9 Best Dark Chocolate Bars, from Practically Milk Chocolate to 88% Cacao

What is the best dark chocolate? We tasted nearly 30 different dark chocolate bars to find out. Whether you’re looking because you genuinely prefer dark chocolate to milk chocolate or because yet another story has come out proclaiming that dark chocolate will help you live until you’re 100, we can help you find the best dark chocolate bars. 

There’s something inherently mature about dark chocolate. It’s sweetness for people without a sweet tooth; candy for the folks who lean savory, who want bitterness and deep fruitiness and not a whirlwind sugar rush. Dark chocolate is delightfully bitter and has a more pure, concentrated chocolate flavor than its milky counterpart. That unique flavor becomes more pronounced the higher the cacao content. Also, once that cacao content reaches 70%, you get those nifty health benefits, too. 

So, what do we want from the best dark chocolate brands? Well, we want it to have a pronounced bitterness but also a little bit of sweetness in there, too. We’re not looking to straight up gnaw on a cacao tree, but we don’t want a bunch of sugary nonsense either. Let the fruity, roasted, naturally sweet flavors of dark chocolate shine. Bring the bitter, but tame it with other flavors, too. Salt is welcome and nuts are great, but they shouldn’t take anything away from the pure chocolate taste. We buy dark chocolate because we want to savor the flavor, not crash out on a candy bar.

So what made the cut? Check the list of the best dark chocolate bars.


Best Sweet

Cadbury Royal Dark

Cadbury is almost too sugary to be dark chocolate, but it’s also phenomenally creamy and tasty. Think of a Cadbury Creme Egg’s shell but in bar form. It definitely doesn’t have any of the fruity, bitter flavors we associate with dark chocolate. Technically, yes, this is dark chocolate, but I’m only saying that because it’s labeled “dark chocolate” on the package. Nothing gives dark chocolate flavor here except for the bar’s appearance. Still, it’s damn good. Do you love sugar? Do you love Cadbury Creme Eggs? Then this is the best tasting dark chocolate for you, even though it’s cheating. Buy it if you have an extreme sweet tooth. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon 

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Best Nutty

Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts

Ritter Sport isn’t afraid of flavor, and this dark chocolate bar with hazelnuts is a bold yet simple example of what they stand for. The toasty hazelnuts really shine, but there’s that bite that you’ve come to expect from the dark chocolate, too. This is really nutty and crunchy and not overly sweet. It’s a phenomenal, tasty, artisanal-feeling candy bar. Close your eyes and enjoy as this creamy, nutty, dark chocolate bar melts in your mouth. This is deconstructed Nutella. It lacks in pure dark chocolate flavor, but come on, man. This is great chocolate. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Best Mild

Trader Joe’s 72% Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars

Trader Joe’s didn’t try to do anything too fancy here, and they ended up providing a super solid entry into the dark chocolate extended universe. This is just bitter, salty dark chocolate with a creamy finish you want to savor. Trader Joe’s is the best dark chocolate brand for you if you’re worried about grittiness or bitterness. No strong flavors to fear here: Let the mild taste of Trader Joe’s Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars set you at ease. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

chocolove extreme dark chocolate

Best Very Dark

Chocolove Extreme Dark Chocolate

At 88% cacao content, this is the most cacao-y dark chocolate bar on this list. It’s the best dark chocolate bar for true dark chocolate lovers who really want to taste that deep, dark, bitter, fruity chocolate flavor—but aren’t quite ready to just snack on some baking chocolate yet. Personally, the texture is what does it for me. So many very dark chocolate bars are brittle and crumbly, but this one is creamy. It’s a pleasure to sink your teeth into a square—and, believe me, it’s so dark you’ll only need one square. — Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Lindt Excellence Intense Orange Dark Chocolate

Best Orange

Lindt Excellence Intense Orange Dark Chocolate

There are actual bits of crunchy dried orange in this dark chocolate bar. Yum. It’s an extremely orangey chocolate. Some flavored chocolates are categorized as chocolate orange flavored, but this is most certainly orange chocolate. The dark chocolate itself is] on the sweeter end of the dark chocolate spectrum, but it still has enough cocoa richness to contrast against the zingy, zesty orange bits. I keep this bar in my fridge for sneaky nibbles. It’s the best tasting dark chocolate if you love citrus. — Justine Sterling

Credit: Liv Averett / Target

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Salty

HU Salty Dark Chocolate Bar

This dark chocolate bar is crunchy, and the salt permeates every bite. There’s a strong coffee flavor, too, but no coffee advertised on the bar itself, which is curious. Hu tastes unlike any of the other dark chocolates on this list. Its bitter, salty, creamy, strongly roasted flavor scores high marks. Also, it’s vegan, paleo, fair trade, and non GMO, so you basically go to heaven as soon as you eat this. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

Best Fruity

TCHO Chocolate Extra Dark 81% Cacao

This dark chocolate is 81% cacao, so it’s got a powerful and robust taste. It’s less sugary than the others, too, so the bitterness shines through more. TCHO features a lot of cacao without being too bitter, and there’s a nice creamy finish. If you want pure, unaltered chocolate flavor without an overwhelming intensity but a luscious texture, TCHO is the best dark chocolate bar for you. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

Best Packaging

Godiva 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

This dark chocolate from Godiva has an excellent snap to it, and the individually wrapped, stick-of-gum-like packaging is delightful. Instead of a full dark chocolate bar, Godiva lets you select a small stick of chocolate to eat at your snacking leisure. Probably the best dark chocolate for people like me who can’t control themselves. This chocolate ranks highest for me, personally. The dark chocolate has the most dark chocolate flavor; it’s fruity, nutty, and slightly roasted. The flavor quite pleasantly lingers in your mouth. There’s a lot to savor. Plus, like Theo, it’s incredibly creamy. Luxury is the word here. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Theo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt 70% Cacao

Best of The Best

Theo is smooth and creamy but still has that pleasant bitterness you come to expect from dark chocolate. “It’s dark and deep without being too sweet,” said senior staff writer Jordan Myrick. The salt level is also perfect. This is something you’ll hear me say often, but well-seasoned, balanced food usually wins here at Sporked. Theo achieves that perfect balance of bitter, sweet, and salty, and it proudly displays its dark chocolate personality. That’s why it is the best dark chocolate bar. — Danny Palumbo

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Other dark chocolate bars we tried: Ferrero Rocher Dark Chocolate Bar with Hazelnut & Cocoa Filling, Chuao Honeycomb, Landmark Confections Dark Chocolate, Endangered Species Extreme Dark, Endangered Species Sea Salt (oat milk), Theo Sea Salt, Gatsby Sea Salt Extra Dark, Theo Organic Orange, Lindt Excellence Sea Salt, Lindt 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark, Lindt Excellence 100% Cacao, Lily’s Dark Chocolate, Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Bar, Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Squares, Dove Promises Dark Chocolate, Dove Promises Deepest Dark Chocolate, Hershey’s Dark Chocolate Bar, Tony Chocolonely Dark Chocolate, Divine Chocolate Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Truffle


About the Author

Sporked Staff

The Sporked Staff tastes everything and anything. They are obsessive about groceries and finding the best of any type of food or drink, from frozen fried shrimp to Dijon mustard to gummy candy. And they're always on a hunt for the best new products. When they aren't eating professionally, they're eating recreationally. And often they're browsing grocery store aisles, just for fun.

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  • Everything from HU is so good!! Love this list!

    Reply
  • Awesome list! I love learning about more brands; my personal favorite is Endangered Species chocolate and I heard the 3cricketeers make some great dark chocolate with… crickets! It apparently tastes delicious, with a crunch bar type texture. Only issue I have with dark chocolates like Godiva, I want to make sure my purchases do not go towards slave labor as I know dark chocolate tends to involve that…

    Reply
  • I agree with everything on the list except Cadbury(YUCK) , Also you should try the HU dark chocolate and honey, it is amazing.

    Reply
  • I can’t believe Dove didn’t make this list!

    Reply
  • Wow, I expected Tony’s to make the cut

    Reply
    • I really loved it. I’m going to make the lists a bit longer. Personally, I would have had it 8.

      Reply
  • Sporked, could you *please* list all of the products that you tested (the ones that didn’t make the cut)? It would enhance the quality of all of your tier lists!!!

    Reply
    • not going to include all the products, BUT, I’m going to make the lists longer on my end.

      Reply