If you’re looking for a gift for your Valentine for Valentine’s Day, you will find something special at one of these chocolate shops. Like most people, I’m a big fan of chocolate. NYC has a plethora of chocolate shops, some better than others and some specializing in different types of chocolate. I’ve noted what I like from most shops and also what new items they have this season for Valentine’s Day.
Stick With Me Sweets is owned by Susanna Yoon, former head chocolatier at Per Se. Her chocolate bon bons are not only gorgeous to look at but they are delicious to eat as well. In flavors like wild strawberry with a creme fraiche, wild strawberry and white chocolate ganache to a dark chocolate raspberry rose and a kalamansi meringue pie that looks like a little pie inside its white chocolate shell, there is something to suit every taste. And these shiny orbs of delight won’t last long!
Kee’s chocolates are one of my favorites in NYC. They are handmade by Kee, who is often in the shop if you visit one of the three locations. This picture in no way does them justice, but they are melt-in-your-mouth smooth with fresh flavors. I like the kaffir lime, honey saffron and key lime best but all are delicious.
Royce Chocolate is from Japan and also has three locations in the city. I love the creamy fresh nama chocolates here, but there are also so many other great finds. The white chocolate cheese potato chips are one of my all-time favorites too.
Mr. Chocolate always has something interesting up his sleeve. Especially at Valentine’s Day. I’ve written about his chocolates on my blog many times before. This year, he has chocolate do not disturb signs and heart puzzles. This store is a chocolate wonderland, and the chocolates are as delicious as they are gorgeous.
Francois Payard doesn’t have a chocolate shop, but he sells chocolates that are also divine. He also makes the best macarons, and this year, has a macaron-making kit available so you can easily make them at home.
I love Vosges. Not only do they make exquisite chocolates, they make incredible ice cream as well. I love the exotic collection. Naga is one of my favorite truffles, but the ice cream is even better. I also love Wink of the Rabbit. I’ve tried so many of their truffles and bars, and they never disappoint.
La Maison Du Chocolat is a luxury chocolate shop, and if you want to make an impression, a box of these chocolates would be the way to go.
Neuhaus chocolate is Belgian, and they always have interesting collections like the chocolates created by female chefs. This year, they have a collection of truffles created by world-renown pastry chefs like Cronut-maker Dominique Ansel. I’m eager to see what delights they have whipped up!
Koppers Chocolate factory is located in the Village; however, its chocolate is sold at various shops. Koppers is part of old New York, having been in operation for 75 years. It is known for its cordials and dragees, or panned chocolate. A new product includes Greek yogurt-covered items like pretzels and cherries. For Valentine’s Day, how about Cherries & Almond Jubilee Celebration–dark and red chocolate cherries, glazed almonds and chocolate and gold jeweled almonds or Valentine cordials.
If you are looking for delicious chocolates that also come packaged in adorable packaging, then Teuscher’s is the place to go. The animals and characters lend a bit of whimsy to chocolate with their big button eyes. These are great gifts for children…of all ages.
Li-Lac Chocolates is a great traditional chocolate shop. If you are looking for a chocolate heart, this is the place. In fact, you can get a giant one with 210 pieces for $375. They have a boyfriend’s heart with a more “masculine” mix of chocolates. (This would have to include chocolate-covered pretzels for most men I know.)
For truly traditional chocolates, try Varsano’s in the West Village. This is the place to get the classic Valentine’s Day chocolate heart.
Max Brenner’s is a cafe and chocolate shop. This is a great place to bring kids for the chocolate fondue or other chocolate goodies. I got the fondue which is a fun treat for adults too. Max Brenner’s has some fun gift sets, including the Love Story, including a little fondue pot–perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Fika is a Swedish coffee shop that also sells Swedish confections like chocolates and pastries. You can get your sweetie chocolate truffles at Fika in traditional flavors like strawberry and almond or trendy like salted caramel or creative like goat cheese and cactus lychee or Scandinavian-inspired like lingonberry chili. If your sweetheart loves CSI or is a bit macabre, how about a red chocolate skull? Fika also has regular chocolate skulls pictured below.
I’ve written about Sugar and Plumm before. It’s a cafe and dessert shop on the Upper West Side that also has a retail candy/confection shop. There are many delights here for folks of all ages. However, if you are looking for chocolate couture, look no further. They have the most lifelike chocolate purses and shoes here that will excite any Valentine. I think this is their standout item.
If you like chocolate in molded shapes, this is the place. There are New York favorites like the Statue of Liberty and the Metrocard. But they have much more than standard chocolate bunnies. They have chocolate donkeys and turtles, chocolate aspirin, chocolate tennis rackets, chocolate gavels–even a chocolate tooth. They may be a little dated with a chocolate fax machine, record and video recorder. But the shapes are fun and different and very creative for Valentine’s Day like a chocolate cupid or a chocolate heart-shaped jewelry box.
L.A. Burdick is a cafe in Flatiron that also makes fine chocolate. This year, there are some unique gift items, including this collection of whisky chocolates to celebrate Robert Burns Day. There’s also a Lunar New Year collection with Asian-inspired chocolates. They have adorable chocolate mice and penguin collections, but this caramel collection looks pretty delicious.