Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

chocolate bits

Chocolate rainbow


See where your taste buds fall on this choc-o-meter

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UPDATE Sept. 2014: Monique’s Chocolates has closed, and Timothy Adams Chocolates 4-cup chocolatier has opened in this location.

In Palo Alto, Monique’s Chocolates opened in early 2010 with a unique approach to truffles. The owners, Mark & Susan, make a range of truffles from single source beans (and a few blends) in a range of “strengths.”

This could be the starting point for people who are not sure how dark they want to go with their chocolates. Or if you’d like to compare the taste of chocolate from different countries around the Equator. (Although I recommend they drop the 100% Madagascar. One hundred percent of any bean is too much for a truffle, IMHO.)

They are evolving their menu according to what their customers ask for/respond to. For example, they have a vegan chocolate: The dairy-free French Dark 50% made with hazelnut milk. Although none of us 4 Chocolateers are vegans or have serious dairy issues, this was the truffle of theirs we liked the best. It was creamy with an intense chocolate taste. Hard to believe it’s only 50% cocoa content.

We also liked the Galaxy, an upscale version of a Milky Way bar: chocolate covered handmade marshmallow and caramel, with the caramel flavor lingering after the chocolate is gone.

Monique’s has a tasting bar and a cafe, which means you can enjoy your chocolates with a bit of guidance or have one of their other specialties: microwaved S’mores made with their handmade marshmallows. (The S’mores are a nod to their daughter, for whom their store is named.) They also offer hot chocolate.

Monique’s Chocolates, 39 Bryant St., Palo Alto, 650-323-9669.

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Published May 14, 2010