It’d be an understatement for me to say that I love chocolate. It started off partly as a drive away from the late night terrors of the 3:00pm espresso to herbal teas. But I missed that thickness, a full bodied taste that is especially pleasant on the drearier days of December. A cup of dessert hot chocolate prepared to just the right combination of flavor, consistency and texture becomes a small gift one can give oneself. I’ve made hot chocolate drinks at home flavored with spices and with different milks (2%, coconut, almond). Sometimes though if I find the right occasion, I’ll try to find a chocolatier in San Francisco who might prepare the drink as I might at home.

I keep a list and track some of the tea and chocolate places I go to using Foursquare and Yelp, but the ones I list below are the ones I’ve especially liked. The stores vary of course in history, individuality, presentation, ambiance and offerings but what they have in common is an unexpectedly delicious cup of chocolate nirvana. I’ve ordered the list from the least dense to the most dense consistency:

  • Xox truffles on Columbus Avenue in North Beach
  • Socola on folsom Street in SOMA
  • Bio Cafe, on O’Farrell Street in Union Square
  • Jade Chocolates, on Geary Blvd in the Inner Richmond
  • 20th Century Cafe, on Gough Street on the outskirts of Hayes Valley
  • Craftsman and Wolves, they have a location in the Mission on Valencia Street and in the Polk Gulch on Pacific Avenue
  • Dandelion Chocolate, also in the Mission on Valencia Street and at the Ferry Building in the Embarcadero

I’d love to hear if you enjoy chocolates as well. Tell me about the last time you made or found a cup to sip. By the way you might find this article about a guy who traveled all the to Tuscany Italy to get Amedei chocolates, sourced from Chuao Venzuela, mildly amusing.

Happy Holidays!

Love,

Saliem Chiu.