Although Valentine’s Day is in February, chocolate is far from a once-a-year obsession in the City of Roses. In fact, for many locals, manipulating the complicated cacao bean is a lifetime pursuit.
Longtime local favorite Moonstruck Chocolate first launched their line of handcrafted confections in 1993. Today, they’re best known for their artisan truffles, from adorable animal-shaped sweets to boozy creations laced with Bull Run bourbon or Widmer Hefeweizen. Portland-sourced ingredients also shine at Missionary Chocolates, where dairy-free vegan truffles come in flavors like local lavender and Jacobsen Pinot Noir salted caramel.
Ranked among the best chocolates in America by Bon Appetit, Xocolatl de David expertly balances sweet and savory with nougat-y bacon caramel bars and melt-in-your-mouth truffle bars in flavors like coconut lemongrass and Earl Grey tea. Alma Chocolates, known for their beautiful chocolate icons covered with edible gold, offers a large selection of handmade bonbons, caramels and toffees. They’ve even created drinkable versions of their most cherished treats, including the spicy Thai peanut butter cup.
Batch PDX dreams up gourmet twists on the classic candy bars of your childhood — expect Joyful Almonds filled with coconut ganache and Twicks Bars layered with caramel and buttery shortbread. Keeping it simple? Purists love Pitch Dark Chocolate for its deliciously dark bars and drinking chocolate. Their 80% single varietals burst with surprising and complex notes like green apple, olives and plum.
Unusual flavors also abound at Cocanu, a company best known for bags of super-sugary candied cacao nibs (known as “Craque,”) and Moonwalk bars laced with Pop Rocks. Taste your way around the world with Woodblock Chocolate, which crafts single-origin bars sourced from Magascar, Peru and Trinidad, each with its own unique taste.
Another single-origin shop, Ranger Chocolate uses ethically sourced Peruvian cacao beans to create bright, bitter bars ranging from 70-80% chocolate. Try them all at Cup & Bar, a factory and tasting room that Ranger shares with Trailhead Coffee Roasters on Portland’s hip Central Eastside. Creo Chocolate also let visitors get up close and personal with the bean-to-bar process, accessibly displaying (and explaining) every step of the process in their inviting Northeast Portland cafe.
No conversation about chocolate in Portland is complete without mentioning the world-class chocolate proprietors at Cacao. The downtown storefront is known for their incredible selection of craft chocolates from the Northwest and beyond, as well as their decadent drinking chocolate, perfect on a cold winter day. Chocolate lovers can also stock up at The Meadow, a specialty shop stocked with more than 700 chocolate bars from around the world, as well as local favorites like Alma, Cocanu, Woodblock and Xocolatl de David.