Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and while some sweethearts are satisfied with a mass-produced, gigantic box of drugstore chocolates, the foodies among us will appreciate an artisanal, handcrafted box of locally-made chocolates, albeit in a smaller package.
Whether your beloved enjoys handmade caramels, truffles or simple, high-octane dark chocolate, the Garden State offers several tantalizing options to please your Valentine.
Here are my top chocolate shops in New Jersey, in no particular order:
2 Chicks with Chocolate: Owned by daughter, Elyissia, and mom, Barbara, 2 Chicks with Chocolate showcases the works of Master Chocolatier Patrick Coston. Their confections were named “a box of bliss” by Gourmet Magazine. Metuchen, South River, Somerville and Middletown.
Chocodiem: Focusing on Belgian chocolate making, the upscale shop creates beer and liquor-infused confections. Owned by former biologists, Chocodiem knows the science of chocolate. 49 Main Street, Clinton. 908-200-7044.
Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe: Opened since 2000, the shop is known for its handmade confections and custom boxed gift towers. 17 White Street, Red Bank. 732-219-0822.
Chocolate Fantasia: Family-owned since 1983, Chocolate Fantasia specializes in hand-dipped chocolate-covered strawberries, cheesecake and apples. 137 Ridge Rd, Lyndhurst. 201-935-8723.
Enjou Chocolat: Using its 50,000+ molds, Enjou Chocolat can cast most things in chocolate. Enjou offers a wide variety of Valentine’s chocolate to please anyone with a sweet tooth. 8 DeHart Street, Morristown. 800-305-2853.
Mrs. Hanna Krause Candy: Krause’s opened in Paramus in 1957 and specializes in old-fashioned homemade chocolates and specialty candies. Valentine’s Day boxed chocolates are especially popular. 89 Westview Avenue, Paramus. 888-6-KRAUSE.
Lepore’s Home Made Chocolates: Hoboken’s landmark chocolate shop for over thirty years! Chocolates are made daily and the shop specializes in custom made chocolates, gift baskets, towers and occasion favors. 105 4th St, Hoboken, NJ 07030. 201-659-4783.
Matisse Chocolatier: Matisse specializes in gourmet chocolate favors and platters. Each store also has space for chocolate birthday parties and other special occasions. They make novelty chocolate favors for holidays and special occasions. They produce a wide range of hand dipped chocolate fruits, barks truffles and cordials. 260 Grand Avenue, Englewood. 201-568-2288.
The Chocolate Shoppe: The Chocolate Shoppe has been making quality hand-dipped chocolates for over 30 years. The stores specialize in wedding favors or special occasion platters. Washington and Mendham.
Visit one of these local New Jersey chocolatiers for your Valentine’s Day chocolate needs or to satisfy any chocolate cravings you may have.
Veronique Deblois is a food and wine blogger based in Morris County, NJ. As the author of the popular blog, Food & Wine Chickie Insider, Veronique shares recipes, wine and restaurant reviews. Follow Veronique on Twitter or like her Facebook page.