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Looking for creative/divine chocolates--can be anywhere in Ontario

And by creative, I mean unusual flavours but that said, I tend to not like the "first course" flavours mixed with chocolate (ex., chillies) or flowers (ex. lavender) or teas (ex. chamomile). Fruit flavours, coffee flavours and nuts and liqueurs are all good. I'm looking for a chocolate store gem that is a bit off the Godiva-beaten path. And while I'm not keen on driving really far for it, I will be happy to pay delivery/shipping costs. (I got all worked up about this idea looking at the US Consumer's Report on excellent chocolates but most of these are in the US and the ones that look really good won't ship across the border---so I decided to come here and ask if anyone knows any closer to home. I'm also willing to go outside Ontario within Canada so if anyone has travelled....)

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  1. Soma in the Distillery District.

    5 Replies
    1. re: TorontoJo

      I've had those a few times. I should probably have mentioned some of the more major ones I've tried: Soma, Eitebach, JS Bon Bon, Lefeuvre, Leonidas, Simone Marie, Stubbe and Teuscher. That's why I'm thinking I might need to broaden out beyond Toronto.

        1. re: fickle

          Oops, yeah, I should have mentioned them. I've tried them. (They're good but I'm looking for something I haven't tried.)

        2. re: Ediblethoughts

          Have you tried Swiss Master at Bayview & York Mills? I like their chocolates. Also, the chocolates at Xococava beside Cava are interesting.

          -----
          Cava
          1560 Yonge St., Toronto, ON M4T 2S9, CA

          Swiss-Master Chocolatier
          2538 Bayview Ave, Toronto, ON M2L, CA

          1. re: phoenikia

            Yes and yes. I've been to the Swiss Master quite a few times and they do have some very nice (and creative) ones. Xococava has very good dark chocolate orange rinds.

      1. Thomas Haas out of Vancouver does beautiful chocolates of all types. He used to be Daniel Boulud's pastry chef in NYC and now runs his own business.

        You can order online through his website and I believe that Senses in Toronto (the one at Yonge and Queen in particular) also carries at least some of the items including the chocolates. He uses no preservatives so they have a short shelf life.

        He also makes these "sparkle" cookies that you finish baking at home and they are unbelievably good. They are like baked truffles.

        http://www.thomashaas.com/

        1. Have you ever tried Érico's Chocolates in Quebec City?
          http://www.chocomusee.com/images/Cart...
          We found them on a trip to the Winter Carnival. Lucky you can mail order. I was just looking at this site this week, wishing I could order the cocoa powder I picked up there. Their chocolates (and cocoa powder) are quite special...and far superior to Godiva!

          1 Reply
          1. re: kattyeyes

            No, I haven't heard of them and some very interesting chocolates appear to be available! Thank-you so much! I will give them a try for sure.

          2. I bought some great chocolates from Jubilee chocolates from Pennsylvania. I had them shipped to a friend in Toronto. They are socially conscious chocolatiers and for example, use mint that was grown by kids at a nearby school. My friends LOVED the chocolates.
            An in-town recommendation is at Celestin. They are selling handpainted chocolates from a local artisan. The designs are beautiful though I can't speak for the taste.

            1 Reply
            1. re: merlot143

              I'll keep that information for the next one to look into. And after doing a little surfing, I think it's actually the same company as one that the Consumer's Report article mentioned as being excellent (called John & Kira--see link below). I was going to order some of these but there were only about 4 types that interested me (and only 10 different types of chocolates in total that I can see) and I wasn't sure it was worth incurring the shipping cost for that. However, based on your recommendation, I'll file it as a possible future order. And next time on Mt. Pleasant, I'll give Celestin a look. I think I did purchase chocolate from them once a year or two ago but I'm not absolutely sure...

              http://www.johnandkiras.com/

              1. re: Full tummy

                Oooooh! A Toronto chocolate shop I've never heard of or been to! And they look very interesting. Thanks! So now it's whether to go down to Queen E or be lazy and order it... hmmm....

                1. re: Ediblethoughts

                  It's a small selection, but I really enjoyed them. Let us know how it goes!

              2. I had recently purchased some fantastic chocolate called Slitti. The quality of the dark chocolates were very, very good. I sampled a variety including a 70% cocoa content milk chocolate (latte nero), as well as a GranCacao flavour that was 70% (it was very granular from the cacao in texture - very enjoyable). I also had a very enjoyable box of Chocolate coated Cocoa Grains - it was such chocolate intensity in such a small ball. Got to try the Arabica Coffee Beans coated in cocoa. This kept me up during a long drive. They were excellent and the roasted beans were very fragrant. I could also mention they have a fancy version of Nutella - much more nutty than the sweeter Nutella. Excellent product. The texture is as smooth as butter. Easy to spread. Expensive though.

                Take a look at the products and where you can find the products at this link:

                http://www.tuscaninternational.com/Wh...

                There are a bunch of famous food purveyors on the list, including some mentioned in the thread.

                Cheers!

                2 Replies
                1. re: BokChoi

                  I'll keep them in mind, though I was looking more for individualized chocolates with fillings.

                  1. re: Ediblethoughts

                    Ah, I recall they have cognac-filled truffles, but they were out of stock when I placed my order.

                2. www.divinechocolate.ca
                  The ex pastry chef at Citron opened this.
                  http://www.sittingaroundeatingbonbons...
                  Sitting Around Eating BonBon's
                  Fair Trade chocolate user, neat flavours, great name!
                  Those are two i can think of just off the top.
                  And they both use Cocoa Camino couverture (beautiful stuff, no vanilla, no soy)
                  www.cocoacamino.com

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: fairtradechocolover

                    SAEB sounds very promising. Thanks for the link!

                    1. re: fairtradechocolover

                      oops
                      do NOT follow the link to divinechocolate.ca
                      it takes you to a disgusting Xocai multilevel functional chocolate fiasco.
                      sorry

                      the title of the post threw me
                      it is of course delightchocolate.ca
                      as mentioned below
                      and they do use cocoa camino couverture.
                      and their chocolate is DIVINE!
                      and fair trade!

                      1. re: fairtradechocolover

                        I'll second Sitting Around Eating Bon Bon's, they are very good! Here is a link http://www.sittingaroundeatingbonbons...

                        1. re: Pastryrocks

                          I've started a post on Sitting Around Eating Bon Bon's, you can find it here http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/592289

                    2. Have you tried Delight on Dundas street West in the Junction. They are organic and hand made and often they have very interesting flavours. They also make icecream - two memorable ones being rosewater and blue cheese (not together of course!)

                      There is a threat already dedicated to them:

                      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/439788

                      http://www.delightchocolate.ca/

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Shorttyred

                        I've been down in that area a few times in the last couple months and I never noticed that store! Thanks, I'll check it out.

                        1. re: singe

                          Looks very nice also! Thanks. It's going to take me some time to chomp through all these!

                        2. I haven't personally tried it (so you'll have to get back to me!) but there's this really nice looking place in Yorkville called MoRoCo Chocolat.

                          http://www.morocochocolat.com/

                          It's super expensive though, so when I was inside I was just drooling over everything but didn't actually try any of the chocolates (they have hot chocolate for 8 dollars!!!)...so let me know what you think of it

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: focioncroci

                            I developed a rich hot chocolate and also a Mexican hot chocolate for a store here in Toronto, not MoRoCo Chocolate. Using very good chocolate 72%, salt, 35% cream, honey, vanilla bean, whipped cream on top and various spices and herbs for the Mexican hot chocolate, the cost for a regular size mug would have been $6-7. Now this was a number of years ago, so I’m not surprised at the $8.00 charge.

                            My wife does drink this style (not with 35%, rather goat’s milk) of hot chocolate almost daily. Once you have a proper hot chocolate you wonder how any one can drink something from Starbucks, Tim Horton’s or god help us a package and call it hot chocolate! My sisters will not drink this hot chocolate, because when this hot chocolate is cold it becomes very thick due to the chocolate, and my family knows that I will use 35% cream or butter without regard for our waistline. So due to the thickness they can not believe I use milk instead of 35%.

                            1. re: Pastryrocks

                              I'm no expert but I do read the ingredients on cocoa/hot chocolate mixes---lots and lots of them. And I've read about chocolate in general and my understanding was the best hot chocolate has cocoa butter--not butter. I can see the cream factoring in there for a really rich hot chocolate (even if I don't particularly care for that myself) but the best chocolate (I thought) had only cocoa butter as it's fattener (which is why, of course, so much North American chocolate isn't as good as European---because they generally use more cb and we cheat with a variety of fats that shouldn't be paired with chocolate). And this is must my little opinion, but I think Starbucks hot chocolate mix isn't that bad. I don't like the drinks at SB for the most part but I do appreciate how their hot chocolate mix doesn't contain hydrogenated fats while I'm pretty sure Tim Horton's does and last time I checked, Second Cup and Timothy's did too. The SB's hot chocolate to me is the least offensive of the chains.... though it pains me to come across as "pro Starbucks!

                              1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                Yes I agree with you. More often than not, you get what you pay for.

                            2. re: focioncroci

                              Wow. Just wow! I thought I knew all the chocolate shops in Yorkville--though this one seems as much a bakery as a chocolate shop. In any case, I'm definitely going there to sample and bring home. I'm not sure exactly when but soon. Thanks for the head's up!

                            3. If you get a chance, try Casteleyn in Burlington, ON. A huge fan of chocolate and have tasted around the world, but theirs are probably the best I've ever had.

                              They have a lot of wonderful creative flavours, but their solid chocolate is also great and they make hot chocolate and cafe mocha using their own real chocolate shavings - the first thing I tried there, and now always a must when I go in.

                              The service is also great. It is a small place that gets busy quickly, and they usually only have one or two of the family working behind the counter, but they are very restful - another nice contrast with Godiva!

                              This is the best I could find for a link, but I really recommend checking them out if you get the chance.

                              http://www.canpages.ca/page/ON/burlin...

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: c.cow

                                Unfortunately I'm pretty much never in Burlington. But if by some chance I do go there, I"ll make a mental note.... a chocolate side trip is always nice.

                              2. Les Chocolats De Chloe are the best ones I've had of late.
                                http://www.flickr.com/photos/jlunar/s...
                                546 Rue Duluth Est, Montreal

                                Really wonderful smell as you walk in the shop. I particularly enjoyed the passionfruit one. Don't know if they ship to Toronto, especially in the summers.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: jlunar

                                  Seconding Les Chocolats de Chloé. Her hand-dipped chocolates are lovely; I liked her Szechuan pepper and Espelette pepper ones.

                                  Also another Montreal chocolatier who does some interesting chocolates (one line with Amedei Chuao) is Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois who does deliver to Toronto. (http://www.chocolatsgg.com/

                                  )

                                  I personally prefer Chloe's chocolates, but GG's are also delicious.

                                2. For something off your beaten path:

                                  http://www.annieschocolates.com/index...

                                  http://millcreekchocolates.com/

                                  Both Annies and Mill Creek chocolates are available throughout our district and can be ordered at above. I enjoy both occasionally, but can't offer you much of a critique as I'm only an occasional user.

                                  1. Ok,
                                    they do not have a "store" as they mainly distribut to stores.
                                    But www.chocodirect.com has many interesting chocolates that they import themselves and they are always adding new ones every month or so.
                                    Only sucky thing about the website is the website has no descriptions do you have to look up stuff online.
                                    But they are good at answering questions if you have any and shipping is only $5.
                                    They have over 60 kinds of Cote D'or that I've never seen anywhere else.

                                    If you like chocolate spread they have Cote D'or chocolate spread in dark or milk chocolate.
                                    I hear it is good as I gave some as a gift but never tried it.
                                    Also they have Valrhona chocolate sauce looks neat but have never trie dit myself.

                                    I really like the Barnier french caramels, they are so good!
                                    They even have a apple caramel, I have not tried it but it sounds so good and I'm buying it next.

                                    Also the Francois Doucet St Laurent pebbles-Almonds, nougatine, milk & moka choco
                                    Brand : FRANCOIS DOUCET CONFISEUR
                                    they have some interesting covered nuts from that brand.
                                    I've only tried that one so far and it was different, good and interesting.

                                    They also send you some random extra items in your order which are fun!
                                    I'm trying not to order as much as my last few orders have been in the $80 or so range (a few bulk candy buys, lol)....

                                    Also check out their clearance section, a good cheap way to try random candy as well!

                                    1. I have not yet been, but there are 2 new chocolate shops in Toronto. One is a chocolatier//cafe at Yonge & St. Clair called Dahso Chocolate et Cafe. I think he imports his chocolates from Europe. The second is Odile at 829 Dundas St. W. They have some interesting flavours listed on the website- Sea Breeze (vodka & candied grapefruit peel), Gentleman (port, candied clementine & walnut), Poire William eau de vie & candied pear truffles, Bourbon vanilla & candied lime peel truffles...

                                      www.dahso.com Website is still under construction.
                                      www.odilechocolat.com

                                      -----
                                      Dahso
                                      15 St Clair Ave W, Toronto, ON M4V, CA

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: toveggiegirl

                                        I actually fluked into visiting Dahso very soon after it opened and it was good. Kind of different for sure.

                                        I hadn't heard of Odile and I've bookmarked it (mental note to self on Dundas W...).

                                      2. Holey moley, I know it's a little out of the way. but I can't believe the Belgian Chocolate Shop hasn't made this list. They're exactly what you're looking for, Ediblethoughts, made fresh on site. No need to import from anywhere.
                                        http://www.orderline.com/chocolate/ca...
                                        http://www.torontolife.com/guide/food...

                                        4 Replies
                                        1. re: Googs

                                          Oooh, I forgot about them. They make excellent, very high quality chocolate and are a lovely family to boot!

                                          1. re: Googs

                                            Do they have an actual store? Because I swear I've had their chocolates before, know the logo and the look of the chocolates but I can't recall where...

                                            1. re: Ediblethoughts

                                              They most certainly do have a store. I understand why you ask. Their website is good for out-of-towners; confusing for locals. It's a tiny place so the aroma of chocolate is very concentrated. Be prepared to swoon.
                                              http://www.torontoplus.ca/toronto/ven...

                                              -----
                                              Belgian Chocolate Shop
                                              2455 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M4E, CA

                                              1. re: Googs

                                                That's right! I have been there before and I did try the chocolates though it was many years ago and I don't recall the place smelling of chocolate. I'll keep them in mind and try them again if I'm out there.

                                            1. re: salsailsa

                                              Neat- never heard of them!
                                              They don't seem to have a store though...

                                              I'll have to try and get some chocolate from there though....addicted to the Stubbe chocolate covered orange peels though.....want to try making my own sometime...

                                            2. If you're heading out to Montreal try Suite88 Chocolatier. I picked up a box of the "Shooters" and they are divine! From what I saw, the truffles are like little works of art.

                                              http://www.suite88.com/chocolate.htm