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

chocolate tour effiel

Chocolate center of the universe


Visit the city that smells of chocolate — and butter.

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On a trip to Paris, May 2009, Cacaopod & I did some “chocolate research.” Paris is truly mecca for chocolate lovers, and a glimpse of what the SFBA could be if we are lucky and our own chocolate culture continues to grow.

When you care enough…

Here are a few of the unique chocolates we found in the center of the chocolate-making universe:

Happy Birthday spelled out in chocolate

For that special someone. And for everybody else: dark or milk chocolate Eiffel Towers! What could say Paris more to a chocolate lover than a chocolate La Tour Eiffel?

If you can’t visit the shop, Jadis et Gourmande on the Rue de Archives in the Marais, 4th arrondissement, they have a website.

Chocolate is good for you

These large disks are almost 1/2 lb. (220g) of chocolate.
These large disks are almost 1/2 lb. (220g) of chocolate.

Staying with the large circle theme, how about a more abstract, natural-looking giant disk of dark chocolate?

Chocolatier Nicolsen on Rue Mouffetard, 5th arrondissement, makes these lovely disks that combine chocolate anti-oxidants with more super nutrients in nuts, seeds and dried fruits.

They have three other locations according to their website, but no online store.

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Lots of souvenir chocolate choices: There's even a mailer for chocolate bars.
Lots of souvenir chocolate choices: There’s even a mailer for chocolate bars.

Jeff de Bruges is a big name in French chocolates, maybe because they are so tourist-friendly:

This is the place I first saw these individually wrapped chocolate squares. Very handy for getting your daily chocolate without overindulging, I think. Afterward I started seeing them everywhere in Paris — we bought a bunch for gifts and souvenirs.

You have to go to Paris for these tarts — no shipping
You have to go to Paris for these tarts — no shipping

Chocolate al fresco

Finally, Christian Constant, 37 rue Assas, 6th arrondissement, has an amazing array of chocolates and is very highly regarded.  Instead of candies, we decided to try their desserts, which we enjoyed in the comfy chairs of Luxembourg Gardens nearby. Very good dark chocolate in a chocolate crumbly shell (I have to develop my descriptive powers!). No cutting corners here, Christian Constant is the real deal. If you go to Paris, this is a place to seek out. Now to find a local source for tarts like these…

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Published July 15, 2009