Best Bets: Independent Chocolatiers in the Triangle
Valentine's Day is a great time to check out these talented artisans
The Triangle is absolutely replete with fine chocolatiers. We have options from Wendell to Raleigh to Durham and Hillsborough and everywhere in between. These artisans work on tiny, delicious canvases of rich chocolatey goodness and then offer their works of art to all of us to enjoy. Valentine’s Day is almost upon us, and it’s the perfect day to splurge on some of the “good stuff” for your sweetheart. If you still need flowers for the occasion, we’ve got you covered there, too. Because of the current COVID-19 pandemic, many listed here are open only for online orders, so be sure to double check if you want to pick out your goodies in person.
Azurelise Chocolate Co. 702 N. Boylan Ave., Raleigh
This nearly-twenty year old company has a fantastic origin story, but let’s focus on the chocolate. Pick up a ready-made assortment (in-person shopping resumes Feb. 10) or craft your own custom box of 9, 18 or 30 truffles from almost 30 different filling choices. Order online by noon Monday through Friday and pick up the next business day. Orders that require shipping go out within two business days.
The Chocolate Boutique 8480 Honeycutt Rd. Ste. 100, Raleigh
Choose from dark, milk, or mixed assortments made from the highest quality ingredients and fair-trade chocolate. or pick up a gift card. Trendy hot chocolate bombs and perennial favorite chocolate covered strawberries are on the menu as well. During non-COVID times, the Chocolate Boutique also hosts three different types of chocolate parties so you and your guests can learn how to make delicious treats.
Chocolate Smiles 312 W Chatham St. Ste. 101, Cary
The showroom is closed but phone and email orders are still going strong with curbside pickup. Small-batch treats include truffles, chocolates, fudge and sugar- or nut-free options. Choose from several varieties of hot chocolate bombs including dark chocolate raspberry, chocolate covered strawberry and more.
Chocolat Grace 1750 NW Maynard Rd, Ste. 100, Ofc. 109, Cary
This internationally acclaimed award-winning chocolatier offers online shopping with shipping or local pickup only, but it’s absolutely worth the extra planning involved. Assortments of chocolates are available, as are salted caramels and Grand Cru chocolate squares. Limited quantities of each of these will be up for grabs for Valentine’s Day, so don’t take too long to decide.
Chocolates by Whitney 235 Cook St., Wendell
This cute spot in downtown Wendell carries delicious varieties of all the chocolate favorites. One notable is the availability of three different sizes of hot chocolate bombs: classic, large and extra large. Whitney definitely has a cult following for good reason. The shop is open special hours leading up to Valentine’s Day: 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Feb. 9-13.
Escazú Chocolates 936 N Blount St., Raleigh
Choose from a dizzying array of their confections, large variety of drinking chocolates, curated Valentine’s Day boxes and more. Be sure to treat yourself to one of their made-to-order coffee, chocolate or latte drinks when you pick up your gift order. The shop is not open to walk-ins at this time; order online for shipping or curbside pickup.
Fera’wyn’s Chocolate Café 652 Holly Springs Rd., Holly Springs
Besides their normal large selection of artisan chocolates and other Valentine’s Day staples, this shop also offers an intriguing “fondue for two.” This Holly Springs gem is also known for their gluten-free kitchen and impressive selection of baked goods and keto-friendly options. Pro tip: try one of their chai drinks – they make their own spiced syrup! Open for walk-ins or online orders with curbside pickup or shipping.
Miel Bon Bons Fine Chocolate & Artisan Bake Shop 1011 West Main St., Durham
This boutique-style bakery and chocolate shop offers seriously beautiful and intricate cakes, but we’re here to talk about chocolate. Try their version of chocolate covered strawberries or take a chance on “love potion sipping chocolate” or any of the other special collections of deliciousness offered to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Order online or call to ensure availability.
Videri Chocolate Factory 327 W. Davie St., “Sweet” 100, Raleigh
No list of small chocolatiers in the Triangle would be complete without this downtown Raleigh spot. Videri is a food allergy sufferer’s dream because their entire menu is nut-, gluten-, soy- and egg-free. There are many vegan options available as well daily and among their special Valentine’s Day offerings. Try their jarred fondue, available in vegan and regular versions.