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The Very Best Dark Chocolate (Ever)

by Grace Bonney


I’ve been thinking about everyday indulgences a lot lately — those little things we do or keep at home to make ourselves feel taken care of and special. For me, that usually takes the form of fresh flowers and a bar of good dark chocolate. If I’ve got those two things in our house, I’m a happy girl. So this week I’m sharing some of my go-to resources, in case you need an excuse for a little pick-me-up or just an everyday splurge. Today I’m starting with chocolate because, well, what’s better than that? xo, grace

*A quick note: last year I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and, after adopting a low-carb diet, I’ve discovered that very dark chocolate is the one treat my body can handle well because the high fat content and (lower sugar amount) slows down the absorption of sugar in my body. When you’ve limited yourself to one dessert option for a solid year, you become something of an obsessive researcher and tester, so I hope you’ll enjoy these options as much as I have.

Let's start with the best of the best (which is also certified Fair Trade): Equal Exchange's 80% Dark Chocolate. If you opened our cabinets right now you'd see I'm fully stocked for months of small sweet treats. This chocolate is smooth, has slight hints of coconut and isn't bitter at all. This is my go-to indulgence pretty much every day ($3.50).
My runner-up spot belongs to Brooklyn's own Fine & Raw Chocolate. Their 83% bar is wonderfully coconut-y and smooth-tasting. The price is higher than the other bars on this list, but they're a small-batch maker so it's worth keeping that in mind. ($8.50)
Theo Chocolate's new limited edition Dark Chocolate Almond Coconut Bar has the coconut taste I love with a little crunchy dash of almonds. It's a lower cacao percentage, but the sugar amount is comparable to the other bars, if you're watching your sugar intake like I am ($4.00).
The first bar I tested after I was diagnosed with Type 1 was Green and Black's 85% dark chocolate. Their bar is the most bitter of the brands listed here, but it's still considerably less bitter than a lot of brands on the market. You can find their chocolate at just about any grocery store these days, so it's the easiest-to-grab bar on this list if you're in a pinch ($5.00).
Hu Kitchen is a Paleo-friendly restaurant in NYC that makes its own line of chocolate bars without refined sugar, dairy, etc. Their cashew butter and vanilla version was a gift from one of Julia's friends and I loved how different it was - without any discernible blood sugar spike (yay!). These bars aren't as rich as the others listed here, but the flavors are nice and subtle.

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  • Oh I’m so glad you included the Equal Exchange dark chocolate. Isn’t it incredible? It’s so good and they do so much good. I’ll have to try these others now! Thanks!

  • I’m obsessed with that hu chocolate right now! Fellow T1 dark chocolate fan over here! 😸 If you have a chance to try Askinosie chocolate, check it out! It’s made in my town (Springfield, MO), and I believe it was the first US chocolate factory to make their own cocoa butter? Or something equally neat. And it’s delicious! Favorites are the collabarations bars: peanut butter, coconut, and crunchy sugar and vanilla bean.

  • Thanks for posting this! I’ve been Type 1 for a long, long time, am now on an insulin pump and better regulated than ever. I do have a bar of Godiva dark chocolate in a kitchen drawer that I haven’t touched. It’s Godiva, and it’s good, but it doesn’t call to me. I’ve tried Green and Black but not for a while, and the rest on your list aren’t available here in the sticks of Texas. I will keep an eye out and maybe even see what I can find online. Again, thanks.

  • Thank you, Grace, this is perfect and timely, as your posts always are! Needing options for auto-immune friendly treats myself PLUS thinking more and more about the coffee/chocolate habits in our home – how to enjoy mindfully without furthering the exploitation that’s rampant in both industries.

  • What a wonderful story! Many many thanks. Have you tried Bovetti chocolate? The dark is heavenly and very low carb. Going to look for the Hu Kitchen brand – have not seen it before. Thanks again – you should share some of your low carb ideas more often.

  • Thanks so much for all the recs! My husband only likes dark chocolate, not milk or white, so I’ve been looking for new brands to try.

  • I love a good chocolate. One that starts melting if you breathe on it. No chalk, no grit, just flavor. I got spoiled – while working in Berkeley CA some years ago, I was near the Sharfenberger factory. They roasted their own beans and made their own chocolate liquor. The smell was as incredible as you might imagine, although on warm days it could be just a bit much.

    I also love perfect harmonies with chocolate – one company that really knows how to blend a flavor or essential oil into chocolate is a british firm, Rococo. http://www.rococochocolates.com I fell in love with rose chocolate. OMG. You just can’t get any headier than the scent of roses and chocolates together. Good stuff – highly recommend it.

  • Hi Grace! I have a sweet tooth and dark chocolate has become my go-to weekend treat! I just bought myself two Divine Chocolate bars. Have you tried them yet? If you like Equal Exchange and Green and Black you’ll like them. Plus, they’re fair trade and made by a non-profit. My favs are the 70% and the Dark Chocolate with Pink Himalayan Sea Salt. Yum!

  • Check out chocolates from Ecuador. Just like in Frnace you have with wines a differentiation depending on what side of a mountain the grapes grew … well al ost the same thing happens with chocolate in Ecuador…

  • If you’re ever in Toronto I highly recommend Soma Chocolatiers. I think you can order their chocolate online. The best I’ve ever had.

  • The Equal Exchange bar is perfection, thank you for introducing me to my new favorite!

    My supermarket standby is thr AlterEco sea salt bar. It strikes the right balance, also does some good, and the bright pink package is so cheery.