June 11, 2023

Artisanal chocolate shops in Manhattan

In my research, I found several Reddit threads discussing the best chocolate shops in Manhattan and New York City. The threads ranged from 1 to 4 years old and covered various preferences, from artisanal chocolates to fancy handmade chocolates and even the best chocolate cake in Manhattan. There was no clear consensus on the absolute best chocolate shop in the area, but several shops received multiple recommendations. The sources were quite related to the original query, but due to the subjective nature of personal preferences, some uncertainty remains.

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Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac Chocolates was recommended in several Reddit threads, with users praising their quality and taste. One user described their chocolates as "top tier", while another user mentioned their local NYC reputation. Li-Lac seems to be a popular choice for those looking for artisanal chocolates in Manhattan.
Neuhaus

Neuhaus

Neuhaus received multiple recommendations across Reddit threads. One user claimed it was "the best I've had", while another user included it in a list of high-quality chocolate shops. Neuhaus is a Belgian chocolate brand, but they have locations throughout Manhattan, making it a convenient option for those seeking imported artisanal chocolates.
Stick With Me Sweets

Stick With Me Sweets

Stick With Me Sweets, located on Mott Street, was recommended for their beautiful and delicious artisan bonbons. Additionally, a user in another thread praised their chocolate pieces as "beautiful". This shop seems to be a good option for those seeking both aesthetic and taste in their chocolate.
Maison Chocolat

Maison Chocolat

Maison Chocolat was mentioned in one Reddit thread as a recommended chocolate shop. While there was not a lot of supporting evidence for this recommendation, it is worth considering for those looking to explore different options in Manhattan.
Laderach

Laderach

Laderach, a Swiss chocolate chain with a location in New York City, was highly recommended by a Reddit user who stated it was their "absolute favorite". Although it is not unique to Manhattan, it could be a great option for those interested in trying Swiss chocolates while in the area.
Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres, located in DUMBO with other locations throughout Manhattan, was recommended by multiple users. One user was quite fond of the shop and its offerings, while another user mentioned it as a favorite chocolaterie in NYC. Jacques Torres might be a good choice for those who appreciate a variety of locations and a mix of artisanal and popular chocolate options.

La Maison du Chocolat, Teuscher, and Kreuther

These three chocolate shops were mentioned together in one recommendation as high-quality stores, even though they are not local to NYC. Their locations throughout Manhattan make them accessible options for those interested in trying a variety of imported chocolates.
LA Burdick

LA Burdick

LA Burdick was recommended in two different Reddit threads. One user mentioned leaning towards this shop for fancy, handmade chocolates, while another user suggested trying their iced hot chocolate. LA Burdick could be a good choice for those seeking both artisanal chocolates and unique chocolate beverages.
Varsano's Chocolate

Varsano's Chocolate

Varsano's Chocolate was recommended for their chocolate-covered Oreos and their status as a specialty store that has been around for a long time. Another user praised their toffee offerings. Varsano's might be a good option for those looking for a mix of classic and unique chocolate creations.

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Research

"American vs. European chocolate - which do you prefer?"

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"Best Chocolate"

  • A Reddit user posted on r/FoodNYC asking for chocolate recommendations to have in the recovery room after giving birth.
  • The user did not have a preference for dark or milk chocolate but liked truffles with fruity flavors or crunchy hazelnuts and did not like caramel filling.
  • The user’s hospital is in midtown, but they were open to any neighborhood in Manhattan.
  • Various Reddit users recommended different chocolate shops such as Li-Lac, Neuhaus, Stick With Me Sweets, Maison Chocolat, Gabriel Kreuther, Kee’s, Borough Chocolate, Teuscher, and Varsano’s Chocolate.
  • Some users recommended The Meadow in Nolita, which has a large collection of chocolate bars.
  • One user provided links to various websites with lists of the best chocolate shops in New York, including Timeout, Chocolate Noise, NY Times, Town and Country Magazine, and Simply Chocolate.
  • Some users mentioned experiences and details about the chocolate shops they recommended, such as Stick With Me having colorful and delicious artisan bonbons and Varsano’s having chocolate-covered Oreos and being a specialty store that’s been around for a long time and not a chain.
  • One user mentioned a cheese sold only at Fairway Market, which they had to get for a pregnant family member who craved it.
  • Some users commented on other users’ recommendations, rating them as good or bad or adding more information.
  • A few users asked for more clarification about the user’s preferences.
  • Some users engaged in arguments or discussions about best chocolate and the validity of recommendations from internet strangers versus professional food writers.
  • The page contained a mix of serious recommendations and more casual conversation.

"What store has the best variety of imported artisanal chocolate (eg, Shattell)?"

  • Post title: “What store has the best variety of imported artisanal chocolate (eg, Shattell)?” in r/AskNYC subreddit from 4 years ago.
  • The post has 6 comments with recommendations for artisanal chocolate shops.
  • The first commenter suggests Max Brenner’s as a shop that offers delicious chocolate options, as well as specialty chocolate items and hot chocolate drinks.
  • The second recommendation is Cocoa Store.
  • The third recommendation mentions a Food Emporium on the upper east side that had a dedicated section for many brands of chocolates, but that this may no longer be relevant, and it is better to visit specific brand boutiques.
  • The same commenter suggests that the Occulus may have lots of boutiques in the same general vicinity, but is unsure.
  • The fourth recommendation mentions Neuhaus, which sells imported Belgian chocolate.
  • The fifth recommendation suggests The Meadow, which has a “chocolate library” with a great variety and quality of chocolates. The commenter notes that it is not cheap.
  • There is one comment that does not provide a recommendation, just a thank you.
  • The post has a total of 4 upvotes and no downvotes.

"BEST chocolate cake in Manhattan?"

  • Title of the page: “BEST chocolate cake in Manhattan?”
  • User posted a query for the best chocolate cake to have in Manhattan, specifically cupcakes or slices of cake. They’ve already had a few dessert places on their list.
  • A user recommended Ladybird Bakery in Park Slope, Brooklyn, one block away from Prospect Park. They highly praised the Brooklyn Blackout cake over any other recommendation in the thread, including Ovenly blackout cake.
    • Karma: 14
  • One user shared an adapted recipe of Ebinger’s Brooklyn Blackout cake from NY Times and mentioned it was a bit challenging to prepare but tasted great.
    • Karma: 1
  • Another user commented in agreement to Ladybird Bakery’s Brooklyn Blackout cake recommendation and thanked the user for the suggestion.
    • Karma: 2
  • A user missed Two Little Red Hens and recommended their bakery, hinting at their possible artisanal chocolate selection.
    • Karma: 7
  • Amy’s bread was recommended as the best chocolate cake in the city.
    • Karma: 7
  • Ovenly’s blackout cake and Little Cupcake Bakeshop Brooklyn Blackout cake were highly recommended by users.
    • Karma: 7, 4
  • A user recommended Strip House’s chocolate cake, calling it the best in the city. It is found in a steakhouse and serving sizes are enough for a group of people.
    • Karma: 7
  • The Devil in Ganache cake from Mah-Ze-Dahr was recommended as the best chocolate cake by a user.
    • Karma: 5
  • Another user agreed to Devil in Ganache’s recommendation but wanted a fluffier version of the cake.
    • Karma: 1
  • Epices bakery chocolate mousse cake was another recent favorite of a commenter.
    • Karma: 2
  • A user recommended to order and pick up a cake from Butter and Scotch, their hotline bling cake was also delicious.
    • Karma: 1
  • Glaser’s was recommended as a chocolate bakery or cafe that brought happy memories to a commenter.
    • Karma: 1
  • One user was disappointed with the quality of Mah-Ze-Dahr cake on their recent visit.
    • Karma: 1

Note: Some users mentioned specific cakes while some only gave bakery or dessert shop recommendations. It is possible that these dessert shops offer artisanal chocolates as part of their offerings, but it is not explicitly mentioned in the thread.

"What's the best American chocolate you've ever tasted?"

Responses:

  • Local chocolate shops (21 karma)
  • See’s (19 karma)
  • Local chocolatiers (15 karma)
  • Lammes Candies in Austin, Texas (1 karma)
  • Chocolate use at local shops (2 karma)
  • Sharpfenberger’s milk chocolate (2 karma)
  • Askinosie chocolate (2 karma)
  • Askinosie chocolate served at Andy’s Frozen Custard in Missouri (2 karma)
  • Goodbye Chocolate by L.A Burdick (1 karma)
  • Kako Chocolate (1 karma)
  • Christopher Elbow in Kansas City (1 karma)
  • Chocolove’s Salted Almond Butter bar (1 karma)
  • John & Kira’s (1 karma)
  • Lindt Lindor truffles (1 karma)
  • Wilbur Buds in Lititz, PA (1 karma)
  • Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (1 karma)
  • Chubby Chipmunk in Pluma, SD (1 karma)
  • Malley’s Chocolates
  • Mackinac Island chocolate shops
  • TC chocolates from Minnesota (1 karma)
  • Fran’s or Theo’s in Seattle (1 karma)
  • Norman Love Confections (1 karma)
  • Taza, Lake Champlain, Endangered Specied and Cumberland Farms (1 karma)
  • Dandelion Chocolate in SF (0 karma)

Other comments:

  • Cadbury owned by Mondelez which is based in the USA
  • H.B. Reese invented Reese’s peanut butter cups and the company was eventually merged with Hershey
  • Hershey’s stole the idea for Kisses from Wilbur
  • Hershey decreased quality after closing its old factory
  • Chocolate makers in the USA are stepping it up
  • Hershey chocolate is considered by some to be worse than European chocolate

"What is the best chocolate shop in NYC?"

  • Reddit thread discussing the best chocolate shops in NYC, with a focus on small, independent shops that offer artisanal chocolate.

  • Original question asked for recommendations for fancy, handmade chocolates that come in a variety of offerings.

  • Recommendations made for chocolate shops all over NYC, not just Manhattan.

  • Popular recommendations include:

    • Laderach, a chain store with over 100 locations worldwide
    • Jaques Torres in DUMBO with locations throughout Manhattan
    • Neuhaus, Teuscher, Kreuther, La Maison du Chocolat, none of which are technically local to NYC but have locations throughout Manhattan
    • Mariebelle, which has pretty packaging but not everyone was impressed with the taste
    • LA Burdick, which several people recommended and the original poster ended up leaning towards
    • Mast Brothers Chocolate, which is a bean-to-bar chocolate maker based in Brooklyn. There were some mixed opinions about the quality and reliability of their products.
    • Li-lac, which is a local NYC chocolate shop that some people recommended but others did not find to be exceptional
    • Hotel Chocolat, a shop in midtown
    • Kee’s Chocolate, which is small and independent and local
    • Stick With Me Sweets on Mott St, recommended for beautiful chocolate pieces
    • Varsano’s on West 4, which is good for toffee
    • Roni-Sue’s in the LES for good truffles
    • Obsessive Chocolate Disorder in the East Village, which is great for unique offerings like chocolate scorpions
    • Michel Cluizel is recommended as the best French truffle and single source bars
    • Max Bruner near Union Square and Broadway is recommended for some of the best chocolate and hot chocolate
    • Myzel Chocolates on West 55th is recommended for a small business feel and a range of chocolates and licorice from around the world
    • Schmidt’s of Woodhaven, Queens is recommended for their chocolate and other desserts, but one user didn’t like their chocolate.
  • There was some discussion about the allegedly questionable practices of Mast Brothers Chocolate in their early days, which can be found in related articles online.

"What's your favorite chocolaterie in NYC?"

  • The webpage is a post on Reddit’s subreddit, AskNYC, posted 3 years ago.
  • The post asks for recommendations for the best chocolaterie in NYC similar to Patagonia chocolates in New Zealand.
  • Users replied with their favorite chocolateries in and around NYC.
  • One user recommended La Maison Du Chocolat, which received 8 karma points.
  • Another user found it on the shop’s website and thanked the first user.
  • Kee’s chocolates and Jacques Torres were also recommended, each getting 2 and 4 karma points respectively.
  • Li-Lac chocolates and Varsano’s each also got 4 karma points.
  • Another user recommended Teuscher Chocolates of Zurich, getting 4 karma points.
  • Kee’s chocolates were again recommended, with one user stating they are the best chocolate and better than any other, getting 2 karma points.
  • Rawmantic, Venchi, and Blue Stripes Cacao Shop were among the other chocolateries recommended by users, each getting 1 karma point.
  • The user also mentioned that LA Burdick is worth trying for its iced hot chocolate.
  • Some users recommended getting chocolates as a gift from chocolateries.

💭  Looking into

Overview of popular chocolate products and trends

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Brief history of chocolate making in Manhattan

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Top artisanal chocolate shops in Manhattan