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Sweets for your sweetie: The 4 best chocolatiers and chocolate shops in San Francisco

Dandelion Chocolate. | Photo: Gil L./Yelp
By Hoodline - Published on February 12, 2019.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. Wondering where to find the best artisanal chocolate for that special someone in your life?

Hoodline crunched the numbers to find the top chocolatiers and chocolate shops in San Francisco, using both Yelp data and our own secret sauce to produce a ranked list of where to venture next time you're in the market for chocolate worthy of a special occasion.

1. Dandelion Chocolate

Frozen hot chocolate. | Photo: Sheila C./Yelp

Topping the list is Dandelion Chocolate. Located at 740 Valencia St. (between 18th and 19th streets) in the Mission, the chocolate shop is the most popular in San Francisco, boasting 4.5 stars out of 1,253 reviews on Yelp.

Dandelion bills itself as a "bean-to-bar chocolate factory," offering an extensive selection of chocolatey goodness like single-origin ganache confections, hand-crafted chocolate bars, chocolate-covered almonds and more. (You can check out the full lineup at the shop's online store.) 

Its flagship outpost offers a variety of handmade treats and chocolate concoctions as well, like frozen hot chocolate, house-made s'mores, chocolate canelés and macarons. 

2. The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop

Photo: The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop/Yelp

Next up is Russian Hill's The Original Ghirardelli Ice Cream & Chocolate Shop, situated at 900 N. Point in Ghirardelli Square. With four stars out of 2,371 reviews on Yelp, the historic chocolatier has proven to be a local favorite.

The flagship home of San Francisco's OG chocolate maker sits at the heart of its original chocolate factory in Ghirardelli Square. Expect to see all the brand's classic confections on offer, in addition to an extensive soda-fountain menu chock full of sweet treats, like warm brownie sundaes, shakes, floats, banana splits, hot chocolate and more. (Check out the full menu here.)

You can also learn about the chocolate-making process, check out historical chocolate-making equipment on display and browse the gift shop, full of limited-edition chocolates. 

3. XOX Truffles

Photo: Haley B./Yelp

North Beach's XOX Truffles, located at 754 Columbus Ave. (between Scotland and Greenwich streets), is another top choice, with Yelpers giving the chocolatier and café 4.5 stars out of 598 reviews.

XOX Truffles was born more than two decades ago as a wholesale business, when married couple Jean-Marc Gorce and Casimira N. Tobilla joined forces to create a confectionary product that could be shipped around the world.

In 1998, the brand opened its first brick-and-mortar storefront in North Beach, and began selling its French-inspired chocolates to locals, according to its website. The business, which also sells coffee and tea, has since expanded its operations to include a retail outlet at SFO as well. 

Expect to see an array of rotating hand-made truffle flavors, like espresso, l'orange chocolate, green tea, white chocolate and more. And if you're not sure where to start, a free truffle is included with every coffee order. 

4. Recchiuti Confections at the Ferry Building

Photo: Winnie L./Yelp

Recchiuti Confections at the Ferry Building is another much-loved go-to, with 4.5 stars out of 481 Yelp reviews. 

Local chocolatier Michael Recchiuti specializes in handmade single-origin chocolates, often using herbs and produce sourced from local California farmer's markets, like lavender and lemon verbena.

Look for flavors like Recchiuti's signature burnt caramel with 70 percent dark chocolate ganache; spring jasmine tea; lavender vanilla; tarragon grapefruit and more. (You can check out the full lineup here.)

For Valentine's Day, the shop features an assortment of gift boxes at varying price points, available in-house or online. Head over to 1 Ferry Bldg, Shop 30 to see for yourself, or drop in at Recchiuti's second outpost at 801 22nd St. in the Dogpatch.

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