Sacramento is blessed with several artisanal chocolatiers and their small boutique chocolateries feature the best from the cacoa tree. For a chocolate lover, there’s no better way to experience a place than through the tantalizing tastes of its chocolates creations.
So bring your sweet tooth as we soak in all the chocolate essence of Sacramento’s chocolate shops.
First up is downtown Sacramento chocolaterie,
Ginger Elizabeth Chocolates
1801 L St
Sacramento, CA 95811
Rest assured you are getting some of the best chocolate Sacramento has to offer when you shop at Ginger Elizabeth’s. Award-winning chocolatier and pastry professional Ginger Elizabeth Hahn insists on pure, fresh ingredients and classical techniques for her chocolates. She doesn’t use extracts and takes the time to infuse her ganache centers with a variety of aromatics. Her chocolates come in a multitude of varieties, from lavender to vanilla caramel, there is something to tantalize everyone. There are even ganache lollipops.
The shop’s confections are exquisite, and the array of chocolate flavors is dizzying. The shop is known for its small chocolates, macarons, ice cream sandwiches and seasonal desserts made with local and organic fruits. The shop offers decadent, rich, high-quality chocolate surrounding a smooth and velvety center. You definitely get the boutique, hand-crafted sense, and they go to great lengths to maintain beautiful presentations. But be ready to stand in a long line when there’s a special advertised but know that it will be worth the wait.
Our Picks: Palet D’or and Fleur du Sel caramel are a must. Better still fill one of their lovely gift boxes with a selection of 12 different chocolates.
Le Grand Confectionary
2580 Fair Oaks Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95825
Le Grand has earned a place in the rarified world of upscale chocolatiers. The refined Sacramento shop offers small-batch artisan truffles in several sizes, including the 1.25-ounce grand truffle that is intended to be a full dessert. The shop is located in a strip mall in the Sacramento suburbs. The place was crisp and clean with their clear glass displays showcasing all the different edible goodness.
Truffle flavors include key lime, toffee almond, French vanilla, tiramisu, cherry cheesecake, amaretto, black forest and champagne. The truffles come in two sizes—grand and petite truffles. They are rich with cream, butter and the finest chocolate, are decorated by hand by Le Grand’s chocolatiers.
Our Picks: Key lime amaretto
5324 Riverside Blvd
Sacramento, CA 95822
No formal classic training here, this family-owned and operated chocolate shop carries on a candy-making tradition into the third and fourth generations. Truffle-making goes back to the first Kobasic family member who began as a professional candy-maker in 1906.
The shop, located in what used to be old grocery store, lacks the polished upscale feel of other shops. But it excels in homey, quirky, and friendly. The walls are covered in old wallpaper, newspaper clipping, seasonal knickknacks, piñatas and other party supplies. Their prices are very reasonable for the handmade, high quality chocolates you get. The day we stopped in we met the owner, Jim Kobasic, his daughter, Nancy, and 8-month old great granddaughter, Chloe. I commented on the smell of bacon in the shop and asked if they added bacon to their truffles. Nancy told me her father was just making himself a snack.
Although the location and overall condition of the store are a bit rough, those making the journey will be rewarded with classic! American-style confections. Chocolate is the main event with a wide variety of handmade truffles or kruffles as Kobasic calls his hand-dipped chocolate truffles filled with rich and creamy ganache. They come in many flavors including peppermint, cherry, rocky road, maple pecan, orange, coconut, amaretto, cranberry, mint or coffee, lemon, pineapple, or Irish cream. Well, you get the idea.
This is a great place to take kids for a special treat, or just treat the kid inside yourself
Our Pick: Salted Caramel
Capital Confections Chocolates & Gelato
2605 El Paseo Lane
Sacramento, CA 95821
Choco-gurus Craig and Teresa Higgins have produced delicious artisan chocolates for over 20 years. Their delightful shop is located in the historic Town & Country Village Shopping Center. They offer 24 different flavors of truffles, hand-made in their chocolate kitchen on the premises. It adds to the experience being able to smell the aromas. Their hand-crafted truffles have a soft chocolate center flavored with either a liquor or an extract. Remarkably, the fillings melt on your tongue at the precise time the chocolate shell disappears. It is at that moment you know you’ve died and gone to chocolate heaven. The luscious dome-shaped truffles have a natural chocolate shine – no waxy coatings you see in manufactured truffles – and the ganache is smoother and creamier.
Their display of the chocolates is pretty impressive. Traditional boxes of chocolates are anything but boring here. This will be my go-to place when I want something special.
Our Pick: Grand Marnier (This truffle is the perfect balance of orange liqueur and delectable dark chocolate.)
Here’s one more way for chocolate-lovers to satisfy their passion
Andy’s Candy Apothecary
1012 9th St
Sacramento, CA 95814
Andy’s is not a chocolate boutique and does not make any of its candy offerings. It is more a curator of traditional American candy favorites, local handmade candies, and sweets from around the world. It is a treat for the eyes and taste buds and filled to the brim with a wide array of fine candy. There is a wall of artisan chocolate bars with over 50 different kinds of bars.
This downtown store offers a good selection of unique cacao treats and that’s why we were there. We were in search of the creations of a local chocolatier, Ramon Perez of Puur Chocolat (http://puurchocolat.com/). Perez does not have a retail shop but his chocolates are featured prominently in Andy’s.
Puur Chocolat’s combinations are not what you would normally encounter. Flavors include guava cream cheese, passion fruit caramel, pistachio lime, pineapple red miso, mango ketchup, sea salt caramel, and other interesting and unique combinations. I’m a hardcore foodie but even I had my doubts. Let me just say—they are amazing creations of his passion for chocolate and his creative originality! His chocolates look like works of art. They are almost too pretty to eat. Each one was not only visually pleasing, but sheer magic on your palate.
Our Picks: Puur Chocolat’s Dulce de Leche and Zots, a candy from my childhood (all right, it’s not chocolate but I couldn’t resist.)
Sacramento is home to some of the finest chocolate confections available. Locals and visitors will love this candy tour.
You can’t go wrong with a box of handcrafted chocolates that tastes as good as they look. For Valentine’s Day (or any other day of the year), let them eat chocolate!