Updated: Jan 18
I don't receive any commissions from the retailers mentioned in this post.
Nothing keeps me away from chocolate, and when I was a child I had the hives to prove it. Yes like star-crossed love those sweet, tiny chocolate morsels I so adored did not exactly love me back. My pediatrician gave me the worst news any young chocolate lover could hear: Chocolate was one of the many foods to which I was allergic and should avoid. I sadly accepted the news and later consoled myself with a dozen chocolate Hershey’s Kisses™ washed down with nice tall glass of Benadryl ™. By the time I became a teen my voracious appetite became age-appropriate and, miraculously, all of my food allergies disappeared.
My friends jokingly refer to me as the chocolate connoisseur of the group. The reality is my palette continues to evolve. And while I light up when sampling beautiful bonbons and tasty truffles from chocolatiers across the U.S, I also enjoy the nostalgia of delighting in a bag of plain M&Ms as well as artisanal recreations of brand-named chocolates. I relish the opportunity of taste testing new and unique chocolates. This post is the first of many to explore the best the world has to offer. I start with reviewing 5 top-notch U.S. chocolatiers. All of these confection shops provide nationwide shipping (check their website for specific shipping information).
The following chocolatiers hail from both the East to West coasts. They’re in no particular order, but I do have my favorite. Any guesses? Looks like you’ll have to try each one and judge for yourself. Drop a comment below and leave your top chocolate picks from this list suggest a chocolatier for me to review. Out of the many dozens of chocolatiers I’ve visited, here are 5 of the best. Happy tastings!
Located in the Nolita section of downtown Manhattan, New York, the handcrafted bonbons created in this tiny confection shop dazzles the eyes with their exquisite artistic detail and whets ones appetite with their mouth-watering flavor combinations. Every time my husband and I travel to Manhattan, we pick up a 24-piece custom assorted box of their white, milk and dark chocolate bonbons, along with a handful of their mini candy bars. The ultra friendly staff quickly learned our names and make spot on recommendations based on our flavor preferences. In addition to their amazing taste and first-rate customer service, the presentation of the bonbons in storybook keepsake boxes is yet another one of a kind touch that sets them apart from other Manhattan chocolatiers.
Located in the Old City section of Philadelphia, PA, this sweet gem is actually America’s oldest candy shop. Stepping into Shane Confectionery is like time-traveling to the 1850s, from employees dressed in attire from that time period to the ornate décor of the shop. In addition, their vast selection of sweet and salty confections will leave you in awe. You can easily spend an hour or so here alone, but carve out some time to check out the Chocolate Café, an extension of the candy shop that features an array of sipping chocolates. They also offer private and tours and chocolate tastings.
Another unique and tasty find in the City of Brotherly Love is located a block away from the historic Liberty Bell, this chocolate shop has a homey feel and warm vibe. Lore’s is a family owned business that knows a thing or two about crafting an array of fine chocolates, local seasonal favorites such as Irish Potatoes, chocolate covered strawberries and pretzels and so much more. This shop has delighted chocolate lovers since1967 and is just a few short blocks of Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross house, and the Benjamin Franklin museum to name just a few of the landmarks and must visit museums nearby. Another fun fact: Lore’s Chocolates are created in the original, historic Goldenberg Peanut Chews factory.
I came across this delectable establishment located in Verona and Madison, Wisconsin, after reading a Consumer Reports article some years ago noting Candinas as a top CR pick. I have yet to visit Wisconsin, but they happily accept phone and online orders, and this is the go-to chocolatier my husband and I order from to celebrate our wedding anniversary. Their handmade chocolates are out of this world delicious and have consistently been so over the ten or more years we’ve been ordering from them. All of their flavor offerings are phenomenal and every time the FedEx delivery person promptly appears at our doorstep with the Candinas box in tow, hubby and I play tug of war to see who dips into the box first.
Seattle, WA is on my bucket list of places to travel to and one sweet destination that’s definitely bookmarked on my itinerary is Fran’s Chocolates. Also a family owned establishment, Fran Bigelow is credited as being a master chocolatier and has been creating French pastries and artisanal chocolates since 1982. Menu offerings are quite extensive and I highly recommend the dark and milk chocolate peanut butter cups and the dark and milk chocolate salted caramels. If you really want to treat yourself, the assortment of truffles and variety of gold bars definitely fit the bill. I was especially impressed by their lightening fast shipping service during this past holiday season and the packaging of all of their items added to the already indulgent experience.
So, fellow chocolate eater, get to ordering. You too will be more than satisfied. You’ll be in love.