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New: Leonidas Belgian chocolate shop (Crocker Galleria), SF - anyone been yet?

  • hhc Feb 27, 2008 05:09 AM
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From SF Chronicle:

Leonidas Fresh Belgian Chocolates. More than 80 varieties of chocolate, plus hot chocolate and mocha drinks. Crocker Galleria (ground floor), 50 Post St., San Francisco; (415) 956-2338. Open Monday-Saturday.

Anyone check it out yet?

website:
http://www.leonidas-chocolate.com/

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leonidas
50 Post St, sf, ca

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  1. I wonder if it's the same as the Leonidas Cafes in Santa Monica and Pasadena (which feature a full menu of hot chocolate drinks and are awesome)...or if it's just a Leonidas store that happens to have a hot chocolate maker in the corner.

    Leonidas Cafes:
    http://www.myleonidas.com/leonidas_st...

    9 Replies
    1. re: Agent 510

      the one in pasadena isn't that big so I imagine it's comparable. That said, Leonidas chocolate isn't that great. San Fran has a lot of other chocolate places I like better, Recchiutti and then Cocoa Bella being my all time faves in the city.

      1. re: choctastic

        I like Leonidas at lot -- it's a different style than Rechuitti, so I wouldn't compare them directly. Like all chocolate lines (including Rechuitti), some items are more to a person's taste than others, so the trick is to find the ones that you like best.

        Leonidas is also significantly less expensive than Rechuitti and other high-end chocolates, or at least it was last time I priced them. Anyway, it's really both good news and bad news to have Leonidas walking distance (and not even enough of a walk to count as exercise) from my office.

        1. re: Ruth Lafler

          Oh God, it's not a different style. It's just not as good. Leonidas chocolate is in the category that I like to call cheap and cheerful, which pretty much says it all.

          Actually if you want a better comparison, for cheap and cheerful, I prefer See's Candies way over Leonidas.

          1. re: choctastic

            I consider it a different style: it's molded rather than enrobed, which creates a very different experience (in my opinion, of course). I like the dark chocolate caramels. Better than the Rechuitti burnt caramels, which I've never thought were worth anywhere near the raves they get (but not better than the Rechuitti fleur de sel caramels, which are food of the gods).

            I like See's for a lot of things, too, and again, it's a different style. I certainly wouldn't go there looking for rose caramels any more than I'd go to Rechuitti for a raspberry buttercream.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              Good point, Ruth. I think there is a time and place for all of these that you mention. However, I tend not to crave See's or Leonidas or Godiva style candies much, and given the limited amount of chocolate I (should) eat, I prefer to go for the big bang.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler

                what i meant was the quality of the actual chocolate they use is not that great, irrespective of the styles that the chocolates end up as.

                1. re: choctastic

                  That's not what you said, you said "not a different style" not a different quality, and my post was pretty clear that I was talking about the style of the chocolates and not the chocolate itself. But whatever, if you don't like them, don't eat them.

                  1. re: Ruth Lafler

                    I should have said "it's not that it's a different style. It's just not as good". That is what I meant.

                    by the way, Rechiutti does have at least one molded chocolate (for instance that hazelnut hockey puck. Fabulous.

                    I stand by the statement that Leonidas isn't very good quality chocolate. I also agree with those who say it's too sugary sweet in that Belgian style. I also think the fillings taste bleh. I used to get Leonidas chocolates all the time from Belgium, as well as from the Pasadena store so I've tasted a lot of the selection, possibly all but didn't keep track. Never found anything remarkable. If you're hung up on style, let's see, sometimes Trader Joes has molded chocolates over the holidays. Would rather have those.

                    1. re: choctastic

                      TJ's some over the Christmas holidays, I got a box for Mom to try. My mother tried them, was disappointed in the flavors "unworthy" & threw them out as "not very good".

      2. I was in Belgium recently and these are everywhere (and in new york too actually). In belgium they're considered the standard chain, just a notch above Godiva, and I personally don't care for them much at all. I find the chocolate too sweet and the fillings lacking any depth of flavor. They're less expensive than Rechuitti, Christopher Elbow et al for good reason.

        1 Reply
        1. re: jsgjewels

          I agree with you, jsgjewels. I am not a big fan of Leonidas - my favorite Belgian chocolates are Marcolini (has a shop in NYC) and Wittamer (not in the US as far as I know). Leonidas is equivalent to me to Galler, a step above Godiva, but not in the same league as the aforementioned Marcolini and Wittamer for quality of ingredients and depth of flavor. Until Marcolini and Wittamer come to town, I'm sticking with local faves Recchiuti and XOX for truffles, Charles chocolates for bars, and Poco Dolce bittersweet chocolate tiles which is my all time worst addiction.

        2. I find them wayyy too sugary sweet for my taste without the rich taste of chocolate, and I love sweets! The flavors are all just OK. I much prefer Recchiutti.

          1. Ruth, please report back if you get to try more flavors. I'm be interested in what you like. I read a yelp review that if you get the $3 hot chocolate you get a free truffle..hope that's still true. I'm willing to try it.

            Hrs: 10 am to 6 pm weekdays and 11 am to 6 pm on Saturdays ... closed on Sundays.

            1 Reply
            1. re: hhc

              I checked this place out yesterday. As my earlier post might have given away...I was really there for the hot chocolate. This wasn't as good as I was hoping, it seemed a bit watered down and lacking in flavor. I had heard they use melted chocolate, but it didn't taste like it (unlike in Santa Monica). I really liked the free truffle, but I like my chocolate sweet and my palate isn't that discriminating when it comes to chocolate.

            2. I used to really like their liqueur-filled chocolates, but haven't had them in ages. They have that thin layer of sugar between the chocolate and the filling (I guess to contain the liqueur), and I might find them too sweet these days.

              I'm going to be in near the Galleria tomorrow. I may have to stop by and get a few for old-times sake.

              1. Just FYI, Belgano's in Noe Valley has carried Leonidas for years.

                1. I went into the store Mon 1/17/11 and got to talk to the girl working there. They have some daily chocolates marked down 15% if they got slightly damaged on the way to the store, they are delivered weekly. Each chocolate is weighed so prices vary.

                  She told me they have samples on Thurs during the Farmers Market at the Crocker Galleria & to come by 12 noon.

                  Still haven't bought anything.

                  Any new thoughts on Leonidas?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: hhc

                    Not excited. Never have been. I've bought things there twice. I thought it would satisfy a "fix" in a second-tier sort of way. I just now save my Euro-chocolate-fix for when I go to Belgium, or someone loves me and will bring me back some favo(u)rites.