Indulge a Sweet Tooth: Where to Shop for Chocoholics
Local chocolate shops are putting their best flavors forward for Valentine’s Day, and we’ve rounded up what they’re offering. Read on for where to find everything from President Obama’s favorite caramels to truffle-stuffed chocolate hearts.
For singles this Valentine’s Day, ACKC is selling four-ounce milk-chocolate boyfriends and girlfriends ($14) that you never have to worry about breaking up with—just eat them instead! If you’re off the market, forgo the heart-shaped-chocolate-box tradition and check out the DC location’s unconventional desserts: chocolate body moisturizer ($24), mint-chocolate body scrub ($25), cocoa body powder ($14), and chocolate body paints ($8.95). These items aren’t available at the Alexandria store, but Virginians can pick up a box of truffles (two pieces for $4.25 and 24 pieces for $46) or one of Rob Kingsbury’s quirky chocolate bars ($6.50).
Pastry chef Jason Andelman collaborates with local artists for some of the most aesthetically pleasing treats in the area. The result? Bonbons that look so pretty you almost won’t want to eat them. The current collection includes a skull-printed Champagne confection made of brandy-and-Champange-infused dark-chocolate ganache. Prices are $8 for four chocolates, $17 for nine, $26 for 15, and $46 for 30.
Biagio Fine Chocolate
Chocolates from Madagascar, Hawaii, and South America are plentiful at this small Adams Morgan shop. There are also organic pieces from Bolivian chocolatiers and selections from five local companies, such as Chocolaterie Wanders in Manassas. If you’re looking for interesting truffles, this place has a popular carrot-cake variety; premade boxes start at $20. In time for Valentine’s Day, there’ll be salted-bacon-and-dark-chocolate bars from Chicago’s Vosges ($6.50).
Cacao Fine European Chocolates
You’ll find a selection of chocolate and fruit truffles for Valentine’s Day at this shop in Bethesda. A popular flavor is white chocolate with raspberry and passionfruit, which you can get in heart-shaped pieces. Dome-shaped pieces include chocolate with coconut as well as dark chocolate and Champagne. Prices start at $3.75 for a box of two, $5.50 for four, and $14 for ten. Heart-shaped pieces are $1.50 each.
Chocolate Chocolate recently added the Fredericksburg company Spice Rack Chocolates to its inventory. Spice Rack makes chocolates with a kick, such as dark chocolate infused with curry and tea. The shop also carries Neuhaus Belgian chocolates and gourmet truffles from Vermont’s Lake Champlain ($28 for 15, $54 for 30). Eight-piece boxes ($12.95) from the store’s popular Swiss Line, Laderach, are also available. In the bulk-candy section, you’ll find dark-chocolate-covered pistachios, chocolate-toffee almonds, and mint malt balls ($13.95 a pound). Truffles start at $9.95 for four pieces and $36.95 for 16 pieces.
This quirky gift shop is stocking up for Valentine’s Day with lots of affordable treats. There are Luscious Lips ($7.50 for a pack of four)—lip-shaped Belgian chocolates that come a variety of flavors such as dark-chocolate and peach—and heart-shaped boxes of Bissinger’s fruit-flavored ganaches ($17.50). Also available are President Obama’s favorite sweets, sea-salt-topped caramels ($14 for seven pieces).
The Curious Grape
If you need help deciding what chocolates to get your significant other, the Curious Grape has you covered. The Shirlington shop is offering tastings leading up to Valentine’s Day on February 10, 12, and 13. For more information, click here.
Jane Morris, who has been wholesaling her chocolates for about three years, opened her retail shop last September in Georgetown. Some of the most popular items are the fleur de sel truffle, a French sea-salt-topped caramel wrapped in dark chocolate, and a chipotle-cinnamon dark-chocolate truffle. For Valentine’s Day, the store will have three special heart-shaped truffles: a jasmine-scented variety, one made with Grand Marnier, and a truffle infused with hibiscus tea, passionfruit, and mango. All truffles sell for $2 a piece, $14 for an eight-piece box, and $35 for a 21-piece box.
At Krön, a 32-year-old chocolate store, everything is made on-site. Its bestseller, the Budapest Creme, is a truffle of dark chocolate, cream, butter, and cocoa that’s served right out of the freezer. You can usually purchase it by the pound, but for Valentine’s Day the store is offering the treat in a ¾-pound velvet heart-shaped box ($35). You can also get bouquets of long-stem chocolate roses in either milk, dark, or white chocolate ($3.50 for one, $13 for three, $23.50 for half a dozen, and $44.50 for 12). If variety’s your goal, try a chocolate heart shell with miniature milk or dark chocolates inside. Five-inch hearts are $15; eight-inch ones are $30.
This 12-year-old Georgetown shop imports chocolates weekly from Belgium. For Valentine’s Day, you can load up one of the heart-shaped boxes with treats—the Palet d’Or is a popular ganache made with pure cocoa butter and a whipped-chocolate center. The heart-shaped boxes are $29 for 16 pieces and $60 for 35. You can also custom-make regular boxes (decorated in pink and red), which range from $19 for 15 pieces to $90 for 75 pieces. Stock up on other festive sweets such as miniature milk-chocolate hearts ($2.50 each) or chocolate lollipops ($3.75).
This chocolate shop recently opened a beer-and-wine bar. Starting on Valentine’s Day, you can schedule a couples Belgian-chocolate fondue night with Champagne ($35). If you already have something romantic lined up, you can swing by the store to pick up a one-pound chocolate heart filled with truffles ($38 to $45). The store also carries pieces from made from Venezuelan cocoa beans (five for $14.75) in addition to other chocolate varieties.
At this Bethesda bakery, you can buy miniature heart-shaped French macaroons with raspberry filling ($1.50 each) made by owner Susan Limb. You can also design a box of handmade truffles ($1.75 each) and flavored chocolates ($1.15 each).
Schakolad Chocolate Factory
Staff at both the Arlington and DC outposts can help you put together a customized Valentine’s Day chocolate box. At the downtown DC location, you can get more than 70 kinds of truffles and ganaches ($32 a pound) plus house-made gelato ($3 for a small, $5.50 for a large).
>> Want to see the rest of our Valentine's Day guide? Head here.