Dark chocolate stands out for its intricate flavor profiles, from intense bitterness to vibrant fruitiness, making it the most authentic representation of the cocoa bean's natural taste. This guide to the best dark chocolate bars focuses on chocolate bars that are made sustainably and transparently with the finest cocoa. These bars offer us a unique entry into the finest flavors the cocoa bean has to offer.

The Best Dark Chocolate Bars

The Art of Choosing Dark Chocolate

Selecting the best dark chocolate bars is an art that hinges on several critical criteria, enhancing both the tasting experience and appreciation for chocolate making. To create our list we focused on three main criteria.


The purity of ingredients in dark chocolate is paramount. High-quality bars often contain a minimal number of ingredients, typically cocoa mass, cocoa butter, and a sweetener. The absence of additives or fillers ensures that the focus remains on the chocolate's rich flavors and health benefits.

Fine Cocoa

The source and type of cocoa used significantly impact the chocolate's flavor profile. Fine cocoa varieties are prized for their distinctive taste characteristics, which can range from floral to fruity or earthy, depending on their origin. The percentage of cocoa also matters; higher cocoa content typically indicates a deeper, more intense chocolate experience, though the ideal percentage varies by personal preference.

Sustainability and Transparency

Sustainable sourcing practices are crucial in the chocolate industry, not just for ethical reasons but also for quality. Chocolatiers committed to sustainability often work directly with cocoa farmers, ensuring fair trade practices and contributing to the betterment of farming communities. Transparency about where and how cocoa beans are sourced offers consumers insight into the chocolate's backstory and the impact of their purchase on the environment and society.

By considering these criteria's - the purity of ingredients, the quality of cocoa, and the sustainability of sourcing practices - these dark chocolate bars don't just satisfy taste buds but also align with ethical values. This careful selection process elevates the enjoyment of dark chocolate, turning it into a deeply satisfying experience that respects the bean's origin, the chocolatiers' craft, and the planet.

Our Dark Chocolate Bar Recommendations

Akesson's Brazil Forastero 75%

Grown on a historical Brazilian plantation, Forastero cacao's astonishing warm aroma is balanced with tart notes of the native pitanga fruit in 75% dark chocolate. The Pitanga fruit, also known as the 'Brazilian cherry', looks like a small pumpkin and has a sharp and sweet taste. Parasinho's Forestero cacao is the only variety grown on this Fazenda Sempre Firme plantation. Grown amid a forest with the highest biodiversity on earth, this exceptional cacao is distinctly Brazilian.

 Who is it for? Akesson's Brazil Forastero 75% is perfect for the adventurous chocolate lover who appreciates the unique combination of earthy and tart flavors, offering a taste journey through the biodiversity of Brazil with each bite.
Tasting notes

Earthy, Tobacco, Brazilian Pitanga Fruit, Tart and Autumn Spices


Ritual Honeycomb Toffee 75%

Flying the Beehive state flag- locally sourced raw wildflower honey is used to make airy the toffee that is scattered atop Belize dark chocolate. Ritual wanted this bar to represent their home state of Utah. In doing so, they turned to Hollow Tree Honey for their careful sourcing of raw honey from hives across the Wasatch range.

 Who is it for? Ritual Honeycomb Toffee 75% is ideal for those who savor the blend of sweet and bitter, experience the essence of Utah with its local honeycomb toffee nestled in rich Belizean dark chocolate.
Tasting notes

Honeycomb, Dried Fruit & Roasty Dark Chocolate

Amano Dos Rios 70%

From the fertile cocoa groves of the Dominican Republic emerges Amano's unparalleled chocolate creation. Venture beyond the conventional and into a realm where flavors of bergamot, orange, and lavender serenade your senses. This isn't just any chocolate; it's a testament to the distinct fermentation techniques and the artisanal dedication of Amano's craftsmen. Each bite promises an unexpected and delightful dance of flavors. Dive into a world of "magic" with Amano's Dominican Discovery.

 Who is it for? Amano Dos Rios 70% is designed for the connoisseur who is looking for sophisticated, aromatic flavor profiles, offering unique taste notes of bergamot, orange, and lavender that dances on the palate with each bite.
Tasting notes

Bergamot Orange, Blueberry, Spices and Lavender


Raaka Maple & Nibs 75%

This maple-sweetened bar tastes like a brownie straight out of the oven. Rich and smooth on the inside, generously sprinkled with toasted nibs for a crispy, crunchy outside. A longtime factory favorite. Perfect for those looking for alternative sugars.

 Who is it for? Raaka Maple & Nibs 75% is ideal for anyone craving the comfort of freshly baked brownies paired with the health-conscious choice of alternative sweeteners, delivering a distinctive texture experience from its crispy nibs and rich, smooth chocolate.
Tasting notes

Maple and Brownie

Original Beans Piura Porcelana 75%

Flavors of raspberry, dried prunes, and pecan divulge the secrets of this ultra-rare white cacao—nature’s delicious mistake— found along Peru’s coastal desert, the habitat of a diverse and bright butterfly collection.

 Who is it for? Original Beans Piura Porcelana 75% is tailored for those who appreciate the delicate rarity of white cacao, offering a symphony of raspberry, dried prunes, and pecan flavors that mirror the biodiversity of its Peruvian desert origin.
Tasting notes

Raspberry, Dried Prunes, and Pecan

OmNom Dark Nibs + Raspberries 58%

Part of OmNom's winter collection that offers crunchy nibs and dried raspberries sprinkled atop Madagascar chocolate add an extra layer of sharp fruitiness and crunch to bright, creamy dark chocolate. Even if this chocolate bar is made seasonally for the winter holidays, we think the flavors of Raspberries can be enjoyed all year long. Especially in the Spring and Summer months. 

 Who is it for? OmNom Dark Nibs + Raspberries 58% is perfect for those who revel in dark chocolate with fruit, seeking a balance of tart raspberries and crunchy nibs atop smooth Madagascar chocolate for a joyful, textured treat.
Tasting notes

Red Fruit and Crunchy

Marou Ba Ria 76%

A bold and fruity chocolate made from Trinitario cacao sourced directly from family-owned farms in the province of Ba Ria. This is bold single-origin chocolate bar. Chocolate using Vietnamese chocolate is rare and more rare is a chocolate maker like Marou Chocolate producing it at location.

 Who is it for? Marou Ba Ria 76% is crafted for the bold at heart, blending bright, fruity notes with the richness of Trinitario cacao, ideal for those who appreciate a chocolate that speaks of its origin with each currant, candied citrus, and buttery note.
Tasting notes

Fruity, Bright, Bold, Currants, Candied Citrus and Buttery

Manoa Flavors of Hawaii: Mai'a x Banana 70%

The Polynesian settlers brought with them maiʻa (banana) on their long voyage to Hawaiʻi. It is known as a canoe plant - a crop essential for island living. Not only was maiʻa used as sustenance, but as an offering to aliʻi (ruling chief), a highly regarded gift, and as medicine for various ailments. Fruit was scarce in ancient Hawaiʻi and banana was one of only a handful available. Today, Manoa takes this special fruit to create a savory dark chocolate bar. 

 Who is it for? Manoa Flavors of Hawaii: Mai'a x Banana 70% is the perfect choice for those who cherish the taste of history and tradition, blending the essential Polynesian maiʻa (banana) with rich chocolate, making it a tribute to its cultural significance and the lush flavors of Hawaii.
Tasting notes


Naive Rough Ground Organic Chocolate 75%

Immerse yourself in the depths of the night with Naive Rough Ground Organic Chocolate 75%. Crafted to capture the essence of sub-tropical darkness, this bar awakens your senses, guiding you through an auditory and olfactory jungle before revealing its rich, earthy flavors. Each bite is a journey into the heart of the night, where the vibrant life of the unseen world is translated into an exquisite chocolate experience, perfect for those who crave a taste of the wild and mysterious.

 Who is it for? Naive Rough Ground Organic Chocolate 75% is an invitation for those seeking a sensory adventure, encapsulating the essence of a sub-tropical night with its earthy notes that echo the unseen richness of the jungle, ideal for the imaginative palate longing to taste the mystery of the night.
Tasting notes

Earthy and Tarty 


Dick Taylor Black Fig Chocolate 72%

Their bestselling BLACK FIG dark chocolate is made using cocoa beans from Akesson Plantation, a cacao farm in northern Madagascar in the Sambirano Valley. They handcraft their 72% Madagascar dark chocolate with these beans alongside organic cane sugar from Brazil to bring out the subtle fruity & floral notes in the cacao. They honor this incredible cacao by pairing it with beautifully rich and chewy, dried California black mission figs that have been generously sprinkled on the back of the chocolate.

 Who is it for? Dick Taylor Black Fig Chocolate 72% is for the discerning chocolate enthusiast who revels in the harmony of sophisticated cacao and the natural, sweet depth of dried figs, appreciating the intricate balance of gourmet ingredients and artisanal craftsmanship.
Tasting notes

Fruity and Floral


Summary of the Best Dark Chocolate Bars

Here's a summary of the featured chocolate bars:

  1. Akesson's Brazil Forastero 75% - A showcase of Brazil's unique Forastero cacao with warm, tart notes of pitanga fruit.
  2. Ritual Honeycomb Toffee 75% - A perfect blend of Belize dark chocolate with local Utah honey, offering a crispy toffee twist.
  3. Amano Dos Rios 70% - Offering an enchanting dance of bergamot, orange, and lavender from Dominican cacao.
  4. Raaka Maple & Nibs 75% - Combines the sweetness of maple with the crunch of nibs for a brownie-like experience.
  5. Original Beans Piura Porcelana 75% - Rare white cacao with flavors of raspberry, dried prunes, and pecan from Peru’s coastal desert.
  6. OmNom Dark Nibs + Raspberries 58% - A festive bar from Iceland that marries the tartness of raspberries with the crunch of nibs.
  7. Marou Ba Ria 76% - A bold and fruity expression of Vietnamese Trinitario cacao, highlighting currants and candied citrus.
  8. Manoa Flavors of Hawaii: Mai'a x Banana 70% - Incorporates the Polynesian staple, maiʻa (banana), for a distinctly Hawaiian treat.
  9. Naive Rough Ground Organic Chocolate 75% - Captures the essence of a sub-tropical night with its deep, earthy profile.
  10. Dick Taylor Black Fig Chocolate 72% - Marries Madagascar dark chocolate with chewy, dried California black mission figs for their best-selling bar.

Each of these bars offers a unique tasting experience, reflecting the dedication of their makers to sourcing, sustainability, and the art of chocolate crafting. Whether you're a connoisseur or a curious newcomer, these chocolates promise to heighten your appreciation for dark chocolate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What makes dark chocolate different from milk or white chocolate?

What Is the difference between dark, milk and white chocolate? Dark chocolate is distinguished by its higher cocoa content and minimal to no milk content, offering a richer, more intense chocolate flavor and less sweetness compared to milk chocolate. White chocolate, lacking cocoa solids, primarily contains cocoa butter, making it entirely different in taste and texture from dark chocolate. 

How can I tell if a dark chocolate bar is of high quality?

To determine if a dark chocolate bar is of high quality, it's essential to examine the sourcing practices of the maker. Top-tier chocolatiers are transparent about the origins of their cocoa beans, often detailing the specific regions or farms from which they source. This transparency ensures that the chocolate is not only of superior quality but also ethically obtained, reflecting the maker's commitment to both excellence and responsible sourcing.

Is dark chocolate actually good for you? What are the health benefits?

Yes, dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants, such as flavonoids, which are known to support heart health by improving blood flow and lowering blood pressure. Moderate consumption can also enhance brain function, help reduce inflammation, and even improve mood. However, it's important to consume it in moderation due to its calorie content.

How should I store dark chocolate to preserve its flavor and quality?

Dark chocolate should be stored in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight, and at a consistent temperature, ideally between 60-70°F (15-21°C). Avoid refrigerating unless necessary, as temperature fluctuations can cause sugar bloom, affecting texture and appearance. Refrigeration smell of other foods can affect the taste of the chocolate. If refrigeration is needed, wrap it tightly to protect it from moisture and odors.

From Akesson's Brazil Forastero to Dick Taylor Black Fig Chocolate, each selection promises a distinct tasting experience. These carefully curated recommendations offer the best dark chocolate bars for anyone who loves chocolate. If you are interested in a wider range of dark chocolate bars, explore our dark chocolate bar collection to discover more intricate flavor profiles.

11 mars, 2024