Notes on wine I’ve tried. I liked, was just ok, I didn’t like.

Also see wine, beer, and other lists.

Historically, the best chocolate has come from overseas, and for good reason. Artisan makers like Domori, Amedei, and Pralus have all been putting out top quality chocolate for decades.

Recently, more and more solid domestic US makers have popped up, and many are even full fledged bean to bar operations. Some are established and well regarded, like Amano, Michel Cluizel, and Recchuiti, while others like Rogue, Original Beans, and Dandelion are younger but surprisingly polished.

It’s hard to call out just a few makers individually, though. There are so many great ones!

To try:

Domori Guasare

Miette (store)

Hotel Chocolat

Red Star

Friis Holm



Zotter Labooko: Nicaragua 60%, Peru 40%, Brazil Amazonia 70%, Brazil Medicilândia 60%


Mast Brothers Madagascar 72%, , Vanilla and Smoke , Conacado 73%

Madre Dominican 70%

Moonstruck Fortunato 68%

Zotter Labooko: Peru 80% , Peru 60% , Panama 70% , Nicaragua 70%

Dandelion Madagascar 70% , Costa Rica 70%

Cocanú Fauno 69%

Potomac Upala 70%

Chocolat Bonnat Puerto Cabello 75% , Porcelana 75% , Cacao real del Xoconuzco 75%

Antica Dolceria Bonajuto Salinae 80%

Charles 65%

L.A. Burdick Bolivia 68%, Dominican 72%, Grenada 75%, Madagascar 65%, Venezuela 70%, Ecuador 73%

Russky Shokolad Poristiy Bitter Taste 66% , Poristiy Dark

Fearless Sweet And Hot

Kilwin’s Tanzanian 70% , Hispaniola 65% , Peruvian 80%

Stone Ground 70% , 80%

Andrea Stainer Ecuador 70% , Papua New Guinea 64%

TCHO Nutty 2.0 65% , Chocolatey 70%

Patric Rio Del Caribe 70% , Madagascar Sambirano 75%

Madécasse Bold 75% , Smooth 67%

Saratoga Chocolates Chocolatier’s Blend 71%

Alter Eco Dark Blackout 85%

Snake and ButterflyDominican Republic 75% , Madagascar 68% , Venezuela 70%

Republique Dominicaine Trinitario 75% , Equateur 75% , São Tomé 75% Chuao , Mélissa 45% , Madagascar

Askinosie Davao, Phillipines Trinitario 77%

denis daubos (no web site) guinea 70%

Amma 75%

Pierre Marcolini Ghana 75%


Christopher Elbow
No. 1 70% , No. 14 85%

Carenero Superior 70% , Puertofino 70% (Criollo) , Porcelana 70% (Criollo) , Apurimac 70% , Sur Del Lago 70% , Puro 100% , Sambirano ,
Rio Caribe

Arriba 70%

Chocolate Negro 62%, Chocolate Ecologico Leche 34%

Santo Domingo 70% Equador 70%

Raw 70% , Organic 72%

West Africa 73%

Ghana Forastero 75%

Venezuela Ocumare 72% , Chuao 70%

J.D. Gross
Ecuador Edelcacao 70%

Original Beans
Cru Virunga 70%, Beni Wild Harvest 68%, Piura Porcelana

Le Noir Amer 71%, , Guanaja 70%, , Ampamakta 2005 64%, Caraibe 66%, Gran Couva 2002 64%, , Jivara 40% , Tanariva 33%, Abinao 85%, Alpaco 66% , El Pedregal 64% , Ampamakia 2011

Hispaniola 70% , Rio Caribe 70%, , Sambirano 70% , Piura , Silvestre 75%

Green & Black’s

Praline, 66%, 88%

Cuor Di Cacao 75%, Mister O’Brown 56%

Lake Champlain
Tanzania 75%


Cote D’Or
Fondant Puur 48%, Noir De Noir 54%

Claudio Corallo

Bernard Castelain
Macaibo 70%, Tradition 71%


Madagascar 70%, Ocumare 70%, Montanya 70%, Dos Rios 70%, Guayas 70% , Chuao 70% , Morobe 70%

Xocoa Negro 90%,

Arriba (Ecuador) 75%

True Flats 54%

Michel Cluizel
Maralumi 47% , Maralumi 64%, Los Ancones 67%, Concepcion 66%, Mangaro 65%, Vila Gracinda 67%, Los Ancones 67%, Tamarina 70%, Amer Brut 72%, Noir Infini 99%, Noir De Cacao 72%, Chocolat Grand Amer 85%

88% , Chocolat au Lait au Thé Vert Sencha du Japon

Sambirano 75%

Baratti & Milano
Cioccolato Extra Fondente 70%

Cioccolato Fondente 60%

Barettini Extra Dark 72%

Excellence 85%, Surfin

Noir 85%



A. Korkunov

Konditevskaya Fabrika
Loristi 65%

9 75%, , 70%, , Toscano Black 70%, , Chuao 70%, , Grenada 70% , Jamaica 70% ,

El Rey
Apamate 73.5% Gran Saman 70%

New Moon 74%, Dark 59%

Lait Dunkle

Intense 77%

Extra Noir 77%


E. Guittard Quetalcoatl 72%

Scharffen Berger Kumasi Sambirano 68% Extra Dark 82% Finisterra 10th Anniversary 72%

Moser Roth Edel Bitter 70%

Bittersweet 85%

Ocumare 71% Guaranda 71%

Rich Dark 65%


Cocoa De Maracaibo 55.5% Cocoa D’Arriba 77%

Pleasure 73%

Rich Dark

Cacao Reserve 65% Pure Dark 60%


Baratti & Milano Cioccolato Bianco


El Rey Icoa

Green & Black’S Vanilla

Vintage Plantations 75%

Blanc Absolu


ile de re


Tiramisu Te Verde (Green Tea) 52%

Chinita Nibs (With Nutmeg) 58%

Green & Black’S Maya Gold (Orange, Spices) 55%

Renew (Blackcurrant) 73% Vigor (Coffee) 73% Tranquility (Lavender) Milk

Lake Champlain Dark Chocolate With Almonds

Calcagno Tornio Cioccolato Fondente Extra Con Peperoncino 56%

Goji (Goji Berries, Pink Salt) 41% Barcelona (Almonds, Grey Sea Salt) 41% Gianduja (Almond And Hazelnut Praline) 41% Oaxaca (Guajillo And Pasilla Chiles) 75% Red Fire (Ancho And Chipotle Chiles, Ceylon Cinnamon) 55% Creole (Espresso, Nibs, Chicory) 70% Woolloomooloo (Macadamia Nuts, Coconut, Hemp Seeds) 41%

Sunflower Seeds + Reishi Mushrooms 50% Kurbistruffel (Pumpkinseed Cream) 45% Graumohn-Kirsch (Poppy Seed, Cherry) 70% Cracknel-Quintet (Cracknel) 50% Candied Cranberries 70% BitterClassic (65% Filling) 70%

Earl Grey 52% Ceylan Cinnamon 52% Hot Masala 32%

Hazelnut Praline 70%

Extra Dark With Cranberries, Blueberries, And Almonds 60%

Lavender Grey Sea Salt And Nibs 50%

Cherries And Almonds 55%

Xocolatl (Chile, Nibs) 74% Chai (With Ginger) 37%

Dark With Spanish Almonds 62%

Dark With Ancho Chiles 68

Coffee White Chocolate

Here are a few places in San Francisco, the greater Bay Area, and online that have good chocolate selections:

  • Fog City News specializes in newspapers, magazines, and chocolate from all over the world…and nothing else. Their chocolate selection is phenomenal. They carry all of the makers on this page, with the notable exception of Recchiuti. The staff is also very knowledgeable and always has great recommendations.

  • Chocolate Covered has a storefront in the charming, chic 24th Street business district in Noe Valley. It’s small and understated, but inside you’ll find one of the most comprehensive chocolate selections in the area. It specializes in European and South American chocolates, and the owner is on a first-name basis with many of the makers on this page. He’s extremely knowledgeable, and his recommendations are impeccable. As an unexpected treat, he’s also a lunchbox and tin afficionado, and offers custom-made tins packed with chocolate assortments.

  • Cocoa Bella, on Union in SF, sounds promising. It looks like they focus more on truffles than solid chocolate bars, but they still have a decent selection, including an Italian maker I’ve never tried, Maglio. If you’re reading this, nag me to go check it out!

  • Oakville Grocery is actually a full-featured gourmet grocery, but I’ve only really used them for their chocolates, and a few other fun things to splurge on like pesto, chilis, and olive oil. They have a big selection, but consisting mostly of domestics and big-name importeds. The staff doesn’t really specialize in chocolate, but they’re extremely friendly and helpful.

  • Recchiuti Confections in the Ferry Building Marketplace is lots of fun, not to mention the only place near me where I can get Recchiuti chocolate. (The others in San Francisco are Nieman Marcus and Bi-Rite Market. Huh?) The Ferry Building marketplace is open on Saturdays and occasionally other weekdays, and it’s a lot of fun.

  • Confetti Le Chocolatier is ostensibly a cafe, but they have a great selection of imported chocolates too. It’s a little eclipsed by their other chocolate confections, but the staff is very cool, and they’ll hand-pack boxes with whatever combination of Godiva, Neuhaus, Dolfin, etc. you can dream up.

  • Rococoa Faerie Queen pays just as much attention to the experience as to the chocolate. It’s located in the Castro, which is definitely visible in the outside environment and the storefront. However, the actual chocolate selection leaves something to be desired. They have great truffles, including more than a few homemade ones, but almost no straight bar chocolate. Furthermore, most of the truffles are Leonidas, with few other kinds. Finally, the interior of the store is stiflingly small. Maybe five people can fit inside total. The Castro is fun, but don’t go on Rococoa’s account.

  • Coupa Café is one of my regular hangouts. They’re a five minute walk from my apartment, and they offer spectacular spicy hot chocolate and free wireless. They also have good food and great desserts, including a line of hand-made truffles. More importantly, though, they’re the area’s only Chuao importer, and they also carry makers like El Rey and Michel Cluizel. Having all this within walking distance is very, very dangerous. :P

  • AG Ferrari Foods is an upmarket, boutique Italian grocery store chain. Their chocolate selection is far from comprehensive, but so far, AG Ferrari is the only place I’ve found that carries a few specific Italian makers – Barrati & Milano, Guido Gobino, and Laboratorio Artigianale del Giandujotto. True, you can buy them on the internet, but for something as sensual and personal as chocolate, unless you’ve tried them before, that doesn’t really work. Still…

  • Amazon is rapidly becoming the Wal-Mart of the Internet. I was pleasantly surprised when I won an Amazon gift certificate recently…but I couldn’t think of anything I wanted, so I ended up browsing their chocolate selection. They provide a single storefront for a number of smaller sellers across the world. The selection varies by season, and favors truffles, but you can still find a number of the chocolates listed here. I’ve only found a few stores in the entire Bay Area that have decent selections – Fog City, Oakville, and Chocolate Covered – so Amazon is a welcome addition. Gotta love teh intarweb!

7 thoughts on “chocolate

  1. What a great page! I was looking for info on Newtree and I happened upon it. It’s such a great digest of knowledge and has opened my eyes a bit on all the different kinds of chocolate brands out there.


  2. Toy Boat Dessert Cafe on Clement & 5th Ave in San Francisco
    has a wonderful selection of Chocolates as well as Ultra Chocolate Ice Cream and ab array of Chocolate Cakes..some can be warmed up to melt you heart

  3. This page is wonderful. I am a recreational chocolate addict and now have some more ideas on chocolates to try. Since you mentioned them and if you didn’t know already, Scharffen Berger gives free public tours of their Berkeley factory. The factory tour itself was not especially impressive, but the history lesson was entertaining and you get free samples, which is never a bad thing.

  4. Hey Ryan, if the X is chocolates that aren’t to your taste, what is the ~ then? On your other pages, the ~ was okay and X was something you didn’t like. How exciting to find a chocolate blog based in the bay. Thanks for the awesome list of chocolates and makers. Have you checked out The Chocolate Garage in palo alto? They’ve got quite a wide selection as well.

  5. thanks for the kind words, john! is meh, ie just ok. i’ve updated the blurb at the top. and yes, chocolate garage is awesome!

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