Contrary to popular opinion, vegans don’t have to compromise on taste when it comes to chocolate; the best vegan chocolate bars can taste nigh on identical to their dairy-rich counterparts. And, dare we say it, there are some that taste even better. These days there’s so much chocolatey choice for vegans, and the selection just keeps growing; to make things simpler, we’ve sampled countless products from dozens of companies, to bring you this list of the tastiest vegan chocolate available to buy right now. Someone had to do it…
When testing, we look for authentic tastes and textures as well as more bold and unusual flavours. Of course, value for money is an important factor too, so there’s something here to suit every budget. And for those looking for more than just a bar we have some cracking selection boxes and chocolate nibbles to choose from too. If you’re new to the world of dairy-free chocolate then our buying guide below will answer any questions you might have. Know what you’re looking for already? Feel free to skip right to our recommendations.
Best vegan chocolate: At a glance
Don’t have time to read the full article? Here are our top picks:
How to choose the best vegan chocolate for you
How can chocolate be vegan when it’s made from milk?
Chocolate is made from cocoa beans, the dried and fermented seeds of the cacao tree, which makes it vegan. However, the process of bean-to-bar can (but not inevitably) see the addition of milk or milk fat added, alongside sugar and a range of additives. There are two main types of vegan chocolate: dark chocolate and chocolate made with plant milk such as rice, coconut or almond milk instead of cow’s milk for a rich, creamy taste.
How do I know if a chocolate product is vegan?
Even when there’s no trace of animal products in the ingredients, some chocolate isn’t labelled as “vegan”. This is usually seen with dark chocolate, which some people refer to as being “accidentally vegan”. That said, some dark chocolate does contain dairy products, so it’s essential to check the ingredients before you buy. Avoid chocolate with a long list of ingredients, some of which might be fillers that are animal-related. Also look out for ingredients that are derived from milk, such as whey, casein, milk fat and milk solids.
Confusingly, you may see a “may contain milk” or “manufactured in the same facility as products containing milk” allergen warning on vegan chocolate. This is because the product could have been made on the same line as dairy products, with the potential risk of cross-contamination, but it doesn’t mean that the chocolate actually contains milk.
Where can I buy vegan chocolate?
In days gone by, you’d have had to find a specialist shop to find decent vegan chocolate. Nowadays, however, much of the good stuff is sold in major supermarkets and large online stores. That said, some of the smaller chocolatiers that make vegan chocolate still only sell it in their own stores or in health food stores such as Planet Organic and Holland & Barrett.
Are there other vegan chocolate treats available?
Yes – everything from chocolate ice cream to chocolate biscuits, from chocolate cereal and chocolate cake to chocolate-flavoured sweets. In fact, pretty much anything you can buy with chocolate flavouring is now available as a vegan alternative.
READ NEXT: The best dairy-free cheese for vegans
The best vegan chocolate to buy in 2021
1. Nomo Caramel and Sea Salt: The most convincing vegan chocolate there is
Price: £0.90 | Buy now from Tesco
To our minds (and mouths) Nomo’s vegan chocolate bars are the best there is. And we’ve tried an awful lot of vegan chocolate. There are dozens of great vegan alternatives out there but nothing comes close to replicating the taste, texture and melt of milk chocolate like Nomo. We’d recommend any of Nomo’s allergen-free chocolate bars, though our favourite has to be the Caramel and Sea Salt Choc Bar, which tastes practically identical to Cadbury Dairy Milk Caramel.
£20.99 (£23.02 / kg) Buy now
2. Ombar Coco Mylk: Melts just like milk chocolate
Price: £3.30 | Buy now from Planet Organic
Ombars are organic, raw and vegan, yet they taste like almost like the real deal. Albeit a little more coconutty. This is some seriously creamy chocolate, with just the right melt factor. It’s made from creamed coconut, cocoa butter, coconut sugar and organic Ecuadorian cacao. Regular Ombars come in flavours such as strawberry milk, mandarin and blueberry acai, and then there’s the Ombar Centres – the coconut and vanilla is to die for, as is the raspberry and coconut. But for an authentic-tasting milk chocolate taste that’s vegan-friendly, there’s nothing better than an Ombar Coco Mylk Bar.
£18.59 (£53.11 / kg) Buy now Go to Source