family of dairy farmers first started producing ice cream in 1909, Tillamook is an all-natural and eco-friendly creamery that produces all dairy products, from butter to yogurt, to cheese.

Since I’m a huge fan of Tillamook cheddar cheese, I hold all Tillamook dairy products to the same high standard.

Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla is the height of quality, using the freshest dairy from the company’s century-old farm to create a simple yet delicious dessert.

Tillamook uses a higher content of cream to create the most decadent texture for their Old-Fashioned vanilla ice cream.

Turkey Hill Original Vanilla

Turkey Hill Dairy is a Pennsylvania Dutch Country dairy that started during The Great Depression and has grown to become a frozen meal, iced tea, and dairy producer.

They began producing ice cream from their fresh dairy farms in the 1980s, and they’ve quickly become one of their top-selling products in Lancaster and beyond.

Turkey Hill Original Vanilla is one of the best vanilla ice cream flavors on my list, and it’s affordable.

It uses fresh milk and cream from the Turkey Hill dairy in addition to a blend of natural and artificial vanilla flavors. 

I love the creaminess of Turkey Hill’s ice cream and appreciate its accessibility to all budgets.

Whole Foods 365 Vanilla

Whole Foods, like most large grocery store chains, has its own line of products called 365.

Whole Foods 365 Vanilla is their proprietary brand of ice cream, using all-natural and whole ingredients, as per the company’s mission. 

If you aren’t a fan of artificial flavors and ingredients or chemical preservatives, Whole Foods 365 Vanilla is the best vanilla ice cream for you.

It blends milk, cream, skim milk, and real cane sugar with vanilla extract.

I like the simplicity of this recipe. It doesn’t have an overly intense vanilla flavor that you find with artificial vanilla ice creams. I love using it as a creamy base for fresh berries.

Blue Bunny Vanilla Bean

Founder Fred H. Wells started the Blue Bunny company in 1913 as a milk distribution company.

It wasn’t until the 1930s that the Well family came up with the name Blue Bunny, thanks to a contest they held asking the local community to come up with a name for their newly established ice cream company.

Blue Bunny Vanilla Bean is also an all-natural ice cream with no chemicals or artificial flavors.

It’s a simple blend of milk, cream, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and vanilla bean. 

You can even see the specks of vanilla bean paste throughout the ice cream.

Edy’s Vanilla Bean

Edy’s Ice Cream is a collaboration between the nationally famous Dreyer’s ice cream maker and Joseph Edy, a candy maker.

Apparently, Joseph Edy and William Dreyer invented Rocky Road ice cream during the Great Depression, a few years after Edy’s Ice Cream came into existence.

Edy’s Ice Cream and Dreyers are one and the same, but you’ll see Edy’s Ice Cream on the label in stores east of the Rockies and Dreyer’s Ice Cream on the label west of the Rockies.

Edy’s Vanilla Bean (or Dreyer’s, depending on where you live) is a blend of creamy, hormone-free dairy and real vanilla beans with no artificial colors or flavors.

Friendly’s Vanilla

Friendly’s is one of the only companies that started as an ice cream shop, opening in 1935 in Massachusetts.

Its wholesome name and family-oriented business ethic have evolved into a line of delicious ice creams and frozen desserts you can find in your grocery store’s frozen section.

Friendly’s Vanilla ice cream is a good budget ice cream that tastes better with toppings or in a sundae. It has a fluffy, airy texture that stands out from the creamier varieties on my list.

I like to use it for sundae nights with the kids, loading a few scoops with hot fudge, nuts, and maraschino cherries.

Halo Top Vanilla Bean

Halo Top is a healthy, low-sugar, low-calorie ice cream company dedicated to offering guilt-free desserts that taste as delicious as their calorie- and sugar-filled counterparts.

Halo Top’s success and rapid expansion are a testament to the quality and taste of its products.

They have various lines, from fruit and water-based bars to dairy-free pints, all a fraction of the calories and sugar you’d find in regular ice cream. 

Halo Top Vanilla Bean has a whopping 19 grams of protein per pint and only 290 calories, so you can eat the entire container! It is as creamy and delicious as any vanilla ice cream I’ve tasted.

Trader Joe’s French Vanilla

Trader Joe’s is a wildly popular grocery store featuring only the proprietary Trader Joe’s brand products for a fraction of the price of most other grocery stores.

Plus, everything comes in neatly packaged and perfectly portioned for quick and easy consumption.

Trader Joe’s French Vanilla is another simple blend of egg yolks, sugar, and dairy with natural vanilla flavoring.

It’s the perfect balance of vanilla flavoring, creaminess, and sweetness, with a smooth texture. Plus, it won’t break the bank.

If you’re an avid Trader Joe’s shopper, this is a solid product that tastes delicious on its own, loaded with goodies, or alongside a piece of apple pie.

Best Vanilla Ice Cream

  1. Ben & Jerry’s Vanilla
  2. Häagen-Dazs Vanilla
  3. Breyers Natural Vanilla
  4. Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla
  5. Graeter’s Madagascar Vanilla Bean
  6. Tillamook Old-Fashioned Vanilla
  7. Turkey Hill Original Vanilla
  8. Whole Foods 365 Vanilla
  9. Blue Bunny Vanilla Bean
  10. Edy’s Vanilla Bean
  11. Friendly’s Vanilla
  12. Halo Top Vanilla Bean
  13. Trader Joe’s French Vanilla

Which Vanilla Is Your Favorite?

Tell us your favorite vanilla ice cream in the comments! Whether you prefer a classic vanilla, vanilla bean, french vanilla, or more unusual ice cream flavors, these brands provide quality ice cream.

Check out other top-rated ice cream brands, or dairy-free ice creams if you don’t eat dairy!

If you’re more of a chocolate person, check out our list of the best chocolate ice creams!

One Comment

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  1. HG vanilla for me is the best packaged ice cream. Soft serve local places beat this out but it’s another genre and not available year round.

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Written by Erin Elizabeth

Erin is an editor and food writer who loves traveling and trying new foods and fun cocktails. Erin has been writing and editing professionally for 5 years since graduating from Temple University, and has been on the Restaurant Clicks team for 3 years. She has a long background working in the restaurant industry, and is an avid home chef and baker. Her favorite restaurants are those with spicy food and outdoor seating so that she can bring along her dog, Miss Piggy.