The 7 Best Dark Chocolates For Your Grown-Up Palate

There’s something inherently mature about dark chocolate. It’s sweetness for the people without the 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. That unique taste becomes more pronounced the higher the cacao content. Also, once that cacao reaches 70%, you get those nifty health benefits, too. 

The Sporked gang invited Mythical office manager Jasmine Williams back to taste test with us. So what do we want in dark chocolate? 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, don’t take 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: 

The following article contains affiliate links that may generate a small commission to us when you make a purchase through the link. Learn more about how we work with affiliates here.


Theo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt 70% Cacao

Best of The Best

Theo Dark Chocolate Sea Salt 70% Cacao

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,” exclaimed staff writer Jordan Myrick. The salt level is also perfect here. This is something you’ll hear me say often, but well-seasoned, balanced food usually wins out 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 ranks highest.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

Godiva 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

Best Flavor

Godiva 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

“Wow, luxury,” proclaimed Jasmine. This chocolate from Godiva has an excellent snap to it, and the individually wrapped, stick-of-gum-like packaging delights. Instead of a full chocolate bar, Godiva lets you select a small stick of chocolate to eat at your snacking leisure. Probably best 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. Jasmine nailed it. Luxury is the word here. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

TCHO Chocolate Extra Dark 81% Cacao

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. “It’s so satisfying to bite into dark chocolate,” social media manager Mark Catangui said as his teeth snapped away a small piece of TCHO. “This is lucious,” he finished. TCHO features a lot of cacao without being too bitter, and there’s a nice creamy finish. A solid entry for people who want pure, unaltered chocolate flavor without an overwhelming intensity.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

HU Salty Dark Chocolate Bar

Best Salty

HU Salty Dark Chocolate Bar

The crunch factor here is really, really good, and the salt permeates every bite of chocolate. 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 for its innovation and uniqueness. Also, it’s vegan, paleo, fair trade, and non GMO, so you basically go to heaven as soon as you eat this.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Walmart

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Trader Joe’s 72% Cacao Belgian Dark Chocolate Bars

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 great 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. 

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

Ritter Sport Dark Chocolate with Hazelnuts

Best Candy Bar

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 bitey quality 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 wonderfully deconstructed Nuttella. It lacks in pure dark chocolate flavor, but come on, man. This is great chocolate.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

Cadbury Royal Dark

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 you’ll like this, even though it’s cheating. Buy it if you have an extreme sweet tooth.

Credit: Ryan Martin / Amazon 

Rating:

6/10

Sporks

Film your own taste test at home and share with us using #SporkedTasteTest for a chance to be featured on our social pages!


About the Author

Danny Palumbo

Danny is a comedian, cook, and food writer living in Los Angeles. He loves gas station eggs, canned sardines, and Easter candy. He also passionately believes that all the best chips come from Pennsylvania (Herr's!). If you can't understand Danny when he talks, it's because he's from Pittsburgh.

Thoughts? Questions? Complete disagreement? Leave a comment!

Your thoughts.

Your email address will not be published.

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

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

    Reply