On my quest of becoming a master chocolatier, I have recently been given the wonderful opportunity to train with one San Francisco’s most awarded chocolate companies. And when a chocolatier ventures out to find the best chocolates in the city after a long and tiring shift, you can call that a passion! Yes, as of late, chocolate has been my obsession!
Much like its eclectic mix of landmarks and architecture, San Francisco’s chocolate culture is buzzing! From high-profile confectioners/chocolatiers to bean-to-bar makers, its chocolate selection is wide. Listed below are my choices for TOP 5 must-try chocolates in the city.
- Dandelion Chocolate – with the rise of bean-to-bar craft chocolate in the last decade, Dandelion has gotten its fair share of media attention most notably for its single-origin chocolate bars. This hip chocolate shop will take your senses around the world showcasing chocolates from countries like Ecuador and Costa Rica. Aside from its multi-awarded selection of chocolate bars, there are plenty of pastries and beverages to choose from. Click here to learn more about the bean-to-bar movement.
- Christopher Elbow Chocolates – upon entering Christopher Elbow Chocolates, you will be greeted with a wide selection of neatly-arranged, shiny and colorful bonbons and caramels that are almost too beautiful to eat! And just as good as it looks, these carefully-crafted jewels are melt-in-your-mouth delicious, quite literally! Enrobed square ganaches comes in flavors like fresh mint and raspberry while the bonbons are filled with gooey caramel flavors like lavender and strawberry balsamic caramel.
- Sixth Course Artisan Confections – located in the vibrant Mission District, Sixth Course is more than just a chocolate shop. Its a trifecta of desserts from pastries to chocolates to gelato and everything, EVERYTHING looks so stunning! Each concoction of chocolate is delicately hand-made varying in flavors like my 2 favorites: cayenne caramel and sage brown butter caramel.
- Charles Chocolates – more than a chocolate shop, Charles Chocolates is a chocolate factory! A few flights of stairs will take you right to the shop with a ceiling-tall glass window showcasing its chocolatiers crafting their award-winning chocolates. Classic and bittersweet fleur de sel caramels are enrobed in 65% dark chocolate while gold and silver dusted heart bonbons are filled with smooth raspberry and passion fruit ganache. What I like best though is their selection of chocolate bars ranging from crispy rice to sweet salty hazelnuts to coffee toffee. And check out the simple packaging that speaks so much of their artisanal chocolates!
- XOX Truffles – unlike the minimally-decorated chocolate shops on this list, XOX Truffles screams “mom and pop” shop and I love it! Everything about this place has so much character, from Chef Jean-Marc showcasing a tray of his newly-coated truffles (and with a huge smile) to the handwritten signs on its glass windows. Lately, chocolates have been showcased in a perfectly symmetrical shape. XOX Truffles defies this trend and stayed true to its origins with its asymmetrical shape and often messy look! Among my favorites are early gray and green tea matcha truffles.
If you ever get the chance to make this tour in the city, take tons of pictures and tag me on instagram @sweetsavorygrace ! I hope this help guided your sweettooth cravings! Cheers!