20 Dark Chocolate Brands, Ranked Worst To First

Dark chocolate, with its rich and complex flavor profile, has earned its place as a beloved indulgence for cacao enthusiasts and foodies alike. Whether you're savoring a small square after a meal or using it as a key ingredient in your culinary creations, there's no denying the allure of this cocoa-infused delight. From its intriguing history dating back to ancient civilizations to its modern reputation as a potential health booster, dark chocolate has more to offer than meets the eye — or, should we say, the taste buds.

If you're a fan of rich, velvety goodness that only dark chocolate can deliver, you're in for a treat. We've embarked on a delicious journey to uncover the 20 best dark chocolate brands out there. From bittersweet bites that make your taste buds dance to indulgent bars that practically redefine decadence with fruity notes, we've tasted and ranked them all. Join us as we take you through the good, the bad, and the downright divine in the world of dark chocolate. 

20. Lily's

Diving into Lily's Sea Salt Extra Dark Chocolate, we were met with a mix of curiosity and caution due to the stevia sweetening. A bite revealed a challenging flavor profile — we'd call it an earthy flavor, to be diplomatic, but let's be real, the taste of dirt comes to mind. The sea salt didn't step up either; it lingered without much impact, unable to cut through the sweetener. Unfortunately, stevia was the villain here, obliterating the natural cocoa goodness. 

Lily's reputation as a health-conscious brand didn't save this one. While you can find it at your local grocery store, this 70% cocoa, fairtrade, gluten-free option is a pass for us. The search for the perfect dark chocolate continues.

19. Alter Eco

Next up is Alter Eco's 100% Cacao Total Blackout Organic Dark Chocolate — the no-nonsense heavyweight in the chocolate arena. This bar boasts a carbon-neutral supply chain and reforestation efforts, so it's like saving the planet with every bite. But honestly, 100% cacao is an acquired taste. Think bitter, earthy, and slightly challenging to swallow. This one is just organic cocoa beans and cocoa butter, meaning no distractions from the cocoa itself. You won't find any sweetness here.

Hats off to Alter Eco for its tree-loving mission, but don't think about savoring this solo. So, while it didn't snag the last spot on our list because it's pure dark chocolate and dark chocolate done well, it's not sweet or a treat. We'll stick to cacao with more sugar.

18. Hu

Let's chat about Hu Simple Dark Chocolate. This bar's got some credentials. It's 70% cacao, vegan and paleo-friendly, plus it has organic fairtrade and non-GMO labels. Not to mention, the wrapping itself is compostable packaging –- our planet approves. 

Regarding flavor profile, it's not bad, but it's a unique dark chocolate journey. The taste doesn't quite follow the crowd. It seems like the coconut base dulls the bitter taste of the cocoa. And that gritty texture at the end deterred us from wanting more.

The overall verdict is underwhelming. Hu's game is all about being different, and while it's not stealing the show, it's definitely stepping up to the chocolate plate in its own quirky way. We wouldn't reach for this one again, but those with a variety of allergies or sensitivities have a great option with Hu.

17. Cadbury

While this candy treat is a wild detour from Cadbury's Creme Egg fame, we had high hopes for this brand. The smell was quite sweet, and so was the taste, but it was very clear that this wasn't real dark chocolate. The flavor profile leaned towards coconut and milk. But the texture was decadent, rich, and smooth; we can thank the added milk for that.

This one isn't a chocolate disaster, but it's not really in the dark chocolate family with ingredients like milk and soy. If you're hunting for a sweet dark chocolate fix, this might be the detour you're seeking.

16. Geneve Swiss Chocolate

Get ready to unravel the mystery of Geneve Swiss Chocolate's Drama Dark Chocolate. Straight out of Switzerland, this one's a non-GMO, kosher affair, waving its international chocolate passport proudly. We were interested in unveiling the Swiss twist on a dark chocolate profile and found earthy notes with a dash of nuttiness. The sugar kicks in on the back end of the bite, offering that traditional chocolate flavoring. 

This one doesn't really scream dark chocolate in texture or flavor, featuring more of a milk chocolate taste and mouthfeel. We didn't hate this one but wouldn't eat it again. 

15. Tony's Chocoloney

Our next option is Tony's Chocoloney, 70% dark chocolate. Hailing from Belgium with a fair-trade badge of honor and a vegan profile, it's got all the right buzzwords. But let's talk about taste. While the acidic flavor mellowed out on the back end with sugary notes, it literally left a bitter taste in our mouths on the front. This one just wasn't balanced enough for us.

The Tony's brand is all about changing the negative aspects of chocolate production in Africa, and we're here for that aspect, but when it comes to its dark chocolate bars, it's good but not great.

14. Theo

Theo Organic Pure Dark 70% chocolate features fairtrade, organic, soy-free, and kosher on its resume. Regarding ingredients, all you'll find is cocoa beans, cane sugar, and cocoa butter — simple and sweet. The flavor profile started off bland, even though there were a lot of different subtle flavors. We tasted bitter and nutty notes, but nothing jumped out. The smell was pretty strong, too, but the taste just didn't match up.

Overall, Theo's isn't a bad choice, but it's pretty mild. It definitely doesn't have that strong dark chocolate taste which some people love. If you're in the mood for something that doesn't taste like strong dark chocolate, Theo's got your back.

13. Hershey's

We all know Hershey's, but when we think about dark chocolate, this brand doesn't really come to mind. However, its special dark chocolate tasted delicious. It was super sugary and sweet but dulled on the back end of the bite in a way that proved it wasn't true milk chocolate. 

However, can we really call this dark chocolate? With milk lurking in the ingredient list, we are unsure. It just tastes too good to be true. So, while this brand might not be the first to pop into your dark chocolate dreams, it's surely sneaking in a sugary surprise.

12. Endangered Species Chocolate

We tried the Endangered Species Extreme Dark Chocolate with 88% cocoa. The brand also boasts a non-GMO swagger, fairtrade flair, and a heartwarming twist: 10% of profits are given to charity. So, what's the scoop on the flavor? 

On the front end, we found earthy notes. The back end of the bite offered a bitter taste with hints of coffee. There is no sweet in this one; you don't taste the added sugar or vanilla at all. This is a great piece of dark chocolate for grounding or as a palate cleanser after dinner, bitter and bold.

11. Camille Bloch

Camille Bloch is the real deal of Swiss chocolate coming straight from the motherland. The Swiss Dark option is made with sugar, cocoa mass, and cocoa butter only; we were intrigued. 

Regarding taste, it was bitter on the front end but leveled out on the back. We didn't love the first bite, but the aftertaste was mellow and started to grow on us. We also loved the melt-in-your-mouth texture and fruity notes that snuck up on us. There was something about this flavor profile that kept growing and changing, almost like a fine wine.

This one was pretty good for a unique dark chocolate experience. It definitely wasn't our favorite, and it wasn't super traditional, but we hope you guys will give it a try!

10. Beyond Good

Beyond Good's Madagascar single-origin pure dark chocolate solidified a spot in the top 10. With 70% cocoa and an organic, soy-free, gluten-free, and vegan scorecard, this one's got the good stuff covered. Now, let's talk taste. 

The package promised fruity notes, and boy, did it deliver. Brace yourselves for a flavor rollercoaster that starts with a traditional bitter wave, only to flip the script with a sudden surge of fruit. It was almost too much, too acidic, as the chocolate melts, but the flavor is good. 

We liked the rebellious nature of this one. Beyond Good, you're rewriting the dark chocolate script, and we're here for it.

9. Blue Stripes

Locking down the 9th spot on our chocolicious lineup is Blue Stripes 70% cacao Pure Dark bar, made with cacao and coconut only. This no-nonsense ingredient list is all about keeping it simple and delicious. 

This one started off somewhat bitter, but overall, the flavor was light, and the fruit notes chimed in quickly. It's definitely not as mild as most of the others, but this isn't a bitter dark chocolate bar by far. This Blue Stripes option doesn't have a super complex flavor profile, but it's a good middle-of-the-road dark chocolate bar. We would eat this one again, for sure.

8. Chocolove

Up next is Chocolove's Extreme Dark Chocolate, with a robust 88% cocoa and a dairy and gluten-free tag. This bar is like a healthy superhero of the chocolate world with no artificial preservatives in sight. First impressions? It's a tough cookie with a hard bite, teasing you with the promise of bitterness. But that bitterness takes a backseat real quick, and you're in for a ride of mellow deliciousness. 

There's a playful note of fruity vibes in there and a dash of that classic tobacco-like taste that's all part of the dark chocolate charm. Overall, this was a solid traditional dark chocolate option. No notes — this one is a keeper.

7. Green & Blacks

Let's talk about Green & Black's organic dark chocolate made with 70% cacao. Crafted from the finest organic Trinitario cacao beans and waving the fairtrade flag, this one has the good stuff locked in. The first bite offered us earthy notes without the bitter aftertaste of some high-percentage cacao option. A touch of sweetness slips in AND balances that traditional dark chocolate flavor profile, leaving a mellow flavor overall.

Green & Black's is definitely top ten material, but it's nothing special. We can call this one a reliable option in the dark chocolate world.

6. Lindt

Lindt's 85% cocoa dark chocolate ranked next on our list. This chocolate option has a fancy twist with bourbon vanilla beans thrown into the mix. The aroma when cracking open the package was definitely stronger than some, and a bitter taste on the front end followed that smell. 

But there were divine and welcomed fruity notes at the back end that made us want to keep eating. We didn't really taste bourbon or vanilla, but the texture was also stellar –- smooth and silky just like the package says! There is something special about this one.

We were surprised to see a popular name brand like Lindt grabbing 6th place, but the flavor profile with its fruity notes really pushed this one closer to the winner's circle. Lindt is the dark chocolate magician we've been waiting for.

5. 365 Whole Foods Market

Hold onto your grocery baskets, because we're diving into the scrumptious world of 365 Whole Foods Market's organic dark chocolate, earning an impressive 5th place on our choco-charts. With a 57% cacao count and a Fairtrade cert, it's like your neighborhood grocery store just upgraded to Flavor Town.

Regarding taste, the front end offered a fruity flair. Next, a touch of tobacco and nutty notes joined in the middle. The back end of the flavor profile was simply smooth cocoa goodness. This is the definition of complexity. You won't find any bitterness or bold flavors here. 

365 is a sneaky dark chocolate genius. You'll find a true balance of flavor with notes for all palates. There was something about this one that was just plain good!

4. Ghirardelli

Coming in at number four is Ghirardelli dark chocolate. We tried the Intense Dark, boasting a 72% cacao count, boasting hints of mocha, blackberry, and dark cherry. This one was a tad bitter, as you'd expect, with a higher cacao percentage, but it mellowed out instantly on the back end. We didn't get any real hints of fruit, but we definitely got that mocha flavoring. The fruits seem to blend well, offering a balanced profile.

This one also had a super soft bite and great texture –- smooth as silk. Overall, this is a great choice that can be found at most grocery and convenience stores.

3. Heaven & Earth

It all comes down to the top three, and to kick things off, we have Heaven & Earth's 70% dark chocolate. With gluten-free and kosher credentials, this one's like a chocolate passport to flavor nirvana.

The taste started super earthy yet subtly sweet –- a true surprise. But then, the flavor profile kept changing. From earthy, it ended with notes of sugar, yet there is no sugar added to this bar. The vanilla really did something to this one!

We found this heavenly delight in the international aisle (a product of Israel), and let's just say, we'd reach for it again in a heartbeat. It's like a flavor adventure that's worth every bite. Heaven & Earth, you've got us hooked!

2. Divine

Claiming the silver medal is Divine's Deliciously Smooth Dark Chocolate. This one features a 70% cocoa count and a fairtrade badge from chocolate farms in Ghana. It's like a flavor journey that takes you around the world. 

The front end of this one had a touch of spice to it, something we did not find in any of the others, but the added vanilla smooths out the flavor profile, leaving a melt-in-your-mouth, mellow taste. Regarding the texture — it's like a rollercoaster – a hard bite that transforms into a smooth, delightful chew. This one was almost perfect on all fronts.

1. Godiva

Claiming the coveted first-place spot on our chocolate ranking is Godiva Masterpieces Dark Chocolate Ganache Heart. There is no denying Godiva is a well-known luxury chocolate brand, and there's a reason it took the gold. This chocolate was not bitter at all, offering a rich, sweet flavor. And we can't forget the textures -– from the outer hard chocolate crunch to the inner soft ganache, they were both perfection.

While the packaging says it's unsweetened chocolate, and there is no mention of cacao, this clearly isn't your traditional dark chocolate profile. Honestly, we just couldn't resist. This is one to write home about.