Where to Find Sweet Treats in San Francisco
Life may be as unpredictable as a box of chocolates, but it’s always going to be sweet if you’re in San Francisco. Bay Area chocolatiers are experts at infusing locally and globally inspired flavors into their products. You’ll find some unusual combinations in storefronts all around town.
Current COVID-19 restrictions may have limited some of these tasty offerings. Your best bet is to contact the chocolatier of your choosing to confirm their hours of operation.
The Candy Store (1507 Vallejo St.)
The Russian Hill boutique specializes in old-school candies and chocolates that you might have forgotten about, making it a great introduction to Necco wafers, wax bottles, and Pixy Stix for kids (or those of us who just want to feel like one). Their storefront may be closed, but you can always order online.
Charles Chocolate (535 Florida St.)
The only thing better than a box of chocolate is a chocolate box of chocolates. Chuck (Charles) Siegel is a local, self-taught chocolatier who began perfecting his craft in the 1980s. It’s a top choice for anyone who prefers a combination of nuts and chocolate. The savory bars and dusted nuts are a classic and tasty treat on-the-go.
Chocolate Covered (4069 24th St.)
Don’t overlook Noe Valley’s Chocolate Covered, a longtime local favorite that sells more than 900 kinds of chocolate. The shop sources its products from all over the world, but it still gives love to chefs who are closer to home. Stop by to learn what’s new each day, and there’s always an obscure flavor waiting for you to taste.
Dandelion Chocolate (740 Valencia St.)
At Dandelion Chocolate in the Mission District, you can plan an entire afternoon around cocoa. The small-batch shop offers tours of its on-site factory in English and in Spanish, and guests can attend a range of classes for children and adults to learn more about the history and the process of making chocolate. Treat yourself to a chocolate bar after all that hard work. Please note: tours and activities may be limited due to COVID-19.
Ghirardelli (Multiple locations)
The famous chocolatier is the namesake of one of San Francisco’s top tourist attractions, Ghirardelli Square, and the family’s legacy in the City by the Bay dates to the Gold Rush. Stop in one of the five San Francisco locations for chocolate-covered strawberries, an enormous ice cream sundae or a few souvenir tins of chocolate.
Museum of Ice Cream (1 Grant Ave.)
Currently the only attraction of its kind, San Francisco's Museum of Ice Cream lets you explore a world inspired by our favorite frozen treat. Exhibition rooms regularly change their theme, and delicious samples are scattered throughout—and then there's the one-of-a-kind gift shop. Buying tickets in advance is a must, and be sure to have your camera ready. Please note: The Museum of Ice Cream is temporarily closed until further notice.
The San Francisco Chocolate Factory (1519 Mission St.)
If you’re coming back from Napa or Sonoma with a few bottles to share with friends, find the perfect chocolate pairing at The San Francisco Chocolate Factory. An in-house sommelier has paired cocoa and wine varietals for almost 20 years, making it a sweet gift after you’ve conquered the vineyards.
See’s Candies (Multiple locations)
See’s Candies has locations in several countries, but the business started out as a California enterprise. San Francisco was the first city that the chain expanded to after it opened in Los Angeles. The San Francisco World’s Fair in 1939 introduced the See’s family business to palettes around the globe.
tinyB Chocolate (190 Evelyn Way)
Indulge in a Brazilian treat the next time you visit San Francisco. Brigaderos are comparable to a small truffle without a shell, and the tastes profile zesty, bright flavors from Brazil, including fresh coconut, passion fruit and orange zest ginger.
XOX Truffles (754 Columbus Ave.)
The story of XOX Truffles is just as sweet as the product itself. The co-owners met at a food show in San Francisco and later married. They created a "chocolate with a French attitude” business together in the late 1990s. Chef Jean-Marc Gorce and his wife Casimira are still selling truffles together in North Beach and at San Francisco International Airport.
Z Cioccolato (474 Columbus Ave.)
“Ciccolato” means chocolate in Italian, but you’ll find so many more sweets at this North Beach candy shop. Z Cioccolato takes pride in its award-winning small-batch fudge, especially it’s seven-layer house specialty, peanut butter pie.