Chocolate Shops in Washington DC &Beyond! In Time for Valentines Day

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Capital Properties DC AB15253

 

Chocolate is an important part of Valentine's Day - and it actually has a long history as a love food. Passion for chocolate goes all the way back to Mesoamerican history. The Mayan and Aztec upper class elites savored a drink that combined roasted cacao beans with cornmeal, vanilla, honey and chilies. Cacao beans were as valuable a commodity as gold, and were even used to pay taxes levied by Aztec rulers.

By the early 1600s, the passion for chocolate made it to Europe. In London, chocolate houses began to rival coffee houses as social gathering spots. In France, Madame de Sevigne wrote about enormous chocolate consumption throughout the court at Versailles in 1671; Louis IV drank it daily and Madame du Barry was said to use chocolate mixed with amber to stimulate her lovers.

When Marie Antoinette married Louis XVI in 1770, her retinue included a personal chocolate maker. The official “Chocolate Maker to the Queen” created such recipes as “chocolate mixed with orchid bulb for strength, chocolate with orange blossom to calm the nerves, or chocolate with sweet almond milk to aid the digestion.”

In the 19th century, chocolate crossed from being the food of royalty to mass production. Richard Cadbury, whose British family manufactured chocolate, was searching for a way to use the pure cocoa butter that was extracted from the process Cadbury had invented to make a more palatable drinking chocolate. His solution was “eating chocolates,” which he packaged in lovely boxes he designed himself. A marketing genius, Cadbury started putting the Cupids and rosebuds on heart-shaped boxes in 1861: even when the chocolates had been eaten, people could use the beautiful boxes to save such mementos as love letters.  This is a marketing ploy that others have followed, ranging from the upscale Belgian company, Neuhaus to the mass brand, Whitman Samplers.

So.... you can always buy Whitman Samplers and Whitman heart shaped candy boxes at the Rite-Aid, CVS and Giant, but where do you buy really good chocolate to celebrate Valentine's Day?

Here are a few places that I like.

Washington DC

The Chocolate House is located in the Dupont Circle neighborhood at 1904 18th St NW.  The Chocolate House has a tasting room and offers more than 300 unique chocolate bars and confections from artisan chocolate markers around the world from Switzerland to France, Italy, Peru, Lithuania and Vietnam. 

Chocolate Chocolate is located at 1130 Connecticut Avenue, on the street level of an office building (where they must need and eat lots of chocolate!)  Chocolate Chocolate offers chocolates from around the world, artisanal locally produced chocolates and nostalgic collections of chocolates,  The nostalgic collections include chocolates from Naron of Baltimore was founded in 1905 andAsher of Pennsylvania dating back to 1892!


Selections include good old fashioned bon bons such as vanilla buttercreams, smooth mint meltaways, bursting cordial cherries, chewy vanilla caramels, sea salt caramels, peanut butter smoothies, raspberry creams & jellies, orange jellies, coconut clusters, peanut clusters, and double dipped mints.  Probably the best reason to go to the Chocolate Chocolate store is to buy a piece of their Monuments collection. Do you want a Washington Monument in chocolate - or perhaps a Capitol building or a Lincoln Memorial.  Chocolate Chocolate can set you up with a chocolate version of any of the major Washington DC icons!
 
MARYLAND
 
Bethesda Chocolates  located at 8003 Woodmont Avenue offers a range of house-made confections created from fair-trade chocolate, including dark, milk and white chocolate.  You can get molded hears and champagne bottles, chocolate dipped Oreos, hot chili ganache and made from scratch hot chocolate.
 
Bethesda Row offers a sweet little Neuhaus shop with lots of choices from the Belgian candy maker.  If you want to buy chocolate in Friendship Heights, be sure to check out the Kron chocolate shop in Friendship Heights. 
 
Virginia
Fleurir  is located at 110 South Payne St in Alexandria.   The Washingtonian Magazine described this chocolatier as a picture-perfect chocolate boutique in Alexandria, which sells chocolates in many flavors, including truffle flavors ranging from classic salted caramel to more exotic, like wildflower honey caramel. This year, Fleurir’s signature Valentine’s Day treat comes in the form of chocolate-dipped strawberry marshmallow hearts. Want something a little more specific? Try the regionally-themed chocolate bars, such as DC that features dried cherries and Tahitian vanilla coffee in a play on the famous cherry blossoms.
 

Artisan Confections is located at 1025 N. Filmore St., Arlington and 2910 District Ave., Fairfax.  Chocolatier Chelsea Freet’s elegant French chocolate confections are hand-made in small batches with ingredients like Maryland-grown mint, or locally-sourced spirits and liqueurs. Look for bonbons with interesting flavors such salted butter-caramel or orange blossom-honey. The lemon almond, a treat crafted specially for Valentine’s Day, features caramelized white chocolate with citrus zest, and house-made almond paste.

 

The wonderful thing about chocolates is that there is a chocolate for every taste.  I like dark chocolates with spicy chili while my daughter likes white chocolate - which isn't really chocolate at all - and my husband said his favorite chocolates were Almond Joys.  What about you? What is your favorite?  Are you giving a chocolate box for Valentine's Day?
 
If you don't like chocolate, and are looking for some romantic things to do in the DC area, just click here!  Whether it is a trip to a museum or a Potomac boat cruise, there are lots of romanatic things to do in the DC area this year.

 

 

 

Comments (35)

Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

I was never a fan of chocolate until lately but high quality dark chocolate is a favoritew and with some champagne on the 14th i will celebrate with the love of my life.

Feb 08, 2020 06:53 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Joe Pryor - High quality dark chocolate is truly a treat - just be careful wtih that baby of yours- My standard poodle ate a bar of Valrhona dark chocolate one night when I was out for dinner- had to take him to the emergency room and have them give him the medication to make him throw up and then keep him over night - UGH

Feb 10, 2020 08:55 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

George Souto - glad to be of service - hope you have a favorite chocolate!

Feb 10, 2020 08:56 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

James Dray - I like Reeses peanut butter cups too - I like to think they are healthy LOL

Feb 10, 2020 08:56 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Tammy Lankford, - that is why there is vanilla and chocolate ice cream - not everyone likes chocolate - and I confess that a good vanilla ice cream is a true delight

Feb 10, 2020 08:57 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Kathy Streib - so glad to be of service!  I love the artisanal chocolates- trying different flavors - but I am happy with almost any chocolate!

Feb 10, 2020 08:58 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Bob Crane - getting you hooked on chocolates would be a very kind gift!

Feb 10, 2020 08:59 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

June Piper-Brandon - there is a chocolate shop in Baltimore that has been there for forever - have you ever been?  I love the name -

Wockenfuss Candies

Several locations including 6831 Harford Rd., 410-483-4414.

Open since 1915, Wockenfuss harks back to simpler times when chocolate-covered marshmallows and coconut crèmes were a food-pyramid staple. Now, a fourth generation of family is involved.

Editor's pick: Classic almond bark—whole roasted almonds buried beneath slabs of dense dark chocolate.

Feb 10, 2020 09:01 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Barbara Todaro - one of the great things about chocolate is that each area has their own shops and specialities -

Feb 10, 2020 09:02 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Wayne Martin - how far is Palatine from Chicago? Morke's sounds like it would be delicious to try!

Feb 10, 2020 09:02 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Michael Jacobs - I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's day regardless of how you spend it!

Feb 10, 2020 09:03 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Ron and Alexandra Seigel - I agree - and I love trying different flavors - chili - earl grey, lavender - anything with chocolate!

Feb 10, 2020 09:06 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Roy Kelley - how will you celebrate Valentine's Day with your bride?

Feb 10, 2020 09:06 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Will Hamm - lots of reasons to celebrate chocolate and lots of opportunities! Nina Hollander gave us a whole calendar of days

Feb 10, 2020 09:08 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Joan Cox - you are right - Valentine's Day is coming! We need to get our chocolate fix

Feb 10, 2020 09:09 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Grant Schneider - I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and get all the chocolate you want!

Feb 10, 2020 09:10 AM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Nina Hollander - I love the new little chocolate shops - the candies are so pretty and some of the combinations with chocolate are so imaginative - and then there are the old standby stores - like one in Baltimore that dates back to 1915 - probably no chocolate with chilis but really wonderful traditional chocolates - Sorry that your place near you closed!

Feb 10, 2020 09:15 AM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Lise I am not only a wine snob, a food snob but a Chocolate Snob too:) loved the post and indeed no CVS chocolate in this house:)Endre

Feb 10, 2020 09:04 PM
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce

We are sooo fortunate to have so many great chocolate shops of the homemade variety in our area....nothing like it !  Enjoy yours !

Feb 11, 2020 05:32 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
The right Charlotte REALTOR!

Oh my gosh, my mouth is literally watering right now, reading your descriptions, Lise! Really, it doesn't take much - just the mere mention of dark chocolate and it happens! LOL

Great information on chocolate shops in Washington, DC & beyond, Lise.

Feb 17, 2020 11:33 AM

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