While any day is a fine day to buy chocolate, Valentine’s Day is definitely the time to step it up. It may be traditional to buy chocolate for your sweetheart, but you can also get a box for your BFF, your grandma, or even your sister. Who wouldn’t love a pretty box of locally made chocolate and a little note declaring your affection? Exactly. And they’ll probably share them with you too. Love!
Isn’t it fantastique when chocolates taste as good, or even better, than they look? These utter beauties are the picture of small batch, hand-dipped each week by Alexandra Whisnant, who trained at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, interned at Ladurée, and was a pastry cook at Chez Panisse. The flavors change, ranging from Meyer lemon to coffee to Highwire Assam Tea. You can order them via Good Eggs for delivery or pick them up at either Bi-Rite Market location. But don’t get these exquisite chocolates too far in advance, they are at their freshest within five days. ($18–$60)
For a full-tilt gift extravaganza, take a look at this hand-wrapped, three-box gift set, A Feast of Kisses. Your beloved will have fun unwrapping this colorful tower of power that includes Coco Tutti’s raspberry and strawberry truffles, Neo Cocoa’s Tasters’ 5 Piece Box (the almond butter and smoked sea salt truffle is so creamy and good), and Olamola Confectionery’s hazelnut orange meringue kisses. Best part: you can mail it! ($49.95, plus shipping)
This is quite the doozy of all chocolate boxes, the IfOnly Constellation Chocolate Collection, with 25 pieces made from (mostly) local and top restaurants, like State Bird Provisions (milk chocolate and caramelized hazelnut balsamic crunch), Benu (miso and caramelized white chocolate), and Aziza (verbena, cassis, and sesame chocolate). And how sweet: profits will be donated to benefit Charity Water to bring safe drinking water to communities around the world. ($100)
Known (and loved) for their bittersweet sea salt chocolate tiles, this local confectioner has a brand-new, nine-piece Valentine’s Day chocolate box that's a spin on a classic combination, the Champagne and Strawberries Box. Ideal for the gourmand in your life, within is a combination of Champagne truffles, strawberry-Balsamic truffles, and a single bittersweet ganache heart (awwww). ($20)
You want to give someone Champagne kisses and chocolates too? This box of Champagne truffles from Recchiuti is the way to go. These dark chocolate truffles are given a little boost from Schramsburg Blanc de Noirs from Napa Valley (hic), and a dusting of confectioner's sugar. There’s just the lightest boozy note—and there are plenty to share. (20–25 pieces; $25)