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Chocolates from Jade.
Jade Chocolates is just one of San Francisco’s top-tier chocolate makers.
Andrew Calisterio

11 Sweet Spots to Pick Up Quality Chocolate in San Francisco

Here are the city’s finest cacao crafters including both old-school legends and popup phenomenons

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Jade Chocolates is just one of San Francisco’s top-tier chocolate makers.
| Andrew Calisterio

One would be hard-pressed to find a city with as much chocolate dynamism as the San Francisco Bay Area. There’s the storied history of chocolate factories in the Bay, plus all the up-and-coming chocolatiers throughout the region, such as the mini paintings of Flying Noir and the ever-expanding Xocolate Bar in the East Bay. There are even more rad Peninsula and South Bay shops, such as CocoTutti in Brisbane and Charlotte Truffles in Santa Clara. But these 11 shops hold it down in the city.

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The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop

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The oldest continuously run chocolate factory in the United States dates back to the Gold Rush, though it’s now owned by Lindt, a massive international company. With a handsome redesign from the firm behind the Apple store, this is indeed the destination chocolate company of San Francisco. A warm day spent at Ghirardelli Square with the iconic hot fudge sundae is tough to top.

Ghirardelli Square at night Ghirardelli Square

XOX Truffles

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This North Beach truffle shop has supplied locals and tourists with chocolate since 1997, and owner Jean-Marc Gorce hands over any coffee or hot chocolate with a free sample. Fans love the dark chocolate dusted in cocoa, rolled toasted hazelnuts, and soaked in cognac. There are vegan options here, too.

Truffles from XOX Truffles XOX Truffles

Recchiuti Confections at the Ferry Building

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Michael Recchiuti is a former musician turned confectioner who set up shop in the Ferry Building in 1997 — the same year his friend Scharffenberger blazed onto the local chocolate scene. He’s known for smooth and powerful dark chocolates inflected with fresh ingredients from the farmers’ market including the lilt of lemon verbena and heady pink peppercorns.

Valentine’s chocolates from Recchiuti Recchiuti Confections

Jade Chocolates Teahouse & Cafe

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Mindy Fong opened her tea lounge and chocolate shop in March 2022 and immediately the cafe became a must-try for Chinatown residents and tourists alike. Buddha heads filled with peanut butter and mango jam, chocolate-covered ginger, fortune cookie inclusion bars, and much, much more make this chocolatier one of San Francisco’s premiere confectioners.

Chocolates from Jade. Andrew Calisterio

Socola Chocolatier

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Wendy and Susan Lieu set up shop in SoMa in 2014. Their confections rely on local Guittard chocolate and Straus dairy, feature many Vietnamese flavors, and come in minty fresh boxes stamped with a super cute alpaca. As a woman of color-owned outfit, running the business has been a point of pride and exploration for the Santa Rosa-raised sisters.

Socola chocolate. Socola

Topogato

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Topogato has the buddy comedy background to keep dishing out delectable delights. Owner Simon Brown’s talent shines through creations like coconut passionfruit bars that look more like art pieces than candies. The business is entirely online, but pick-up is available at Lower Haight shop Her Urban Herbs. Topogato also ships nationwide as they team up with local bars such as Rye Bar for wacky-themed dessert nights.

Truffles from Topogato
Truffles from Topogato

Kokak Chocolates

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Kokak is the newest addition to this list, opening in 2020. Owner and chocolatier Carol Gancia plays up childhood nostalgia with chocolate frogs and pond leaves in her tropical designs. The chocolates here are citrusy, bright, and creative, with Gancia finding reason to create new treats for holidays ranging from Pride to Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate frog from Kokak Kokak Chocolates

Chocolate Covered

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This small shop in Noe Valley opened around 1994 and has been wall-to-wall with craft chocolate ever since. Owner Jack Epstein doesn’t make chocolate, and he doesn’t shape chocolate, he just stocks chocolate in an astonishing selection — he says that at any given time, he has more than 1,000 different bars from around the world. He also makes custom blue-and-white tins featuring San Francisco street signs.

Front sign at Chocolate Covered Chocolate Covered

Feve Artisan Chocolatier

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Shawn Williams is a former chef turned chocolatier, working out of a small space in the Bayview. He’s known for his sea salt caramel, tucked into dark modern boxes, which can be spotted at many markets, bakeries, and coffee shops. But there’s also a retail shop attached to his facility if fans want to go straight to the source.

Dandelion Chocolate

J Street Chocolate

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Recovering tech worker Julia Street wants chocolate lovers to remember two things: chocolate is a fermented food, and chocolate farmers deserve more than they’ve got. Her bars are tinkerings in chocolatiering gone right, incorporating ingredients from miso to beer, and are available at Gratta Wines or for delivery. Address is for scheduled pickup only.

Piv Snacks Bar from J Street Chocolate.
Piv Snacks Bar from J Street Chocolate.
J Street Chocolate

Five Star Truffles

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This Castro classic was opened by Yucatan-born-and-raised Santos Euan who apprenticed at XOX Truffles in North Beach for seven years before opening his own shop. The truffles here are mini and classic, but that doesn’t mean the preparation and flavor aren’t high-end. Plus, the truffles are cheap — some go for less than a buck.

Chocolates at Five Star Truffle. Five Star Truffle

The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream and Chocolate Shop

The oldest continuously run chocolate factory in the United States dates back to the Gold Rush, though it’s now owned by Lindt, a massive international company. With a handsome redesign from the firm behind the Apple store, this is indeed the destination chocolate company of San Francisco. A warm day spent at Ghirardelli Square with the iconic hot fudge sundae is tough to top.

Ghirardelli Square at night Ghirardelli Square

XOX Truffles

This North Beach truffle shop has supplied locals and tourists with chocolate since 1997, and owner Jean-Marc Gorce hands over any coffee or hot chocolate with a free sample. Fans love the dark chocolate dusted in cocoa, rolled toasted hazelnuts, and soaked in cognac. There are vegan options here, too.

Truffles from XOX Truffles XOX Truffles

Recchiuti Confections at the Ferry Building

Michael Recchiuti is a former musician turned confectioner who set up shop in the Ferry Building in 1997 — the same year his friend Scharffenberger blazed onto the local chocolate scene. He’s known for smooth and powerful dark chocolates inflected with fresh ingredients from the farmers’ market including the lilt of lemon verbena and heady pink peppercorns.

Valentine’s chocolates from Recchiuti Recchiuti Confections

Jade Chocolates Teahouse & Cafe

Mindy Fong opened her tea lounge and chocolate shop in March 2022 and immediately the cafe became a must-try for Chinatown residents and tourists alike. Buddha heads filled with peanut butter and mango jam, chocolate-covered ginger, fortune cookie inclusion bars, and much, much more make this chocolatier one of San Francisco’s premiere confectioners.

Chocolates from Jade. Andrew Calisterio

Socola Chocolatier

Wendy and Susan Lieu set up shop in SoMa in 2014. Their confections rely on local Guittard chocolate and Straus dairy, feature many Vietnamese flavors, and come in minty fresh boxes stamped with a super cute alpaca. As a woman of color-owned outfit, running the business has been a point of pride and exploration for the Santa Rosa-raised sisters.

Socola chocolate. Socola

Topogato

Topogato has the buddy comedy background to keep dishing out delectable delights. Owner Simon Brown’s talent shines through creations like coconut passionfruit bars that look more like art pieces than candies. The business is entirely online, but pick-up is available at Lower Haight shop Her Urban Herbs. Topogato also ships nationwide as they team up with local bars such as Rye Bar for wacky-themed dessert nights.

Truffles from Topogato
Truffles from Topogato

Kokak Chocolates

Kokak is the newest addition to this list, opening in 2020. Owner and chocolatier Carol Gancia plays up childhood nostalgia with chocolate frogs and pond leaves in her tropical designs. The chocolates here are citrusy, bright, and creative, with Gancia finding reason to create new treats for holidays ranging from Pride to Valentine’s Day.

Chocolate frog from Kokak Kokak Chocolates

Chocolate Covered

This small shop in Noe Valley opened around 1994 and has been wall-to-wall with craft chocolate ever since. Owner Jack Epstein doesn’t make chocolate, and he doesn’t shape chocolate, he just stocks chocolate in an astonishing selection — he says that at any given time, he has more than 1,000 different bars from around the world. He also makes custom blue-and-white tins featuring San Francisco street signs.

Front sign at Chocolate Covered Chocolate Covered

Feve Artisan Chocolatier

Shawn Williams is a former chef turned chocolatier, working out of a small space in the Bayview. He’s known for his sea salt caramel, tucked into dark modern boxes, which can be spotted at many markets, bakeries, and coffee shops. But there’s also a retail shop attached to his facility if fans want to go straight to the source.

Dandelion Chocolate

J Street Chocolate

Recovering tech worker Julia Street wants chocolate lovers to remember two things: chocolate is a fermented food, and chocolate farmers deserve more than they’ve got. Her bars are tinkerings in chocolatiering gone right, incorporating ingredients from miso to beer, and are available at Gratta Wines or for delivery. Address is for scheduled pickup only.

Piv Snacks Bar from J Street Chocolate.
Piv Snacks Bar from J Street Chocolate.
J Street Chocolate

Five Star Truffles

This Castro classic was opened by Yucatan-born-and-raised Santos Euan who apprenticed at XOX Truffles in North Beach for seven years before opening his own shop. The truffles here are mini and classic, but that doesn’t mean the preparation and flavor aren’t high-end. Plus, the truffles are cheap — some go for less than a buck.

Chocolates at Five Star Truffle. Five Star Truffle

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