The 7 Best Tasting Protein Bars of 2020, According to a Dietitian

Fuel your needs with these delicious snacks

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks
"A cookie-like texture and tons of inventive flavors—including Currant Cacao + Hemp Seed and Mulberry Cacao + Spirulina."
"Tastes great, is made from quality ingredients, and is budget-friendly."
"Delicious handmade bars are full of wholesome nuts, seeds, honey, and fruit."
"Tastes like a chewy chocolate chip cookie and contains 5 grams of plant-based protein."
Best Fruit-Flavored:
Health Warrior Chia Bars at Amazon
"With only 100 calories and 3 grams of sugar, Health Warrior's Chia Bars are the perfect small snack for an active lifestyle."
"A great alternative to typical sweet, chocolatey protein bars, especially if you prefer salty, meat, and veggie flavors."
"Made from 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised sources from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand."

When it comes to protein bars, flavor preference is highly individual. Whether you prefer a nut butter, chocolate, or fruit-flavored bar, there’s an option for everyone. Some bars come in inventive and enticing flavors like birthday cake and s'mores; however, it’s always good to check out the ingredient list to ensure that your bar is free of artificial flavors, colors, and sugars. Many bars on the market are comparable in sugar to candy bars, so choosing a bar made from high-quality ingredients and minimally processed sugars is ideal.

Here, the best-tasting bars.

Best Overall: Elemental Superfood Dark Chocolate Almond Butter Seed Bar

Great-tasting bars go beyond the typical fruit and nut flavors and have an indulgent texture that makes you think you're eating a bakery treat rather than a protein-packed nutrition bar. With a cookie-like texture and tons of inventive flavors—including Dark Chocolate + Almond Butter, Currant Cacao + Hemp Seed, and Mulberry Cacao + Spirulina—Elemental Superfoods bars will keep your taste buds excited and body fueled with energy-boosting protein and nutrient-rich superfoods. With 230 calories, 8 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein, the Dark Chocolate + Almond Butter bar is an indulgent and incredibly nutritious snack.

These bars are also incredibly allergy friendly and were created out of the founder’s need for on-the-go snacks that would fit her daughter’s dietary restrictions. Free of soy, egg, gluten, and dairy, these bars are great for anyone following an anti-inflammatory or allergen-free diet or merely looking for snacks that support a whole food, plant-based style of eating. The Non-GMO Project Verified, raw ingredients are easy for the body to digest and absorb. Note that these bars do require refrigeration.

Best Budget: KIND Bars Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt

Finding a bar that tastes great, is made from quality ingredients, and is budget-friendly can be quite a challenge. Luckily, KIND makes a deliciously indulgent Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar that is low in sugar but tastes outrageously good. The satisfying crunch of peanuts and almonds is a welcome alternative to typical soft and chewy bars. Plus, the bars are widely available and aren’t as expensive as comparable products on the market. The hint of sea salt provides a savory twist to the nutty and chocolate flavored bar.

The Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt bar contains 180 calories, 5 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. If you’re not a fan of dark chocolate, KIND also makes other varieties with 5g of sugar or less, including Madagascar Vanilla Almond and Maple Glazed Pecan & Sea Salt.

Best Gluten-Free: Raw Crunch Organic Dark Chocolate Bars

If the ideal gluten-free snack existed in a package, Raw Crunch Bars would take a gold medal. These delicious handmade bars are full of wholesome nuts, seeds, honey, and fruit (or chocolate, depending on the flavor). Every ingredient except chocolate is raw. The raw ingredients are soaked and dehydrated in small batches—rather than being cooked—to maintain the nutrients and enzymes. If allergens such as gluten are a concern, Raw Crunch's facility is gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and peanut-free.

The organic bars are full of plant-based protein and fiber from a variety of nuts and seeds. One Raw Crunch bar contains 5 grams of easily digestible plant protein, 5 grams of natural sugar, and only 150 calories. The bars come in a variety of flavors, including Blueberry Lemon, Cranberry Orange, Dark Chocolate, Dark Chocolate Cherry, and Goji Berry.

Best Chocolate: The YES Bar Dark Chocolate Chip Yes Bar

It can be challenging to find a chocolate-flavored bar that checks all the nutrition boxes and still tastes great. Many chocolate protein bars have a chalky taste or use artificial flavors and sweeteners to achieve a rich, velvety taste. With whole food ingredients and delicious cookie-like taste, the Yes Bar is the best chocolate-flavored bar. The Dark Chocolate Chip flavor tastes like a chewy chocolate chip cookie and contains 5 grams of plant-based protein. It's made from ingredients that you can read, including almonds, dark chocolate, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and cashews.

Each bar contains 220 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of sugar from natural ingredients such as maple syrup and coconut nectar. While the bar is primarily made from nuts and seeds, it is free of gluten, grains, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, eggs, and refined sugars. It's vegan and paleo-friendly. The tasty, convenient bar comes in other delicious flavors such as Salted Maple Pecan and is the perfect, quick snack any time of day.

Best Fruit-Flavored: Health Warrior Chia Bars Best Seller Variety Pack

If you prefer a sweet, fruit-flavored bar, try Health Warrior Chia Bars. The gluten-free, Non-GMO Project Verified bars are filling, delicious, and an excellent choice for kids and adults alike. With various flavors—including Coconut, Mixed Berry with Acai, Banana Nut, Vanilla Almond, and Apple Cinnamon—there's something for everyone.

With only 100 calories and 3 grams of sugar, Health Warrior's Chia Bars are the perfect small snack for an active lifestyle. The tasty, convenient bar is ideal for taking with you on the go or for grabbing before a workout when you want something light.

Best Savory: Wild Zora Meat and Veggie Bars

A savory bar is a great alternative to typical sweet, chocolatey protein bars, especially if you prefer salty, meat, and veggie flavors. Wild Zora’s paleo and Whole 30-approved meat and veggie bars are the perfect, satisfying snack for savory snackers. Unlike many comparable, jerky-like products, Wild Zora bars contain the highest quality ingredients without extra sugar, MSG, or other additives. They’re minimally processed, and the meat is free of antibiotics and hormones.
With tons of mouth-watering flavors including Apple Pork, BBQ Beef, Curry Turkey, and Mediterranean Lamb, there are tons of options to satisfy every savory craving.

Best Salty: Epic Provisions Spicy Beef Jerky

If you're a fan of spicy, salty snacks, reach for EPIC's top-quality, tasty beef jerky. The spice comes from a blend of black, red, and white pepper, garlic, onion, thyme, paprika, and oregano. EPIC uses 100% grass-fed and pasture-raised sources from the United States, Australia, and New Zealand. The brand is committed to transparency and offers consumers information about the sourcing and standards of their beef.

Each serving of the gluten-free and paleo-friendly jerky contains 12 grams of protein, 4 grams of sugar, 70 calories, and 280 milligrams of sodium, making this an excellent choice for any spice lover. Instead of using cane sugar, EPIC uses pineapple juice, maple syrup, and coconut nectar to create a flavorful jerky that's sweet and spicy.

Final Verdict

Taste is a highly individual preference, so if you want a bar with a ton of different flavors to choose from, try Health Warrior Chia Bar. For a delicious bar that has a cookie-like consistency and great taste, try Elemental Superfood Seed Bars.

What to Look for in a Great Tasting Bar

Flavor: When looking for a great-tasting bar, it’s important to consider the overall nutrition components and ingredients before choosing a flavor. Look for a bar with high-quality ingredients and a balance of protein, healthy fats, and carbohydrates that suits your individual needs and activity levels. Once you find a bar that meets your criteria, select a flavor that appeals to you. When possible, avoid artificial flavors and sweeteners.

Ingredients: The fewer ingredients, the better. Aim to select a bar with fewer than 10 ingredients. When possible, choose bars made from whole food ingredients that you can recognize like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and dried fruit.

Protein: When searching for a protein bar, look for a bar with more grams of protein than grams of sugar. Also, consider the source of the protein. If you prefer plant-based or vegan products, a nut or seed-based bar is likely best for you. If you want a higher-protein bar, choose one that includes a protein powder such as whey, hemp, pea, or brown rice protein.

Sugar: Avoid bars that use artificial sweeteners and sugar alcohols, as these can cause stomach upset. Choose a bar that uses natural sweeteners like fruit, maple syrup, or honey. Aim to select a bar with 10 to 15 grams of total sugar at most.

Fiber: Aim to choose a bar with 3 or more grams of dietary fiber.

Calories: Protein bars range in calories from approximately 100 to 250 calories. Consider your needs when selecting a bar. If you're choosing a bar as a small snack, you may want a lower calorie option, whereas if you are using a bar as a meal replacement, you may want a bit more.

What Experts Say

"Bars can make for an easy and delicious snack on the go, especially on days when you’re craving something sweet but want to avoid the blood sugar crash that can come with other sweet snacks and treats. In terms of flavor and nutrient composition, not all bars are created equal. I always recommend choosing options with short ingredient lists that you can recognize, less than 10 grams sugar, and ideally, contain some fiber and protein to keep you full and satisfied."—Lauren Bloch, MS, RD

Why Trust Verywell Fit

A personal note on my recommendations written above. As a dietitian, I am frequently asked about the best bars—in terms of nutrition and taste. In writing this article, I spent time looking at multiple products and brands and consulted with my peers in dietetics.

I believe the products in the round-up are made by trusted brands and are composed of high-quality ingredients. I would recommend the above products to friends, family, and clients, and I have personally tried all of the products. You can currently find EPIC, Yes, and Health Warrior bars in my pantry.Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Makinen KK. Gastrointestinal disturbances associated with the consumption of sugar alcohols with special consideration of xylitol: scientific review and instructions for dentists and other health-care professionals. Int J Dent. 2016;2016:5967907. doi:10.1155/2016/5967907