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We Tried 5 Dark Chocolate Bars, and This Is the Best One

Whether you're pairing it with red wine or noshing between meetings, this bar will become your go-to.
We Tried 5 Dark Chocolate Bars, and This Is the Best One

Americans bite into about 2.8 billion pounds of chocolate every year, and it’s no secret why. Who doesn’t love a rich bar of chocolate? Plus, if you choose the dark kind, you get the bonus of heart-protective flavonoids and antioxidants.

To help you pick a bar that satisfies your sweet tooth (and sneaks in some stellar health benefits), we tested five popular dark chocolate bars to find the absolute best. (We know, it’s hard work, but someone’s gotta do it, right?)

How We Graded Them

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Here are the three metrics we used to determine each bar’s final grade.

Nutrition

We didn’t dwell too much on nutrition because dark chocolate bars are pretty similar across the board. They all have saturated fat coming from cocoa butter, and they usually contain added sugars to balance out the cacao’s natural tartness. Whether one chocolate bar contains significantly more fat and sugar compared to its competitors helped us break ties.

Clean Ingredients

Ideally, our go-to bars form their bases with unprocessed cocoa, which boasts a higher antioxidant content, as well as contain the least amount of additives.

Texture & Taste

Dark chocolate should be rich, creamy, and anything but chalky. We endowed extra points to chocolates that allowed the cocoa’s indulgent texture and flavors to outshine added sugar.

From Worst… To Best

5

Hershey’s Special Dark

Hersheys special dark

Nutrition: Per bar (41 g): 200 calories, 13 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (3 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 2 g protein

Ingredients: Sugar, Chocolate, Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Cocoa Processed With Alkali, Soy Lecithin, Natural Flavor, Milk

Texture & Taste: Hershey’s bar was lackluster in both consistency and flavor. We weren’t fans of the texture, and the overwhelming sweetness left much to be desired.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

This treat was too sweet and waxy—two characteristics a quality dark chocolate shouldn’t have. This brand may withstand the test of time, but our trained taste buds were more critical of this special dark chocolate bar.

4

Ghirardelli Intense Dark 60% Cacao Evening Dream

Ghirardelli dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 3 squares (38 g): 190 calories, 14 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (3 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 2 g protein

Ingredients: Bittersweet Chocolate (Unsweetened Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Milk Fat, Soy Lecithin, Vanilla)

Texture & Taste: Ghirardelli’s bar surprised us with an artificial flavor and a gritty texture, which were both jarring and unpleasant. Rather than melting in our mouths, the square left a grainy consistency.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Besides tasting unnatural, this dark chocolate bar had a disturbing sweetness that seemed to try to mask the tart undertones. Instead of dissolving on your tongue as you would expect, this Ghirardelli Intense Dark bar crumbled, crashed, and burned.

3

Cadbury Royal Dark

Cadbury dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 7 blocks (39 g): 170 calories, 12 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (3 g fiber, 20 g sugar), 2 g protein

Ingredients: Semi-Sweet Chocolate (Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Chocolate, Milk Fat, Natural Flavors, Artificial Flavor, Lecithin, Milk)

Texture & Taste: Rich and ultra creamy—just like a Cadbury egg. The squares were small but dense and chunkier than the other bars tested. What caught us off guard the most was the chocolate’s slightly smoky aftertaste. We can probably chalk that up to the natural and artificial flavors.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

The thick and chunky squares were hard to bite into, but the loud crunch was oddly satisfying. The bar boasted an unexpected yet intriguing smokiness, which we were indifferent about. We think this pick would pair well with the earthiness of a full-bodied red wine.

2

Lindt Excellence 70% Cocoa Smooth Dark

Lindt 70% dark cocoa

Nutrition: Per 4 squares (40 g): 250 calories, 19 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 10 mg sodium, 17 g carbs (3 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 3 g protein

Ingredients: Chocolate, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Soya Lecithin (emulsifier), Bourbon Vanilla Beans

Texture & Taste: Perfectly sweetened with bourbon vanilla bean notes, this snack had a milky creaminess and rich flavor.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Lindt’s master chocolatiers struck a balanced flavor that wasn’t bitter or too sweet. It tasted more like an intense milk chocolate bar than a dark bar, making it an ideal treat for those getting used to the taste of concentrated cacao. Welcome to the dark side!

1

Godiva 72% Cacao Dark Chocolate

Godiva dark chocolate

Nutrition: Per 6 squares (45 g): 230 calories, 18 g fat (11 g saturated fat), 0 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (6 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 4 g protein

Ingredients: Unsweetened Chocolate Processed with Alkali, Sugar, Butter Oil (Milk), Soy Lecithin

Texture & Taste: This semisweet bar embodies the smoothness and indulgence you’d expect from Godiva chocolate. The divinely velvety texture coupled with the balanced flavor made this pick our #1.

Eat This, Not That! Verdict:

Tearing off the edge of the paper shell revealed Godiva’s golden foil wrapper — a fitting wrapper for a treat that reminded us of Charlie’s gilded ticket to the Wonka factory. Indeed, we’ve won the chocolate jackpot here, too. Godiva’s bar was heavenly, from its silk-like texture to the luscious, full-bodied goodness we were hit with in every bite. It was a clear choice for us.

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