Candy Chocolate Easter Mother's Day Round Up Valentine's Day Winter

The Best Craft Chocolate in America




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small batch craft chocolates

The Best Craft Chocolate in America ~ these bean to bar chocolatiers are flourishing in cities all over the US using ethically sourced, single origin, organic cacao to make the most amazing small batch chocolate.  You’ll find everything from cocoa powder and nibs to unique bars and truffles  ~ bravo!

best craft chocolate pin

Used to be you had to go to Europe for fine chocolates…not anymore.  Artisan chocolate has come a long way in America in the last couple of decades, and now there are more choices than ever when it comes to truly luxurious, unique, and ethical sources for small-batch chocolate for eating, pairing, cooking, and baking.  Here are some great examples, and, good news, you still have time to ship some to yourself, or your sweetie, in time for Valentine’s Day!

Note: many of these bespoke chocolate companies offer tasting tours of their facilities, if you live in the area, check their websites for details.


XOCOLATL ~ Atlanta Georgia

What makes it special ~ Xocolatl’s single-origin chocolate bars are made with just TWO ingredients – cacao and organic sugar. That’s about as pure as it gets, and also means that their single-origin bars are naturally vegan and gluten free. They also sell uniquely flavored versions using a variety of ingredients from blood oranges and olive oil to apple pie spices.

Xocolatl makes cacao herbal teas ~ made with the roasted cacao husks and nibs, how cool. 

Buy it ~ you can find XOCOLATL Chocolate products here.

 


Vosges Chocolate ~ Chicago Illinois

What makes it special ~ Vosges Chocolate in Chicago Illinois has some of the most unique flavors and most beautiful packaging I’ve come across. “Smoke and Salt” and “Manchego and Cherry” are some of the flavors I’m dying to try. They’re also known for their exquisite truffles and truly decadent gift collections.

Buy it ~ you can buy Vosges Chocolate products here.

 


Black Dinah gourmet truffles

Black Dinah Chocolatiers ~ Isle au Haut Maine

What makes it special ~ Black Dinah specializes in combining their high quality chocolate with the flavors of Maine ~ cream and butter from local farms, sea salt, rye whiskey, black currants, and other classic New England flavors make their way into their chocolate bars and candies. Their truffle boxes, like the “Maine Farmer’s Market” collection pictured above, make a fantastic gift.

Buy it ~ you can buy Black Dinah Chocolatiers products here.

 


 

Askinosie Chocolate ~ Springfield Missouri

What makes it special ~ Askinosie Chocolate was an early pioneer of fair trade practices and traceability in their chocolate production. They even provide a transparency report on their website with details of their contracts with trade partners and farmers in Ecuador, Tanzania, and the Philippines.

In addition to their high quality chocolate bars (dark chocolate with avocado and rosemary anyone?) Askinosie also sells bulk cocoa powder, nibs, and chocolate for the baker or cook who appreciates top notch chocolate. 

Buy it ~ you can buy Askinosie Chocolate products here.

 


 

Dandelion Chocolate ~ San Francisco California

What makes it special ~ Dandelion Chocolate also has a location in Tokyo, Japan. You can buy products from both locations on their website, including a special collection of bars made from the same beans but in the two locations, allowing you to compare the two results, how cool is that?

Dandelion Chocolate also sells bulk materials for making your very own chocolate at home. Intrigued, but not exactly sure how to turn a bag of roasted beans into the ultimate bar? Don’t worry, they’ve written the book.

Buy it ~ you can buy Dandelion Chocolate products here.

 


 

Fran's Sea Salt Caramels

Fran’s Chocolates ~ Seattle Washington

What makes it special ~ Fran Bigelow is the grand dame of fair trade chocolate, and has been credited for igniting the artisan chocolate renaissance in the US. Fran is famous for her salted caramels, and counts Ina Garten and the Obamas among her many fans.  (Her packaging is gorgeous!)

Buy it ~ you can buy Fran’s Chocolates products here.

 


 

taza chocolate discs

Taza Chocolate ~ Somerville Massachusetts

What makes it special ~ If you’ve ever had a bar of Taza chocolate, you already know that the texture is unlike almost anything else out there. That’s because Taza chocolate is stone ground, like the traditional Mexican chocolate that inspired it.  Less processing allows the flavors of the organic cacao to truly shine, and results in a slightly sandy texture that is almost like a cross between a chocolate bar and a shortbread cookie. Truly delicious!  

Buy it ~ you can buy Taza Chocolate products here.  They are also available in many stores across the US.

 


 

chocolate dipped chiles

Kakawa Chocolate ~ Santa Fe New Mexico

What makes it special ~ Kakawa is known for its unique drinking chocolate elixers based on traditional Pre-Columbian, Mesoamerican, Mayan and Aztec drinking chocolates.  Their chocolates and truffles reflect the flavors of the region, like agave, mezcal, prickly pear, green and red chili, and piñon. They even dip roasted New Mexico arbol chilis in  agave caramel and their 80% house blend dark chocolate.

Buy it ~ you can find Kakawa chocolate here

 


 

Garcia Nevett chocolate box

Garcia Nevett ~ Miami Florida

What makes it special ~ The brainchild of a pair of Venezuelan sisters now living in Miami, Garcia Nevett uses 100% single origin fair trade Venezuelan chocolate to make flavors like dulce de leche, Florida Keys sea salt, and passion fruit, with a truly tropical vibe. Garcia Nevett offers nationwide shipping – Next Day or 2 Day delivery from “steamy Miami” 🙂

Buy it ~ you can buy Garcia Nevett chocolate here

 


 

The Chocolate Conspiracy raw chocolate bar

 

The Chocolate Conspiracy ~   Salt Lake City Utah

What makes it special ~ The Chocolate Conspiracy is part of a thriving craft chocolate scene in Utah, and they source their cacao from a single farm in Central Peru.  All their chocolate is raw: unprocessed and un-roasted.  They sweeten only with raw honey, absolutely no processed sugar, and feature flavors like Chipotle Orange, Blackberry Ginger, and Gingerbread Roobios.  They blend culinary and medicinal herbs for their unique Wild Spice Bar.

Buy it ~ you can buy The Chocolate Conspiracy chocolate here

 


 

ghost pepper bar

 

Manoa Chocolate ~ Oahu Hawaii

What makes it special ~ Hawaii is the only place in the US where cacao grows, in fact Hawaii is the northernmost location it can grow anywhere in the world.  Manoa is an important part of Hawaii’s emerging chocolate industry, it sources local farms and makes use of the unique terroir of the Hawaiian islands.  They liken craft chocolate production to wine making (although chocolate has over 600 flavor components, while wine only has 200.)  To educate people about the subject, they’ve launched Craft Chocolate TV.

Buy it ~ you can purchase Manoa chocolate here.

 


 

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27 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Cynthia Chaddick
    January 26, 2020 at 7:59 pm

    I love Rechutti in San Francisco. If I’m buying the best as a gift or for special occasions I order from them. I went on a Chocolate tour many years ago and we went to 7 different chocolate brands and stores. That’s where I found Rechutti. 7 shops are too much chocolate regardless less of how much town you cover walking !

  • Reply
    dana
    January 26, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    holl’s chocolates from west virginia. i received some as a christmas gift. they were divine.

  • Reply
    Liz
    January 26, 2020 at 3:52 pm

    You should try Nuance in Fort Collins, CO. They have this amazing drink called Theo brew which is made similar to coffee, but with cacao beans instead. Everything is single origin, bean-to-bar and they also offer chocolate tasting flights with notes on the different origins and profiles. It’s like stepping off the street into a European cafe and it smells wonderful!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 4:07 pm

      I’m fascinated by the chocolate brew, I need to experiment with that.

  • Reply
    Cathi Graves Tudman
    January 26, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Our local choclatier, Raphio Chocolate in Fresno, Ca, is pretty terrific & has won awards.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 2:40 pm

      It’s nice to see the chocolate industry being appreciated 🙂

  • Reply
    NancyRob
    January 26, 2020 at 12:58 pm

    My most favorite chocolate shop, ever!! My husband practically had to drag me out of the place…the smell was beyond belief! I thought I had gone to heaven when I first tasted their frozen hot chocolate at the Findley Market location. They have since opened a second location. If you ever get to Cincinnati, this is a not-to-miss stop!
    https://maverickchocolate.com/

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 2:24 pm

      Second vote for this one, I’ve got to go 🙂

  • Reply
    Donna
    January 26, 2020 at 12:32 pm

    What a surprise to see my neighborhood chocolate store listed in your blog! I live around the corner from Garcia Nevett in Miami. It’s a beautiful shop with delicious chocolates.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 12:38 pm

      What luck for you Donna! My readers are everywhere so I knew some of you would have first hand experience with these chocolatiers. Not sure I could handle being so close to great chocolate 😉

  • Reply
    Deb Burnham
    January 26, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Add to the list to try… Christopher Elbow Chocolates, Kansas City, MO.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 11:38 am

      omg I want those heart shaped truffles!

  • Reply
    Tracie
    January 26, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Hi Sue!

    Definitely check out Chocolate Hollow in Vermont. They make non-dairy milk chocolate you’d swear was made with milk. Delicious! A real find for those who can’t or don’t eat dairy.

  • Reply
    Tara
    January 26, 2020 at 10:00 am

    I have to add the outstanding Maverick Chocolate Co. in Cincinnati. Two locations–Rookwood and historic Findlay Market. So good!

    https://maverickchocolate.com

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 12:45 pm

      Great flavors…the lemon lavender white chocolate has my name on it.

  • Reply
    Dena
    January 26, 2020 at 9:41 am

    You forgot to list:
    Bridgewater Chocolate
    12 LaSalle Rd
    West Hartford, CT

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 9:58 am

      I’ve had their chocolate many times…the packaging is gorgeous!

  • Reply
    Deb
    January 26, 2020 at 9:17 am

    So sad you missed Vicuña Chocolate in Peterborough, NH.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 9:29 am

      Maybe it’ll make the next list ~ there’s so much great chocolate out there!

  • Reply
    Terese Blair
    January 26, 2020 at 9:15 am

    I discovered Vosges in Chicago when they first started up years ago, thought I’d died and gone to heaven!??
    Another great place is in Grand Haven MI, called Patricia’s Chocolate, to die for! Check out their web site, they ship too.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 9:29 am

      I’m off to check them out 🙂

  • Reply
    JEAN PASSANANTE
    January 26, 2020 at 8:47 am

    Hi Sue. The Frans salted caramels are going to kill me one day. My Seattle niece brings them to me every time I see her, and they are so damn good. I wondered if you know about Raaka Chocolate, in Red Hook, Brooklyn. They make their chocolate right there in their little factory, and the chocolate is unusual because they don’t roast the beans. You really get a sense of the different bean origins and the subtle flavors. You can also take a class there, which is not about bonbons but about actually making the chocolate and understanding their process. It’s a real find.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 8:56 am

      Lol, I can well imagine, Ina and Barack agree with you 🙂 I’ll look up Raaka, I think I will definitely need to do another post with all these great suggestions. One of the other chocolatiers in this post also uses their chocolate raw, and they say the same thing, that roasting can disguise the subtleties of the flavor.

  • Reply
    Linda
    January 26, 2020 at 8:15 am

    I’ve bought TAZA chocolate and enjoyed it. It has basic, simple, natural ingredients and is about as pure as pure gets. It grainy but not unpleasant. I’d buy it again.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 8:25 am

      When I used to live near Boston I used to get it all the time, even went on their tour!

  • Reply
    Phyllis Bergst
    January 26, 2020 at 8:04 am

    You really need to check out Spokandy in Spokane, Washington, all things chcocolate but also some to die for mints. I order from them frequently.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 26, 2020 at 8:26 am

      I will ~ I may need to do an encore post with all the places I’ve missed!