1. FINE & RAW – Williamsburg
Chocolatier Daniel Sklaar champions low-heat cooking methods and raw ingredients to preserve cacao’s purest form and purported antioxidants. Procuring his brand from Venezuela, Peru, and Madagascar, he formulated both bonbon and bars. The bars are available in 78% intensity or laced with mesquite, sea salt or cacao and coconut!
2. JACQUES TORRES CHOCOLATE – Downtown
Although Jacques is known for his chocolate chip cookies and “wicked” spiced hot chocolate, sample his signature truffles to taste the full range of his craft from the relatively traditional (praline,caramel, fruit laced ganaches) to the nouveau (Earl Grey, saffron). Other goodies include chocolate-enrobed graham crackers, milk chocolate covered pretzels and Cheerios, and chocolate covered expressions beans and more!
3. KEE’S CHOCOLATES – Soho
Every orb at Kee Ling Tong’s confectionery is tempered and dipped by hand to create a thick, smooth shell that enclosed either silk cream filling, fluffy mousse or rich ganache. Créme brûlée, black and white sesame and Thai chili tend to be the best selling bonbon flavors, but key lime, blood orange, lavender, and blended pepper are also worth the indulgence!
4. L.A. BURDICK – Flatiron
Best known for its petite chocolate penguins and mice, the family owned, New Hanpshire based brand debuted in New York years ago with a shop and cafe. Assorted pastries (tea cakes and tarts by the slice) share space in cases with pâtés de fruits, marzipan, dipped caramels and assorted truffles!
5. LA MAIDON DU CHOCOLAT – Upper East Side
Launched in France in 1977, this international brand offers ganaches that pop with fruitiness (lemon, raspberry), herbs (fennel, mint) and liqueurs (kirsch, rum). The Upper East Side parlor also holds regular classes (called parcours initiatique) on select Thursday’s and Saturday’s (11am), one covering chocolate and tea pairings and the other exploring the nuances of various cacao types and the artisans’ production process!