Chocolate has come a long way since the age of the Mayans, and nowadays you can buy a bar of dark chocolate or a box of bon bons just about anywhere. Of course, there’s a big difference between mass-produced and artisanal chocolate.
Just a taste of small-batch, hand-produced chocolate might be enough to keep you out of the candy aisle in the grocery store for the rest of your life.
Part of the magic of travel is experiencing something you didn’t even realize you were craving, whether that is a passionfruit-kiwi dark chocolate truffle or a quiet park in the middle of a bustling metropolis. Blueground helps our guests explore the world through our network of move-in ready furnished apartments in cities around the world.
Just in time for Mother’s Day, here are some of our favorite artisan chocolatiers in cities where Blueground has a presence. (Even if you can’t visit in person, many of these wonderful chocolate shops will ship orders.)
Chocolatier Stéphane Bonnat creates his line of exquisite chocolate bars with painstaking, hands-on attention. He personally oversees the entire bean to bar process, from harvesting to grinding to melting and mixing his delicious creations.
You can taste this otherworldly chocolate for yourself at Bonnat’s shop in Paris’s 18th arrondissement or order Chocolat Bonnat online. We love the Chocolat Les Sirènes bar, a 75% cacao dark chocolate blend from the Phillippines.
2. Borough Chocolates
When the pandemic hit, Jessica Minghi found herself at loose ends after a decade in New York City’s fast-paced world of fine dining. The talented chef took to making artisanal chocolates for family and friends. Her bon bons were so popular that she started Borough Chocolates in Brooklyn, New York in 2021.
Borough Chocolate’s hand-painted truffles are almost too pretty to eat – but we do recommend eating them. You can’t go wrong with one of the assorted boxes, which include both seasonal creations and perennially popular bon bons like Paradise, a delicate mix of tropical flavors, and Salted Caramel, the perfect balance between sweet and salty.
This Los Angeles-based confectionary specializes in using fresh, natural ingredients from local farmers’ markets in their handmade chocolates and truffles. Dating back to the 1950s, the original Compartés shop was a favorite stop for celebrities from Marilyn Monroe to Elvis Presley, and is every bit as popular with today’s generation of Tinseltown elite.
You can visit the Compartés flagship in Los Angeles, or stop by one of its other locations in Brentwood and Century City. Try the delicious Potato Chip Crisp bar for the perfect salty treat, or pick up a box or two of Compartés gourmet, handmade truffles. Why not get one for yourself, and one as a gift?
4. Kokak Chocolates
Chocolatier Carol Gancia got her start in the Bay Area working on cooking TV shows, but she always had a passion for dessert. In 2020 she turned her dream into a reality with a beautiful chocolate shop in San Francisco, in the city’s storied Castro neighborhood.
Kokak Chocolates is known for its small-batch chocolates made from single origin, heirloom cacao. You can’t go wrong with a box of hand-made truffles that are almost too pretty to eat. We love the mango-lemongrass and gianduja praline dark chocolates.
Switzerland is known for its incredible chocolate, as well as family-owned confectionaries that date back centuries. Rudolf Schiesser, co-founder of the Confectioners’ Association of Basel, opened the beautiful Confiserie Schiesser in the city’s Markplatz in 1870.
Today, handmade Schiesser pralines are every bit as popular as they were almost 150 years ago. If you live in Basel, stop by to sample freshly made pralines or truffles. Looking for the perfect gift? The shop’s elegant Grande Bonbonnière has at least 40 different handmade chocolates and truffles.
Seattle-based Theo Chocolates is celebrated for its environmentally friendly practices, including working directly with chocolate producers and paying a premium for high-quality organic cacao beans.
Theo’s intricate, hand-made truffles are a perfect gift. We love the black currant pate de fruit and tart and sweet lemon ganache. If you can’t make it to Seattle yourself, you can have these delicious creations shipped to you anywhere in the US.
7. Vosges Haut-Chocolat
Vosges Haut-Chocolat is the brainchild of chef Katrina Markoff, who wanted to use chocolate to expand people’s culinary horizons. The Chicago chocolatier sources exotic ingredients from around the world for its intricate bon bons.
It’s hard to go wrong with handcrafted organic chocolates, whether you opt for one of Vosges’ chocolate bars, or an assortment of truffles. The Collezione Italiana truffle box highlights unique flavors of Italy, while the exotic truffles includes a number of intriguing flavor combinations.
Blueground offers fully-furnished, equipped and serviced apartments in some of the world’s most sought after cities.