When it comes to giving someone you love a Valentine’s Day gift, a box of chocolates is among the most popular picks. Chocolate has long been associated with the romantic holiday since as early as 500 B.C. when brides and grooms would drink an early version of hot chocolate during their wedding ceremonies.
So if you’re having a hard time deciding on where to grab a box, we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite L.A.-based chocolatiers.
For design-forward treats, this Westside chocolatier is the go-to. For Valentine’s Day, founder Christine Sarioz makes striking black, heart-shaped versions of her pop-ular passion-fruit bonbons. They’re beautifully packaged in boxes of 18 or 36 pieces ($68 or $134). 9414 Venice Blvd., Culver City, millachocolates.com
This boutique has been satisfying sweet tooths since 1942. The French truffle ($64.95 per/pound)—whipped dark-chocolate ganache dipped in dark chocolate—is a top seller. A few years ago, chocolatier Daniel Zahir discovered it had been Elizabeth Taylor’s favorite when he found her customer-profile card in the archives. “One of the exciting peculiarities of being in business for nearly 80 years is that unique and fascinating relics turn up unexpectedly,” he says. 444 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills, and 225 26th St., Ste. 22, Santa Monica, edelweisschocolates.com
David and Corey Menkes are known for their small-batch, thoughtfully sourced chocolate bars, and they offer them in the Ultimate Chocolate Box Set ($89), which comes with two gorgeous, cacao-scented candles. Also on the menu in February: next-level strawberries coated in dark chocolate made from Ghanian cacao. 2835 S. Robertson Blvd., letterpresschocolate.com
John Kelly Chocolates
JKC’s chocolatey truffle-fudge treats are iconic. The caramel variety ($10.50 for two pieces), which is topped with a sprinkle of festive red Hawaiian Alaea sea salt, is especially great for Valentine’s Day. “The merging of all three flavors and textures creates an incredible taste sensation,” says cofounder Kelly Green. “It’s rich and awakens the sweet-savory parts of your brain’s taste center.” Multiple locations, johnkellychocolates.com
Valerie Gordon offers her très popular Pour Homme box ($40) in January and early February only. It features bittersweet-chocolate hearts filled with house-made liquid caramel. “It’s a dark-amber, super-buttery, vanilla- and salt-hinted caramel,” says Gordon. “You get a ton of liquid when you bite into one. They truly do explode in your mouth.” 3364 W. 1st St., Rampart Village, and 1665 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park, valerieconfections.com
Operated by the same family for three generations, this shop’s top sweet is the Mignon Heaven, which features a 58 percent dark-chocolate shell encasing 62 percent dark-chocolate ganache. 936 N. Brand Blvd., Glendale, mignonchocolate.com
In 2019, brothers Phil and Marc Covitz reimagined and renamed their mother’s Beverly Hills chocolate shop, which she’d opened as Teuscher in 1983. For the holiday, they offer various boxes, but the stars are these gorgeous, faceted, three-inch-wide pink hearts ($25). “The inspiration is always to do something that feels modern and relevant . . . avoiding the usual fare of a red box with a silk ribbon,” says Phil. “We want people to get excited and be surprised.” 9548 Brighton Way, Beverly Hills, and-sons.com
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