Chocolate is among the most beloved delicacies globally, but we all have our own particular way of enjoying this treat. While some may prefer the sweetness of milk chocolate or white chocolate, others prefer the pure spicy richness of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is unique to other chocolates in that it has valid health benefits. It’s not just delicious but also a powerful source of antioxidants and may even reduce the risk of heart disease.
But chances are we are not eating that after dinner square of dark chocolate, ideally paired with a glass of red wine, just because of the health gains. It’s also delicious and a reasonably healthy indulgence that still feels like an indulgent treat.
And, honestly, at a time when life seems so stressful — between endless natural disasters and a never-ending pandemic, to name a few causes of stress — we’ll take life’s simple, uncomplicated pleasures any time we can.
When choosing the best dark chocolate bar that is healthy and delicious, the first step is reading the ingredient label carefully. Generally, you want a high percentage of cocoa. It’s also essential that cocoa is high on the list. Whether listed in the ingredients as cacao, cocoa, or just chocolate, that must be the most significant percentage of what is inside what you are eating. If sugar, fillers or milk are too high on the list, you’re going to be enjoying a sugar bomb and not a healthy indulgence.
Once upon a time, the Mayans used chocolate as currency and referred to it as the food of the gods. In fact, they held the buttery bean in such high regard; it had its own god: the God of Cacao. It’s not often a single food item not only exists but remains loved and appreciated for so many generations. That alone is worth celebrating. Perhaps with a piece of dark chocolate.
1. Lindt Excellence Extra Dark Chocolate Bar
It’s not often a product we can find at our local convenience store that will boast high-end ingredients like demerara sugar or bourbon vanilla beans. Still, this Lindt bar does, and the elegance continues with 78% cocoa that has gone through Dutch processes, making it super rich and perfect for eating, melting and baking. For someone getting used to dark chocolate, this bourbon, vanilla and sugar will be an ideal transition from milk chocolate. It keeps the taste sweet and creamy, minus the dairy.
Lindt Excellence 78% Cocoa Dark Chocolate Bar
2. See’s Candy Dark Bordeaux
In case the name of this treat didn’t make it clear, this is a pretty elegant piece of candy. Save it for date night or a special occasion deserving of that drop of creamy brown sugar covered in dark chocolate, topped with chocolate sprinkles. Then again, life is hard. Enjoy these famous old-time candies any time you want.
See's Candy Dark Bordeaux
3. UNREAL Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars
BEST SWEET TREAT
Sometimes we want to go for something less traditional, which is not a straightforward dark chocolate bar. However, these UNREAL dark chocolate coconut bars are a delicious way to get that dark chocolate fix with a little something extra. That extra would be the creamy coconut inside all the rich dark chocolate. There are only 3 grams of sugar and three simple ingredients, too, so you can feel just fine just eating that whole bar if that’s what you want.
Read More: Best Healthy Candy Brands
UNREAL Dark Chocolate Coconut Bars
4. Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Chocolate Bar
BEST FOR BAKING
Rated as one of the best baking dark chocolates by Epicurious, it’s no wonder this kosher and gluten-free gourmet dark chocolate is a favorite among bakers, professional and amateur alike. But, unlike those thick baking bricks offered by big chocolate brands, this dark chocolate is still quite tasty on its own, thanks to the rich notes of dried figs and the mild, peppery spiciness that lingers behind the bite.
Scharffen Berger Extra Dark Chocolate Bar
5. Endorfin Foods Turkish Coffee 60 Percent Cacao Chocolate Bar
BEST FOR CAFFEINE LOVERS
While some of us are chocolate lovers, others of us appreciate a strong cup of coffee. Why not combine those loves into a perfect chocolate bar? Dark chocolate already includes a bit of caffeine, so pairing it with cardamom and whole roasted coffee beans feels like a match made in heaven.
Endorfin Foods Turkish Coffee 60% Cacao Chocolate Bar
6. Hu Salty Dark Chocolate Bar
There’s something special about this bar, thanks to that tiny bit of salt that enhances the richness of the chocolate. The 70% cacao gives a smooth flavor that’s not overpowering, making a square or two of this bar a great afternoon pick-me-up. The taste is rich and creamy, but there’s no dairy (the bar is, in fact, vegan), making it a perfect snack. Also, thanks to being certified organic and paleo, you can easily rationalize making it a regular treat and not reserve it for special occasions!
Hu Salty Dark Chocolate Bar
7. Omnom Chocolate 73% Nicaragua Icelandic Bean To Bar Chocolate
BEST SINGLE SOURCE
This single-source dark chocolate is sweet and light, making it ideal for a nib of chocolate to enjoy after a satisfying meal. Made with Nicaraguan chocolate, this 73 percent dark chocolate bar is organic and sweetened with cane sugar. Single-origin chocolates are always a special treat because you know exactly what is there and where it came from. That’s a bonus with all ingredients in all foods and something to aspire to — if the taste and quality are there, of course. Here, it very much is.
Monom Chocolate 73% Nicaragua Icelandic Bean To Bar
8. Lily’s Sweets Intensely Dark Chocolate Bar
BEST FOR DIABETCS
Even the best of dark chocolate bars often have a surprising amount of sugar, but Lily’s is unique in that it has absolutely none. However, that doesn’t lead to bitter chocolate, as the 70% cocoa dark chocolate bar is sweetened with stevia, making it Keto-friendly, too. But what we love about it is, aside from being friendly to those diets that call for avoiding sugar and GMO ingredients. It’s, in fact, vegan and gluten-free.
Lily's Sweets Intensely Dark Chocolate Bar
9. ChocZero Sugar-Free 70% Dark Chocolate
If you’re keto, you know — there is no room for error. Well, there is, we’re only humans, but you know what we mean; keto folks take their way of life very seriously. Choc Zero knows this and removes any chance of guilt from its delicious chocolate concoctions. Using a monk fruit and fiber blend instead of sugar, these squares only have 1 grams net carbs per serving and are sugar-free, with no sugar alcohols and no artificial sweeteners.
ChocZero Sugar-Free 70% Dark Chocolate
10. Godiva Chocolatier Dark Chocolate Truffles
Sure, dark chocolate is healthier than its creamery alternatives, but who says it can’t be decadent as well? For those not sticking to keto rules, Godiva has dark chocolate truffles to satisfy your sweet tooth. With delicious fillings such as sweet fruit, salted caramel, and spicy ganache encased in dark chocolate shells, you get the best of both worlds: a little healthy and a lot delicious.