Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Chocolate Tour of Seattle, Part II

You've looked at the must-visits from last week's post, picked the ones that work best for you, and now want to know what else is around to fill out your tour. The shops here are those that I haven't been to myself or that have a particular specialty, followed by some tips for a happy chocolate tour.

Other Shops

I visited and reviewed Marie & Freres when it was simply the flagship store of Claudio Corallo, and the chocolate was unusual, excellent, and expensive. When I visited the other day it was similar, but with a smaller selection of Claudio Corallo and a few additional bars and items like macarons. Marie & Freres isn't in an especially walkable neighborhood, but it is very central (e.g. a couple blocks from the local Whole Foods) and not hard to find if you're driving around town.

The Confectionery is like an upscale, modern version of the old penny candy shops you romanticize, with big glass jars, a panoply of colorful sweets, and whimsy in abundance. The chocolate counter is attractive and fun, and while the prices are high, just being in the store is cheering and it's located in the same outdoor mall as a Fran's Chocolates (discussed in part I).

Already visited Fran's and Chocolate Box, and now you're walking around Pike Place Market? Try Chukar Cherries, whose stand is right in the middle of the market. I don't think the chocolate enrobing their dried fruit is the best, but the fruit is local and the nice folks behind the counter are happy to give samples.

Based on the Eastside? You can find a Fran's and an Oh! Chocolate there (both in Bellevue Square mall) as well as a couple small shops I've never visited, Amore Chocolates and Grendelsweets. I'm seeing good reviews, so if these stores are convenient to you, give them a try.

[Update 9/28/12: I have now visited Grendelsweets and found it to make high-quality, not-too-sweet confections. I wouldn't call it a necessary stop on a Seattle-specific chocolate tour, but if you're touring in that area, it's worth a visit.]

To round out this list, here are three more Seattle chocolate shops that I've never visited but are getting good buzz: Chocolate Shoebox is part leather-free shoe store, part vegan chocolate shop; Intrigue Chocolates makes truffles infused with interesting flavors; and My Divine Chocolates is both chocolate shop and café.


Tips

  • Ever read The Chocolate Touch? You actually can overdo it on chocolate, and you'll enjoy it more if you're not sick to your stomach. Many of these stores are in lovely, walkable neighborhoods, so stop for a sandwich or something and fill up on real food.
  • Hungry or not, a chocolate tour can give you an excuse to walk around Green Lake, Queen Anne, Fremont, and other neighborhoods you might not otherwise see as a visitor. Go for it!
  • There's good chocolate all over this town, in bakeries with chocolate counters, big grocery stores with both high-end and mid-range bars, and little gourmet shops with shelves and shelves of imports. Keep your eyes open and you can find almost anything you could want.
  • On a (relatively) low-sugar diet? At confection shops, ask for the darkest truffle they have. Theo and Fran's both make smaller confections than others, but their darkest truffle centers are so high-quality and complex that you won't want to gorge.
  • Or you can forget the whole self-tour thing and just pay someone else to run the tour for you.

2 comments:

  1. billhubert@thebugcompany.comNovember 22, 2011 at 11:18 AM

    I am trying to find a packaged candy labled
    Die Klassischen

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  2. Assuming they're German, have you tried German delis? I'm thinking of specialty stores like Bavarian Meats in Seattle (http://bavarianmeats.com/Retail/BM_Retail.html); you might call up some in your area to ask about your favorite candies.

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