We're once again graced with a month of love, red rose bouquets, and artificial orange-filled chocolates. If you want to buy your special someone something a little different this year or if you’re just trying to spoil yourself, you’re in luck. There are several chocolate stores across the city that exude class, romanticism, and above all, true variety. Every loved one you have in mind might prefer a different sweet treat for Valentine's Day, making the value of variety in daily life more apparent than ever. From the Bronx to Brooklyn, via Manhattan, and back to Queens, there are many stores ready to help you if you wish to gift quality over quantity this year and these are our top choices after researching where visitors from New York may acquire premium chocolates and handcrafted candies.
In 1962, the Swiss company Läderach was established. Despite having a sizable shop on Fifth Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, the family-owned business's current headquarters are in Glarus, Switzerland. Given that it is one of the few locations where you can see a sizable solid chocolate sculpture of a cocoa bean floating in the air, it is impossible to miss during your chocolate hunt. Starting with the cocoa beans and extending to store counters, Läderach supervises the entire production process starting in Switzerland. They place a strong emphasis on authenticity in their chocolate selection, using potent dark cacao mixes like their Grand Cru Trinidad chocolate tablet, which contains up to 80% chocolate. New delectable items for any loved ones include the FrischSchoggi™ sets with flavors like Raspberry White which features chunks of freeze-dried raspberries, or the heart-shaped boxes filled with Pralines of assorted flavors.
For those in need of eye-catching and over-the-top gorgeous packaging this Valentine’s Day… Teuscher has it! Over 70 years ago, in a small town in the Swiss Alps, Master Chocolatier Dolf Teuscher set out to create the finest chocolate shop. He sourced the finest cocoa, fruits, marzipan, nuts, extracts, and more from around the world to launch Teuscher Chocolatier in New York. The mounting years of experimentation and craftsmanship resulted in their now-famous assortment of chocolate goodies. They prioritize appearance along with flavor, offering colorful boxes wrapped in large flower corsages, ribbons, bows, and more. Choose from items like their Quartet Box which encases four Champagne Truffles in soft green wrapping for about $15, their Fruit Jellies and Grappa-soaked Cherries by the pound, or their Flower Gift Box in a range of sizes and flower aesthetics. Their larger gift boxes offer up to 72 pieces of chocolates and come in a range of gift wrapping options. They are also one of the only chocolate shops to sell chocolate-covered creams in flavors like orange, lemon, raspberry, coffee, and mandarin.
Manhattan's oldest chocolate house has preserved the flavor, techniques and recipes for their handmade chocolates for nearly 100 years. Their use of original recipes and traditional cooking tools like marble tables for caramel shaping and copper pots dates back to the 1920s. They even maintain the original chocolate coating machine at their Brooklyn location, complete with a vintage cooling chamber and glazing function. LiLac chocolates are hand-made in small batches for exceptional quality and taste, filled, sealed, boxed, and wrapped by a small team in-house. This Valentine’s Day they plan on selling over 20,000 chocolate heart box sets and 2,000 hand-dipped strawberries made fresh daily. The history of LiLac Chocolates dates back to 1923, when George Demetrious, who studied the art of chocolate making in France, moved to New York and opened a shop on 120 Christopher Street in the heart of Greenwich Village. He applied his expertise to create recipes for products you’ll still find in any of their locations like almond bark, butter crunch, hazelnut truffle squares, and fudge. Handmade in their Industry City factory, box sets like the 8-piece Valentine Box offers a mix of milk and dark chocolates with flavors including chocolate fudge, mocha, and hazelnut truffles.
Sol Cacao prides itself on its bean-to-bar process and the craftsmanship that makes its single-source products possible. Sol Cacao is a family business and was set up in the South Bronx by brothers Dominique, Nicholas, and Daniel. They have a presence in every step of the chocolate-making process, from growing cocoa pods to wrapping up chocolate bars, maintaining a standard of intimacy and excellence with the finished products. Sol Cacao offers three chocolate bars all made from cocoa beans and raw sugar cane, sourced responsibly with environmental and ethical social responsibilities in mind. These include sustainable organic farming practices, environmental protection, and ethical sourcing of raw materials. Their Colombia, Ecuador, and Peru Chocolate bars all contain 70% dark chocolate, and their Madagascar bar is just a tad stronger with 72% cocoa.
Aigner Chocolates was founded in 1930 and remains one of the Big Apple’s oldest chocolate and candy stores. In a homely fashion, it’s remained in the same family for three generations, constantly renewing its chocolate-making recipes and traditions. Since its inheritance by Mark Libertini and Rachel Kellner, Aigner has continued to dish out Austrian chocolate created with the same antique equipment and techniques that lead to its trademark fanbase. One of their unique Valentine’s box sets is Puppy Love, a combination of chocolate pops, hearts, and assorted pieces.
Any of these delicious shops and their selections can help you build memories this month! Take time to treat yourself to an aphrodisiac or several, run a bubble bath, and light some candles beside your treats. All in all, we are providing you a green light to buy yourself chocolates, take time out for pampering, and while you're at it have some wine too! Take some time to consider how you can inject more decadence and love into your day. Read more about individual chocolate products, bestsellers, and the story of each location on their websites.
P.S if you’re still scrambling for Valentine’s Day plans, check out these 8 Spicy Date Ideas in the city.