Meet Mark

Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

Tell Me More
Stay Connected
August 05 2010

The 5 Best Dark Chocolate Bars in the World

By Mark Sisson
391 Comments

The Modern Paleo blog’s been doing chocolate reviews recently, which struck me as a novel but totally understandable practice for a blog called Modern Paleo. In my mind, good dark chocolate – high cacao content, high fat, low-ish sugar stuff – makes any downsides to living in this modern world well worth it. Good dark chocolate really is that good. And one of the best parts about going Primal has been the way my heightened sensitivity to the slightest dash of sugar enables true appreciation of the bean’s slightly sweet product.

I’ve eaten a lot of chocolate in my day. Cheap American milk chocolate with an absurdly low cacao content was regularly gobbled up in my endurance days, but I’ve since moved on to more bitter pastures. About five years ago, I could enjoy your standard mid-grade bittersweet dark chocolate without worrying about the cacao content percentage. Now, I find the sweetness of anything lower than 72% cloyingly overpowering. That’s not to say I don’t like being overpowered by intense flavor, because I do – but only when that flavor is based on the bean. So, yeah, 72% is too low, and even the late 70s are generally pushing too much sugar. I try to stick to the 80s and even 90s.

You might notice that my picks are not inexpensive. They aren’t throwaway bars to be wolfed down in between mouthfuls of movie popcorn in a single sitting. In fact, throughout the composition of this post (the tasting, the writing, the sampling), I probably ate almost an entire bar’s worth of really high-quality, super dark chocolate. It wasn’t easy. It was probably too much. Normally, I’ll eat a square, maybe two, after dinner a few times a week, so I’m preparing myself for an impending stomachache. We’ll see. My point is this: good dark chocolate is self-limiting. You won’t go crazy and pig out on it because it isn’t pleasant to do so. The quality stuff always lasts longer than the cheap stuff.  Quality dark chocolate is definitely worth the extra expenditure.

Of course, what actually constitutes the best dark chocolate in the world is subjective. These happen to be some of my favorites, at least for now. My top picks are always changing as I never fail to try whatever high-quality, low-sugar dark chocolate wanders into my life or appears in the checkout line.

In no particular order, the list:

Valrhona Noir Extra Amer – 85% Cacao

2.5 servings per bar

Each serving:

20g fat (12g saturated)

15g carbs (6g fiber; 5g sugar)

This bar looks fantastic: sleek, smooth, and dark, almost black, with a hint of red. A single square, if given sufficient mouth time, will slowly, smoothly melt, revealing floral, nutty, and coffee notes. If you try real hard, you may notice cinnamon, too. I think the biggest draw is the texture, which is silky (gosh, I sound like a chocolate advertisement using words like “silky”). That single square will resonate for several minutes, provided you don’t just chomp down without allowing it to melt.

The Noir Extra Amer goes well in a pot of spicy chili, right at the end just before serving. I get mine at Trader Joe’s for $2.99 a bar.

Chocolove XOXOX Extra Strong Dark – 77% Cacao

3 servings per bar

Each serving:

13g fat (8g saturated)

11g carbs (3g fiber; 6g sugar)

The Chocolove XOXOX may have a ridiculously cheesy name and a slightly higher sugar content, but if you want a non-abrasive, introductory dark chocolate for beginners, this is it. If you’re trying to wean your significant other off of milk chocolate, go with the Chocolove XOXOX. You get the unmistakable flavor and light sugar content of a high-cacao bar with the creaminess and accessibility of a lesser-cacao bar. I keep these on hand for those times where I just want a bit of sweetness without the commitment required by the heavy darks. It tastes a bit like coconut.

You can find this bar at Whole Foods, Target, or Cost Plus.

Green and Black’s Dark – 85% Cacao

2.5 servings per bar

Each serving:

21g fat (13g saturated)

14g carbs (5g fiber; 6g sugar)

Another brilliantly dark bar with glimpses of red, the Green and Black’s Dark is similar to the Valrhona in its mouthfeel. It’s creamy, silky, smooth, and melts very well, but it’s not quite so bitter. Oh, the bitterness is there, lurking and noticeable, but it isn’t overpowering. You almost have to look for it (although beginners might notice it right away). Sometimes I like the bitterness to dominate. When I don’t want that kind of bitterness, I reach for a Green and Black’s, which strikes an impressive balance between robustness and delicateness.

Find where to buy Green and Black’s near you.

Dagoba Eclipse – 87% Cacao

1 serving per bar

Each serving:

26g fat (16g saturated)

19g carb (8g fiber; 7g sugar)

Dagoba is an odd one. I like it, nay, love it, but it’s definitely not an everyday sort of chocolate bar. If it’s the only thing in the house, I can probably work my way through it in two weeks – with dedication – and yet it’s the most intriguing chocolate I’ve had. Complex flavors include fruit, clove, allspice, and other spice mixes. There’s even a bit of red wine in there, making actual wine pairing redundant or even antagonistic. No, this bar stands alone. The texture isn’t great, though, and instead of melting into smooth oblivion it gets rather dry toward the end, but this is accompanied by flavor intensification (if you can imagine such a thing). There’s a tradeoff that’s worth exploring.

I get Dagoba Eclipse at Whole Foods, but you can also order it online.

Scharffen Berger Extra Dark – 82% Cacao

2 servings per bar

Each serving:

19g fat (12g saturated)

17g carbs (6g fiber; 8g sugar)

Figs and red wine, honey and spice(y). There’s even a bit of esperesso lurking in there. It’s not just the cacao that’s bitter; there’s a bite that lingers minutes after you’ve taken it. That acidic bite effectively staves off the worst of the (let’s face it – sometimes too much) bitterness, where a lesser manufacturer would have loaded a bar up with sugar to dull it. I’m glad Scharffen Berger did not do so.

Give this to daring beginners.

One of my new personal favorites that didn’t make the cut is the 85% Ecuador dark chocolate out of the Santa Barbara Chocolate Company. We had the 72% at PrimalCon, but the 85% is even better. Definitely keep your eyes out for it. If I had it on hand to sample, this list woulda been six-deep.

Lindt 85% is another good option, especially if you can’t find any of the above choices. Lindt is available in most standard grocery stores and Walmart.

One last thing: remember that the serving size listed on the back of dark chocolate bars is usually quite high, often around half a bar per serving. Depending on the bar, I get 6-12 or more servings per bar. Consider this when calculating the carb values per serving above.

What are your favorites? Have I missed anything? What should I try next? Let me know in the comment section!

TAGS:  reviews

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

391 thoughts on “The 5 Best Dark Chocolate Bars in the World”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. Wow. Like walking down the candy aisles @ Whole Paycheck (mildly disgruntled former employee . . . thanks for the nostalgia).

    1. LOL.. Is that a jab at whole foods? I feel like I spend my whole paycheck when I shop their haha.. But I DO love their Theo organic fair trade 70% cacoa with salted almonds *drool*

      1. Mark sweety, where’s the love for Organic Fair Trade Dark Chocolate??

        Endangered Species 88% Extreme Dark Chocolate blows all the above away on taste alone…(Yes I’ve tried em all!!) but doesn’t anyone care about the politics (and GMOs) of their dark chocolate yumminess??

        Also, why all the hate here towards Whole Foods?? I LOVE that place!! (No, don’t work for them- just a long-time customer) I don’t get why everyone says it’s SOO much more expensive??? I go there almost daily-fresh herbs, greens, fruits, veggies, frozen organic peaches cheaper than anywhere else (smoothies!!) Small differences in price between Whole Foods and Sprouts but the QUALITY is SO much better from what I’ve experienced. I never get any “holier than thou” attitude, on the contrary- I feel very welcomed, always called by my name and times where I was forced to go into a “regular” supermarket, felt sad and made me even more grateful for WFM.

    2. Do you mean Holier Than Thou Foods? Hate that place. Try very hard not to go in there.

      1. rofl … I used to go there when I worked near where one was, and I go there when a girlfriend of mine goes.. but I do get the feeling sometimes that this is.. “Holier than Thou Foods.. I just never heard anyone just say it..

        Good for You.. I love the concept, but does it have to be so high.. Its like they are trying to price some people out of going there.. But I’am trying to NOT eat GMO foods.. (nearly impossible nowadays) or High Fructose Corn syrup foods. (not as impossible, but still hard) and so many of the foods that are for sale that are totally bad for you.. (canned tomatoes, and veggies for instance because of the chemicals that leach into the food from the can), I could go, on and on.. with study after study, as to all the GMO foods we eat.. that are not tested., and how they give rats tumors and cancers almost on every study.. FDA doesn’t even require labeling now on all the GMO foods we eat daily, because if we knew we wouldn’t eat it..
        The whole food industry needs to be revamped for our health..so at least we know all the bad chemicals that we are ingesting on a daily basis.. If we (the general public) made more of an objection to this.. we wouldnt have a whole foods, because it would force the industry to change .Period… but.. good luck with that.. thats my two cents.. on both sides of the issue..

  2. Mark, how important is it to buy organic chocolate? Aren’t most non-organic beans sprayed on?

  3. Some very good choices. I’m a fan of Dagoba. Lately, I’m digging the Xocolatl Bar (74%) Cacao nibs, chilies and rich dark chocolate recreate the Aztec’s enhancing cacao elixir.

    With that said, my go to bar is the 72 or 85% Endangered Species Bars. I really like those and they are available locally for me (often on sale at Kroger).

    Green and Blacks is OK, but I find it sweeter tasting than the others and almost find a raisin like flavor in it.

    The others I have to try.

    1. dude! i have not tried the Dagoba Xocolatl Bar yet but love everthing Dagoba makes, and that one looks SUPEr tasty, love me some chili with my coco…

      thanks for the recomend

    2. This is a great list. Thrilled and flattered that Endangered Species Chocolate is your “go to” dark choice, Steven!

      My favorite is our darkest creation, 88% Extreme Dark Chocolate (the one with the Black Panther on the wrapper). Bitter-sweet bliss!

      -Monica
      Chocolate Goddess
      Endangered Species Chocolate

      1. Oh man! Endangered Species 88% Extreme Dark Chocolate is my favourite dark chocolate out there! I have not found a better bar to date!

      2. About to try the Endangered Species 88%. Does it live up to the hype?

        1. Yes it does, I have to say I just ate an entire bar about 15 mins ago.

          Just throw a square in your mouth and let it melt. Delicious! Then you realize the bar is gone.

      3. Indeed, in fact I am currently eating the 88% Endangered Species as I write this… and it was as a result of reading this article! Great chocolate, great cause!

    3. Love the different flavors offered by the Endangered Species Bars @ Wholefoods

  4. Lindt makes a dark chocolate with sea salt that is very good, but not quite dark enough. It’s too easy to eat half a bar. Vosges Mo’s Dark Bacon Bar is excellent but very expensive. Thinking of making my own.

    1. Ooh I tried the Dark Bacon Bar too, it’s actually really good! Salty/savory + Dark chocolate is amazing.

      1. I second the Dark Chocolate Bacon Bar….it was delish! Very spendy though, and I am wondering how bacon strips, dipped in dark chocolate, at home would taste?? Hmmmm….might have to try this!!

        1. I’ve made it many times with anywhere from 72% to 85%. You have to tinker with the percentage and the quality of bacon to get it right. I found that a higher percentage bar in conjunction with thick cut bacon is the way to go.

        2. Chocolate-covered bacon is “fair food.” I got some this year from the Heart Attack Cafe at the San Diego County Fair. It was overpriced, but delicious!

        3. That would just make me eat waaay to much bacon… which would cancel out the benefits of the chocolate.. 🙁 I love bacon..

    2. Is only 47% as are all the other ‘flavoured’ Lindts.

      Mr Grok and I did a tasting quite recently including Tesco’s Finest Equador 86%, Lindt 85% and 90%, Green and Blacks 85% and another the name of which escapes me. We love and buy regularly the Lindt 85%, 90% was too much! But we think G and Bs is the best flavour (vanilla going on) but it just doesn’t break easily enough, especially from the refridgerator and we do like our chocolate cold!

      1. It’s good to see that I’m not the only one that loves chocolate cold. If it’s from the freezer, it’s even better.

    3. I am “addicted” to Lindt’s blueberry chocolate at the moment, it really hits the spot for me.

    4. I love the Lindt dark choc with sea salt – amazing! Lindt also does a 90% chocolate bar, if you can find it.

      1. Target has 90% Lindt for less than two bucks! Lindt is the shindt!

        I just tried G&B’s 85%. Very surprised at how sweet and creamy it is. It makes me suspicious. It’s probably my favorite, so far, but I’ll probably stick with Lindt as my “go to” bar. Lindt’s better than Chocolove or Endangered, and it’s pleasantly priced. I’m gonna give Dagoba a shot soon.

        I bought some cacao nibs at the farmer’s market. I don’t really know what to do with them, though.

        1. cacao nibs are great on cereal replacement: banana, strawberries or blueberries, soaked almonds, topped with plain goat yoghurt and walnuts – the nibs give it another flavor and crunchy texture… enjoy!!

        2. Try mixing some ground nibs in your fresh-ground coffee, at a ratio of 1/4 tsp./finished cup of coffee. It adds a rich mouth-feel to the coffee.

        3. Pretty sure Lindt uses Alkali processing for their 90% bar. That nukes the good stuff in the cacao, so avoid if possible. Chiming in way late here, but figured I’d mention it.

      2. I love Lindt 90% (Walmart) but am impressed with the various salty nibs at upscale stores too.

    5. Lindt makes 85% and 90% and both are great – my “go-to” …

    6. I too LOVE the Lindt Dark Chocolate w/Sea Salt. Too[t] sweet? Not for me, but then perhaps I’m not quite up to the 80% dark chocolate as of yet The Sea Salt addition to the bar is such a lovely contrast of sweet and … ? … ZING …. a wonderful, beautiful almost decadent thing.

  5. Unfortunately, modern methods of making chocolate (even dark chocolate) strips out most of the chlorogenic acid flavanoid. This has been well documented, and has been the subject of much research by the Mars Corporation. Modern processing methods, as well as taste buds, tend to be hard on this potent antioxidant.

      1. Not as far as I know — all the cacao nibs that I’ve seen are raw. I think if they were processed, they would fall apart. I love them in fruit smoothies, which I make with frozen cherries, bananas, mangoes, and spices like cardamom, chile and ginger. I’ve had my naturopath muscle test me, and my body loves the nibs, but doesn’t like processed cocoa very much. I just don’t remember if I had him test the raw cocoa powder, or a more traditional cocoa. Whole Foods and independent health food stores usually have raw cacao nibs, and these days you can even get them auto shipped from Amazon! What amazing times we live in!

  6. Another really great and surprisingly inexpensive dark chocolate is the World Market brand 99% bar. Yes, folks, I am talking about a chocolate bar that is 99% cocoa; they do exist! It is decadent, delicious, and pleasing to all the senses (including touch: it feels very smooth in the hands as it travels to your mouth!). These bars run for $1.99 in the Chicago area World Markets, and I would imagine the price would be about the same elsewhere.

    Nutrition:

    Serving 1/2 bar; servings in container: 2

    Total fat: 22g (14g saturated)
    Total carbs: 14g (7g fiber, 1g sugar)
    Protein: 5g

    That is right folks, just two grams of sugar in the entire 3oz bar. It is amazing! Go try it!

    http://www.worldmarket.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3624321

    1. I agree on the Whole Foods 99% bar. It’s not the same as the other, sweeter bars, but I love it. Great with coffee or wine. Let it slowly melt on your tongue and it’s good stuff.

      They have a 64% with sea salt that is amazing, but I try to steer clear of bars that low in cocoa. I’ll confess that I’ve sprinkled my 99% bar with sea salt and run it under the broiler once or twice to let the crystals melt in… 🙂

      We also have a local woman who makes some amazing stuff. I get it at the farmers market, but you can now buy online, too. Chocovivo, at http://www.ilivechocolate.com

      Her flavored bars have a bit too much sugar, and I keep hoping she’ll go darker on a few. Time, and peer pressure, may tell. Still, the spices, seeds, and fruits make this stuff unbelievable. Worth the splurge.

    2. x2 on that, the 82% at World Market was good too, but discontinued. I switched to the 99% and it’s just as yummy. I had to laugh going down the list, as my list is quite similar. However, I don’t do the Scharffen Berger bar because I think it’s too chalky. Can’t recall the brand but there’s a good bar in silver wrapper at Trader Joe’s (right next to the Valrhona Noir Extra Amer bars, with an equally foreign name)to which I would give an honorable mention.

    3. I love the 99% bar at world market too! very nutty and does not taste 99% at all (but it seems higher in carbs than other chocolates with such a high %?)

      1. Yes, the 99% is amazing. Much better than 100% with a touch of honey. I know because I used to do that before I discovered the 99%. It’s frankly better than any on this list, though hard to find, so I typically go with the Dagoba 87%, Lindt 85%, or Valrhona Noir Extra Amer 85%.

        Cheers
        Scott Kustes
        Fitness Spotlight

  7. The Endangered Species brand of dark chocolate is pretty good.

      1. mine too, because it’s cheap 🙂 It does have soy lecithin in it though…

      2. Same here, I really like the individually wrapped pieces – it keeps me from splurging! But yeah, wish it didn’t have the soy lecithin.

        1. I see the presence of soy lecithin as an indicator of cheap substitutes. It is used in place of some of the cocoa butter that is then sold off to the cosmetic industry, or so I understand. And it is likely to be GMO. Even Lindt has soy in it in our area. Trader Joe’s has some of its organic chocolate brands that are soy-free, but only in the extra dark chocolate. I don’t know how generally available Theo Chocolate is outside of the Pacific Northwest but it is excellent, soy free, and ethically produced.

  8. I heart Green and Blacks. I have some every night… it makes my sugar free world a little brighter each day…

  9. 85% endangered species. Or for special occasions 72% endangered species w/ rasperies or blueberries!

  10. My primal daughter and I have been doing the Lindt 85% for several months and are very happy with it. It may not be organic, but the ingredient list is cleaner than most organic brands.

    We steer clear of soy lecithin around our cave. It’s in most other brands, organic or not. We have learned though personal experience that some of the ingredients that are allowed in many organic foods (i.e.-yeast extract, barley malt, etc.) can trigger reactions in chemical sensitives.

    Mark, I know you don’t have a problem with soy lecithin, and it doesn’t seem to have any affect on me, but it does seem to bother my wife and daughter.

    Thanks for the post!

    1. You really missed one of the best. But I don’t know if you get it outside the EU:

      Domori ILBLEND 100%
      Only ingredient: Cacao

      Most chocolate bars with 100% cacao are dry and bitter, but this one is creamy and as bitter as a normal 80% bar. The Best: It is also 100% primal. Not even a small amount of soy lecithin…

      1. Forgive my ignorance here, but how can the only ingredient be cacao? Aren’t there at least cocoa butters or some other fat required to make a chocolate bar?

        1. Dagoba also has a 100% chocolate bar (available even in the North!). One ingredient: “100% organic cacao beans”. It’s fairly expensive, like the others, but you can’t eat alot at once. Eating a piece right now and it’s pretty good! I also like the Xocolatl; it bites back.

        2. The cocao butter comes from the cocoa bean! If they are using the whole bean – 100% that includes the fat/butter – then the chocolate would be 100% cocoa. FYI: cocoa butter is a neutral fat – does not do all the nasty things to your body that some other fats can do.

    2. You should try to track down Taza chocolate. It has 3 maybe 4 ingredients an NO SOY! I’m a real stickler about staying far far away from soy no matter how small of an amount and Taza is amazing.

      1. Tazo is amazing chocolate. Just tried it for the first time and it`s wonderful. The company history is also a real treat. Definitely a household item.

  11. I really like the Green & Black’s Organic 85% bar. Once or twice a week I eat 6 squares with an ounce of almonds and a cup of coffee, it’s my favorite dessert!

  12. Okay don’t tell me you haven’t tried Pralus (Pray-loo…if you say it the way it’s spelled sales people will silently mock you) 100% yet…It’s literally the best 100% dark chocolate there is. Better than the 90% and 85% bars I’ve tried even. Just smooth and creamy cocoa beans and cocoa butter basically, but processed so perfectly that you get the flowery/dark essence of the beans along with their slight natural sweetness. Pricey, yes. But so worth it, and the bar is stamped into teeny tiny squares that can make it last WAY longer than a usual bar.

    With all that said, being pregnant has ruined my chocolate receptors! All I want is milk chocolate…it’s so sad.

    1. Yes, I have to say that Pralus pretty much blows all other chocolate out of the water for me. The texture is a-mazing!
      I also like their mini Pyramids des Tropiques package. It’s fun to taste the many differences between single origin chocolates from different countries (the Equateur is my absolute fave!!)

    2. I have to agree 100%! Before I opened this post I had in my head that Pralus 100% should be on here. Much to my disappointment it isn’t.

      The first time I tried it, the chocolate shop said they get a lot of diabetics who come in to buy the Pralus 100%.

  13. When about the European chocolates that need refrigeration like Neuhaus, Godiva, and Leonidas? How do they stack up?

  14. My current favorite is Vivani 100% organic 85% cocoa.

    I like it better than Lindt, Green & Black’s, Dagoba, and Chocolove.

    Chocolove was my intro to the darks, starting with ~72% and then graduating up as my taste changed.

    Looks like it is time to expand again and search out the Valrhona next time I head in to the big city where there is a Trader Joe’s.

    Thanks for the nice summaries!

  15. This post should be titled ‘the Best dark chocolate bars in Whole Foods and Trader Joes’.

    There are some seriously intense local brands you get in various European countries (specially Italy and the Netherlands) that you don’t even hear about in America. I would name names if I could remember them, but unfortunately it has been a while since I have visited Europe.

    That said, the Endangered Species Black Panther bar (88%) should be on this list, IMHO

    1. Agreed. Not to take anything away from the chocolates on this list, but it seems they are the best of what is the most readily available (i.e. mass produced and well distributed) in North America. I won’t act like a chocolate snob and recommend boutique chocolates that require you to get on an airplane. Instead, I want to recommend two that are somewhat difficult to find in North America, but worth the hunt: A. Korkunov 72% Cacoa (from Russia) and Ulker Golden 70% Cacao (from Turkey). Enjoy!

  16. This article reads like a review of fine cigars. It was pretty enjoyable and I’ll be looking to try these.

  17. I agree!! The Endangered Species Black Panther bar (88%)is the best. Next is the Lindt 85-90%.
    I go through one bar a week of the 88%…

    1. Love the Black Panther bar!

      Remember, these lovely pieces of chocolate can also be turned into amazing beverages. Think of a dark chocolate drink, supplemented with the right chilies and spices, being sipped from a sea salt rimmed tall glass…..

  18. Lindt may be considered pedestrian (i don’t think so) because its everywhere, but Lindt 99% is harder to find, and well worth it.

  19. Thanks for the post, Mark! Love the Scharffen Berger and Chocolove! Another one that’s absolutely worth trying is Endagered Species 88% — delicious chocolate, and you support a great cause when you enjoy it 🙂

    I found it at Whole Foods here in San Francisco, but I’m pretty sure it’s available nationwide.

  20. Green&Black & Newman’s Organic are the ones I get. My daughter told me to try Uganda brand as she thought it was the best, so I have yet to try that. She only left me the empty wrapper.

    1. After looking at the wrapper, it is Hagelund 80%, with Uganda in large letters. Nice texture and strong flavor but not too bitter.

    2. Just had 88% Teuscher (Swiss). I would compare it to the Green & Black, slightly less bitter. It is twice as expensive though, so unless it was a gift I would not buy it.

  21. Great picks. Green and Black’s is my personal favorite. I don’t care for Lindt’s 85%, though. It tastes to strongly of alcohol for my preference.

  22. I’m really surprised that the ‘Le 100% by Pralus’ isn’t on this list. By far my favorite dark chocolate bar out there.

    1. I totally agree with LovesToClimb. I never thought I’d enjoy a 100% chocolate. But 100% Pralus is the best chocolate I’ve tasted. I only wish it weren’t so expensive.

  23. Here in Missouri we have two single-estate chocolate makers, both of whom make world-class chocolate bars. Too bad they top out at 75% or so. But still worth checking out for chocolate afficionados.

    Patric (www.patric-chocolate.com) and Askinosie (www.askinosie.com)

  24. There’s also a pretty reasonably priced bar at TJ’s ($1.49 I think) usually at the “candy” aisle besides the checkout stands called –
    Trader Joe’s The Dark Chocolate Lover’s Chocolate Bar 85% Cacao Smooth & fruity from the Tumaco Region of Colombia

    What I like about this bar besides the price is that it comes as two separate bars inside the package itself (for 1.25 servings per bar).

    1. Well, its not any of those fancy bars, but I shop at the Fort Knox commissary in Kentucky and about the best I can do is the Ghirardelli 86% Midnight Reverie. They carry the Green and Black 70% as well, but I find it too sweet. I guess that’s what I get for getting stationed in “the gut” of the country. One whole foods clear up in Louisville and nothing else closer than Cincinnati.

    2. I have to agree. The TJ 85% is probably the best tasting/value combo with great packaging too. The square sizes are perfect…put one melt a square on the bottom of some little cupcake cups…let cool…put a dab of TJ almond butter (also great deal)…sandwich with another chocolate square and melt. Let cool and you have a wonderful little almond butter cup. Mmmm.

  25. My favorite is Green & Blacks 85% w/ a date wrapped around it or two lol. Also, tastes good dipped in raw honey or almond butter for that Reeces Pieces kinda flavor I used to enjoy. Will try other ones too. Good timming 😀 I also eat the 70 +% if they are out sometimes.

  26. How about Robb Wolf’s secret weapon Francois Pralus Le 100% Dark chocalate

  27. I have to put in a good word for the plain old Lindt 85% cacao bars. Surprisingly low carb – Total Carbohydrate: 8g (3%)Dietary Fiber: 3g (12%) for 4 squares!

    They taste very nice too. A little more bitter than some are used to, but you will soon prefer it over sickly sweet conventional chocolate 🙂

    1. I have to say that of all of the choices I always go with the Green and Blacks because the texture is so amazing. The Dagoba Xocolati is a nice change if you want to go that low with the cacao content. But when I was visiting my mother for a few months last summer in a small town in Eastern Colorado, all I had was Walmart and they sold the Lindt 85% bars. I was pleasantly surprised to find how delicious they were. I didn’t know their carb count was so low, making them even better.

  28. Divine Organics Sacred Cacao
    I like the one with mulberries and macadamia. Raw amazing cacao brittle sweetened with just a bit of maple crystals. Super superior!
    Also, if you’re into making your own, Vivapura has a rare strain of cacao, represents 5% of the cacao production on the planet, and it is stone ground. Melt the paste with whatever and it’s to live for! http://vivapura.net/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=67

    1. I mix the coconut cream and the cacao paste together and I don’t need sweetener, low glycemic and DELISH!

  29. My favorite is the Galler Heritage noir 85% from the belgian company Galler. It’s really great, not so sweet but with an excellent taste and texture.

  30. Perugina always the best in my book, because they push the cocoa fat up, but somebody recently gave me something called “Blackout” that was intense and wonderful. I should have saved the wrapper.

    Great post.Yum.

    1. Thanks for mentioning Theo Chocolates, Matthew!! I was going to put a post about them if someone hadn’t already. I love their chocolate and it has ruined me for a lot of other brands. Including some on this list today. I love that Theo is an organic and fair trade company. (The first in North America–FYI, and no, I don’t work there!) You can order their chocolate online and I highly recommend you try it!!

    2. I had no idea we had a chocolate factory here! Thanks for posting this. Now I’m going to have to check them out. And a tour–yum!

    3. Good Call. I second the 91% Costa Rica Chocolate from Theo’s. It’s my go to chocolate bar.

  31. Mark, I recently fell in love with these chocolate squares – http://intemperantia.com/veganchocolatespecialties.aspx – they are dark, but not bitter because they are heavy on the cocoa butter side. Though I understand that the cocoa bean is made of the cacao and the cocoa butter, is there health benefit to the cocoa butter too? I guess I am still a bit confused on where the nutrition lies in the bean and if I can enjoy more of the fatty portion for health too!

  32. I’m surprised nobody has mentioned Michel Cluizel chocolate. Exceptional product!

    http://uk.cluizel.com/fr/hight-cocoa-contents/5/15.html

    In NYC I buy it in a store called Garden of Eden but you can find them elsewhere:

    http://worldwidechocolate.com/shop_cluizel_bars.html

    http://www.igourmet.com/shoppe/prodview.aspx?cat=&subcat=&prod=2643&name=Michel+Cluizel+Chocolate+Bars

    http://www.google.com/products?q=%22michel+cluizel%22%2B%22bar%22&hl=en&aq=f

    Good choices are the Noir de Cacao 72%, the Grand Noir 85% and the Noir Infini 99%.

  33. I have to second the recommendations for the Pralus. Yum. Also, try Claudio Corallo 73.5 with nibs. Interesting texture, and delightful taste. I am very fond of Michel Cluizel, as well. Mangaro, 65%, from Madagascar.

  34. The proliferation of organic-free trade-and the standards we all know from the baking aisle are endless now.
    GO OUT AND EXPERIMENT!…THEY ARE ALL DIFFERENT! I stick with 85% or higher.
    Trader Joes 85% is the best value. but add some Almond butter or Marscapone cheese to any super dark chocolate and its Heaven!! even 100% is just like a cup of black coffee. dark and strong but totally do-able.
    A little good red wine and dark chocolate never hurt anyone either..
    So go out and “HUNT” SOME chocolate!

    1. i read as long as it was 70% or better it was good for weight loss.. Am I wrong?

  35. How this list could possibly omit the François Pralus Le 100%, single origin bar is mind boggling!
    Ingredients
    Cocoa, pure cocoa butter
    thats it.. no sugar at all.

  36. Guittard 91% is my personal favorite. It’s dark, smooth, creamy heaven!

  37. The Endangered Species dark chocolate with espresso beans is KILLER. Its the one with the Tiger on the label. I can only get it at WF and i dread when we are out.

  38. Posts like this make me wish I liked chocolate. Then I remember that my dislike of chocolate has helped me avoid a lot of sugar calories in life, and figure I’ve perhaps broken even. 😉

  39. My favorite is 100% Ghiradelli with a touch of honey. That’s right – 100% guys!!

    100% Chocolate on its own is hard to take in so I add a touch of honey to sweeten it. Per 1 square I add about 1-2 grams worth of sugar from the honey.

    Is there anyone else that does this? I am sure adding coconut oil would do the trick too.

    I have not purchased chocolate bars in a while yet as I have been enjoying 100% cacao powder and 100% cacao nibs in smoothies. I LOVE these products!

    1. I really can’t eat the 100% plain (88-90% is high enough for me) even with honey. Is there anything I can bake it into with the honey so I can use it up?

      1. Marisa, I realize I’m late in responding but here goes. Sometimes I chop the 100% chocolate bar, then melt it with about half as much coconut oil as chocolate, then stir in the honey (I use maple syrup). I usually also stir in nuts, possibly cinnamon and unsweetened shredded coconut. Put in refrigerator to harden. You will have to experiment with proportions but you really can’t go too wrong. Oh yeah, in case you don’t know…melt the chocolate mixture in a bowl over simmering water or in some very warm place, not directly over a fire.

        1. Thanks for the response – sounds delicious! I actually just posted my question in the forums too 🙂

  40. Well, although I agree that these choices are wonderful, I have to add that almost all of these bars (or all of them, I don’t know Valrhona,) have soy lecithin in the ingredients. If you’ve gone paleo because you have gut issues, you should know that soy lecithin is considered an intestinal tract irritant. If you have inflammation issues or thyroid issues, then any soy is contraindicated. My son loves dark chocolate, but has Crohns disease. The only bar we can find now that is made without soy lecithin is Rapunzel- and it’s a little waxy.

    1. My Dogoba and Lindt ones do not have soy lecithin. I do notice that ingredient is in my other “organic” dark chocolate though. Yuck to anything soy! The second biggest health food scam next to artificial sweeteners!

  41. I’ll second the repeated recommendations for Endangered Species bars. I love the Panther 88%, but also the Bat 72% with cacao nibs.

    I also really like El Rey chocolate from Venezuela, but it’s hard to find and expensive.

    One thing to keep in mind is that there have been allegations that much cacao is produced in near-slavery conditions in Cote D’Ivoire. See http://tinyurl.com/m65n2r (yes, I know it’s Wikipedia — that’s why I said “allegations”) Endangered Species isn’t marked “Fair Trade,” which would be the gold standard, but at least they seem to make an effort.

  42. Missing some of my favorites — Grenada and Galler. Both are available from the *very* dangerous website: https://www.chocosphere.com/

    Plus — you should really try single-source cocoa bars. It changes the taste significantly — will quite often have a ‘fruit’ taste with no fruit in the actual bar.

  43. strange i was never into chocolate much on my old (lower-fat, “healthy”) diet.

    since i switched to hyperlipid diet, i become addictive to cacao beans or nibs (100%). i buy raw then i soak them then slow roast/dry them myself. i only like cacao that way (crunchy & slightly bitter). also a good replacement for my breath mints & gum. LOL.

    but i still don’t care for chocolate as much in any other form (no matter what %).

    go figure!

  44. I discovered my favorite chocolate in the Grand Central Station Market in New York – made by Mast Brothers in Brooklyn, the chocolate is 70% cacao and sugar – that’s it for the plain bars – other varieties include olive oil, nuts, sea salt, and coffee nibs – not inexpensive, but a little goes a long way

    http://www.mastbrotherschocolate.com

  45. I like Green and Black but I think I like Ghirardelli 86% as well or better, and it’s cheaper. I’ve had the Dagoba but don’t remember much about it. (I’ve never met a dark chocolate I didn’t like, really, though 99% was too bitter for me — the honey is a good idea but sort of defeats the purpose in my view.)

    In another state I recently found Godiva — in a CVS drug store of all places — 85% and it was awesome.

  46. Green & Blacks Every time. I also like the 55% Cacoa maya gold bars. Dark chocolate, sweet, bitter with spices. I have 2 or 3 squares after a meal of red meat. Finishes off the evening for me.

    I could devour the whole bar so need to hide it in the fridge.

  47. I got some 100% Cacao from Equador and it was absolutely amazing. One little 2inchx2inch square lasted me for weeks. I would just break off a tiny nibble and the flavor was fantastic. I really cant eat anything below 75%. Otherwise its much too sweet. Endangered 88% is a great one too, i saw some other people mention that.

  48. I second the vote for Theo chocolates. They have an 84% Ghana and 91% Costa Rica bar that are fantastic! All their chocolate is organic, fair trade and soy-free. Sadly for the gluten-intolerant among us, they don’t guarantee wheat-free chocolate, so for now I’m sticking with Lindt 85%.

  49. Second the Pralus and Michel Cluizel recommendations. Cluizel’s 99% bar is awesome and super intense.

    Chocolat Bonnat is one of my favorite brands. Their main range of single-origin bars are all 75%, which I normally find a little low, but theirs taste really rich and intense.

    Another favorite of mine is Guittard’s Nocturne bar. It’s 91%, but much more approachable than other high-percentage bars I’ve tried, both in taste and price. Guittard sells a ton of baking chocolate, but their tablet bars meant for eating are very reasonably priced for the quality and underrated in my opinion.

    Fine and Raw is a company out of Brooklyn I believe and they do a truffle bar made from raw cacao and coconut oil that is v. primal and absolutely decadently delicious.

    My favorite company right now, though, is a little outfit called Rogue out of Minnesota. Check them out – they do three different dark chocolate blends, and the differences are actually discernable. The packaging is stunning, too.

  50. Dark chocolate organic coffee beans?? I saw these yesterday in the store, so I don’t know the % of cocoa in it, but definitely a caffine kick. Any suggestions?

  51. I just came back from the local Coop (It’s on the otherside of the wall from where I work) and they had the Dagoba bars right up front – They did happen to have ‘another’ dark chocolate version of the Dagoba bar that included ‘chilis’. I’m interested in trying that!

  52. Weak. Most of those have soy lecithin in them. Vivani and Alter Eco blow all of these away. Weak post. Very disappointing. Do your homework, guys.

  53. Just remember that if it doesn’t say free trade or organic, it’s most likely produced by indentured servants and child slaves. This is no joke. So stick with Dagoba, Green&Black’s and other organic options until the others clean up their business practices.

  54. Oh, I love that Scharffen Berger was listed, but I like their 99% best. It’s my chocolate of choice. Happy to see Green & Black’s listed as well. 🙂 I’m a big fan of Dagoba’s drinking chocolate. Might have to try a bar of chocolate one of these days.

  55. I like Endangered Species and Green & Black bars in the 72-75 range. Above this, I’m having real difficulty finding something that doesn’t taste like mud. I’m working on two bars right now, both Lindt, one is Lindt’s Chili bar and the other is their 70% Intense Dark. The Chili bar seems like it would be perfect without the chili, which produces a little heat on the back of the tongue but doesn’t seem to thoroughly mix the chili flavor throughout, but the bar is only 47%. The 70% Intense Dark? MUD. Edible with a glass of Cab, but mud otherwise.

  56. I like Endangered Species Dark Chocolates. I am gluten sensitive and these are certified to have less than 10ppm gluten by the Gluten Free Certification Organization. http://www.gfco.org

    Lindt says their chocolates should not be considered gluten free.

  57. While in Thailand, I came across a company called “Well Naturally” that apparently is made out of Australia. I’m not sure if it can be found in the U.S.; however, they produce a sugar-free line of dark chocolate bars amongst other supposedly healthy alternatives to standard chocolate that is both cheap, and for the non champagne-taste category of people, quite good. From the website, I do recall that GMC may sell them. I haven’t done much research into the accuracy of their statements but its worth the indulgence if you are really avoiding sugar.

  58. I love chocolate but I can’t just have one square or half a bar. When it is chocolate time I get crazy and eat until I am nauseous. Then of course comes all the guilt and regret and promises never to that again. My wife just watches and laughs. She has seen it before and will see it again.

    Good thing I bought the Primal Blueprint to teach me how to burn fat the rest of the time!

    1. I am with you Nathan. I can eat chocolate until my ears ring. I have been fighting the beast for longer than I want to admit.

      I can not relate to the words…. ‘I can only eat one square.’

      My only hope is to not ever buy chocolate bars again. Probably not going to happen.

  59. I love CocoaLove Cups, they are amazing, and contain only cocoa and agave. I also love madecasse. Its delightful and won new york chocolate weeks best in show!

  60. I believe 4 out of 5 of your choices all have soy lecithin in them…reason enough to steer clear…

  61. Equal exchange Mint chocolate 68%. Little sweet but amazing. Organic.

  62. I use 100% unsweetened bakers chocolate and groove on the bitterness..!

  63. Gotta admit, Vivani is the best I’ve ever had — smooth, creamy, dark, no soy! I’ve had the Lindt 99%, Green & Blacks, the darkest Godiva and Ghirardelli I can find, and my go-to bar for the longest time was Endangered Species, but none of those hold a candle to Vivani. IMHO.

  64. I love Lindt’s 85%. Just the perfect sweet to bitter ratio. I’m surprised at how many people like the 99%. That’s some dedication to such a bitter chocolate. I’ve tried, but just can’t do it 🙂

  65. WOW!!!! There are some serious chocolate lovers out there! Looks like I’m in good company. I stumbled across this one a few days ago. It’s pretty good but not my favorite….
    Righteously Raw 90% with Caramel
    Total fat% – 7g
    Sugars – 7g
    from earthsoureorganics.com
    My all time favorite is Dark Chocolate with Caramel & Sea Salt from Nirvana. YUMMY! We refer to it as “crack” chocolate in our cave 🙂
    I hope everyone enjoys their search for the perfect chocolate!

  66. Chocolate bars, no matter how good, aren’t Paleo, nor are they Primal. They are just cavity creators.

    People need to go kill their food more. When the lights go out – only the hunters and farmers will know what to do.

    Lets get back to real Primal skills, not picking out the best bar in the chocolate aisle.

    1. chocolate bars without any sugar are unlikely to cause cavities. If you know about aboriginal cultures and caries it proves that it is poor nutrition that causes cavities, not specifically what goes in the mouth.

      Well, I partially agree with you on who is going to survive our next societal collapse; the people who have maintained connection with the Earth, and for the most part, that is not the farmers… not in the developed part of the world anyway. Time to get to know your aboriginal neighbours.

  67. taza chocolate is where it is at. They stone grind it all, so it really tastes like a whole grain chocolate with all the texture of the cocao and not just a smooth mass of processed muck

  68. Lindt’s 99% is what I like. But it’s twice as much as the 90%, so I generally stick with the 90%.

    On it’s own, in whipped cream, or in my coffee, it’s tasty.

  69. I’ve tried the Dagoba. This was after enjoying the dark chocolate pound plus bar from Trader Joes, which I think was 72%. I enjoyed that, but I think i moved to quickly to much darker. I’ll have to make it a little more gradual.

  70. Here in Springfield, Missouri, is a single source maker of the best chocolate you will ever eat: Askinosie Chocolate. It isn’t cheap, but the quality is amazing. Everything is in house, all Fair Trade, and Shawn Askinosie travels to the actual farms in Ecuador and Mexico to source his chocolate. Incredible. Well worth it.

    As for more widely available brands, I have to give a big thumbs down to Green & Blacks and Dagoba because in the past year or so they been adding powdered milk to the chocolate. It is a tiny amount, and I’m sure it has a reason for being there, but it screws up the whole 85% cacao experience. None for me, thank you. I’d rather do Newman’s or some other brand that keeps the milk out. It is DARK chocolate, not milk chocolate!!

  71. I stand by Endangered Species Raspberry Almond, which is dark with hardly any raspberry or almond, just a tease of each, and a wee bit of sugar, and it’s perfect! It’s the kind where you can have just a small square and be truly satisfied, or you could eat more, but you’ll regret if you eat the whole thing and it’s gone tomorrow. It’s very pure tasting.

    Trader Joe’s has a couple of its own dark bars (not the cheapos) that are pretty darn good, I have to say. Newman’s Own was my first every chocolate love. One day I will try Askinosie. Don’t forget that Chicago based chocolatier too, Vosges, which is more for chocolate connoiseurs who like to spend a lot. It’s very good as well.

  72. if you are ready for it, as Mark sounds like he is… try Dagoba’s 100% bar… it’s true to its roots and for aficionados only

  73. 122 comments on chocolate is pretty funny. Marks post on bacon got 196 comments. I guess thats a plus of being primal, being able to eat delicious food while getting in the best shape of your life. I forget the brand but my dad had a dark chocolate bar with bacon 85% I think. It was mouthwatering! Probably going to order a couple of cases when I find out what they were…lol.

  74. Hells ya, for this long overdue CHOCOLATE POST!

    mmm chocholate… *Homer daze and drool*

  75. Conscious Chocolate in the UK are amazing, they make a range of raw chocolate bars that are free from pesticides, dairy, soya and gluten.

    “Conscious ingredients
    Raw cacao powder, cacao butter and agave nectar (natural sweetener) form the basis of all the Conscious Chocolate range. We use a blend of sundried fruits, nuts, super foods and therapeutic grade essential oils to create a variety of different flavours. It is imperative for us to know the country of origin of each ingredient to make sure it is fairly traded, transported and ethically sourced. We ensure the ingredients are organically certified and that pesticides and spays are never used”

    Beautiful stuff!

    http://www.consciouschocolate.co.uk/

    1. Agave nectar has been successfully passed off as a health food. Not so; highly processed and high glycemic index. Not much improvement from high fructose corn syrup. It’s ok, I got fooled into using it too, for awhile… before I went Primal.

  76. Ghiradelli Intense Dark Midnight Reverie 86% chocolate

    Dagoba Xocolatl 74% with hot chilis and cacao nibs — a lower chocolate % but it has lots of cacao nibs which sort of makes up for it. This stuff is AMAZING!

  77. Beautiful dark chocolate write up. I love dark chocolate.

    And the reason primal eating resonates so well with me is because the healthier food has always been what I craved.

    Even As a little kid I always chose dark chocolate over your standard milk chocolate, and all of my friends would say it tasted gross. So I can’t comprehend people that don’t appreciate the complex and much more sophisticated palate of real dark chocolate. Love it.

  78. The Scharffen Berger DOES taste like bacon and it wasn’t my thing- I’d rather eat real bacon for that flavor. 85% Green and Blacks and 90% Dark Lindt are two favs here 🙂

  79. This post inspired me to take a stroll through the chocolate section of my market last night. I spent about $25 on different super dark bars… Lindt has always been my go-to brand, but I’m all set to try Endangered Species and Black and Green when I’m next in the mood!

  80. In Australia. Green and Blacks 85% is listed as having 15.6g Carbohydrate per 100g (sorry, 3.5oz I think). It is really listed as 14g of Carbs per 40g in America.

  81. My husband really enjoys the “Alter Eco” brand, usually the 85% Dark Chocolate Blackout bar-only 3 ingredients: Cocoa Mass, Cocoa Butter, and Cane Sugar. Organic and Fair Trade Certified.

  82. mark, you did not include Trader Joe’s 85% dark chocolate that is SOOOO much better than the Green and Blacks. I really do not like the way it melts in my mouth.

  83. I have a small piece of Lindt excellence 90% everyday. Usually i chew it up with a small piece of ginger or habanero pepper and let the flavors develop over a few minutes. It’s SO good. Really complex flavors.

  84. Just watched a document about cocoa. On non-organic farms, they use child labor and doesn’t care about land itself either. So always buy organic if possible.

    This is kinda fun way to eat chocolade and save the world 🙂

    http://www.organicmeltdown.com/

    1. Artificial sweetener. I wouldn’t eat it and it has serious safety concerns (like all artificial sweeteners) that you can read about online.

  85. Every day bar: Endangered Species Panther, Extreme Dark Chocolate 88%.

    I will occasionally buy other “specialty chocolates” when I find one that looks intriguing but the ES bar is my tried and true daily fix.

  86. I own a specialty foods brokerage firm in the N.W. My favorite chocolates are from Pacari, an organic manufacturer in Ecuador. They do single-origin, fair trade bars, my favorite of these is their 65% Manabi. Much more complex flavor with fruity & floral notes than most bars from the big companies.
    They also do 70% and a 100% dark raw bars, for those who like higher flavinols & antioxidants.

  87. I simply buy some pure, raw cacao nibs and grind them up and add them to a mashed banana. You can also buy pure cacao powder but I find the nibs are more flavourful.

    Sometimes I’ll add a little coconut oil with the mix and – damn – it’s tasty!

    1. haha. it seems we’re the only 2 who likes cacao nibs. but i don’t even grind them up. (I prefer beans tho. less messy.)
      cheers,

  88. I used to love extreme dark chocolate bars (Theo, Endangered Species, etc.) but decided that they weren’t primal. Has anybody here seen how much work goes into making a chocolate bar? I can understand hot cocoa as a drink but not chocolate bars. Maybe for my birthday.

  89. Green and blacks 85% cocoa is my favourite. Every couple of days I’ll have a square or two in the evening.

    I haven’t been able to find any other bars in the UK that rival it for flavour, cocoa percentage or smoothness.

  90. mmmm… reading this whilst eating a snack of delicious dark choc spread with slightly salted butter and almonds…

  91. I’m ending up eating about three squares in the mid-afternoon and three in the evening to curb my chocolate/carb cravings while I get off my high carb/sugar diet and into PB. I much prefer the “silky” kinds like G&B and Valrhona as opposed to the more “dusky” flavor of the Endangered Species.

  92. Mark just how much of the Valrhona would you put in chili? I would love to try it.
    The Valrhona 85% is the only one I’ve tried so far but I like it. Even put a dab of almond butter on it a la Reeses cups. Gotta love it

  93. The really best (for health) dark chocolate is the Italian Cuorenero 100% (cuorenero.it): only pure cocoa mass from central American without sugar, manufactured at low temperature (to preserve antioxidant polyphenols) for 200 hours with about 1 gr% of polyphenols, used in this clinical study (Blood Pressure Is Reduced and Insulin Sensitivity Increased in Glucose-Intolerant, Hypertensive Subjects after 15 Days of Consuming High-Polyphenol Dark Chocolate – J. Nutr. 138: 1671–1676, 2008).

  94. Great subject, I have too much to say about choc, but here is some ideas.

    Valrhona is great, the Noir american is not one of their best, the single estates particulary Palmeira with Criollo beans from Venezuela is my favourite(expensive though).

    Cocoa content is the sum of cocoa butter(the fat that is pressed from the beans) and the cocoa powder(the rest of the beans dried and ground). Cocoa butter is more expensive and, cheap brands will use other fats and just powder, as the powder has a more intense choc flavour it is possible to create a biter choc with a fairly low cocoa content, beware.
    What content is the best is personal, it´s like coffee, doesn´t always get better if it gets stronger, just personal taste, the chocs that win acclaim by choc freaks(like me) is often around 65%, but yes it has more sugar, personally I don´t let things like that get in my way when I savour one of the true joys of life. Try a glass of a good sauternes together with Amedeis Chuao(really expensive)and that day will be a day to remember.

    Leif

  95. Several of the above chocolates are available in my small southwestern Texas town but so far Lindt’s is the only one without soy lecithin. I know Guru Sisson doesn’t get excited about the stuff but in my moderately cynical view of life, if something is popular, it must be bad, hence my avoidance of all things soy, as well as grains and sugar.

  96. Taza is the best! After a friend sent me a sampler basket a couple years ago, my husband and I don’t eat anything else. I don’t eat most of the other kinds listed, mostly because they contain soy.
    Taza’s texture is amazing, since it’s all stone ground. I love their Chocolate Mexicano especially – they add a touch of cinnamon, guajillo chili, vanilla bean, or salted almond. Truly delicous!

  97. Taza is the best! After a friend sent me a sampler basket a couple years ago, my husband and I don’t eat anything else. I don’t eat most of the other kinds listed, mostly because they contain soy.
    Taza’s texture is amazing, since it’s all stone ground. I love their Chocolate Mexicano flavors especially – they add a touch of cinnamon, guajillo chili, vanilla bean, or salted almond. Truly delicous!

  98. i used to sample green and blacks – always used to find it on the chalky side. i preferred the maya gold which had orange oil in it. but less cocoa/

    anyway, i was looking in the supermarket (well..Marks and Spencer, not really supermarket!) and they had two 72%ers. One was 44g carbs per 100g and the other was 30g! I couldn’t work out why such a big difference…the only ingredient difference was the higher card one had ground vanilla pod in it. weird huh?

    sarah

  99. My #1 bar is Coco Camino but I’m in Canada, so maybe you yanks can’t get it. It is head and shoulders above anything on this list.

    There’s also a brand I get called Ciocolady or something like that. It’s from Italy. Also very good.

  100. someone mentioned claudio corallo. YES! i’ve tried many many dark chocolates, and this is by far my favorite. they carry 73% with nibs, 75%, 80%… the ONLY ingredients are cocoa, sugar, and cocoa butter. this chocolate is amazing and expensive. they also carry a 100% bar.

  101. Cocoa Camino makes some excellent organic chocolate bars, including a new unsweetened chocolate for baking which means that the cocoa content is sky high.

    Take a bite of the unsweetened bar and a bit of a berry or other healthy sweet food and it can be quite tasty!

  102. I can’t believe you don’t have the Chapon Cuba 75% – its sensational. Also no Chuao or Porcelana bars.

    Very strange.

  103. By the gods I’m salivating reading this article. My current favorite is the G&B 85% but I’m anxious to try many of these suggestions.

  104. I have been trying many of the high cacao bars, and just don’t enjoy anything over 72%. I’ve also tried several organic raw varieties, and find them too sharp. For me, chocolate needs to be very smooth, and the flavor and fat must be carefully balanced.

    As a huge dark chocolate lover, I used to live on Vivani 72% (tried their 85%, but gave them away to hardier friends!) My current favorite – far outweighing any other – is Divine 70% Dark Chocolate with Raspberries, and the plain Divine 70% Dark Chocolate. Not Organic, but Fair Trade Certified, and the quality is amazing, I am guessing they are not sprayed, as I am very sensitive to chemical contamination.

    I don’t like that they have soy lecithin, but at least it is not genetically modified. Wonderful comments! Thanks everyone!

  105. Cocoa content is the sum of cocoa butter(the fat that is pressed from the beans) and the cocoa powder(the rest of the beans dried and ground). Cocoa butter is more expensive and, cheap brands will use other fats and just powder, as the powder has a more intense choc flavour it is possible to create a biter choc with a fairly low cocoa content, beware.
    What content is the best is personal, it´s like coffee, doesn´t always get better if it gets stronger, just personal taste, the chocs that win acclaim by choc freaks(like me) is often around 65%, but yes it has more sugar, personally I don´t let things like that get in my way when I savour one of the true joys of life. Try a glass of a good sauternes together with Amedeis Chuao(really expensive)and that day will be a day to remember.

    1. You are so right. It is not about the % of cocoa, but how it is processed. Xocai is the the only chocolate that is cold processed, all the wonderful nutrients in the bean are retained. This is so important as the cocoa bean is the highest antioxidant food on the plant and it will lose up to 80% of the nutrients and antioxidants in the heat or Dutching way of processing the bean. Xocai also used the cocoa butter in the finished product instead of processing it out -selling it- adding back in ‘crappy’ fats, plus fillers, waxes, even caffeine to bring back the flavor because they have processed the rich flavor out of the bean, and who knows what else. Xocai does not have any of that and they use a low glycemic sugar that is, of course, Diabetic friendly. You don’t have to sacrifice good delicious chocolate for health. It is loaded with antioxidants which could help improve your health. Imagine eating chocolate, getting healthy, and even losing weight?!

  106. I don’t really see the problem with milk chocolate (provided we are talking about QUALITY milk chocolate). Milk chocolate scores better than many fruits in terms of antioxidant levels. The drawback is that it doesn’t offer the benefits of reduced blood pressure as dark chocolate does, but that doesn’t mean it increases your blood pressure either. It has a lot of sugar, but as long as you are active (walking is OKAY too) and don’t eat too much in one sitting you’re blood sugar won’t spike. The fact that it has a lot of fat helps to lower the glycemic index of the treat too.

    Admittedly, I’ve been eating about 500 calories of a mix of milk chocolate and dark chocolate everyday for the past four years and have a BMI of exactly 20. I’m 21 years old but often times people confuse my for being under 18. At the train station and airport, more than once did workers approach me asking if I had an elderly companion. It must be the chocolate — milk chocolate! I love dark chocolate, but I can’t give up on milk chocolate. It seems okay to eat massive amounts of chocolate if you don’t get massive amounts of calories/fat from other sources. I don’t see why that should be a problem though — if you find good quality chocolate, you won’t crave anything else.

  107. Just noticed that Lindt now has a 99% bar. A significant difference from their 90%. Strong but very good.

  108. Green & Black is available at my neighborhood Walmart. Definitely a favorite.

  109. Note Black & Green is owned by Kraft,
    owners of Cadbury since takeover.
    Cadbury owned Black & Green.
    Cadbury branded chocolate made for North America by Hershey….

  110. I am totally rofl at the comments saying this is like a walk down the candy aisle at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. Haha! So true! The universe of chocolate is so much bigger than the grocery store offerings.

  111. oh wow I’m surprised these aren’t on the list:
    Lindt 90% (my go-to bar)- very vanilla-y
    99% world market bar (mentioned in some comments)
    michael cluizel 99% bar (omg, I love this stuff. so hard to find though, and I think I’m the only person that buys it at the only store I’ve seen it in. Now it’s gone :()
    E. Guittard Nocturne 91% bar I believe. also quite good. Liking it more than the Lindt now.

  112. oh, the michael cluizel 99% noir infini bar has the best stats, imo. It is small though, like half a Lindt bar

    Serving Size: 1 piece (about 40g), 1 1/3 in entire bar
    Amount per Serving
    Calories 213
    Calories from Fat 189.0
    % Daily Value *
    Total Fat 21g
    32%
    Saturated Fat 13g
    65%
    Cholesterol 0.58mg
    0%
    Sodium 4mg
    0%
    Total Carbohydrate 5g
    1%
    Dietary Fiber 4.4g
    17%
    Sugars 0.6g

    Protein 8.8g

    like, super low in carbs 🙂
    (note – not associated with them or anything, I just really like this chocolate)

  113. I love chocolate – and I choose to make my own. From raw coco powder, raw coco butter 2 to 1, add a pinch sea salt and your sweetener of choice (for me that’s stevia) to taste. Then stir in nuts,fruit, seeds or nibs and tada! Yum!

  114. has anyone tried kallari 85%? my new favorite. i’ve never tasted a smoother chocolate. it’s like eating silk! they also have 70% and 75%. it’s about five dollars a bar, but it goes a long way… takes me about a week to eat, just a square or two at a time. my six year old loves it too!

    1. I ran into the Kallari booth at the Seattle Gift Show recently. Yes, it is an excellent Ecuadorian chocolate, very creamy-smooth, I agree. But my personal favorite is another chocolate line from Ecuador called Pacari Organic Chocolates. My favorites of what they make are the single origin 65% Manabi & the 72% Los Rios. They have an incredibly complex flavor profile, with some amazing fruity & floral notes, very satisfying! After tasting Pacari, most bars taste rather 1-dimensional, even Kallari. They may be a little hard to find (as they don’t work with UNFI or other national distributors), but well worth the effort!

  115. Don’t know if anyone’s mentioned this, but Theo’s 91% is pretty good.

  116. Unfortunately, most of these chocolates that are mentioned on here (except Divine) are all coming from cacao beans harvested on plantations that use child labor, chemicals, and did I mention forced child labor?

    I am an owner of Equal Exchange- our chocolate comes from small farmer cooperatives and contains no sot lecithin or fillers. As a Primal eater, our 80% Panama bar is my go to treat! Find it at food coops or Whole (Paycheck) Foods. As a Primal eater, it is important to me not only what I eat, but where it comes from as well.

  117. Thanks! I learned a lot about chocolate brands in here, and it will help me in my future business!

  118. Olive and Sinclair is a great artisan chocolate maker in Nashville, TN: http://www.oliveandsinclair.com

    I make my own dark chocolate with 3 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa, 2 tbsp of coconut oil and just enough truvia/stevia for however sweet you want it. You can add other things for flavor,i.e. sea salt,nuts,etc.

    Put it in the fridge to solidify on greased wax paper or a very glossy paper plate or you will destroy it trying to detach it from the plate.

    Its not super refined but it will do for a chocolate fix, there’s no sugar and its very economical.

  119. you haven’t tasted the hole pallet of world chocolates until you have tried “Pure Icelandic Chocolate Noi Sirius 70%” just reminds me of happy child hood memory’s of when i was a kid and i was stealing a bit off from the kitchen, and there never seamed to be any chocolate a round when my mother wanted to bake ;)it melts so satisfyingly in your mouth….

      1. I also like that the sugar used in Endangered is unprocessed and water-filtered.

  120. Hi I found this by Googling ‘best chocolate’ (or whatever!) as someone recommended the following to me and I was trying to check them out@
    Val Rhona
    Amaday and Michel Cluizel
    But I see NONE of these are mentioned! (so FAR!). I normally do the Green and Blacks DARKEST!

  121. I love dark chocolates, I love the bitterness and sweetness it offers. Truly a unique satisfying taste. I hope one day I could taste these 5 best dark chocolate.

  122. Though it is only 70%, my sheer favorite is Rapunzel for two reasons: one is that they put their product through a conching process done by hand and the ingredients of nature that consumes three days, not just a few hours via chemicals. The difference is notable in the flavor, so much so I’m convinced if they did an 85% it would thrill the palate distinctively more than the other 85ers.
    The second reason is the quality of sugar they use, which I believe is the least processed in the field and carries a roundness of sweetness with molasses characteristics to make a far more interesting chocolate. They used to use a sugar that was not processed at all, their own product called Rapadura, but the inside-the-box brittleness of consumer tastes made them retreat from that supreme summit.
    I hope some other company has the balls to return this to the gusty fields of human flavor highs.
    Their Rapadura can still be purchased separately. It changes desserts for which it is appropriate (NOT lemon pie, a disaster) like apple crisp to their fulfillment of potential.
    While writing this I consumed nearly an entire 3.4 oz. Green & Black 85er. So I had good company!

    Ron
    Note: I don’t know if I’ll be able to find you again online, for my computer is crazy tonight. But if you email me any replies at ronald@foxinternet.net I’ll be likely to get them.

    1. Yes! I used to eat the Rapunzel chocolate he speaks of years ago made with the Rapadura sugar and it truly was amazing! So much more like what I had always imagined a great brown sugar should taste like, and it gave the chocolate a distinctive less sweet, but more flavored, delicious quality! It was different from other bars, but I thought much better!

      I also used to buy Rapadura sugar to make my famous organic whole wheat/oatmeal/coconut double-the chocolate-chips cookies (my secret ingredient was plain organic yogurt), but I don’t make them much anymore, being allergic to wheat and dairy!

      My current go-to chocolate is (Fair Trade) Divine 85% Dark (“Heavenly Chocolate with a heart.”) Their 70% Dark is also wonderful, but I can finally do the less sweet after a couple of years of eating more primal! Thanks to Mark & you guys!

  123. I’ve been a chocolate lover all my life, and have eaten exclusively dark chocolate for about a decade. Of all the dark chocolates I’ve had–and there have been many–the Dagoba 87% (Eclipse) bar is by far my favorite.

    It is the richest, “deepest,” most complex, and most satisfying dark chocolate I have ever had. I like others to varying degrees, but many have a generic dark chocolate taste; as the reviewer states, this chocolate really does stand alone.

    I disagree with the reviewer about the texture: if you order the chocolate directly from the company, you will get–at least I have–very fresh bars that are quite smooth and silky. The reviewer does not mention the fact that an Eclipse bar has eight grams of fiber and seven grams of protein.

    I found the Eclipse extremely hard to find (Fairway on NYC’s Upper West Side has it only occasionally), so I now order it by the box directly from the company (www.dagobachocolate.com).

  124. This is a good list of great chocolate. And if you want to take it up a notch, here’s more info.

    For a list of Artisan Chocolatiers (those Mark listed, plus many more):
    http://chocomap.com/chocolatiers.php

    Try the different tabs at chocomap.com, such as “Up to Your Elbows in Chocolate” for info on Understanding Cocoa Percentage or How Chocolate is Made. The tab “Hot Chocolate” has news on chocolate and at bottom, a list of chocolate resources (sites, blogs, online bulk chocolate suppliers). The tab “Bonbons & Bars” gets you to a selection of great chocolate bars with descriptions.

    The tab “The Map” lists chocolatiers by city, throughout the world or you can search on the name of a shop. If your favorite local Chocolatier isn’t listed, have the shop go to the link “Put Your Shop on the Map” and fill out the form to get listed!

    And to find a Chocolatier wherever you are in the world, download the free “Find Chocolate” app for iPhone & Android:
    http://chocomap.com/chocomap_mobile.php

    Enjoy!
    EcoleChocolatGirl
    (Program Coordinator at Ecole Chocolat, the online chocolate school that teaches the art of fine chocolate making)

  125. Most dark chocolate has soy lesithin. What is the purpose of adding this?

    1. Cocoa beans are turned into a chocolate liquor, which is then pressed to produce Cocoa butter and Cocoa solids. Chocolatiers mix these two at varying proportions to create different chocolate. Soy Lechtin is used as an emulsifier in order to allow the solids to bind with the butter. Its important to realize however that this is a “shortcut” when producing fine chocolate – and chocolate made by hand with the proper technique does not require this ingredient.

      Soy Lechin itself is the ‘gum’ left over after processing soy beans. The negative aspects of Soy Lechtin is that it is typically removed from processing machinery with solvents and chemicals, and that soy itself can have a number of nasty properties. It really doesn’t belong in chocolate – its like crapping in chocolate cake.

  126. Theo out of Seattle makes OUTSTANDING chocolate, found predominately on the West Coast. My fave, which is currently out of production, is 96% cacao from Costa Rica.

    Organic and Fair Trade!

    If you love chocolate, check out Theo!

    http://www.theochocolate.com/

  127. I’m on this thread because I’m a chocoholic…trying to abstain or limit because of the evils of caffein. The famous brain doctor, Daniel Amen, says it’s bad for the brain, and other sources say it’s bad for the kidneys. Isn’t anybody here concerned?

  128. the only one i have had is green and blacks, and i wasn’t tha impressed. lindt’s 99% dark is my fav!

  129. Your are forgetting the best dark chocolate made of “arriba cacao”: REPUBLICA DEL CACAO, harvested and produced in Ecuador.

  130. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Scharfenberger is owned by Hershey. Ever since Hershey took over the quality is not the same. Since we are in the Bay area and own a food company we use Guittard. I love all their dark chocolates! Endangered Species is also tops!

  131. i am a chocalate lover. i even do my bombom at home.. with almonds,nuts,straberrys… a delicious desert for all occacions…

    happy new year everyone!!! 🙂

  132. Here in New Zealand Lindt ” Excellence” 85% Cocoa [dark noir]can be bought at most normal super markets.

    The Pack is 100g
    and the numbers listed are:
    Energy 530Kcal
    Protein 11g
    Fat, total 46g
    -saturated 28g
    Carbs 19g
    – sugars 14g
    Sodium 30mg

    Cheers

  133. I think, you are forgetting one of the most important chocolates in the world. The best cacao ever found came from Venezuela, specifically from a really small town called Chuao. First, Chuao’s cacao is fermented to develop the compounds that will later blossom into rich aromatics, then it’s laid out on the parvis in front of the village church to dry slowly in the sun.

    If you want a try a perfect chocolate bar made using 100% Chuao’s cacao, you have to expend a little bit more money and find a “Carenero Superior” made an exceptional venezuelan chocolate company called “El Rey”. Once you have tasted that, you will think different about cacao bean quality and excellent chocolates on the world.

  134. The Lindt 99% is top of the list. I can’t have anything less than 90% or the sugar stops complementing the chocolate taste and starts masking it.

    I think fine chocolate is really an untapped market. Chocolatiers can experiment with different solid to butter proportions, infuse natural flavours .. and sell some REALLY good 99% bars.

    Here in Canada we can pick up Lindt 99% at Superstore and London Drugs – not that hard to find. 1g of sugar in the entire 50g bar.

    Believe it or not I have tasted better at chocolatiers I’ve visited. I remember this one that had a high butter composition, hint of natural vanilla and rosemary .. knocked my socks off.

  135. i’ve just ordered from the lindt website, 99% dark, never had it before but the 90% is divine ….

  136. None of the ones you list are fair trade, which is unfortunate, as much as I love eating choc. it is one of the corrupt and harmful industry to the indigenous populations it exploits so I only eat fair trade, do you have any recommendations for that? our health should not be others misery.

  137. Hi there….I am new to eating dark chocolate…should we eat a recommended serving of it OR just a small square? I enjoy small amounts of it but if I need to eat more of it, I can do that too 🙂 Your thoughts?

  138. After reading this I went out to a local Whole Foods and picked up a Green and Black’s Dark – 85% Cacao…. the only thing I can say is “Mark Sisson for the win!!!”

    I had been on the Ghirardelli 85% for over a year for the availability and price. The G & B has won me over. Thanks for the great recommendation Mark. Grok on!

  139. Try Zotters Labooko 100% Peru bar(www.zotter.at)…I still cannot believe it has absolutely no sugar in it. Blown away! Plus its organic and fairtrade. For any Londoners reading this I found it in John Lewis foodhall (Oxford St).

  140. I was REALLY hesitant about this. After all dark chocolate brought to mind the dark bitter baking chocolates.

    I couldn’t be happier with Moser Roth’s chocolates (http://aldi.us/us/html/company/14612_ENU_HTML.htm) I buy from aldis. 85% coco I never would have though would have the complexity of flavor.

    Best of all I don’t experience the “GOTTA HAVE MORE” moment I do with milk chocolate.

    Rock on dark chocolate rock on.

  141. I would love to try a bar but I don’t know where to get one in moncton:(

  142. They may be grocery store brand, but Ghirardelli offers a 90%, as well as dark chocolate with either sea salt or chili. Not a bad choice for someone who wants to try something stronger without going on a long quest.

  143. Can I have opinions on Caffe-Tasse chocolate. We stock it and it sells really well and I love it, just want to get others opinions

  144. We make organic chocolate Beyond the Bar from direct-trade cacao beans, coconut oil, and cane sugar (also unsweetened) and we package it in jars. If you’re looking for very pure chocolate and cacao products look us up. We source cacao from farmers in Nicaragua and Ecuador and make varietal chocolate from varietal cacao. Most of us in the company are foraging geeks, too.

    Keep it up!

  145. Yes, my fav is Green and Blacks also Divine makes an 85% which is quite nice and I love their graphics. I am curious why chocolate is allowed in Primal/Paleo diets, I can not quite imagine those dudes and dudettes eating the sacred bean…though there were those Aztecs….

  146. Anyone try Theo 85%? Really good all organic fair trade. Made in Seattle.

  147. Found 85% cacao chocolate bar at Big Lots for only $1.80! No soy, but it does have “sunflower lecithin.” Great for the price, though. 19g fat (12g saturated), 6g of sugar, 6g fiber and 14g carbs. Excited to try Lindt 99%!

  148. Hey Mark – I came across your blog here while looking for chocolate ratings online.

    I’m working on a labor of love website and would love to have your reviews added to my site as an expert reviewer.

    Please let me know if you’d be interested in doing a reviews/link trade?

    Thanks!
    – Jon
    chocoscore.com

  149. Anyone tried Raw chocolate? As my 85% habit is hijacking my all out healthy/primal lifestyle (100g per day at least, no problem downing the whole bar in seconds) I switched to mostly raw chocolate, still 85% but I think it may have more health benefits and no sugar. I find it to be crazy expensive in the USA. I recommend to anyone hooked on dark to try Raw. I much prefer it now.

  150. One downside of many of these commercial bars is the presence of soy lecithin, which is used to speed the blending process. There are brands that don’t use it. Alter Eco comes to mind.

  151. Just tried Alter Eco Dark Blackout its 85% cocoa and organic and it was ah-mazing … the texture was divine and the bitterness was just right… and I’m generally an endangered species 88% gal … so I’d highly recommend this … I got it at my local whole foods

  152. Alter eco. It is a nice variety because of what it brings to the table. Vegan. Soy, dairy, gluten free. Organic. Free trade. Amazing choices. I only wish it was darker. Not just for health benefits, but because I could eat dark chocolate (even the 90% stuff) all day.

    However I have to admit that I have always loved dark chocolate even as a kid. My father ate it and 40 years ago if you were eating dark chocolate (especially as a kid)nobody wanted to share your chocolate (BONUS!)so my tolerance for the dark stuff is super high, but I don’t think that their dark is high and bitter enough (there is one variety that is 85%-that is their highest-weak)At the same time the lack of the other things make it worth it, as do the ingredients they add such as quinoa to make it crispy.

    http://www.alterecofoods.com/

  153. I have Mars Cocoa vie THREE times a day. Only 30 cals a serving. Pretty much the same concoction the Kuna Indians off the coast of Panama have by grinding the cocoa beans and adding bananas for the sweetness. Mars is the only patented manufacturing process that preserves the Flavonals. The Kuna Indians have bascically zero heart and cardiovascular disease and they consume around 21 cups of cocoa a week. Check it out http://www.cocoavie.com

  154. I’m hurting. My top of the list is REPUBLICA DEL CACAO FROM ECUADOR 75%. WHOLE FOODS IN NJ STOPPED SELLING IT. ANYONE FAMILURE WITH IT.

  155. I’d rather spend my money on lots of full-fat dairy and meat so I get the Baker’s unsweetened 100% natural cacao or the Ghirardelli 100% cacao bars in the baking section at Kroger or Walmart, they are both 100% pure chocolate, no additives. Anything with even the slightest amount of sugar and I would not be able to eat only 1 oz. daily. Definitely an acquired taste but the higher the percentage of cacao, the better it is for you!

  156. Does anybody have an opinion on the Ghirardelli line?

    Just tried Dagoba. I agree with your tasting notes. I also noticed hints of black pepper and something slightly crunchy.

    Next in line is Endangered Species 88%!

  157. Does anybody have an opinion on the Ghirardelli line?

    Just had the Dagoba. Your tasting notes were spot on. I also noticed hints of black pepper,as well as a slight crunch at times…..

  158. I was interested to read that you think “good dark chocolate is self-limiting. You won’t go crazy and pig out on it because it isn’t pleasant to do so.”

    I love good quality (at least 85%) chocolate, but a little too much – I almost always finish a 100g bar in a sitting, so it has to be a very occasional indulgence. Actually, I find this with many foods – I just don’t seem to have a natural “don’t want any more” point.

    Anyone else experience this and/or have tips on finding natural moderation?

  159. I love Lulu’s! They’re sweetened with coconut secret coconut crystals. Very low in sugar & low glycemic. And they taste amazing! The smoked almond and sea salt is my favorite. http://Www.luluschocolate.com

  160. Just picked up a Lindt 85% and a Lindt 90%, 2/$5.00 at the local grocery chain. Put them in the freezer as I love chocolate cold, cold, cold! As Mark shared, a little goes a long way and there is something satisfying about the bitter quality. It’s as if the chocolate comes through so much more intensely when it’s not masked by all the sugar.

  161. Theo 84% and Theo 91%!!!

    Only Valhrona 85% and Scharfenberger 82% are in the same league.

    Wish Trader Joe’s carried Theo!!!

  162. I am familiar with every one of these five choices. I have to say that, compared to Kallari 75% and 85%, they are as nothing. That’s a strong statement and the experience of flavor is subjective. But the Kallari 85%, first encountered at a national high-end market chain tasting, knocked my socks off. It’s when I realized that I could live with one-piece-at-a-time. To have more than that is to downgrade the experience. It’s made by an Ecuadoran co-op committed to protecting the rain forest. I met one of the makers at the tasting. He spoke no English, and didn’t have to. Kallari spoke for itself.

  163. Does anybody know where I can purchase Swiss thins, by Lindt? Their thins were the best chocolates for my palate that I have ever come across. It has been 5 years since I last had Swiss thins and I am so longing to get that chocolate thin in my mouth again!

    1. Swiss thins? If you’re a Western Canadian, try London Drugs.

  164. The best I’ve heard of is Lindt’s 99% dark, however that seem too bitter. I get a 85% which is cheap, but has great nutritional value:

    Whole bar (100 grams):
    599 calories, 52 grams fat (32,7 saturated), 16.8 grams of carbs (13 g fiber, 11 g sugar).
    It also tastes really good in my opinion. First time you eat chocolate like that, it’s extremely bitter, but then you eventually get used to it and like it.

  165. Not sure whether these have been mentioned yet, but imho kallari is very the best: organic, fair trade and, most importantly, NO SOY LECITHIN – just used to replace valuable cacao butter, which is then sold to the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industry. THe red leaf one is especially exquisite: fruity and vanillic, very mellow and buttery texture. Michel Cluizel is also superb, and of course also NO soy lecithin.

  166. Would taking any of these with a protein shake have the same effect or would I have to take separately like he said after a meal?

  167. I recently read that chocolate should not be refrigerated as it changes the composition negatively. I certainly feel that chocolate tastes better at room temperature. Comments?

  168. Zazubean ‘Flirt’, it is worth trying. It can be found at health food stores.

    1. Checked the website out and that does sound good. Thanks for the recommendation.

  169. Equal Exchange Brand
    Organic & Fair Trade – Panama Extra Dark Chocolate (80% Cacao)

  170. OK so if you are willing to hunt for the really GOOD stuff on line then look for Hoja Verde 100% Chocolate Negro…….there is NO SUGAT AT ALL and it’s organic & fair trade from Ecuador, grown from the Fino Arriba variety, known as the finest cacao in the world……I am addicted to it!!!! Also, try & find Mindo Chocolate, also a small cooperative in Mindo Ecuador, they make some extremely fine chocolate with Ginger, Chile & other flavors all super high in cacao content…..

  171. I love Trader Joe’s dark chocolate bar. 85% Cacao…on the cover it mentions of being from Tumaco region of Colombia.

    A packet has 2 bars worth $3 and suggested serving is 2/3rd of a bar.

    Calories: 250 Fat Calories: 180

    Carbohydrate: 13g
    Deitary Fiber: 5g
    Sugar 6g

    Protein 4g

    Iron 6% and Calcium 6% of 2000 calorie diet

    Ingredients: Cocoa Mass, Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Soy Lecithin, natural Vanilla flavor

    It is bitter and smooth…have been trying it for 6 months and I like it!!

  172. Update the list to include “Giddy Yoyo’s” raw organic chocolate. It’s pushed Green and Black’s out of my top spot for organic chocolate and further it doesn’t have any soy licithin! 😉

  173. Update the list to include “Giddy Yoyo’s” raw organic chocolate. It’s pushed Green and Black’s out of my top spot for organic chocolate and further it doesn’t have any soy licithin! 😉

  174. I use Ghirardelli 86% Cacao and sprinkle about a gram of erythritol on each square.

  175. You all should seriously try small batch, more than fair trade (profit sharing), bean-to-bar chocolate maker Shawn Askinosie. I have been a fan for years and his dark with cocoa nibs (ORAC rating well over 50,000) from Ecuador or Tanaznia are my favorites. 3 ingredients (cocoa powder, cocoa butter, organic sugar… and the nibs). Also – check out his work with ‘chocolate university’. Thank you Shawn for making the chocolate world a better tasting and socially conscious place! (Great post Mark… good dark chocolate is saving my feeble attempts at not ruining clean eating.)

  176. I always try to buy fair trade. Can’t tell if these you listed are all fair trade or not. I like the Endangered Species chocolate bars. I look for them on sale. they are so good!

    do they belong on this list? I want to make sure I’m eating something healthy and fair trade.

  177. Loving the chocolate articles! Any thoughts on Guittard? It’s popular amongst pastry chefs.

  178. Love it! And I totally love chocolate, for these reasons. But – Chocolove (70%) puts me to sleep, literally. Sugar content? (it’s not that much, really)

  179. I have also tried the Santa Barbara 85% dark chocolate and found it to be excellent and my favorite. I have been ordering from California because it is not available in my area.

    Jack

  180. Oops! Please delete my just made comment.

    I forgot I commented on June 9, 2013.

  181. Hi Mark: Thanks for the information on chocolate; I too LUV chocolate and have been eating dark chocolate with high cacao content for about a year now. Ever since I read somehwere it was one of the five healthiest foods in the world…LOL…I didn’t have to read that twice to get started.

    Are you familiar with Xocai chocolate? Any thoughts or information on that?

    Thanks

    Mark D

  182. My current fav with a kick – Zazubean – hottie (with chili, cinnamona and yerba mate). 70% cacao, One of the lower fat options with 16g fat but higher in Carbs 19g (5g fiber, 11g sugars)

  183. Fascinating. Whole Foods is solidly entrenched as the place people love to hate. While, I completely understand that, I love Whole Foods, and I can be a very prickly person. My wife prefers Trader Joes because of the pricing and I acknowledge that we save about 15-20 percent going to TJ. Whole Foods is better. The people at the Haight Ashbury WF are simply great and so are the people at the TJs on Masonic (San Francisco). I am just as jealous of WF’s success as the next person, but I also believe that they have created a powerful and amazing phenomenon. BTW, Green & Black’s 85% Dark is the very best dark chocolate.

  184. OMG! A friend brought me back a 99 % bar from Nice. Apparently, the French are very good at very dark chocolate. I have tried a bunch of bars, and normally eat the Lindt Excellence 99%. But, the Canet Patissier Chocolatier blows it out of the water.

  185. Great to see my favourite on the list – bitter, deep-flavour dark chocolate with all-organic ingredients!

  186. I meant Greens&Blacks. But not that great for the soya lecithin which I just realised it contains????

  187. The Lindt 90% is just meh to me..I just bought it at Target. Wonder how it would taste melted down, with a pinch of sea salt and maybe some almond, then cooled….

  188. how about trader joe’s belgian dark chocolate (70%)? would you recommend it?

    1. That’s the kind of chocolate used for Primal Truffles in the Primal Blueprint Cookbook.

  189. I been researching and tasting Dark Chocolate looking for the BEST in my opinion chocolate bar. I’ve been been picking bars up here and there at the grocery store or other markets. These are the things I have been taking into consideration.

    1)taste, 2)Fairtrade, 3)ingredients, 4)affordability, 5)wholeness / healthiness.

    My #1 choice is the 85% Dark Chocolate Bar made by Divine.

    Can’t be beat- I am all about this chocolate bar! Easy to do when every aspect of it is good. Cacao is from fairtrade co-owned farms in Ghana. Chocolate is all from Cocoa mass and Cocoa butter. All ingredients except the emulsifier are Fairtrade ingredients (cocoa, sugar, vanilla). 6 grams of sugar, so low for a chocolate bar. Tastes delicious, melts in your mouth wonderfully. Two 3.5 oz bars for $7 at World Market, $3.99 for one at divinechocolateusa.com, $1.99 for a 1.5 oz bar.

    1. I completely agree! 85% Divine Dark Chocolate is the best for my taste as well – very smooth and creamy! And when I want something a tad sweeter, Divine’s 70% Dark is my first choice.

  190. For anyone in the uk aldi stock an 85%, i think its called moser roth. Its very similar in taste to g&b 85 but its about half price. Definitely worth a try.

    1. Greg, I too have had this and it is delicious but as Sherry Lynn comments, it, like so many others has soy lecithin. I only eat it occasionally and only eat half of one of those small bars.

  191. Best best best ever.. I just found. Low sugar , like 5g and tastes awesome! Bovetti dark choc with fleur de sel! And others like with lavender. French.. Really! Try this. I like it better than all the above and less sugar. Found, it at San Vicente foods. Los angeles

  192. I’m surprised that after 7 pages of comments, no one has mentioned Lake Champlain chocolates. They have a large selection but the African Blend 80% (their darkest) is my go-to flavor. It’s got the perfect blend of ‘bitter’ and ‘sweet’; one does not overpower the other. Their bars are slightly thicker than the others which, when letting them melt in your mouth, makes them last a bit longer, or at least it seems so. I’ve found them at several places including Whole Foods, and you can order them online as well.

  193. I see the dark choclate has some sugar content. Maybe it’s so little that it won’t matter?

    It’s a bit hard to find, but I’ve found, here in Norway, dark choclat with Stevia sweetner instead of Sugar content. It’s good, but really expensive 🙂

  194. You have to be so careful of the soy lecithin too.

  195. How about carob? I find so many dark chocolate has soy lecithin.

  196. Best 85% I’ve tasted so far is Michel Cluizel’s Grand Noir. Intense, powerful, not bitter, good complexity. And for anyone interested in trying some of the European chocolatiers and others at around 70%, Amedei and Domori produce some outstanding bars. None of them are easy to find but chocsphere.com has them.

  197. I was first introduced to Green and Black’s chocolate when I lived in Colorado. My car died on the move over to Loveland, Co from sunny Florida. So, I had to get a mountain bike instead of using a People Mover to get around. What I found was that I needed a much different diet to account for all the energy requirements of my new life. No longer sedentary, I found myself eating anything and everything I could get my hands on. Then I found some Green & Black’s chocolate bars in my roommates cupboard and for the first time I actually realized what chocolate should taste like. This was pure ecstasy for me. I can no longer eat a Hershey’s bar, unless it’s the Special Dark and even then it’s not bitter enough for my taste. In fact, I just made some Dark Chocolate Sweet Potato Crisps today for the first time. Heavenly.

  198. So grateful for this post & comments. I’m new to paleo and had a couple of Lindt 90% & was underwhelmed. After searching & finding this post, I’ve tried the dagosta eclipse (love, love, love) and the endangered species 88%, also much tastier than the Lindt. I look forward to trying more of the recommendations. Thank you!

  199. I would definitely recommend you the 80% and 87% Stone Ground Chocolate from Tazo.
    They managed to combine the taste and the texture of their chocolates so perfectly that I couldn’t find anything like those. They are not silky and smooth but rather rough, which takes the the edge of the bitterness away and makes these chocolates very unique. They are not cheap (I bought them for $6/bar), but worth trying once!

  200. Great choices! Good chocolate companies. Large, but still quality. As I’ve gotten more into dark chocolate, even below 80% is pretty sweet for me. When you get a chance, try Antidote 100% raw bars and Raaka 85% Ecuador.

  201. McCambridge’s dark chocolate bars in Galway are mega. Try to get hold of one some time! Chunky chocolate power and luxury.

    (think theres a review on tripadvisor)

  202. My favorite is the Alter Eco Dark Blackout. It’s an 85% Cacao. Second place is the Trader Joes Dark Chocolate lovers as they are about $1.50. I think the Endangered Species is waxy.

  203. So far as I can see, the fat content is given as grams per serving. What is the actual % of fat in each bar?

  204. There are a number of 100% cacao solids available if you can find them. I currently am into Holy Cacao 100%.

  205. I think the best Organic Dark chocolate is Equal Exchange Organic Very Dark Chocolate by far! Now they are saying that Green and Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate has lead and cadmium in it.

    Equal Exchange organic dark chocolate was not on the list…Yah!!

    Number one it has no soy lecithin in it and it’s made with the best ingredients: Organic Chocolate Liquor, Organic Unrefined Raw Cane Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter and Organic ground vanilla beans.

  206. Just bought the little serving size (.35 oz I think?) of the 88% Endangered Species from Amazon – they are good – not too sweet and not to bitter – going to try a banana chocolate bon bon recipe with them from nom nom – cheers

  207. The Lindt 90% is my favorite from Walmart. The 85% has an ending taste of sugar that I would prefer not to taste.

  208. I am difficult to please. I came across one i liked yesterday. Found it at a russian food store, it is called Cnapmax. Dark chocolate bar with almonds. 59%

  209. Green and Black 85% is the only descent chocolate you mentioned and seems to be the only one easily available in the States. Lindt USA is no longer good, this has been the case for years! Lindt changed the US chocolate for your faggy, wimpy childish “American taste”; an oxymoron in it’s own right.

    There are a number of good European chocolates but must are not available readily for the children of the USA. Lindt in Europe is descent for the cost.

  210. I just get the 2lb bag of Organic Raw Cacao Nibs and have them with some of the chocolate bark that I get at costco. Another option is the 100% cacao bars from ghirardelli wi that their 60% chocolate chips.

  211. This really needs an update!

    Green & Black, even Lindt and the rest are really bulk chocolate makers. They buy their cacao in ready made mass. It’s mostly African extremely cheap and bitter Forastero from Africa. Then they spice it up with vanilla and soy lecithin, and lots of sugar. And they add extra cacao butter, because otherwise … well you can guess how bitter bad cacao beans can taste.

    Some of the quality chocolate makers that actually know something about chocolate making and make good tasting and high quality chocolate (with an example dark bar after the brand):

    – Amedei – Italy (Chuao, 70%, criollo variety, multiple levels of taste)

    – Francois Pralus – France (Le 100%, organic, criollo, dark roasted, strong, but not as bitter as most 100%)

    – Domori – Italy (Puertomar 75%, criollo, sweet yet lots of layers, easier if you can’t do bitter 85% like most cant immediately). Their 100% Criollo is brilliant too!

    – Willie’s Cacao – UK (Venezuelan 72% Hacienda Las Trincheras, trinitario, lots of layers, smooth, not acidic)

    – Bonnat – France (100% Cacao , blend, very strong and bitter, but many tones)

    – Michel Cluizel – France (1st Cru Los Ancones 67%, it much sweeter and easier, several tones of fruit and berries -without actually having any of them in it, it is dark chocolate)

    If you are a heavy user, you can buy bulk in 1kg packages, like:

    – Bouga Cacao – France (100% Rustica, strong and smooth, bitter, but flavourfu, 1kg bloc)

    – Amedei – Italy (No 9, 75%, 1kg, beautifully layered chocolate, 1kg bloc)

    Some brands have chef’s drops and blocks too in heavier packages (Willie’s, Valrhona, etc).

    Most of the above can be bought from chocosphere (US) and chocolatiers (UK) easily or google elsewhere if you can’t find them. Plenty of sellers.

    Then there are tons of small bean-to-bar artisan producers propping up (in UK, US, CAN, EU) and they are too numerous to mention. Try them out. If it says Bean to bar and they label which variety of bean they are using and where does the cacao originate from, it’s usually worth trying. Some of the best dark chocolate comes from these (Åkessons is my current favourite, although Naive from Latvia is great too).

    For Lindt I have to hand it to them that their industrial style conching along with their bulk cocoa beans they can still make reasonably tasty chocolate, although distinctly one-note at that.

    Leonidas, Godiva (Turkish, btw) and Neuhaus are mostly praline makers and imoh, their bars are not very good. They are overpriced stuff sold to tourists at airports, and elsewhere very few buy them, because the price/quality ratio is what it is. 95% of their costs go to advertising & channel marketing for resellers, not to sourcing or manufacturing or quality control. That’s why you hear about them, even though they are not particularly good.

    Out of the less inexpensive ones, my favourites are (way, way better than Green & Black, Hershey, imho):

    – Lindt 90% (no soy lecithin)
    – Zotter 100% (actually pretty good Swiss chocolate, which is NOT the best chocolate maker country of the world, neither is Belgium for that matter)
    – Santander Colombian Single Origin 70%
    – Valrhona Abinao 85% (prices may be higher in states)
    – Dolfin Chocolat Noir 88%

    BTW, if you want something special, try the Sacred Chocolate heart’s, like the Holy Hemp that has CBD oil in it – it’s actually sedating (to most dark chocolate is stimulating). They have other non-sugary options too, and a 100% version.

  212. WHAT IS A GOOD DARK CHOCOLATE I CAN BUY THAT DOES NOT CONTAIN VANILLA BEAN 75% OR GREATER. I AM ALLERGIC TO VANILLA BEAN?

  213. I am trying the Endangered Species brand: 88% cocoa, 20 grams fat, 17 grams carbs, cane sugar, soy lecithin. Have you tried it ? I am not epicurean, but II like it. I have it coming to the house from Amazon every two months. Phil

  214. My favorite chocolate is Baker’s Unsweetened. It’s 100% chocolate, has some fiber so it has a great mouth feel. The other brands are too smooth, with no texture. This stuff has kept me on my low carb diet.,

  215. don’t forget Lindt with their amazing range of dark from 85% to 90% and even a 99% (50g bar that looks the same size as a 100g bar, with good reason. Try eating that in one sitting!).

  216. TAZA has a new 95% organic “Wicked Dark” chocolate bar. 1/2 bar is 14 carbs (8 Fiber and 2 Sugar). Perfect for low carb and Ketogenic diets. Stone ground gives a nice texture and probably minimal processing and oxidation of fats.

  217. Hi Mark, craft chocolate has been exploding in the last few years. Time to upgrade your chocolate game! I’d love to send you some free chocolate to try. A curated box of 85%+ dark bars culled from a selection of 700+ bars. Please send me your shipping address so I can send these to you! I’m a co-founder of Chocolate Rush a bean to bar chocolate marketplace.

  218. Check out Trader Joe’s baking chocolate. It’s 100% chocolate. I melt it with some coconut oil and then mix in coconut cream. I dip strawberries into melted mixture and place in the freezer for a few minutes until the chocolate solidifies. It’s delicious!!

    1. Hey, TJ shoppers…they have started carrying Montezuma’s Absolute Black Bars from the UK at our TJ shops in Portland…Wowie Zowie! I like Green and Blacks and the inexpensive TJ 85% for good bang for buck, but I really love a good 100% cacao bar!

  219. try sacred choclate, they havv an array of flavors, not all super dark, i am just ordering their darkest somewhere in the 80 ‘s organic, sweetened with maple syrup, sensuous! order thro their website

  220. Endangered Species 88% Cacao is my pick. (Black Panther on the wrapper). It’s the best way to get your “three squares a day”. It melts in your mouth so you can’t scarf it down. A bar lasts me a week. I’ve never been a moderator but between this and single-serving packets of Justin’s nut butter I’m getting there.

  221. Thank you, thank you, thank you! This list is indispensable. I started crying (yes I typed crying) at just the first review because I’ve kicked the sugar intake and I can relate to how enjoying it is to have rich, dark chocolate.

    Bravo!

  222. In late 2017, I began seeing the new Chocolove XoXoX 88% bar they call the “Extreme Dark Chocolate” bar, and it’s the real deal, compared to the 77% bar you featured on this post from 2010. People should look for it. It’s in a dark silver/grey wrapper 🙂

  223. 79 year old man in very good health except for high blood pressure and some memory problems. What chocolate with olive oil would you suggest?