After a nice meal—or even a hard day—a little sweetness always seems to satisfy. We’ve got hundreds of amazing desserts that hit the spot, but when you just need a little pick-me-up, you can’t go wrong with a square or two of dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is a distinctly adult treat; it’s dark, complex and has that touch of bitterness that some of us love so much. Plus, there are many dark chocolate health benefits to boot—more than its cousins white and milk chocolate. However, it’s hard to find a good brand for stashing in your desk drawer or keeping in the pantry. That’s why our Test Kitchen gathered up a whopping 17 brands to put them head to head.
How We Found the Best Dark Chocolate Brand
At Taste of Home, we’ve conducted plenty of taste tests, and our panel agrees that selecting the best dark chocolate was perhaps the most difficult of them all (yep, even more challenging than sampling over a dozen hot sauces!). That’s because dark chocolate is incredibly rich and complex. Our panel wanted to be sure to pick up all the delicate notes in each chocolate bar.
After testing 17 brands and debating the merits of each, we think we found the best easy-to-find dark chocolate options out there—perfect for everyday indulgences.
The Best Dark Chocolate: Chocolove Strong Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate should be intense, decadent and not overly sweet. Chocolove delivered on all these counts with their Strong Dark Chocolate (that contains 70% cocoa!). Testers loved this chocolate bar because the flavor was wonderfully deep with some coffee-like notes and a shockingly creamy texture that left everyone wanting to savor just one more square. This bar was bitter in the way that dark chocolate fans would certainly adore. We can see a few pieces of this chocolate being a real treat at the end of a long day.
Other Great Dark Chocolate Brands
Godiva Dark Chocolate
Testers also really enjoyed Godiva’s dark chocolate. This bar was incredibly smooth—which is sometimes hard to find in intensely dark chocolate. It melted on testers tongues and gave them a profoundly chocolate flavor with hints of coconut and just a touch of sweetness. Because of that extra hint of sugar, it didn’t snag our top spot, but Godiva would still be a great treat to keep on hand or to use to fill out your favorite gift basket.
Price varies; available at retailers nationwide.
Dark chocolate is an acquired taste. The bitterness can turn some people off. For folks on the fence about dark chocolate, we recommend Dove. This brand was melt-in-your-mouth smooth and was sweeter than many other brands. This sweetness helped to temper the more bitter notes of dark chocolate. While serious dark chocolate lovers may prefer our other favorite picks, Dove is a people-pleasing chocolate to keep in your candy dish.
How to Enjoy Dark Chocolate
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying a piece of dark chocolate on its own. It’s the best way to savor all those complex flavors. However, dark chocolate always has a place in our Taste of Home Test Kitchen and recipes. Dark chocolate is what makes this chocolate babka such a decadent brunch treat and this ganache-covered cake so indulgent. Used as a filling, a ganache, topping or mix-in, dark chocolate does so well in so many dark chocolate desserts.
How We Chose the Winners
Our Taste of Home Test Kitchen and editors team up to taste all kinds of popular foods and run essential kitchen gear through the paces. We rank them, discuss and test again, if needed, to arrive at the products we recommend for you and your kitchen. Find out how we choose the best products and see everything we’ve tested.