One word: chocolate. That’s all you have to say, and many of us start salivating at the thought of tasty sweet chocolate candy making its way down to our tummies. And there’s sure to be a party in your tummy with chocolate as a guest. The thing is, when we crave chocolate, we want it now. So head on over to these local shops to satisfy any chocolate urges. Plus, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to stock up on favorite flavors. So for this season of love, you gotta love chocolate.
Old School Treat. Remember being a kid in a candy shop? You had so many choices, you didn’t know what to pick. The Cheese Shop in La Jolla Shores will give you back that sense of being a kid again. They sell a number of old school sweets and retro treats from all over the world. You’ll hit the wall by indulging in all sorts of domestic and imported candy bars. Try the CupoGold marshmallow delight, the mouth-popping Sugar Babies, or the gourmet Lindt Sea Salt dark chocolate bars. Grab a sandwich and a drink with your candy, and head to the shores. , 2165 Avenida de la Playa, 858-459-3488.
Settle for Gourmet. is a local favorite for producing scrumptious desserts. But their chocolate “candy” is to die for. Besides their spectacular cakes and desserts, Michele Coulon makes Belgian chocolate truffles filled with Italian Amareno cherries, caramel nut or praline crunch. My candy of choice? Chocolate-dipped strawberries. Other chocolate temptations are their many chocolate-inspired cakes, desserts and brownies. Visit for lunch and take a box of anything made with chocolate home. Michele Coulon Dessertier, 7556 Fay Ave., Suite D, 858-456-5098.
Chocolate Factory. The is a national chain but sure delights us locally. Get a box of chocolates ready to go, or create your own gift box. There’s so much to fill it with—the humongous milk chocolate peanut butter buckets (think of it as a Reese’s peanut butter cup on steroids), chocolate-covered Oreos, chocolate covered caramels, assorted nut bars, or the many truffles. They also have yummy handmade fudge and caramel apples dipped in a number of coatings. For those watching their sugar intake, RMCF offers sugar-free items. Add some of their Love Cocoa to your shopping cart, and it sounds like a very satisfying evening. Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory is at 1139 Prospect, 858-454-0077.
Just Wait for It. Currently being renovated, in the Bird Rock area plans to reopen in a couple of weeks. The wait is worth it. Everybody Luvs Chocolate makes all kinds of chocolate-dipped tasty creations, such as Chocolate Covered Fruit (and in kabob form), Cheesecake Factory cheesecake, Mrs. Fields Cookies, Twinkies, pretzels and bacon. Yes, they have combined my two favorites flavors of chocolate and bacon. They also specialize in arranging gift baskets, offer fundraising programs, and have sugar- and dairy-free products. Everybody Luvs Chocolate, 5628 La Jolla Blvd., 858-224-8500.
Fusion Chocolate. Founded by the Antonorsi brothers, Chuao Chocolatier was named after the cacao-producing region of Chuao, Venezuela. Chuao Chocolatier has pioneered fusion chocolate by creating unusual, unexpected and delicious flavors. Try concoctions such as the Spicy Maya, made with pasilla chile and cayenne pepper, or the Firecracker, a chipotle caramel fudge truffle with popping candy. My favorite is the Dulce de Leche, a smooth delight of a traditional Latin American milk caramel covered in milk chocolate. The stores have expanded into chocolate cafes and offer hot chocolate drinks, pastries and gelato. Chuao Chocolatier, 4465 La Jolla Village Drive in UTC, 858-546-1463.
OK, I love chocolate and there are so many ways to devour it. Here’s a few bonus tips to keep chocolate on your mind all day.
Pantry Staple: Nutella—spread it on toast or a croissant, it’s a great way to start the day.
Farmer’s Market Find: Banta Farms Sweet Confections has a booth at the La Jolla and UTC farmers markets and sells fresh, homemade fudge and toffees.
Fundraiser: See’s—many schools and youth groups sell See’s candy as a fundraiser, so support the kids and buy those candy bars. (Shameless plug: buy some from UC Little League players.)
Ice Cream: —classic chocolate ice cream in a sugar cone.
Hot: —order their Mexican Hot Chocolate, so warm and cinnamony.
Cold: —try their Chocolate Breakfast Shake for a morning boost.
Liqueur: —buy some Godiva’s Chocolate Liqueur to liven up your after-dinner coffee.