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San Diego's Box Of Chocolate Shops

Extraordinary Desserts
Extraordinary Desserts
Courtesy photo

We know you may be stressed out and just want a break from the holiday run-around. Finding the perfect gift, crowded parking lots, visiting relatives, year-endjob pressure--it’s a lot of work.

We also know you’ve been waiting for a chance to slip out and escape to a paradise of chocolate fantasy. Right?

Here, then, is your emergency list of chocolate and dessert places, so you don’t go crazy from the joy the holidays have to offer:

Balboa Park

If you are looking for chocolate desserts that are beyond the ordinary, or (Begin Twilight Zone quote) “a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That's the signpost up ahead — your next stop” – Extraordinary Desserts. This classy dessert shop located near Hillcrest is selling homemade Roasted Coconut Cream Tortes, Blackfruit Cobblers, and Chocolate Croissant Bread Pudding. Extraordinary Desserts also has a shop in Little Italy on Union Street.

Del Mar Heights

Nobody underestimates the rave reviews of world famous Venezuelan Chocolate Shop Chuao Chocolatier. Their appearances from Rachel Ray, Food Network, and Fox News are but minor ingredients for qualifying the taste of their creative concoctions including the Honeycomb Chocolate Bar, the Caracas Chocolate Bar, and the Spicy Maya Chocolate Bar. Chuao Chocolatier Shop is located in the Del Mar Highlands Shopping Center and also has locations in Encinitas, along the Highway 101, and La Jolla, in University Towne Center.


Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop is the quintessential chocolate and ice cream fountain. The San Francisco-born phenomenon can be found on the Gaslamp strip of Downtown, always delivering the crowd’s call for ice cream sundaes and always bringing enough to go around the table.

With the customary chocolate shop fetish for cows, Chocolat Cremerie serves the highlights of Italian cafes— smooth gelato, sweet and savory crepes, and desserts like Chocolat Decadence, Crème Brulee, and Tartufo. Notorious for their crepes stuffed with gelato, Nutella, or mascarpone cream, the Italian Chocolat Cremerie is definitely a Downtown chocolate lover’s checkpoint! The chocolate shop also has a location in Hillcrest at 5th and University.

Fashion Valley

Godiva; the name itself arises aromas of chocolate choking memories, but, don’t be fooled; this nationally renowned chocolate shop chain is definitely on the dark side; the dark chocolate side, that is. (I can’t believe I actually just did that…) So, elope with your desires over to Fashion Valley where the store is offering their signature chocolate truffles box and their seasonal truffles filled with ice cream inspired flavors— mint chocolate, Neapolitan, and pecan caramel sundae.

La Jolla

Michele Coulon Dessertier, an artist and chocolate extrodinair, testifies, “My philosophy: …I would rather eat a small piece of something incredible than a lot of something not so great.” Do you ascribe to this philosophy? And with promises of Chocolate Marbled Cheesecake, White Chocolate Mousse Tortes, and Belgium chocolate truffles stuffed with caramel nuts and crowned with 23 carat gold, how far would you go to pilgrimage to this chocolate acropolis? The store is open Monday through Saturday (9 a.m. – 4 p.m.) and located in the heart of La Jolla near Pearl Street.

The Elegant Truffle.
Courtesy photo

With a name like Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, we are helpless but to build dreams of exuberant amounts of chocolate, nut, and marshmallow flavors stumbling over and down the slopes of larger, glorious piles of chocolate. And at this dessert shop, you won’t be disappointed. With treats like apples dipped in caramel and topped with crumbled Snickers®, cases of chocolate peanut butter fudge, and gourmet dark chocolate bars, your daytime fantasies aren’t too far off. The store has many locations including those in La Jolla, Carlsbad, Chula Vista, Alpine, Downtown, National City, and San Ysidro.

The Elegant Truffle’s owner, Jennifer Marie Muratore, will bring you authentic Belgium chocolate treats with a warm hospitality only a local chocolate shop can deliver. Miss Muratore’s shop uses no artificial ingredients and operates an open kitchen so customers are able to see the chocolate creations unfold before them. If you happen to visit, be sure to try the OMG (Oh My God) Chocolate Cheesecake, the Carmel, made from a recipe dating back before 1847 and cooked in Muratore’s great-great grandmother’s copper pot, and don’t forget the chef’s rule of the house: If you buy, you do not have to share.

Solana Beach

Jer’s Chocolate is known for having balls… chocolate ones… and they happened to be filled with crunchy peanut butter. This award winning Solana Beach chocolate shop snagged top prize in the 2009 New York Chocolate Show with their Cara Mella™ Peanut Butter Bars, “made with all-natural gourmet dark chocolate, homemade creamy caramel and fresh organic peanut butter (made from locally-grown Valencia peanuts, the most nutritious, peanut-sweet and protein-rich available).”

North Park

Holding its reputation as a first class chocolate shop, Eclipse Chocolat heralds itself as “a convergence of Art and Science” in its’ homage as a place of “chocolate-making as alchemy.” These cocoa artisans offer chocolate bars ranging from Sweet Basil-mint to Orange Peel Anise and even host a wine, chocolate, and cheese happy hour on Monday through Thursday from 3:30 to 6:30 pm.