Best Vegan Protein Bars: Our 8 Favorites

The best vegan protein bars are packed with brain and body fuel, but none of the animal byproducts. If you adhere to a plant-based diet, I have good news: There are a lot of really good vegan protein bars out there. Truly, there’s no excuse to eat a crummy one. (Looking for the best tasting protein bars that aren’t vegan? Click the link.)

For this taste test, I sourced some of the biggest vegan protein bar brands (many of which sell convenient, multi-flavor variety packs) and ranked them based on taste and texture, not nutritional merit. I may be a beautiful genius, but I’m not a doctor. However, I do know what tastes good, and these are the best vegan protein bars to grab if you want something fast and filling that won’t make you gag.

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best vegan protein bars

Best Peanut Butter

R.E.D.D. Radiant Energy Peanut Butter

Peanut butter is a big flavor in the world of protein bars. It also happens to be a vegan ingredient. So, it’s odd to me that none of the peanut butter-flavored plant-based protein bars I tasted were particularly delicious—how are you guys screwing this up?? If you insist on having peanut butter protein bars, R.E.D.D. Radiant Energy is the best you can buy. It isn’t exactly bursting with peanutty flavor—none of them were—but it has a pleasant, chewy texture and some peanut butter-esque saltiness, too. Warning: If you don’t like semi-sweet chocolate, you aren’t going to like the chips in this bar. You’re better off trying GoMacro Protein Pleasure, which has slightly sweeter chocolate chips.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

6.5/10

Sporks

best vegan protein bars

Best Chocolate

Tattooed Chef Oat Butter Brownie Plant Based Bar

Tattooed Chef has become a big name in the plant-based frozen food world (we really like their frozen vegan cheese pizza), and these plant-based oat butter bars are their first foray into refrigerated foods. They hit the market with four flavors, but Brownie is by far the best. It’s chewy and pleasant and I swear if you close your eyes, you can kind of pretend it’s a less-sweet Little Debbie Cosmic Brownie. It’s a filling, grown-up treat.

Credit: Liv Averett / Instacart

Rating:

7/10

Sporks

best vegan protein bars

Best Moist

IQ Bar Fruit Lovers Variety Pack

Chalky, crumbly protein bars are the absolute worst, and, sadly, a lot of plant-based protein bars are chalky and crumbly as all get-out. If you want a protein bar that won’t make you choke to death if you don’t have a Nalgene of water nearby, buy this Fruit Lovers variety box from IQ Bar. Most of these taste really good and they’re nice and moist, too. Banana Nut and Wild Blueberry were my favorite flavors.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

7.5/10

Sporks

best plant-based protein bars

Best Unexpected

GoMacro Simple Splendor (Lemon + Lemon)

GoMacro makes a few appearances on this list—they make a good vegan protein bar (the best vegan protein bar, in fact). Their flavors range fruity to desserty, but if you prefer the former, give their Simple Splendor bar a shot. If you like lemon poppy seed muffins, you’ll like this bright and lemony vegan protein bar. Most of GoMacro’s bars are X flavor + Y flavor, but this one is just Lemon + Lemon. It’s like eating a protein bar that had a baby with a lemon Starburst (an important piece of the best Starburst product), and I know that sounds terrible, but trust me, things could be much, much worse! 

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best vegan protein bars

Best Caramel

GoMacro Timeless Treasure (Salted Caramel + Chocolate Chips)

There’s something super pleasant about the cooked-sugar flavor of this bar. See, GoMacro’s bars are nice and chewy, and that texture pairs logically with the chewy nature of caramel—the texture and the flavor are friends. Plus, this has chocolate chips. 

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

8/10

Sporks

best vegan protein bars

Best Cookie Flavor

R.E.D.D. Radiant Energy Oatmeal

This does not taste like an oatmeal cookie, sadly, but it does have a maple flavor that very nicely disguises the less palatable aspects of a protein bar. It’s very chewy, it has chocolate chips, and is pretty sweet even though it only has two grams of sugar, so it does kind of feel more like a treat than a punishment. 

Credit: Liv Averett / R.E.D.D.

Rating:

8.5/10

Sporks

best vegan protein bars

Best Desserty

Misfits Plant-Powered Chocolate Protein Bar Variety Box

It’s not every day you can describe a vegan protein bar variety pack as “fun,” but the Chocolate Variety Box from Misfits really is. First of all, the design is great in that Millennial-targeted way. Second, there are six flavors in the box. Some are better than others, namely Chocolate Banoffee (gross name though), Chocolate Hazelnut, and Chocolate Cookie Butter. They have a little bit of a Rice Krispies-ness to them (kind of like a Whatchamacallit—the best candy bar) and the chocolate flavor is pretty good overall. These are the rare plant-based protein bars that seem to have actually set out to taste delicious.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

9/10

Sporks

best vegan protein bar

Best of the Best

GoMacro Sunny Uplift (Cherries + Berries)

So, so many vegan protein bars are made out of a sort of homogenous, clay-like substance that you’re all too familiar with if you know the protein bar landscape; it’s really Play-Doh-y and dreadful! This bar from GoMacro actually has some texture to it—it’s way more like a chewy granola bar than most of the others, which makes it seem more like actual food. While so many of these just taste kind of dusty (like protein, I guess), this one is bursting with berry flavor. It’s full of chewy dried cherries that give it a nice tart flavor. It’s the best vegan protein bar I tasted, and I tasted a lot of them.

Credit: Liv Averett / Amazon

Rating:

10/10

Sporks

Other products we tried: Aloha Peanut Butter Cup, GoMacro Protein Pleasure, Aloha Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Aloha Coconut Chocolate Almond, GoMacro Prolonged Power, GoMacro Balanced Goodness, R.E.D.D. Radiant Energy Chocolate, R.E.D.D. Radiant Energy Mint Chocolate, GoMacro Protein Replenishment, GoMacro Heartwarming Retreat, Tattooed Chef Oat Butter Graham, Tattooed Chef Oat Butter Chocolate Chip, Tattooed Chef Oat Butter Peanut Butter


About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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