16 Vegan Chocolate Bars, Ranked Worst To Best

various vegan chocolate bars
various vegan chocolate bars - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

If you're a vegan, walking through the candy aisle at your local grocery store is nothing short of an eye-opening experience. Seriously -- your eyes will hurt after trying to read the fine print on the back of each package to see if they contain milk.

But, if you look hard enough, you'll find a small number of products that are either crafted with plant-based eaters in mind or are seemingly "accidentally" vegan. To help make the process of tracking down vegan chocolate bars easier and to give you advice on which products are worthy of filling your late-night cravings, I reviewed different chocolate bars (purchased from two local stores). I then ranked them based on several factors, including taste, consistency, and novelty to assess the best and worst vegan chocolate bars available. However, while all of these products are vegan, they may still be processed on equipment that comes into contact with milk products, making them potentially unsafe for consumers with more severe dairy allergies.

Read more: 25 Most Popular Snacks In America Ranked Worst To Best

16. Gatsby Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate

Gatsby chocolate bar with pieces
Gatsby chocolate bar with pieces - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

It wouldn't be a true roundup if I didn't add at least one healthy-conscious product. Gatsby's chocolate bars are low-calorie options for when you're craving a sweet treat. I sampled the brand's Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate bar, which has only 180 calories in the entire thing. The design of this bar is impressive, with its Art Deco patterns and fun golden sleeves, but how does the chocolate underneath taste?

The short answer is that it tastes about as good as you would expect a low-calorie dark chocolate bar to taste. When it came out of the package, the bar was quite dark and greasy -- it left a sticky residue on my fingers. The flavor of this chocolate bar wasn't at all sweet, and each piece tasted more like burnt, stale coffee than chocolate.

The only good thing I found about Gatsby's Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate bar was the distinguishable salt pieces that crunched on my palate when I bit into it. But other than that? I'll pass.

15. GoodSam Dark Chocolate With Sea Salt And Dry Roasted Almonds

GoodSam chocolate bar with pieces
GoodSam chocolate bar with pieces - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

GoodSam's vegan chocolate bar was buttery, but its flavor lingered in the back of my mouth for far too long. Although it was supposed to be made with sea salt and roasted almonds, I detected a minty undercurrent that detracted from the overall flavor of this bar. The nuts were sparse and coarsely ground, which meant that I didn't get to sink my teeth into them. Rather, they got pushed to the back of my molars and blended into oblivion.

This offering doesn't have any added sugar in it, but it's not bitter. Overall, the taste is far too oily for my liking, and it made for a chocolate bar that was far too grassy in flavor to enjoy as an after-dinner snack. Its subtle sweetness and textural issues earned it a spot near -- but not on -- the bottom.

14. Taza Dark Chocolate Toffee, Almond, & Sea Salt

Taza Chocolate bar with pieces
Taza Chocolate bar with pieces - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I was very excited to try a chocolate bar that offered toffee, almond, and sea salt. I figured this Taza confection would temper the subtle bitterness of this chocolate bar. It has a mid-range cacao content of around 60%, which makes for a relatively tempered bite compared to the darker options on the list. The smell was like a quality, solid baking chocolate bar: robust, full-bodied, and earthy.

The texture of this bar was intriguing. It had a grainy bite and sugary toffee. This made consuming the bar almost like biting into the candy coating -- and only the candy coating -- of an M&M. It was also weirdly reminiscent of the gritty tooth polish you get at the dentist. The texture drew my attention from the chocolate flavor, which was otherwise mild and didn't taste like sea salt or almonds. This bar has so much going on that the flavor got muddled.

13. Feastables MrBeast Original Chocolate

MrBeast chocolate bar with piece
MrBeast chocolate bar with piece - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

If I were awarding prizes to these vegan chocolate bars, the Feastables Mr. Beast Bar would be recognized for the simplicity of its ingredients. This vegan chocolate bar is only made with cane sugar, organic chocolate liquor, organic cocoa butter, and sunflower lecithin. Such a short ingredient list begs the question: Where could this bar go wrong?

The aroma of this bar screams gas station chocolate. There are no earthy, complex chocolate notes that you would expect from a dark chocolate bar. Although its color suggests that this is dark chocolate, its cloying flavor and poor depth beg to differ.

Besides the sugar, the only detectable flavor from this bar was something weirdly funky and fermented, almost like it had an alcoholic edge to it. If you're after a quality chocolate brand, this is not the brand you'll want to pick. But if you need something to satisfy a sugar-loving toddler, it's a great option.

12. Back To Nature Belgian Dark Chocolate With Blueberry

Back to Nature chocolate bar
Back to Nature chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I'm not a fan of fruity chocolate bars, but this Belgian Dark Chocolate with Blueberry bar intrigued me. It gives off a subtle, but not medicinal, aroma of blueberries -- that each piece of chocolate is dotted with. The chocolate itself left a lingering taste in the back of my mouth that reminded me of bittersweet chocolate. The flavor was sharp and biting, but it was also quite complementary for a bar made with actual fruit pieces in it. I just don't think it's sweet enough to justify eating on its own as a sweet treat at the end of the night.

The most unfortunate part of this bar was that the pieces didn't shatter into clean squares. However, I can appreciate a bar that breaks into smaller chunks when craving something sweet, but I don't want to consume a whole meal's worth of chocolate.

11. Hershey's Plant-Based Oat Chocolate Confection

Hershey's plant-based oat bar
Hershey's plant-based oat bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The Hershey's brand currently has two vegan chocolates: a Plant-Based Oat Chocolate Confection made with almonds and sea salt, which I sampled for this review, and a plant-based version of the classic Reese's peanut butter cup. Surprisingly, this notable chocolate brand has very few options for vegan candy lovers, compared to the companies offering more premium chocolates. However, I associate Hershey's with sweet things, but not necessarily high-quality things. Moreover, the flavor of the classic Hershey's chocolate bar is one I associate with gas stations and Halloween -- so I wasn't expecting much from this bar.

After trying so many dark, heavy chocolates, I was looking forward to one with a little more confectionary flavor. Hershey's bar delivered on this sweet promise. The major issue with this bar was not the chocolate but the almonds. They were so finely ground that the bar had a mealy texture, which was unpleasant. I would only consider buying this bar again if it were changed to be made with whole almonds.

10. Ghirardelli Intense Dark 72% Cacao Chocolate

Ghiradelli chocolate bar
Ghiradelli chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

The Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate bar was the one that I was looking forward to least for this taste test. It has a whopping 72% cacao content, making it one of the darkest bars I sampled. And as I predicted, there was very little sweetness to round out the bitter notes. And while I'll be the first person to admit that I can appreciate a bar that's not purely sweet, I also like my chocolate to have complexity, rather than simply bitterness. This bar promised mocha, blackberry, and cherry flavors, but all I tasted were bitter notes. I do give Ghirardelli some credit for not making a chalky chocolate bar since the mouthfeel was smooth.

Luckily, the brand designed these bars to be thin, because I couldn't imagine eating more than two bites at a time. If this bar had a little more balance -- either from something salty or sweet -- I would consider buying it again.

9. Beyond Good Toasted Hazelnut 73% Cacao

Beyond Good chocolate bar
Beyond Good chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Beyond Good chocolates are certainly attractive, and give off premium bar energy. And I had high hopes for this bar, given that Beyond Good also sells premium vanilla extracts. I sampled the brand's Toasted Hazelnut chocolate bar, which has a 73% cacao content.

The instructions on the package clearly indicate that the chocolate should be savored rather than scarfed down quickly. So, I followed this as best I could. The package promised rich chocolate and vanilla notes, but all I detected were chronically underdeveloped flavors. Upon first glance, there were plenty of hazelnuts dotting the bottom of this bar, and by the creamy texture, I assume that these nuts were also integrated into the base as well. The bar wasn't sweet, nor was it bitter, and the hazelnut didn't offer a robust enough profile to stand up to the chocolate base. Each bite of chocolate was waxy and muddled, which earned it a spot toward the bottom (but not at the bottom) of this ranking.

8. Perugina Dark Chocolate Espresso

Perugina dark chocolate bar
Perugina dark chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Perugina's Dark Chocolate Espresso bar had a subtle aroma of espresso, which was very pleasant and mild. When I bit into the chocolate, I quickly noticed that the espresso flavor faded into a dark chocolate that was clearly dark but wasn't as heavy as the other brands I sampled. Every soft chocolate bite was juxtaposed with the sound of crunching espresso beans, but I quickly realized that there were no whole beans in this bar.

The consistency of this bar was quite creamy, despite the ingredients containing nothing other than the usual suspects of sugar, cocoa butter, and coffee. It was a little sweeter than I would have liked, and I wish the espresso flavor had taken more of an active role in the bar. But the flavor was more defined than Taza's and Beyond Good's bars, so it ranked slightly higher than these chocolate treats.

7. Lindt Classic Recipe Oatmilk Chocolate

Lindt vegan chocolate bar
Lindt vegan chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Lindt is a brand associated with delicious chocolate truffles, but it also has an extensive line of chocolate bars. One of these is a vegan oat milk chocolate bar. When I opened this package, I immediately noticed that the color of this bar was much lighter than the other brands I sampled; it was almost mocha-like. The aroma was nothing out of the ordinary, but when I bit into the bar, I was immediately greeted by a soft, milky mouthfeel that coated the back of my molars. It was almost like biting into a chocolate truffle -- which is to be expected, considering it's a Lindt bar.

Is it possible for chocolate to be too creamy? Maybe not, but this one pushed the unctuous envelope a little too much for my liking. The flavor profile of this bar also really only reflected sweet and hazelnut undertones, which made for a less complex bite than I was looking for. It could work for melting on strawberries or adding to a vegan chocolate chunk cookie, but it wasn't good enough for eating out of hand.

6. Dr. Choq Dark Chocolate

Dr. Choq dark chocolate bar
Dr. Choq dark chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

If there were an award for the most whimsical chocolate bar, it would unequivocally go to Dr. Choq. Its bright red packaging reveals a dark chocolate bar shaped into little lightning bolts bearing the brand's name. While it does have an array of milk chocolate options with fun variations like brownie fudge and chocolate bacon, its dark chocolate bar flavors are much simpler.

Despite the unique packaging of this product, the Dr. Choq dark chocolate bar was underwhelming. Its flavor was average, and lacking pronounced fruity or savory notes. The bar was also quite thick, which meant each mouthful was full of the same boring bite. While Dr. Choq didn't face the same textural issues as some of the other brands, it was rather monotonous. Maybe if it were thinner -- or there was something else going on -- it would have been a more electric chocolate bar.

5. Lily's Almond Dark Chocolate

Lily's chocolate bar with candy
Lily's chocolate bar with candy - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Brown sugar and molasses immediately came to mind when I bit into this Lily's bar. It has a uniquely soft and creamy profile that stays on the dark chocolate end of things, rather than tasting almost like milk chocolate, as with Lindt's bar. The almonds in this bar were more plentiful than GoodSam's and Hershey's, which immediately gave Lily's a leg up on the competition. This bar was deep and complex, with mocha and fruity undertones that just popped on the back of my palate.

Although the bar proudly noted that it was made with no added sugar, it did not have the same greasy, gritty, and grassy flavor as other no-sugar-added bars from other brands. However, it was not until I walked away from this bar that I noticed an odd, artificial sweetener aftertaste that pushed the bar back slightly in this ranking.

4. Sam's Choice Dark Chocolate 72% Cacao

Sam's Choice chocolate bar
Sam's Choice chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

I sampled a vegan chocolate bar from Walmart's in-house Sam's Choice brand, which was the cheapest chocolate I could find. This dark chocolate bar made with 72% cocoa is quite unassuming, and it's clear that the brand made this one product accidentally vegan rather than intentionally.

I put the price of the bar aside when I did my taste test. After all, Sam's Choice did remarkably well on a roundup of the top grocery store boxed chocolates for Valentine's Day, so I had high expectations for this budget buy. The flavor of this bar was definitely dark chocolate-forward, with subtle notes of raspberry and fruit. I would have liked to see a creamier finish, as this chocolate tasted very dry and stuck around in the back of my mouth. But, for its price, I would consider it a great budget-friendly buy for someone craving a piece of after-dinner chocolate.

3. Tony's Chocolonely Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt

Tony's Chocolonely chocolate bar
Tony's Chocolonely chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Tony's Chocolonely is the brand that will give you the most bang for your buck. Its bars weigh close to 7 ounces, meaning you have a ton of chocolate to break off and share with others. Based on my taste test of its Dark Chocolate Almond Sea Salt bar, I can confidently say this is one that you can (and should) share with others -- based on how tasty it is.

I got major Willy Wonka vibes from the gold wrapping and the thick chocolate underneath. This brand doesn't add any extra almond or oat milk to its bars, but you wouldn't have guessed that, based on how soft, sweet, and creamy the mouthfeel of this bar is. The almond pieces were aplenty and coarsely chopped (unlike the Hershey's bar), which made for a perfect nutty balance in each mouthful. However, my biggest issue with this bar was that shattering it into pieces was nothing short of a nightmare. The sea salt contrast was also minimal, which kept it out of the top spot.

2. Chocolove Almonds & Sea Salt In Dark Chocolate

Chocolove chocolate bar
Chocolove chocolate bar - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

When I took a big whiff of the Chocolove bar pieces, I immediately detected nutty notes rather than just straight chocolate. It was a pleasant change of pace. On the first bite, I was met with the heavenly hunks of almonds, which played just as important of a role in this bar as the chocolate itself. They were plentiful and widely distributed in each piece, which made for a bite that balanced unctuous chocolate with nuttiness. Within a couple of chews, I was met with a tangible crunch and salty undertone. The bar itself wasn't too sweet, and Chocolove was very deft in balancing each mouthful of creamy chocolate, salt, and nuts.

My only big complaint about these bars was that the nuts tasted almost rancid, which may have been attributed to the fact that this bar had been sitting at Walmart for too long. However, the flavor of this bar was more complex and flavor-forward than Tony's Chocolonely, and the salty addition just gave it the upper hand. However, it didn't have nearly the same level of saltiness and complexity as my top choice.

1. Hu Salty Dark Chocolate

Hu chocolate bar with pieces
Hu chocolate bar with pieces - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

Hu Chocolate is one of the brands I was most familiar with going into this roundup. Its dark chocolate bars are all vegan, and include some very enticing flavors, including hazelnut coffee, almond butter and puffed quinoa, as well as cashew butter and orange vanilla. Its bars are certified organic and made without ingredients like palm oil and soy lecithin.

I sampled the Salty Dark Chocolate bar — and I'm glad I did. Although this bar had 70% cacao, it didn't have the same bitter undertones as the Ghirardelli Intense dark chocolate bar. Instead, the Hu bar was mild and rolled off the tongue with strong hickory notes and earthy undertones. The best thing about this bar, though, was the salty coating visible to the naked eye. Every bite was balanced with salt, which is much more than any other brand on this list could ever dream about.


Three vegan dark chocolate bars
Three vegan dark chocolate bars - Sara Klimek/Tasting Table

A "good" chocolate bar is relative, in the same way that a "good" wine is; it all depends on your palate and preference. To try and remain as objective as possible for this review, I looked for vegan chocolate bars that offered a sublime mouthfeel, a balance of sweet and bitter flavors, and something special -- whether that be a unique combination of flavors, an interesting texture, or some other factor that made them stand out from the pack.

I included products on this list from companies that focus specifically on plant-based products, as well as non-vegan brands that offer accidentally vegan bars in their product lineups. Each of these products is free from dairy and eggs, although some may contain derivatives of animal products, like mono and diglycerides and sugar -- which are not always vegan.

Read the original article on Tasting Table