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Good places to buy Chocolate Bars?

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  • rworange Mar 3, 2006 11:20 AM
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In a thread about how to taste chocolate Gary Soup said.

>>> In SF, I've discovere that the best place for chocolate bars is not the conveniently located Fog City News, but Chocolate Covered, on 24th Street. FCN doesn't carry Domori, which is a sin, and they've come up with a different lame excuse each time I've asked them about that. Chocolate Covered has all the Domori Bars, including their recently acquired Chacao line of single-origin organic chocolates <<<

I know Bittersweet in SF and Oakland have a selection.

Blue Bottle sells a few Guittard Bars, especially the lovely Sur Del Lago. Only 2 or 3 types though.

I hear the Pasta Shop in Berkeley is also a good source.

LuluRae on College in Oakland next to La Farine has some bars including the Chuao.

The Spanish Table has a few like Dagoba. They seem to lean toward orgainic chocolate.

And, of course, there's always Trader Joe's.

Speaking of TJ's anyone found an unexpected source like, say Target, or their local market. I will tell you to skip the new Ghiradelli line at Raleys.

Any other places? Do some of these places sell unique bars no one else does?

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  1. They sell Guittard bars at Andronico's as well as some other bars. I've been not so into some of the other fancy bars I've bought there (pretty packages and good ingredients but they weren't as creamy as Guittard).

    I've also found some bars (sorry I don't know the names) that I haven't seen before at Tower Market in SF. Kind of spendy, but nice to bring home something new. Cute packages on some of them too. Whole Foods selection is ok, nothing special though.

    Chocolate Covered on 24th has the widest selection that I've seen so far but I always feel kind of ripped off after buying something there. Don't know why b/c I understand the costs of importing sustainably grown foreign chocolates, but I can't really justify $10 for "a" bar these days. I do buy gifts there sometimes or some of the more reasonably priced bars.

    1. My mother keeps meaning to do a post on Star Market (on Claremont, near the Berkeley/Oakland border), which, among other things, apparently has a good selection of chocolate.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Ruth Lafler

        My daughter grew up in that neighborhood, and no weekend visitation was complete until I took her by Star Market for her candy fix. I think it was when she lived on Prince Street, some 30+ years ago. She was content with less than Amadei Chuao bars, though.

      2. I think TJ's deserves more than a throw-away mention.

        The range of chocolate bars at TJ's is good, and the prices can't be beaten. They have single-origin chocolates, organic chocolates, various European chocolates, SharffenBerger, and more. It really pays to peruse the shelves carefully, including the checkstand areas, especially since varieties come and go fairly frequently.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          The two Chocovic bars usually found near the checkout stands may be the biggest bargain in Chocolatedom. A 3 oz. 100% Criollo bar for $1.99, ridiculous! Good price on Valhrona, too.

        2. Does Chocolate Covered have the Caffarel's chocolate gianduia bar?

          1. Of all places, the pharmacy/holistic care shop Pharmaca on Solano Ave has a vast array of chocolate bars from sweet milk chocolate to 88% cacao dark chocolate bars.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Bruce

              Well, chocolate does have many health benefits, both physiological and psychological!

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                yes that was what I was going to post.. I have a new love affair with Green & Black's Chocolates & Chocolate Bars... also Rainbow Grocery has a pretty good selection.

            2. Draegers Market in San Mateo carries Joseph Schmidt Chocolates as well as Guittard, and my personal favorite: Leonidas Chocolates from Belgium. Draegers is located at 222 Fourth Avenue, San Mateo, CA 650.685.3700.

              You will run right into the pastry/bakery counter as you walk in the front door. You must buy some of the Gianduja's wrapped in gold foil. Enjoy!

              Link: http://www.draegers.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: ShoeFly

                I hate to say this, because I met him once and he's a very charming man, but Joseph Schmidt chocolates are only good to look at.

                Leonides, though, are wonderful.

              2. m
                Morton the Mousse

                The Scharffen Berger factory gift shop is a nice source. It only carries SB products, but it sells their full selection. All the bars, the confections and specialty products like chocolate monkeys and chocolate covered champagne grapes. Nice boxes and sampler packs for gifts. I'm particularly fond of the nibs, the milk chocolate bar and the chocolate dipped figs. I'm bummed that they discontinued the drinking chocolate. They also have the best selection of Dr Bobs ice cream in town which was my ice cream of choice before I discovered Sketch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Morton the Mousse

                  But if you're going to go to the SB store (whether at the factory or Ferry Building in SF), make sure you buy things that are available through Scharffen Berger exclusively. Otherwise you'll end up paying a lot for something you could get cheaper at Trader Joe's or even Whole Foods.

                2. Target carries Green & Black's Organic bars. They also have their in-house Choxie brand, but I've never tried them.

                  Elephant Pharmacy on Shattuck has a fair selection of chocolate bars. They also carry Fran's Smoked Salt Caramels for less than Whole Foods.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Debbie M.

                    I heard Choxie is chalky. What an appropriate name.

                  2. Cocoa Bella on Union Street has a great selection; including Charles Chocolates that can be purchased online...his website also lists where his products are sold.

                    Link: http://www.charleschocolates.com

                    1. My current favorite Dagoba chocolate bars are xocolatl, chai, and lavender at Community Market Natural Foods Store/1899 Mendocino Avenue in Santa Rosa for $2.59.

                      In SF, Cafe Gratitude and Green Chili Kitchen & Market sell Dagoba bars.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Cynthia

                        Alameda Natural Grocery also carries Dagoba chocolate bars, including the single-origin bars. They also carry Green & Black orangic chocolates and some other organic/fair trade brands.

                      2. Piedmont Grocery definitely carries Guittard and Scharffenberger as well as many other selections. (I'll bring pen and paper next time to jot down the names!)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Lillian Hsu

                          Thanks.

                          I've been up that way lately. How is Piedmont Grocery in general? Worth a stop?

                          1. re: rworange

                            I only recently stumbled into it myself (while waiting to pick up my order from Gregoire!) The grocery is definitely worth a stop. The produce they carry is a bit pricy, but it seems like a great place to pick up an easy dinner or picnic fixings--they have such an abundant variety of prepared foods. Around dinner time, they bring out several sizes of free-range roasted chicken with different rubs (including a Masala rub I've been wanting to try).

                            In addition to their sizable chocolate selection, they also appear to carry baked goods from many local bakeries.

                            The service is very good, extremely friendly and efficient.

                        2. Since this thread has been brought up again, I thought I'd mention the small place on Solano near Santa Fe. Maybe it wasn't mentioned previously because it hadn't opened in March. Anyhow, it sells nothing but chocolate bars.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Glencora

                            Mad for Chocolate.
                            http://www.chowhound.com/topics/45840

                            As long as I'm in here, Raleys carries some good brands of chocolate. It carrries the Dagoba lavendar/blueberrie bar that I love & green & black and a few others.

                            Speaking of Mad for Chocolate, they carry Moonstruck chocolates ... don't remember if the had bars ... anyway I noticed there's a Moonstruck chocolate shop on Chestnut in SF. Anything there?

                          2. Powell's on the square in Healdsburg (just a couple of doors down from Flying Goat Coffee) has a very deep selection of chocolate bars as one would expect from such a large specialty candy shop.

                            1. I think Recchiuti in the Ferry Building has some interesting chocolate flavors. You can check out their website here - http://www.recchiuticonfections.com/

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: narulamd

                                Recchiuti is absolutely divine. Just an arm and a leg. I'm debating over whether to fork over the $75(!) for the V-day box.

                                Oh, and the Monterey Market has a nice selection of chocolate and the cheapest I've seen Scharffen Berger.

                              2. Whole Foods has a pretty good selection. Although, I don't understand why they put the Vosges bars (my personal favorite) over by the cheese section and not in the chocolate bar isle.

                                1. I agree that Whole Foods has a very good selection. A place that deserves another mention is Bittersweet, the cafe on College in Oakland. Very good hot chocolate, but also a wide array of chocolate bars on the wall.