Trend To Try: Artisan Chocolate

Indulge your sweet tooth this holiday season 


 

Since people first began roasting and consuming cacao beans some 2,000 years ago, chocolate has become a universal symbol of indulgence; something special to share with those you love. There are few gifts better suited to giving (and receiving), particularly at this time of year. Here are a few chocolate shops and chocolatiers worth seeking out on your travels. Masters of their craft, they are elevating chocolate to exceptionally delicious new levels.

SOMA Chocolatemaker, Toronto

Must try: Birch Branch

Filled with hazelnut butter crunch and sour cherry jelly, the birch branch is one of many tree-inspired treats at SOMA—there’s even a cedar- and oak-infused chocolate in the works. 

Mast Brothers, Brooklyn

Must try: Goat Milk Chocolate

The Mast Brothers craft bars straight from the cocoa bean. Their goat milk bar is 60%, and, like the others, has its own tasting notes: lemon curd, thyme and toasted meringue. 

Chocolat de Chloe, Montreal

Must try: Monsieur Croquant

Crisp honeycomb sponge toffee, made in-house and dunked by the chunk in smooth, dark Valrhona chocolate, is among the most popular of this shop’s whimsical, well-crafted confections.

JACEK Chocolate Couture, Edmonton

Must try: The Credo Bar

A bean-to-bar dark chocolate, the Credo is blended with whole-bean espresso. The rest of JACEK’s artisan bar collection is inspired by fashion icons and is available full-sized or in boxed sets. (jacekchocolate.com)

Chocolate Tofino, Tofino, B.C.

Must try: Dutch Chocolate Gelato

This teeny shop is known both for its homemade gelato and for its exquisite chocolates. Combine the two by ordering the dense, rich chocolate gelato in a crisp, chocolate-dipped waffle cone. 

Beta5 Chocolates, Vancouver

Must try: Salted Chocolate Caramels 

Soft, milk chocolate caramels coated in 63% dark chocolate and finished with flaky sea salt—these treats reflect the craftsmanship that goes into each Beta5 creation. 

Dandelion Chocolate, San Francisco

Must try: European Drinking Chocolate

This decadent drink is made with Dandelion’s own award-winning bean-to-bar chocolate, which is crafted on-site every day except Sunday. Bonus: You can sit in the café and watch the process. 

Dick Taylor Craft ChocolateEureka, Calif.

Must try: Black Fig Bar

An elegant combination of California black mission figs and 72% Madagascar chocolate, this bar is just one of the many highlights among Dick Taylor‘s small-batch creations.

Padovani ChocolatesHonolulu

Must try: Manoa Honey with Lilikoi Ganache

The incorporation of local flavours like mango, coffee and honey is typical in the chocolates crafted here; the lilikoi (Hawaiian for passion fruit) used in this bar has a sweet, delicate flavour.

WestJet Banner