A New York chocolate shop is the first place you should go after a busy day of sightseeing, or an exhausting afternoon of business meetings. Whether you want to learn how to make chocolate, or just enjoy that someone else made it for you, here are five must-visit chocolate shops in New York City.
Are you in the mood to eat or create—or both? Viola Chocolat lets you choose. At this New York chocolate shop, there are nine chocolate-making activities that teach you how to create lollipops, bars, or truffles. You can even take a behind-the-scenes tour and learn how to make chocolate treats from chocolatier Christopher Toury. For truffles, you choose different ganache flavors and dip the flavored chocolate balls like Easter eggs into the oozing, warm chocolaty coating. Using vials of toppings, sprinkle your truffles delicately with nuts, nonpareils, or other colorful, tasty treats. Let them cool in the refrigerator before you take them home —if they even get that far. If you prefer to drink your chocolate, savor a flight of three handmade hot chocolate drinks while learning what makes each unique. This is hot chocolate like you’ve never tasted before—try a smooth banana chocolate creation, and the rich Daredevil spiced hot chocolate. You’ll never drink grocery store hot chocolate ever again.
Who can resist a company whose motto is Peace, Love, and Chocolate®? If the idea of pairing bacon and chocolate sounds good to you, you’re in the right New York chocolate shop. Let your imagination run wild and get an assortment of their delicacies to taste in the store. The truffles are in a windowed counter case, like precious jewels. Once you make your selections, like truffles made with Taleggio cheese, grab a window seat or perch at the cocktail table and open your beautiful chocolate gift. You might want to pair it with coffee or even, yes, hot chocolate mixed with spices. You’ll have a party in your mouth.
Kee Lee Tong started out selling flowers and chocolates, but the chocolates were so popular that she left the flower business altogether. That’s your gain because her seasonally flavored chocolates will make your mouth water. At Kee’s midtown shop, the chocolates fill the cooled bakery display. Choose from delicacies on glossy green glass trays stacked with truffles, turtles, filled chocolates, and bars. Buy a present and get a pretty box wrapped with raffia, or just treat yourself to Kee’s unique truffle flavors. Think blended pepper or crème brûlée. Depending on what you order, you may bite in and find the rich, smooth texture of chocolate to have a surprising pop of flavor. Handpicking your selections will be hard, but you won’t be disappointed at this New York chocolate shop.
Brooklyn has become a chocolate destination, so when you’re in the ‘hood, head over to one of Nunu Chocolates‘ two locations. The Park Slope shop has an actual tap room with 10 craft beers. After choosing some chocolates (Try the pink peppercorn and cacao nib bark!), ask the bartender for the best beer or wine to pair them. Take a seat in the dark, candlelit room with exposed brick, and sit back. It’s time to sip and savor. If you’d rather head to the flagship store, you can still enjoy a libation with your chocolate treat—and you can sneak a peek of how to make chocolate while they do their thing, filling truffle molds with chocolaty goodness.
New isn’t always better. Li-Lac Chocolates has a 100-year history as a famed New York chocolate shop for a good reason. It’s a go-to place for chocolate gifts. Head to their West Village store for a romp through this Wonka-esque paradise. The long glass countertop holds chocolate covered everything. You might think you’re in a shoe shop (the next best thing to chocolate), only these shoes are edible! Sports lovers won’t be disappointed either. Who wouldn’t want a chocolate soccer ball? They’re fun to look at, but even better to eat. You won’t feel guilty about destroying these works of chocolate art once you taste them.