Unwrapping a chocolate bar is a timelessly satisfying experience, but most of the beloved candy bars we remember from childhood have fallen behind the times. Chocolate giants including Mars, Dove, and Hershey's still mostly offer chocolates made with dairy milk, despite growing interest in more sustainable, dairy-free chocolate. However, there's no need to worry! Vegan chocolate options are abundant, especially because several brands have adopted plant-based milk into their recipes.

Enjoying a chocolate bar is a decadent treat that's hard to give up, even when adopting a dairy-free diet. But chocoholics can let out a sigh of relief because most chocolate is vegan unless manufacturers add cow's milk or another dairy to their recipes. So, there are tons of plant-based chocolate options on the shelves.

For the most part, dark chocolate is vegan, but it's important to double-check the labels because sometimes companies will add milk fat, cream, lactose, or whey to the "dark" chocolate. Even though some brands add animal-based ingredients to dark chocolate, it is always a reliable space to start looking for when you need something sweet to eat.

Producing cow’s milk is significantly more taxing to the environment when compared to plant-based counterparts. About 87.5 percent of Gen Z shoppers are worried about the environment. More than likely, younger generations will continue looking for sustainable chocolate over longstanding brands that contain milk products.

Ditching Dairy is Good for Your Health

Milk is falling out of fashion fast. Nearly half of Gen-Z consumers actively feel ashamed when ordering dairy milk in public, motivated by not only environmental concerns but also health risks associated with dairy. By eating and drinking more cow's milk, you are increasing your risk of disease, strokes, and heart attacks.

Regardless of the milk content, vegan chocolate is still a sugary, indulgent snack. So, plant-based chocolate is not necessarily an excuse to eat more chocolate, but without dairy products, it provides a slightly healthier option to cow milk-based options.

The Best Vegan Chocolate Bars

Ordering vegan chocolate can be tricky at first, especially when you have long established your favorite brands. But there's plenty of chocolate for everyone, ranging from new brands specializing in oat milk-based chocolate or reformed recipes from iconic companies such as Lindt.

Here's our guide to the best vegan and dairy-free chocolate available.

Awake Chocolate: Dark Chocolate Bites

Awake Chocolate is a delectable grab-and-go snack, especially when you need a little boost of energy. These little vegan chocolates contain enough caffeine to get you through the rest of the workday with a clear mind without drinking another cup of coffee. Every chocolate is the equivalent of half a cup of coffee! This chocolate snack is effective and delicious, without a bitter aftertaste.

Serving Size: 1

Calories 70

Total Fat 5g, Saturated Fat 3g

Total Sugars 6g

Dr. Bronner’s  The Magic All-One Chocolate

Dr. Bronner's All-One Peppermint soap is one of my favorite summertime rituals (used in the outdoor shower to get off the sea salt from a day at the beach). So of course it makes sense that their line of vegan, organic, fair-trade chocolate should be an instant cult favorite.

I love the blue and silver packaging, the promise of quality since it's made by Swiss chocolatiers, and the fact that the vegan chocolate bars are sweetened with coconut sugar. Dr. Bronner's All-One Magi Cool Peppermint Cream Dark Chocolate Bar has an inner layer of soft creamy mint chocolate that infuses the bar with a cool, sweet, refreshing breath of fresh air. You eat it and feel like you're standing in a dappled forest grove, a babbling brook nearby. It's transportive!

Crumble it up and add it to plant-based, vanilla ice cream (oat or almond cream dairy-free brands like Oatly or So Delicious) and you have a dessert treat that can't be beaten! Buy a stack of these and bundle them for perfect stocking stuffers!

Serving Size: 3

Calories: 170

Total Fat 13g, Saturated Fat 7g

Total Sugars 9g, Added Sugar 9g

Gigantic Butter Pecan

Perfectly sized, these candy bars bring all of the nostalgia of your favorite childhood chocolate treats with a much cleaner label. Completely vegan and made with just 7 grams of sugar, these candy bars in four different classic flavors are incredibly delicious. The Banana Pecan is a surprising standout, but if banana isn't your thing, there are 3 other incredible choices. This may just be the tastiest vegan chocolate bar on the market.

Serving Size: 8

Calories: 210

Total Fat 15g, Saturated Fat 4.5g

Total Sugars 7g, Added Sugar 6g

Hu Simple Dark Chocolate

Hu’s timeless Simple Dark Chocolate bar provides the classic childhood chocolate bar experience we all want. This organic, healthier version of traditional chocolate bars provides you with a guilt-free, diet-friendly chocolate bar. The recipe is also super allergen-friendly. These tasty chocolates are gluten-free, refined sugar-free, and free of soy lecithin. Make sure to moderate how much you consume, because Hu contains 8 grams of saturated fat per serving and one bar contains two servings!

Serving Size: 2

Calories 190

Total Fat 14g, Saturated Fat 8g

Total Sugars 7g, Added Sugar 7g

Lily’s Sweets Vegan Dark Chocolate

Lily’s signature vegan dark chocolate bar offers chocoholics an excellent treatment without any of the usual guilt. This plant-based chocolate bar contains no added sugar and features a recipe that’s sweetened with stevia. Made with 70 percent cacao, this vegan chocolate bar provides an authentically rich option that’s significantly healthier and more sustainable. You can enjoy this chocolate bar after your dinner or use it as the star ingredient in chocolate chunk cookies. And unlike other chocolate bars, this sweet treat comes with the bonus benefit of 3 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber!

Serving Size: 2.5

Calories 130

Total Fat 12g, Saturated Fat 7g

Total Sugars 8g, Added Sugar 0g

Lindt Classic Recipe Oat Milk

Lindt turned the luxury chocolate world upside down with its OatMilk Classic Recipe chocolate bar. This creamy, smooth chocolate bar is good enough to fool Willy Wonka into thinking it’s made with dairy. The bar comes portioned into tiny squares, making it the perfect chocolate snack to spread out over the day. However, it is important to emphasize that this milk-free chocolate bar is a rich indulgence with 10 grams of added sugar and 5 grams of saturated fat per serving. And every 3.5-ounce chocolate bar contains 9 servings!

Serving Size: 3.5

Calories 170

Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 5g

Total Sugars 13g, Added Sugar 10g

TCHO Choco Latte

TCHO teamed up with Blue Bottle Coffee to create a plant-based chocolate bar that tastes just like the specialty espresso drink. The plant-based chocolate bar features roasted coffee beans, cashew butter, and cacao butter, providing chocoholics with a creamy chocolate bar that you wouldn't know wasn't vegan unless someone told you. With notes of caramel and coffee, this delectable chocolate bar can be enjoyed any time of day or night. However, for the heart-conscious, take note that this bar contains 5 grams of saturated fat per serving!

Serving Size: 3

Calories 130

Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 5g

Total Sugars 7g, Added Sugar 7g

TCHO Dark Duo

TCHO’s “distinguished cacao experience” lives up to the hype. This smooth dark chocolate is an indulgently sweet treat with only 6 grams of sugar per serving. The Dark Duo features an intense flavor from cocoa sourced from Ghana without a bitter aftertaste typical of dark chocolates. And next time you want to bake cookies, these plant-based chocolate bars are the perfect ingredient for chocolate chunk cookies. Enjoy this bar in moderation because it contains 7 grams of saturated fat per serving.

Serving Size: 3

Calories 120

Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 7g

Total Sugars 6g, Added Sugar. 6g

Tony's Choconely Classic

Opening one of Tony’s fair trade chocolate bars feels just like a classic Hershey bar. The socially-responsible chocolate brand offers several plant-based chocolate bars with its dark chocolate selection with the exception of its dark milk pretzel toffee flavor. But Tony’s Choconlonely Dark Almond Sea Salt offers an amazing blend of salty and sweet richness rare in plant-based chocolate. This is also a great choice when you’re looking for a low-sugar option!

Serving Size: 6

Calories 160

Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 5g

Total Sugars 12g, Added Sugar 12g

Trader Joe's Oat Chocolate Bars

Smooth and rich, if you're missing milk chocolate but want to hold the milk, this Trader Joe's chocolate bar will hit the spot. Dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, and kosher, this bar is a good allergen-friendly choice as a treat for kids. If you're in search of a no-frill yet decadent and creamy chocolate bar, this one is it.

Serving Size: 3

Calories 140

Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 6g

Total Sugars 11g, Added Sugar 8g


More From The Beet