America’s 30 Best Chocolate Shops

Source: Cultivar413 / Flickr

15. El Buen Cacao
> Location: Idyllwild, California
> Average Yelp Rating: 5

“One of our goals at El Buen Cacao,” say the proprietors of this chocolate factory and shop in the mountains near Palm Springs, “is to offer simple chocolate characterized by quality.” They produce confections made with very few added ingredients, flavoring their bars with nothing but sea salt, black peppercorns, ghost peppers, espresso, freeze-dried raspberries — or nothing at all but cacao. Chocolate-covered fruits, fudge, and boxed assortments are also available.

Source: Courtesy of Romeo Chocolates / Facebook

14. Romeo Chocolates
> Location: Long Beach, California
> Average Yelp Rating: 5

Educator-turned-chocolatier Romeo Garcia sells numerous gift boxes of assorted chocolates, including special seasonal packages as well as chocolate-dipped strawberries, berry-flavored chocolate bars, and European-style drinking chocolate. He also hosts chocolate-tasting parties and chocolate-making workshops for both adults and kids.

Source: Photo by Maricel S. via Yelp

13. Christopher Elbow Chocolates
> Location: San Francisco, California
> Average Yelp Rating: 4.5

In addition to a presence in retail stores in 11 states and the District of Columbia, Christopher Elbow — whose eponymous proprietor has worked in the kitchens of chefs Emeril Lagasse and Jean Joho, among others — has his own boutiques here and in Kansas City. The artisanal chocolates in question are brightly hued and varied, and Elbow’s chocolate bars come both in single origin versions and in such flavors as blueberry lavender and coffee cardamom.

Source: Photo by John Kelly Chocolates via Yelp

12. John Kelly Chocolates
> Location: West Hollywood, California
> Average Yelp Rating: 5

This original location of John Kelly Chocolates, just east of fabled Sunset Strip in West Hollywood, started as a factory to produce confections for retail outlets around the country but evolved into a boutique chocolate shop as well (there’s a second location in Santa Monica). John Kelly produces a wide array of choices, including chocolates flavored with Hawaiian Alaea, French grey, or Himalayan pink salt; assorted bars (dark chocolate with habanero and jalapeño chiles; milk chocolate with roasted hazelnuts and Mediterranean sea salt; truffle fudge); and signature gift-box towers — stacks of assortments in different-sized packages.

Source: Photo by Andy B. via Yelp

11. Recchiuti Confections at the Ferry Building
> Location: San Francisco, California
> Average Yelp Rating: 4.5

Michael and Jacky Recchiuti launched their company in 1997, handcrafting small-batch confections with traditional European techniques. Their shop in San Francisco’s food-focused Ferry Building (there is another location, Recchiuti at theLab, in the city’s Dogpatch neighborhood) offers everything from boxed assortments of truffles and other chocolates to salted ginger and almond bars to fudge brownies.