The Stylist team has done all the hard work (read: eating chocolate), so you don’t have to. Here’s our tried-and-tested reviews of the UK’s best vegan chocolate bars.
However, while choices were once limited for herbivores, things are very different in 2020; indeed, about 600,000 of the British population now estimated to be vegan according to the Vegan Society. As such, there are more vegan food options than ever before – especially when it comes to chocolate bars.
With so many vegan chocolate bars to choose from, though, things can get tricky: how do you spot the good from the not-so-good? Which ‘free from’ bars are worth spending your hard-earned money on? And is there really a good milk chocolate alternative for vegans? Really? (Answer: abso-bloody-lutely)
Don’t worry, we’re here to help. In fact, we recently made it our mission to put the UK’s vegan chocolate bars to the test, tasting each one and ranking them out of 10. It was a tough challenge; some of us couldn’t hack it, unable to handle more than one chocolate bar per day. Others, though, thrived under the pressure, sampling as many vegan chocolate bars as we could possibly get our mitts on.
The result? An incredibly comprehensive guide to the UK’s best vegan chocolate bars.
You’re very welcome.
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Prodigy – Chunky Chocolate Reborn
Chloe Gray (dairy intolerant) says: Yes, I ate a chocolate bar before 11am but I’m really into this! It’s so creamy and smooth, quite sweet, and it has an almost fruity taste from the lucuma powder. So health. So vegan. So delicious.
Harriet Marsden (not vegan) says: Chunky like a Yorkie but nutty like cashew butter? This chocolate is a satisfying – and wholesome-tasting – afternoon snack.
Divine Rich Dark Chocolate – Turmeric & Ginger
Sydonie Wilson (not vegan) says: I was originally sceptical as this sounded like something that belongs in a medicine cabinet, not an afternoon treat - but it completely surprised me. I couldn’t even tell the choc was vegan, but I’ll gladly have a square (or four) of this to cure my cold.
Jessica Rapana (vegetarian) says: I’m calling it, this was a dark (chocolate) horse! While ginger and turmeric are not usually my flavours of choice, I was pleasantly surprised. The ginger is bitter and refreshing. A perfect après-meal chocolate, if you will.
Divine – Smooth Dark with Himalayan Salt
Sarah Pyper (vegetarian) says: This tasted intensely dark and creamy with sharp hits of salt – pretty much your perfect chocolate bar. I was sceptical about non-dairy chocolate but I didn’t miss the milk or cream for a second.
Billie Bhatia (not vegan) says: I broke off a piece of this tiny little bar like I was ripping off a band aid, entirely prepared to dislike what I was about to eat. I am a chocolate purist – give me a bar of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk and I’m your girl. But I have to admit, this wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. It was creamy despite obviously not containing any such product and although dark it wasn’t bitter (I usually am such a child I can’t stomach much above 60% cocoa solids). The salt is a little on the heavy-handed side and in total honesty it wouldn’t be a bar I picked up at the newsagents but if I were to serve up some chocolate at the end of a sophisticated dinner party (you know the kind where twirl bites are a bit of a mood kill) this could be a contestant.
Montezuma – Innovative British Chocolate Peanut Butter Truffle Bites
Meriam Ahari (vegan) says: The perfect amalgamation of creamy peanut butter and chocolate, sweet and slightly salty, I kept reaching for more! Our freelance editorial assistant Aiden is planning on buying more.
Aiden Wynn (not vegan): Not strictly a bar, but this is everything I want in a chocolate and more!
Love Cocoa – English Mint Dark Chocolate
Kayleigh Dray (part-time vegan): I’m not usually a fan of dark (or, as I like to call it, ‘grown up’) chocolate, so I assume this won’t be for me – but then I taste it and everything changes. It’s rich, and delicious, and velvety. That bitter dark chocolate pairs wonderfully with the sweet sharpness of the mint, creating something that feels like an extra-special treat. This is the kind of chocolate I imagine people mean when they say they eat two small squares of the stuff a day and love it. It’s brilliant. More, please!
Megan Murray (not vegan, yet): I don’t love dark chocolate anyway, so when I tried this vegan mint dark chocolate, I was really surprised that it’s actually delicious. It is super dark, so you couldn’t eat more than a few squares without feeling like you’d overdone it but the flavour is good and it does feel like a treat in all the best ways.
Ombar’s Keep it Raw– Pistachio
Natasha Nanner (not vegan) says: I gave this a 6 because while it doesn’t taste much of pistachio, it was quite enjoyable to eat. It’s creamy and actually quite coconutty if anything, which I like! I was a bit sad it didn’t taste more like pistachio though.
Jessica Rapana (not vegan) says: Delicious, but then again, I love pistachio. To me, this tasted quite vegan-y, because of the coconut base, perhaps? Not a deal breaker for me, as I love coconut but may deter those who are not loco for coco. Still, would recommend!
Nomo – Choc Bar
Alessia Armenise (vegan) says: I like Nomo. Is it the best chocolate ever? Think a nice, smooth milk-like chocolate without frills. No fruit to help with the sweetness, no crunch, just a classic piece f choc. Plus, it doesn’t contain any palm oil.
Hollie Richardson (vegetarian): It’s plain, but not in a bad way. Would eat again.
Divine – Deliciously Dark Smooth Hazelnut
Felicity Thistlethwaite (not vegan) says: Deliciously smooth on first taste, creamy as you get further into the bar. The hazelnut notes are subtle but great - a wonderful mix with the dark chocolate. Only con is how small the chunks are, I like a big square if I’m going to fully indulge.
Lucy Robson (not vegan) says: I kept coming back for more with this one!
Ombar Centres – Raspberry and Coconut
Nicole Rixon (not vegan) says: This is packed with flavour and perfect for satisfying a sweet tooth. The raspberry and coconut filling is sharp, sweet and tastes like it’s made with real fruit, unlike the synthetic taste of some lower end fruity chocolate. The packaging and bar itself looks very premium (getting hotel chocolat vibes), and the flavour is rich enough that I didn’t scoff the whole bar in one sitting, which is a plus! The only downside for me would be that it doesn’t give you that creamy chocolate taste that you get from dairy chocolate, but it definitely fulfilled my sugar craving.
Moya Crockett (vegetarian) says: I have a theory that good vegan dark chocolate is easier to find, as it’s generally less milky in the first place. This Ombar has a deep, dark, complex flavour that’s subtly fruity – there’s an almost wine-y undertone of dried fruit. Definitely a chocolate bar for grown-ups, but delicious nonetheless.
Enjoy – Vanilla Caramel bar
Aiden Wynn (not vegan): Enjoy’s vanilla caramel bar is a delight. The slight bitterness of the dark chocolate is made more luxurious by the smooth and sweet vanilla caramel. Moreish, melt-in-the-mouth, and far less of a sugar overload than the name makes it out to be. I didn’t want to stop eating it!
Megan Glynn (coeliac): I’m not normally a fan of dark chocolate but this was delicious, the chocolate wasn’t too bitter or rich and the caramel is subtle and sits back. It’s quite a thin bar but makes it the ideal guilt-free treat to have more than just the one block alongside a mug of tea.
9/10 (apparently they do a salted caramel flavour which for me would make it a 10/10)
Hotel Chocolat – Batons, 45% Dark
Meena Alexander (newly vegan): The 45% Nutmilk Batons (or as I like to call them, Fancy Nutella Sticks™) are as smooth and luxurious as you’d expect from Hotel Chocolat, with a strong – and freaking delicious – hazelnut aftertaste. Definitely one of the best vegan chocolates I’ve tasted, and a welcome change if you’re sick of always reaching for the darkest bars.
Jenny Tregoning (not vegan): This has a very satisfying snap when you bite into it. That might not sound important, but I’ve tried a lot of vegan chocolate bars that sort of bend and squish – a massive disappointment. The first thing that hits you is the hazelnut, followed by a very smooth, creamy milk chocolate that melts well. The hazelnut flavour is quite intense – you wouldn’t want to eat too many in one sitting (or maybe you would, who am I to judge?) – but all in all vegan milk chocolate is tricky to get right, and Hotel Chocolat have done an excellent job.
Asda Extra Special – Espresso
Chloe Gray (dairy intolerant) says: I am a coffee addict so definitely would have enjoyed a stronger espresso flavour. But the texture was nice and creamy and it was very moreish!
Sarah Biddlecombe (not vegan) says: I’d prefer a stronger coffee taste, but overall this is a win.
Seed and Bean – Sweet Orange and Thyme
Meena Alexander (newly vegan) says: Sweet Orange and Thyme Dark Chocolate is not a flavour I would normally pick up, but I guess that’s just further proof of my tendency to make bad choices. This stuff is glorious – the orange flavour adds sweetness and the thyme gives a subtle but surprisingly pleasant kick. The pretty packaging and serious ethical credentials are just a bonus.
Jenny Tregoning (not vegan) says: Full disclosure: I have a soft spot for Seed & Bean after several bars of the stuff pulled a rainy hen-do back from the brink after arriving at a freezing cold Cornish cottage to find the heating was broken (it’s true: chocolate makes everything better). They’re not lying when they say sweet orange – it’s definitely towards the more saccharine end of the dark chocolate spectrum but is nicely tempered by the herbal notes of thyme. Interesting flavours and a high quality dark chocolate to savour.
Tony’s Chocolonely – Dark Chocolate & Almond
Chloe Gray (dairy intolerant) says: Delicious hunks of chocolate with LOADS of nuts. In that way, it felt more like a nut bar with chocolate than the other way round, so it might not satisfy the deepest cocoa cravings, but it was still very very good.
Sarah Biddlecombe (not vegan) says: I’m borderline obsessed with Tony’s Chocolonely, so I was excited to break off a big square of the vegan dark chocolate with almond bar that landed on my desk. The taste certainly didn’t disappoint – it’s perfectly bitter with a hint of salt, and I would never have known it was any different to a non-vegan version. I’d definitely buy it again.
Lucy Partington (not vegan) says: Upon opening this it not only looked like extremely dark chocolate but also smelt quite bitter. I almost didn’t bother trying it because of that, but I took one for the team and I’m glad I did: it was somehow creamy, the bitterness didn’t translate into the taste and it was a lot more satisfying that regular milk chocolate.
8/10 would definitely eat it again (and try other Tony’s flavours)
Montezumas – Like No Udder Milk Chocolate Alternative
Amy Adams (not vegan) says: If you like a pun, which I definitely do, this chocolate will have you at hello. And the taste won’t let you down either because it’s udderly (sorry) delicious. However, I do have an issue with the milk chocolate comparison. This is much more like a dark chocolate than milk so if you dive in expecting the latter you might be disappointed. Instead it’s a more intense, slightly bitter cocoa experience, with that lovely, textured bite you get from expensive chocolate. Also gets extra points for 100% recyclable packaging.
Harriet Marsden (not vegan) says: It’s good, but it tastes like a cheap advent calendar.
Galaxy vegan – Smooth Orange
Kayleigh Dray (part-time vegan) says: I’m a huge fan of orange-flavoured milk chocolate, and it’s proven one of the things I’ve found hardest to give up in my attempt to go vegan. This Galaxy bar, though, is here to change all of that. The slabs are thinner than a normal Galaxy bar, but they’re every bit as creamy… and that sweet orange kick lifts the whole thing perfectly. Finally, a milk chocolate vegan bar that tastes as good as the real thing!
Megan Murray (not vegan) says: The Vegan Galaxy Orange did everything it said it would: it was smooth, creamy and had the perfect hint of uplifting citrus. I like it, and I would happily gobble a whole bar. But, there is undeniably something a tiny bit off about it. The bar is thinner and doesn’t feel as voluptuous and in turn, indulgent. There’s a slightly different hue to the chocolate which makes me suspicious. And the aftertaste isn’t bad… it’s just different.
Galaxy vegan – Caramelelised Hazelnut
Lauren Geall (not vegan) says: I am a Galaxy fan, so I went into this taste test with a hopeful optimism, and I’ve come out the other side feeling pretty pleased. The chocolate itself is made from a hazelnut paste (which you can taste), so it lacks the real melt-in-your-mouth chocolatey flavour you want from such a treat, but the caramel flavour was delightful. I’d buy this again if I saw it down the shops.
Lisa Smosarski (vegetarian) says: This is super-sweet and as addictive as non-Vegan Galaxy. The addition of the hazelnut paste gives this a delicious noisette flavour. Plain chocolate lovers will probably hate this, but the creamy sugary flavour hits the mark for me.
Love Cocoa – Avocado Organic Dark Chocolate
Meriam Ahari (vegan) says: This is still sweet for being dark chocolate. You don’t really taste the avocado coming through, but seems like a great substitute for milk to give the chocolate a creamy taste. I love the beautiful packaging, it would be a great gift for a chocolate lover. It gets the job done when you have a sweet craving – a small bar of it satisfied me without me craving for more.
Lucy Robson (not vegan) says: It was OK. I wasn’t rushing back for more, especially when compared with the others that were way better (like the Divine Hazelnut). Also, I couldn’t taste the avocado at all… although I guess you weren’t meant to?
Bliss Bar: 10mg CBD, 94% Dark Chocolate with Orange
Kayleigh Dray (part-time vegan) says: Like I said, I’m a sucker for orange chocolate – and if I’m feeling stressed or burnt out, I’ve been known to dabble in CBD oil. This chocolate bar, then, is ideal: tastes like the darkest richest orange chocolate, whilst promising to soothe my mind and body at the same time. I’ll get back to you on whether it works, but in the meantime… delicious!
Natasha Nanner (not vegan) says: This one is quite nice! It’s got quite a sweet and creamy taste, which makes it enjoyable to eat. But it is sweeter rather than creamy – almost an artificial sweet, sugary flavour. In terms of the CBD, I couldn’t taste that at all. Will report back if I feel super chilled later.
Raw Halo: Mylk & Salted Caramel chocolate
Scott Nelson (definitely not vegan) says: This has a premium taste to it, and definitely falls into the nice, expensive taste range. I’d be scared to eat too much of it in one go though. It’s got a richness that I don’t think would agree with me…
6/10 (it’s really good, but I prefer my chocolate a little less luxurious)
Rosanna Cole (cutting out meat slowly) says: Salted caramel is my favourite flavour. If it’s on the menu then it will almost certainly end up on my plate. So, I was intrigued to try the Raw Halo’s Mylk & Salted Caramel chocolate. I was very pleasantly surprised by the taste - it’s probably one of the best vegan chocolate options I’ve tried. It just didn’t quite have the same satisfaction levels of real chocolate.
Seed & Bean – Coconut and Raspberry
Lauren Geall (not vegan) says: I’m not normally a fan of fruit-flavoured chocolate, but this one really hits the spot. If you don’t like the taste of dark chocolate, then you actually might like this – the sweetness of the raspberry perfectly counteracts the bitterness from the dark, making it easy to eat!
Kayleigh Dray (part-time vegan) says: Honestly, this is my favourite out of all the chocolates I’ve tried today – and there have been a LOT. So sweet, so moreish, so decadent… I need another bar ASAP.
CHOCOCO – 85% Dark
Charlotte Wolff (cutting out dairy) says: Plain, simple, rich smooth dark chocolate – and quite similar to Lindt. Bonus: it’s easy to break apart with its indented square design.
Hollie Richardson (vegetarian) says: At first, I enjoyed the ‘Mega Dark’ slab, which boasted that it was ‘just the same as normal chocolate’. But a few bites in and, actually, it was too strong – maybe overcompensating for the fact it wasn’t ‘real chocolate’.
Divine – Blueberry & Quinoa
Alessia Armenise (vegan) says: I like the crunch of the quinoa but it’s really bitter and you can barely taste the sweetness of the blueberry. So, as much as I appreciate their efforts to stay healthy and not stuff the bar with refined sugar (aka the devil), I worry if the quinoa wasn’t there it would be a little tasteless.
Hollie Richardson (vegetarian) says: I enjoy the subtle crunch of the quinoa and the blueberry texture and fruity taste makes it more interesting – combined, they make you forget that it’s a vegan chocolate bar.
Asda Extra Special – Coconut Rum Dark Chocolate
Claire Cheung (not vegan) says: I expected to be transported to a beach in Jamaica upon tasting this chocolate but I wasn’t. It didn’t disappoint though. The dark chocolate was smooth and rich but as moreish as milk chocolate meaning I inhaled half of the bar in one go. Subtle hints of coconut and rum came through later while chewy bits of coconut flakes helped prolong the flavour.
Kayleigh Dray (part-time vegan): I usually hate alcohol in sweets, but this isn’t too bad. It’s a really good quality chocolate, and the coconut is a big win for this fan of Celebrations’ Bounty.
Rob Timm (100% not vegan) says: Tastes like earwax.
Seed and Bean – Mandarin and Ginger Single Origin Dark Chocolate
Moya Crockett (vegetarian) says: My favourite chocolate is cheap and white – give me a packet of Milkybar Buttons any day of the week – or fancy and dark. I’m a particular fan of dark chocolate with ginger, so I’m pleased (and pleasantly surprised) to report that Seed and Bean’s Mandarin and Ginger Single Origin Dark Chocolate is as good as any dairy-based bar I’ve tried. Rich, subtly spiced and intensely satisfying.
Kayleigh Dray (part-time vegan) says: I polished off an entire bar of this in about four minutes. That says it all, in my opinion.
Images: provided by PRs
Lead image design: Alessia Armenise
Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.