National Chocolate Day isn't until October 28, but we've been celebrating all month long. Especially considering the diverse and delicious chocolate offerings in the city.
L.A. Burdick just opened up in Chicago a couple weeks ago, offering locals and visitors a great new option for chocolate bonbons, pastries, bars and drinking chocolate in River North. The New Hampshire chocolatier turns 30 this year and celebrates with their fifth shop and first outside New England. The 1,000 square-foot cafe and retail space seats around 25 people. It's a bright and cozy spot for a coffee meeting, sweet breakfast or afternoon treat.
Their signature chocolate mice are lovingly handcrafted with toasted almond ears – a 12 step process that takes three days. Or perhaps you prefer the dark chocolate penguins filled with lemon ganache? They're almost too cute to eat.
Each month a different single-origin drinking chocolate will be featured so you can taste the terroir – from hints of black tea and Indian spices in Ecuadorian chocolate to full-bodied Peruvian cacao with notes of vanilla and dried figs. All drinking chocolates are made with organic milk and chocolate shavings, and are available iced as well. Pastries range from the rich Harvard Square to gluten-free hazelnut orange cake. 609 N State St, 312-635-8975
Other favorite Chicago chocolate shops:
Katherine Anne Confections offers the thickest, most decadent European-style drinking chocolates you're ever had in a charming Logan Square storefront. Drop in a few housemade salted caramel marshmallows for an extra pop. Her bonbon flavors change regularly with the seasons and weekly specials might include Fig Newton or apricot feta. 2745 W Armitage Ave, 773-245-1630
Vosges Haut-Chocolat is Chicago's best-known chocolate brand, with exotic bonbons in beautiful purple packaging available through O'Hare Airport. They have a couple shops around town, including a small boutique in The Shops at North Bridge. Their headquarters in Lincoln Park also offer dark chocolate elixirs and chocolate and wine pairings. 520 N Michigan Ave, 312-644-9450 & 951 W Armitage Ave, 773-296-9866
Eataly carries a large assortment of Venchi Italian chocolates, available by the piece so you can mix and match a custom bag. Not to mention a pretty decadent chocolate gelato. 32 E Ohio St, 312-521-8700