Special Report

The Best Chocolate Brands on the Market

Courtesy of Stone Grindz via Facebook

There is chocolate, and then there is bean-to-bar chocolate. While many reputable chocolate companies use a standardized blend of cacao from numerous countries, bean-to-bar chocolates tend to contain cacao from a single bioregion. As with wine, this allows the unique flavors of rare and specialty cacao strains to shine in the finished product.  

To determine the companies making the best bean-to-bar chocolates in the Americas, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data from the International Chocolate Awards 2020-2021 Americas bean-to-bar competition (the most recent one that’s been held), which rated hundreds of chocolate bars from producers in the Western Hemisphere. The bars were judged by an international panel of experts including chocolatiers, sommeliers, food journalists, and pastry chefs. We created a weighted index considering gold and silver winners as well as companies that won multiple awards in various categories.

Aside from showcasing the terroir of single origin cacao, another advantage of bean-to-bar chocolates is sustainability. A large number of the companies that produce these chocolates pay their cacao farmers a living wage and source from farms that utilize sustainable growing practices including diverse interplanting. Many industrial cacao farms, on the other hand, clearcut large swaths of rainforest, making chocolate one of the foods with the worst environmental impact.

Click here to see the best bean-to-bar chocolates from the Americas

Pacari Chocolate – a company that won 20 awards in the competition – is a certified organic and biodynamic producer in Ecuador, that sources its beans from local farmers who grow and preserve an array of heirloom cacao varieties using sustainable forestry practices. One variety that Pacari utilizes is Ecuador’s rare Arribia Nacional cacao bean, which is known for its floral aroma and complex flavor profile, helping to make Pacari’s chocolate bars some of the best in the world. (If you prefer your chocolate in frozen form, here’s a list of the best ice cream parlor in every state.)

26. Chaleur B Chocolat (tied)
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Vietnam Dak Lak Dark Milk 51% Cacao


25. TCHO (tied)
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: 39% Classic Milk

24. Palato Hand Crafted Chocolate (tied)
> Country: Honduras
> Bar to try: 65% Dark Chocolate Bhutlah Pepper

23. Palette de Bine (tied)
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Milk + Maple Wild Harvest Bolivia 55%


22. White Label Chocolate (tied)
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: 48% Brown Butter Milk

21. DANAUS bean-to-bar
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Chocolate 68 % Cacao VRAE99 Cusco


20. Cielo Dentro Chocolate
> Country: Mexico
> Bar to try: Pixan 45%

19. Luisa Abram
> Country: Brazil
> Bar to try: White Chocolate with Açai Berry

18. Hummingbird Chocolate Maker
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Toffee Nib


17. Argencove
> Country: Nicaragua
> Bar to try: Banana, Cinnamon & Cloves

16. Maraná
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Cusco Dark 70%


15. Tesoro Amazonico
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Chuncho Dark 88

14. Goodnow Farms Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: Asochivite with Maple Sugar

13. Pacari Chocolate
> Country: Ecuador
> Bar to try: Guayas 75%


12. Negro Doce
> Country: Brazil
> Bar to try: Caramel Crush

11. Danta Chocolate
> Country: Guatemala
> Bar to try: Kampura White Limited Edition


10. Wild Blue Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: 70% Dark Chocolate, Maya Mountain Belize

9. Mission Chocolate
> Country: Brazil
> Bar to try: Three Theos

8. Chequessett Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: White Lemon Thyme Chocolate Bar


7. Nina Fine Chocolates
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Nina 73% Theobroma Golden Bar

6. Stone Grindz Chocolate
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: Cappuccino


5. Qantu
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Oh la vache! Morropón Milk 60%

4. Kahkow
> Country: United States
> Bar to try: Tireo 68% Single Estate

3. Kasama Chocolate
> Country: Canada
> Bar to try: Strawberry White


2. Cacao Hunters
> Country: Colombia
> Bar to try: Tumaco Leche 53%

1. Cacaosuyo
> Country: Peru
> Bar to try: Cuzco 80

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