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Best Local Chocolatiers/Chocolate Shops?

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I'm sure this topic is rather trite, but my friend and I are going chocolate shopping this afternoon, and she requested that we focus on local chocolatiers, rather than chains (she feels brands like Joseph Schmidt and Scharffen Berger fall under this category, and with good reason, now that they are no longer locally owned). I'd love to hear your recommendations as to what you feel are the BEST locally-made chocolates in San Francisco (we'll be staying in the city)...and if you can include cross streets for the location, I'd be eternally thankful!! And of course, thanks in advance for any and all responses!

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  1. I love Poco Dulce, some of the Charles chocolates are good, and I like some of the Rechuitti line. And of course XOXO truffles.

    Rechuitti is available in the Ferry building. There is a large selection of chocolate at Fog City News, Confetti and Cocoa Bella.

    I am not a big fan of Schmidt and Scharffenberger's truffles (although their couveture is good).

    3 Replies
    1. re: jsaimd

      I didn't think Sharffen Berger made truffles. If they do, the couverture would be.... Scharffen Berger.

      1. re: Gary Soup

        I didn't like Joseph Schmidt couverture at all. Way too thick, but some people like that. Shelf life is longer with that tough coating, which to me means you might be buying old product.

        1. re: Gary Soup

          Yes you are right. I am thinking about the truffles they sell at the Sharffen Berger stand at the Ferry Building - which are Joseph Schmidt (who uses Sharffen Berger couverture).

      2. Stop by Cocoabella (2102 Union St. SF) and see what you think. It is a very elegant and not inexpensive shop.

        1. Rechuitti makes my favorite locally made chocolates. Their store is at the Ferry Building. If shopping for your own consumption, the best value is to buy by the piece. If you are purchasing as a gift, they have pre-selected boxes, or you can create your own boxed selection (which is what I prefer, if I know my audience well enough). In my opinion, they really excel at caramels. The rose caramel (which is white chocolate outside) & the burnt caramel are my favorites. I also like the ginger heart.

          Not locally made, but an amazing selection = Cocoa Bella. They have a location in Westfield Union Square. My favorites there are the mumm champagne truffles, rosemary caramel, & strawberry balsamic.

          Have fun, good luck, and report back!

          3 Replies
          1. re: bourbongirl

            You're right about their caramels, but the fleur de sel caramel is the best!

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              No kidding I have a sugar coma from eating them today.. I needed someone to take the box away!!!!

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                Ruth I tried the recipe for fleur de sel caramels at Epicurious.com.Worked for me.
                Cheap and easy.

            2. Boulettes Larder- Chocolate Tart is outrageous in Ferry Plaza

              1. I hope they do a better job of this shop than the temporary shop in Laurel Village. I was so put off that I stopped buying Charles Chocolates period ... heh.
                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45369
                http://www.charleschocolates.com/

                Other than the samples, do they sell chocolates by the piece or must you buy pricy boxes? Can you choose the chocolates in the boxes or are they pre-packaged.

                That was a big thing for me. I like some and not all of those chocolates. At Bittersweet I could sample them piece by piece and decide which chocolates I liked. If it is like the Laurel Village store, I can't be bothered.

                1. There is the new place Five Star on Divisadero and Oak. There is another post about it somewhere on the boards. Guy who owns it use to work at XOXO.
                  The truffles are the same as XO's, but cheaper! My sweetie bought me some for valentines, *licks fingers*.

                  1. Haven't been back to Berkeley in a long time--but when I was there I used to buy the most delicious bon bons there-mint,mocha,coffee,handmade and the best I have ever had--anyone know the place I am referring to????

                    1. Just a note on Scharffenberger...while it's still not locally owned, it is most certainly locally made, and the change in ownership was to help with distribution, not production. Head over to Emeryville for the free factory tour and free samples - they're very friendly.