Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > San Diego >
Apr 30, 2008 01:10 AM

San Diego Chocolatiers?

So, I'm trying to find a good place to get high-end chocolate treats for gifts and such. I know about Chuao but the location I know is in the UTC mall and I have a mall aversion. Any other little spots for fancy chocolate?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)

    there are also Chuao shops in Del Mar, Carlsbad and Encinitas - in less oppressive malls than UTC.

    1. I just found Eclipse Chocolat, on El Cajon Blvd (2200 or so). Will is fabuolus! A real artist. His chocolate is slightl;y higher end than Chao, a bit more expensive as well. His truffles and fabulous, but so is everything else in his shop. I ate a cookie that was meringue with lots of chewy dark chocolate in it. He serves deseert plates, some sanwiches, Calabria coffee. What more could you ask for? Try him!

      4 Replies
      1. re: abacal

        I've had things at Eclipse that I really like, and other things with flavor combinations that just didn't work for me. In the interest of full disclosure, I'll say that I really love chocolate, to the point where if it's good enough I don't think it requires much in the way of adornment. As a result, I find some of the new trends involving the incorporation of herbs and spices to be lily-gilding. Sometimes I just want plain old milk chocolate, made from great ingredients.

        That said, the ones I've had at Eclipse that I really liked were the Azteca truffles (spicy chocolate is an exception, I find that I do like that particular combination) and the lavender sea salt caramel. I think his caramels in general are exemplary. I had a coffee with the muscovado caramel in it, and that was really delicious. The spicy caramel with fruit and cheese was also great. I'd like to try more of his truffles, and some of the barks. The barks look really good, but I don't want to buy a box of them and have that in the house. I just want a piece - they don't look slenderizing.

        On edit: while I don't always find the unusual chocolate flavoring combinations to my liking, I like that people are experimenting in this way. Some of the flavors I've seen at Eclipse, and also from Vosges, sound very intriguing.

        1. re: Josh

          A little bit of spice (salt, curry, pepper, etc.) can be good, but sometimes I think he uses a little too much. I too like that he's experimenting though. The honeycomb is good if you like honey (topped with bee pollen) and I really like the caramels and the plated desserts/brownies/cupcakes. The spicy caramel sauce with the cheese plate is phenomenal.

          1. re: Josh

            I just had to stop by after reading your post, Josh, as caramels are a huge weakness of mine. Pairing them with sea salt just seals the deal. Eclipse more than satisfied my craving. I brought home a small box of eight, and shared them with the family. I got an overwhelming response of yummy sounds.

            Eclipse also does chocolate tasting brunches and dinners, with one coming up for Mother's Day. Check out this menu:

            Will also said they'd have a "barbeque" chocolate tasting brunch for Father's Day. Can't wait to see that menu!

            Next week I'm thinking of venturing up there for one of those creme fraiche cupcakes. They look scrumptious.

          2. re: abacal

            Eclipse is good, Chuao is better and it is more upscale.

          3. Chuao has multiple locations, you can find them here - . Also try the Elegant Truffle in Point Loma, 1110 Scott St.

            1. There is a little chocolatier in little italy on india street, I think, and also one at the hillcrest farmers market...

              4 Replies
              1. re: jennywenny

                I was in Little Italy today, and saw that Chi for Chocolate was gone. Their sign was removed from the wall, and the windows papered over. I really hope they've just moved.

                1. re: beth1

                  and their website is down, so it seems like they may actually be gone. Too bad. I loved their drinking chocolate.

                  1. re: pkt63

                    Nobody has the spare bucks to squander on chocolate that pricey. I predict a lot of artisan food stuff is going to go in this economy.

                2. There was a Peruvian lady who used to sell her truffles at farmers' markets. I loved some of her items. I haven't seen her around in the last year (though I am not a consistent shopper), but I think I read once that she opened a shop. Anyone know? Otherwise, I second Chuao. I do think that both Will's caramels and his Coconut Curry Masala bar are better than Vosges' (original) versions.
                  If you want good chocolate bars, not truffles, you can now buy some Vosges and Chuao at Cost Plus World Market. Extraordinary Desserts rotates interesting chocolate bars, which they sell at the register. Major Market carries Seattle Chocolates too; some of their truffle bars are good.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: maestra

                    Of course, how could I forget! They sell at the Hillcrest and I think Vista and Santa Monica Farmers' Markets - Guanni is the name. I love their stuff. They are still around - I saw her just a week or so ago.

                    1. re: Alice Q

                      Sounds like she doesn't come to the Escondido market anymore -- boo hoo!

                      1. re: maestra

                        Don't take my word on that - I think the website probably lists the markets they go to, I could be confused. I know it's somewhere in N. County. They had a shop briefly in Fallbrook, but I think it closed.

                    2. re: maestra

                      Whole Foods in UTC carries Vosges chocolate bars in the full sized and mini versions. They also carry a lot of chocolate brands, including the non-truffle/bon bon items from Chuao. If they have Moonstruck Chocolates out of PDX, their chocolate bars are on par w/ Chuao.

                      My fave Vosges bars are the Barcelona (sea salt, roasted almonds and milk chocolate) and Mo's Bacon Bar (maple syrup, bacon and milk chocolate). The Calindia bar (goji berries and cardamom) and Aztec bar (spicy dark chocolate) are also very good. Unfortunately they discontinued the Black Cat bar...