Annual Conference & INFO-EXPO Boston Convention & Exhibition Center June 14 -16, 2015

Categorized | Boston for..., Food & Drink

Boston for Chocolate Lovers

Boston for Chocolate Lovers

by SLA New England member Nicole Dutton, MLIS — Librarian and Records Management Analyst at the Charles S. Morgan Technical Library of the National Fire Protection Agency

Boston’s culinary reputation is mired in historical cliché — chowdah, lobstah, and baked beans. And that’s fine for folks who like that sort of thing. (We do have really exceptional chowder and lobster… But that’s another blog post.) But let’s face it, why would you eat that when there’s chocolate?

Herewith, a tour of the best places to eat chocolate while you’re in the city.

  1. L.A. Burdick in Harvard Square
    This tiny shop on Brattle Street is my preferred source for a chocolate fix. Their drinking chocolate is transcendent and worth the hefty price tag. A small (the size of an espresso cup) will run you $4 and is rich enough to satisfy most everyday chocolate cravings. If your need is greater, it comes in larger sizes, too. If you like your sweets cold, their iced chocolate drink served in a tall narrow glass at one of the handful of tables. The shop also sells pastries, coffee, and tea, but, frankly, I’ve never had them. Why? The chocolate is right there.

    There is also a counter that sells luscious high-end bonbons (at luscious high-end prices). They are most famous for their chocolate mice with little colorful tails but I can also suggest the caramel trio and the chocolate cigar, filled with cognac-flavored ganache.

  2. Taza Chocolate in Somerville
    A few more stops outbound on the Redline, you’ll find Taza. This is perfect for those who want to get into the nitty gritty of their chocolate. Stone-ground bars and discs have a rustic texture and the flavors harken back to the Mexican roots with variations like guajillo chili and cinnamon. You can tour the factory (make reservations online at the link above) for a detailed look at just how your chocolate gets made. If that seems like too much work, simply pick up their nubbly discs at shops around the city.
  3. Captain Jackson’s Historic Chocolate Shop in Boston
    If you don’t want to go all the way out to Somerville, but still want to see your chocolate getting made, consider this historical demonstration (and tasting) on the campus of the Old North Church. You get to see costumed re-enactors processing chocolate the way that it would have been during the Colonial era. It’s educational chocolate!  No, really! It’s a great stop if you’re on the Freedom Trail and need to get your cocoa fix.

    Plus, it’s in the North End, so you’re practically right next to….

  4. Mike’s Pastry and Modern Pastry
    I happen to prefer my chocolate straight, but I understand that not everyone shares my tastes. If you want your chocolate enrobing beautiful pastries or as pastry cream inside pâte à choux, then consider these two tourist stalwarts of the North End. Mike’s is more popular by far (you’ll see people all over the city carrying the distinctive white boxes with blue writing, tied with red-and-white bakery string) and you may have to fight throngs of crowds to get to the counter. It’s a bit of a free-for-all, but the pastry is quite excellent. They are most famous for their cannoli. That said, Modern, down the street, is just as good, if less famous, and usually has shorter lines.
  5. Flour Bakery at four locations in Boston and Cambridge
    If you like your chocolate baked into cookies, cakes, and tarts, you’ve got to visit Flour. Joanne Chang, who wrote a cookbook of the same name, make a glorious assortment of nibbles and treats, like the grown-up bake sale of your dreams. Consider the “chunky Lola,” a cookie loaded with oats, chocolate, coconut, and toasted pecans. Purists may want the “tcho double chocolate with walnuts,” which is best described as experiment in just how much chocolate can you put into one cookie. (A lot.) You can also grab non-chocolate things like breakfast foods and sandwiches, if you feel the need.
  6. The Chocolate Bar at Cafe Fleuri in Boston
    For a really hard-core fix, make reservations at the Chocolate Bar on Saturday at the Hotel Langham. It’s literally an all-you-can-eat chocolate buffet with more than 100 different dishes, from crepes and Boston creme pie to bread pudding and ice cream sundaes. This is the pinnacle of chocolate in Boston. Or, rather, one of them. The other is …
  7. The Chocolate Walking Tour in the South End
    A two-and-a-half hour walking tour of one of the city’s most chichi neighborhoods, sampling chocolate as you go.  Despite the long time, it’s really only about a mile hike, with lots of delicious stops along the way to rest your feet. The South End is a culinary hotbed and the tour will teach you about buying, using, preparing, and eating the beautiful chocolate you can find here.

    Sadly, both the tour and the buffet are on Saturdays only, so you need to choose one or the other. Reserve your place soon.  Finally, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention…

  8. Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie in Salem
    The country oldest candy shop isn’t in Boston, but if you go on a road trip to Salem you should stop by. They carry the usual assortment of candy shop chocolates and truffles, as well as some unique old-fashioned options like Gibralters and Black Jacks.

One Response to “Boston for Chocolate Lovers”

  1. Khalilah Gambrell says:

    Ghirardelli just opened a shop in Faneuil Hall

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