Forget the flowers. Skip the poems. Stick to the good stuff – chocolate.
Across the globe, chocolate shops can be found tucked beside bustling walkways and nestled in hotel lobbies. You’ll find factories in cities and on remote islands. Because whether you’re buying truffles for your lady friend or salted caramels for yourself, chocolate is always a good idea.
Seattle: Fran’s at the Four Seasons
Just south of Seattle’s historic Pike Place Market is one of the classiest chocolate shops on the West Coast. The design is museum-esc in its elegance, ensuring chocolate remains the star. And how could it not? Fran Bigelow’s passion for pure flavors is tempered into every individually poured, cut, and salted piece.
Victoria: Roger’s Chocolates
One of the oldest chocolate shops on the West Coast, Rogers Chocolates has been a mainstay for Victorians since 1885. The shop was originally a “green grocery” that sold chocolates imported from San Francisco. But shipping couldn’t keep up with demands. So the shop’s founder, Charles “Candy” Rogers began making his own. His first creation, the Victorian Cream, was so beloved it remains a mainstay today. They have several retail locations, but their heritage store in downtown Victoria is by far the most fun and unique to visit.
Orcas Island: Kathryn Taylor Chocolates
Beyond simple nibble-worthy indulgences, Kathryn Taylor Chocolates serves steaming cups of rich hot chocolate. Located on Orcas Island, this chocolate destination is tucked at the north end of Eastsound. In the summer, outdoor seating offers stunning views of the Fishing Bay. During the winter, the intimate shop provides a quiet refuge.
Victoria: Chocolat Chocolatiere De Victoria
Like most chocolate shops, this Victoria gem has almond clusters, cocoa truffles, and caramel filled delights. But unlike most chocolate shops, Chocolat Chocolatiere De Victoria wasn’t afraid to get creative. They’ve steeped fiery hot chilies in dark chocolate and infused white ganache with antioxidant-rich green tea. You’ll find saffron spiked bites and wasabi-dusted cashews bathed in dark chocolate. Coconut cream is spiked with lemon grass and candied ginger is rolled in dark chocolate. Needless to say, be prepared for your palate to be surprised.
Seattle: Theo Chocolate Factory
On the other end of the Seattle chocolate shop spectrum, Theo Chocolate Factory’s industrial machinery is a far cry from “classy.” There are roasters and stone mills. There are conch machines, tempering machines, and conveyor belts. Hairnets are worn. Fur and perfume are not permitted. But the Fremont-based bean-to-bar operation makes bars as flavor-packed as they are good for the world. Factory tours are an affordable, educational, and tasty experience. And while you can find their bars at a variety of retail locations throughout Seattle, you’ll get the freshest selection in their Retail Store located on campus.