The Ultimate List: The Best Chocolate in New York City
New York City, a metropolis known for its vibrant food scene, holds a secret indulgence in its bustling streets and towering buildings - a world of delectable chocolates that lure locals and tourists alike. As diverse as the city itself, the chocolate culture here is a flavorful blend of time-honored traditions, pioneering creativity, and global influences, making it a must-explore for every chocolate connoisseur.
In this blog, we take you on a culinary journey through the city's chocolateries, each with its distinct charm and signature flavors. We delve into the passion, craft, and love poured into every chocolate creation by these artisans. Welcome to 'The Ultimate List: The Best Chocolatiers in New York City.' Prepare your palate for a deliciously rich adventure, as we navigate the melt-in-your-mouth world of New York's finest chocolates. Let the chocolate extravaganza begin!
Criteria For Selection
As we embarked on this sweet expedition to curate the 'best of the best' chocolatiers in the Big Apple, we established a set of rigorous criteria to ensure that only the finest made it to our list. After all, when it comes to chocolate, every bite matters!
Quality of Ingredients: Top of our list was the quality of ingredients used. We looked for chocolatiers who commit to using premium, fresh, and whenever possible, local ingredients in their creations. The quality of cacao used plays a vital role in determining the flavor, texture, and overall experience of the chocolate.
Craftsmanship: Mastering the art of chocolate making is no easy feat. We sought out establishments that exhibit exceptional skill and meticulous attention to detail in their craft. From bean selection and roasting to conching, tempering, and molding - every step matters.
Customer Reviews: In today's digital age, customer reviews serve as a powerful tool to gauge a product's quality. We took into account ratings and reviews from various platforms, looking for consistent positive feedback about taste, presentation, and customer service.
Uniqueness of Flavors: Lastly, we aimed to celebrate creativity in the field of chocolate making. We searched for chocolatiers who are pushing the boundaries with unique and exciting flavors, daring to go beyond the traditional to offer something truly exceptional.
These stringent criteria guided our path as we traversed the city, discovering an array of chocolateries that stand out in their dedication to delivering the perfect chocolate experience. What we found was a delightful mix of timeless traditions, innovative spirit, and undeniable passion for chocolate.
The Best Chocolate in New York City
Raaka Chocolate, tucked away in Red Hook, Brooklyn, stands as a testament to the art of unroasted chocolate making. Founded on the principles of innovation and transparency, Raaka sources single-origin cacao beans directly from growers, ensuring fair trade and superior quality. Their chocolates stand out for their bold, distinct flavors, an outcome of their unique unroasted process which retains the natural notes of the cacao. Besides their exceptional chocolate, Raaka also offers factory tours, providing a behind-the-scenes peek into their craft, making it a destination not just for chocolate enthusiasts, but also for those keen on understanding the journey from bean to bar.
Fine & Raw
Born in a Williamsburg loft in 2007, FINE & RAW quickly gained notoriety for their addictive, artisanal chocolates. Founder Daniel Sklaar started by sharing small batches with friends and local food purveyors, eventually growing a business centered on quality, creativity, and an unbridled love for chocolate making. With a commitment to sustainability, FINE & RAW maintains a radically transparent supply chain, sourcing top-quality cacao beans from Belize and Ecuador, ensuring fair wages and supporting organic farming. Above their ambitious goal to become a fully solar-powered factory, they champion one key principle: to adore every piece of chocolate you eat.
Famed pastry chef Jacques Torres opened his namesake chocolate shop to share his passion for premium chocolates with the world. Located in the heart of New York City, Jacques Torres Chocolate boasts a wide variety of handcrafted treats, from decadent truffles to their renowned chocolate chip cookies. The inviting ambiance of his shop coupled with the rich, luxurious taste of his creations offers customers an unrivaled experience. Garnering numerous culinary accolades, Jacques Torres Chocolate embodies the sophistication and innovation of New York's chocolate scene.
Established in 1930, Aigner Chocolates holds the distinction of being among NYC's oldest chocolate and confectionery establishments. This family-run business, stewarded by the Aigners over three generations, has recently seen a change of hands, with Mark Libertini and Rachel Kellner taking the reins. Inheriting age-old recipes and time-honored Austrian chocolate-making traditions, Mark and Rachel are committed to maintaining the legacy built on antique equipment and techniques that shaped Aigner into a cherished New York City institution. They are poised to carry forward this rich heritage, keen on crafting new traditions for future generations.
Kee Ling Tong took a leap of faith in 2002, leaving her corporate job to chase her dream of launching a boutique offering flowers and chocolates in New York City. However, it was her handcrafted artisanal chocolates that garnered significant attention and acclaim within a year, gradually eclipsing her floral offerings. Consequently, Kee decided to focus exclusively on crafting these delicious creations.The selection at Kee's Chocolates varies seasonally, reflecting the availability of fresh ingredients. These sought-after chocolates can be exclusively acquired online or at the brand's brick-and-mortar store on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
Li-Lac Chocolates, Manhattan's oldest chocolate house, was founded in 1923 by Greek immigrant and French-trained chocolatier, George Demetrious. His legacy, embodied in over 120 varieties of chocolates, was inherited by trusted employee Marguerite Watt, then loyal customer Edward Bond, and later his sister, Martha. Today, the custodianship lies with three New Yorkers - Anthony Cirone, Anwar Khoder, and Christopher Taylor, who remain steadfast in maintaining the artisanal craft, while also evolving with the times. With several locations across the city and a visible chocolate-making operation at Industry City, Li-Lac is a beloved fixture in New York's culinary scene.
Maribel Lieberman embarked on a unique journey with Lunettes et Chocolat, a concept store combining eyeglasses and chocolates in Nolita, New York. This venture paved the way for the opening of MarieBelle New York’s flagship store in Soho in 2001, which houses the 15-seat Cacao Bar, serving an array of sweets, coffee, and the renowned Aztec Hot Chocolate, featured as one of “Oprah’s Favorite Things.” Production flourished in 2004 with the inauguration of an exclusive, hand-made product factory in Brooklyn. The brand extended its global footprint, opening stores in Kyoto and Tokyo, Japan, in 2012 and 2016 respectively, and even reaching the shores of Ishigaki Island, Japan, with its rustic, artisanal Cacao Market concept.
Harlem Chocolate Factory
Harlem Chocolate Factory, an artisan chocolate brand, was established in 2015 by Jessica Spaulding and Asha Dixon. The company aims to encapsulate the vibrant culture of Harlem in their high-quality chocolate products. Their journey began by hand-wrapping chocolates for local markets from their living room, which rapidly caught the attention of notable clients such as Chase and Kate Spade. In 2018, they opened a retail and production kitchen in the historic Strivers’ Row district of Harlem, receiving considerable local and national press. The founders share a passion for chocolate and entrepreneurship, using these skills to deliver a unique Harlem experience through their chocolate creations.
Stick With Me Sweets
Stick With Me is a team of chocolatiers based in New York City, dedicated to crafting exquisite confections. Their aim is to provide unique and memorable gifts, available for online ordering or through their Nolita shop. They prioritize the use of high-quality ingredients sourced locally and ethically, and take painstaking care in hand-shelling and painting each bonbon, ensuring a beautifully polished finish. Inspired by Michelin-starred desserts, Founder and Head Chef Susanna Yoon infuses each of her confections with fine-dining standards, making every bite feel like a special occasion.
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate
Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate is a partnership between Chef Gabriel Kreuther and Pastry Chef Marc Aumont, opened in 2016 next to the renowned Gabriel Kreuther restaurant. Dedicated to quality ingredients and exceptional craftsmanship, their creations are designed to evoke sensory experiences reminiscent of global cities. Aumont and his team innovate with chocolates, pastries, and sculptures, using classical French techniques and unexpected flavor pairings. Every new creation aims to tell a story, respect the product's origin, and offer a distinctive tasting experience. They meticulously select ingredients like Sicilian pistachios or hammam-perfumed green tea, and each chocolate bean and blend is chosen to reflect the story of its terroir, cultivation, and roasting, culminating in the finest chocolate for the New York community and the world.
New York City is a paradise for chocolate enthusiasts, boasting a plethora of chocolatiers that stand out in their craftsmanship, creativity, and dedication to quality. From the artisanal Raaka Chocolate, rooted in transparency and innovation, to the meticulously crafted Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate that pays homage to its ingredients' origins, each establishment contributes to the city's rich and diverse chocolate scene.
Whether you're seeking an indulgent treat, a unique gift, or a sensory journey across global cities, New York City's chocolate scene is sure to surpass expectations. As we've found, the best chocolate in the city is not just about satisfying a sweet craving, but about experiencing a labor of love and dedication, the result of meticulous craft, and the exciting fusion of traditional and innovative flavors. Enjoy the adventure of exploring these exquisite offerings and savor the joy of chocolate at its finest.