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Thanks to our readers’ solid feedback on our recent assortment of chocolate shops across America, TPG Contributor Michele Herrmann has once again put her sweet senses to the test—just in time for last-minute Valentine’s Day gifts, here are her picks for 12 more delectable chocolate shops to savor nationwide.
The Chocolate Room – Brooklyn
With locations in Brooklyn’s Park Slope and Cobble Hill, this New York City dessert shop wants every patron to make room for chocolate—and feel well cared for. Chocolate cakes are their specialties—especially their signature three-tier Chocolate Layer Cake—but other tasty orders include their brownie sundae, chocolate fondue, macarons, cupcakes, clusters, cookies, and even popcorn. The Chocolate Room markets its own artisan brand of chocolate bars, but is also sweet about selling ones by fellow confectioners. The shop also lends its support to Project Ezaka, which helps support cocoa farmers in Madagascar.
Sixth Course – San Francisco
This Mission District confection company specializes in small-batch, handmade truffles, mousse cakes, tarts, and frozen novelties. Their signature truffles offer liquid caramels, classic ganache, and whipped ganache centers, and feature organic, all natural, and locally sourced ingredients. On location here, you can enjoy desserts and treats such as gelato bars dipped in almond toffee crunch.
Compartés Chocolatier – Los Angeles
Since 1950, this high-end chocolate factory/store has followed the principles of European chocolate techniques, recipes, and artistry in making premium organic gourmet chocolates. Their cocoa is primarily sourced from Venezuela, Ecuador and Peru, combined with ingredients from local Los Angeles farmers markets. Compartés’ signature truffles come in 100 unique and seasonal exotic flavors, and can even be created with a custom logo or any design the customer desires. Other specialty options include the factory’s line of premium white, milk and dark chocolate bars, as well as and crunchy and salted batches of “Love Nuts.”
Amy’s Candy Bar – Chicago
This cheerful, colorful candy boutique would make Katy Perry proud. Here you’ll find nostalgic and imported candies, as well as a plethora of licorice, gummies, and of course, chocolate. Malted milk balls come covered with flavors like mint-chocolate cookie and Key lime, and there’s even an intriguing chocolate version of pimento-olive almonds. Small-batch caramels, turtles and nougats are handcrafted in the shop’s kitchen, and candy baskets are available.
Beacon Hill Chocolates – Boston
Based in this historic section of Beantown, this shop’s chocolatier sources artisan chocolate and other ingredients from producers around the world. For various occasions, découpage keepsake boxes—covered with vintage photographs, postcards and illustrations—contain delicious sweets made in-house. Truffles really take the (glass) case, with elegant pieces such as the dark-chocolate Blood Orange Fleur de Lis or Chile Limón Mayan Truffle, as well as the whimsically named Caramel Sushi, Chocolate Lab or Kitty Cat.
Cocova Chocolate – Washington, D.C.
In Dupont Circle, this tasting room/store (once known as Biagio Fine Chocolates) houses over 300 chocolate bars and confections by artisan makers from all corners of the globe. Exotic finds range from chocolate bars to truffle box sets, to cocoa nibs and beans, and baking powders. Chocolate tasting and truffle making classes are also offered here.
diAmano Chocolate – Atlanta
Bridging Italian words di a mano (“of hand”) and di amano (“of love”), this boutique shop lovingly creates innovative chocolate confections with locally-sourced natural ingredients. Salted and infused caramels encompass flavors like apple cider, chili habanero, espresso and ginger and vanilla caramels offer a hint of semi-soft sweetness. English butter toffees and the six-piece marshmallow with caramel collection are both equally mouth-watering. Chocolate barks get fancy with Oreo Chocolate or the peanutty Tiger Butter, and bars and truffle assortments are, so to speak, the icing on the cake.
Dude, Sweet Chocolate – Dallas
Dark chocolate is the center of all its fun and funky artisan creations: fudge, truffles, toffees, nuts—and anything else that the company’s inspired chef decides to make. For example, an FDA-approved Chocolate Salami may be rolled up like a sausage, but is actually made from medjool dates, dried figs and cocoa nibs mixed with marzipan. You’ll even find sauces, spreads and “potions” (chocolate and liquor blends) for serving on ice cream or fruit, in a cocktail—or with/on your Valentine.
BarCHOCOLATE – Charlotte
Founded by two best friends, this artisan place in uptown Charlotte often changes up its menu to offer “insanely creative” delights made to perfection. Perhaps find the buttery, dark chocolaty Alaskan Sitka Sea Salt Caramel. Or get a buzz from their Counter Culture Coffee with freshly roasted and crushed coffee beans. These candies also come in eight and 16-piece boxes. And indulgence in taste with their range of Honey Truffles, as their $1 per piece price is pretty sweet!
Theo Chocolate – Seattle
Billing themselves as the first organic and fair trade certified chocolate maker in the U.S., this factory makes its chocolate from cocoa beans that have been grown in the most sustainable ways possible. Learn more about their bean-to-bar process through daily factory tours with opportunities to do some product tasting. Candy bars involve categories such as classic (with single flavors like chili, mint and coconut), fantasy (with creative ideas like Chai and Coconut Curry) and partner bars (a portion of sales proceeds go to charity), along with special limited editions. You’ll also find specialty caramels (like the Valentine’s Day Casanova Collection ) and flavored drinking chocolate.
Cao Chocolates – Miami
Made with 100 percent Venezuelan cacao, this Miami shop’s creamy truffles, bonbons, and molded milk and dark chocolates feature full flavors, fine liquors and sassy names. For example, Big Daddy sports a coating of cacao bits with a spicy touch of cayenne pepper, while Cookie Lover is wrapped in a robe of vanilla wafers and cocoa powder. Chocolate-covered fruit gives off a citrusy or gingery zing. For something a little crunchy, consider Cacao Art’s chocolate discs, from Mendiants—topped with nuts and dried fruits—to chocolate-covered honeycomb Crunchies.
Before you purchase those Valentine’s Day chocolates, be sure to check out our post on Maximizing Points and Miles for Valentine’s Day Gifts—and have a sweet holiday!
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