What girl can resist chocolate?! Certainly not I. And when the news says it’s actually good for us, I simply claim, “It’s for the good of my health, I swear.”

So what’s one to do with 24 hours in San Francisco? Visit the Ghirardelli factory? You could if you want to fight hoards of tourists for your chocolate fix. Instead, why not track down the best of San Francisco‘s “other” chocolates? Here are some of my favorites.

Chocolatier Blue
Although Chocolatier Blue has stores throughout the United States, the company’s flagship store is in Berkeley and they recently opened a storefront on Market Street in San Francisco.

Of all the chocolate shops I visited in San Francisco, this was my favorite one because their chocolates are truly beautiful. Even better, they’ve got a variety unlike that in any other shops I’ve visited. Some of the chocolate flavors here include sage honey, passionfruit caramel, chili, grapefruit with rosemary, and root beer float. All for the unbelievable price of just $1.50 apiece.

Chocolates from Tcho in San Francisco

 

Recchiuti Confections
Located in the Ferry Building along the Embarcadero, Recchiuti’s is a Parisian-inspired chocolate shop that creates more than just chocolates. Handmade marshmallows anyone? Pates de fruits?

If you want to stick with the usual chocolate choices, you can opt for some unique flavors including tarragon, verbena and lavender. It seems these flavors were inspired by the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market itself.

Teuscher Chocolates of Switzerland
Of all the chocolate shops I visited, Teuscher reminded me most of the chocolate shops I visited as a child. This tiny store isn’t polished or bright and shiny. It’s simply a low-key place that features a lot of old-style favorites.

Unfortunately I didn’t find out until after my visit that Teuscher is well known for its Champagne Truffles, so I missed out on picking up a box of these. Please, if you go, try them on my behalf! Beyond chocolate, this sweet shop sells cookies, fruit jellies, and other treats that may which change depending on the season.

Viewfinder Tip: Consider walking between San Francisco chocolate shops to burn off some of the calories you gained from sampling. 

TCHO
Started by former techies, TCHO approaches chocolate with a strong dedication to sourcing just the right bean. The company works directly with farmers and control every step in the process of making the chocolate, from fermenting to roasting the beans. Best part, TCHO is committed to sourcing beans from countries (specifically Ghana) where no slave labor is used. This all makes me heart TCHO chocolate even more.

(BTW, their website rocks, too, as it includes in-depth info about their chocolates as well as recipes – total yumminess!)

The Candy Shop
At a friend’s urging, my last stop before leaving San Francisco was The Candy Store, a slightly out-of-the-way shop with shelves and shelves of difficult-to-find sweets.

The owners source new goodies from around the world. They also carry old stuff, and bring back nostalgic treats you’ve longed for. I mean, really, when was the last time you had Necco Wafers or Pixy Stix? My favorite: The nearly 20 types of licorice. (I love black, in case you wanted to know).

What’s your favorite chocolate (or sweet) shop in San Francisco?