What I like best about Jacques Torres Chocolates—besides the fact that Jacques Torres is a dashingly handsome Frenchman who likes to cook (making him every woman’s dream guy)—is its owner’s willingness to blend common ingredients with splendid chocolates. He does this, for example, with two breakfast cereals—plain bran flakes and Cheerios—and the results are exquisite. You’ll also want to pick up a can of his rich hot chocolate (the “Wicked” version is slightly spicy), which puts Hershey’s to shame. The chain has 3 locations, including one in Grand Central Terminal (http://mrchocolate.com).
The Paris import La Maison du Chocolat is a long-standing favorite, with outlets in Rockefeller Center, the Plaza Hotel, the Time Warner Center and at 1018 Madison Ave., at 78th St. (www.lamaisonduchocolat.us; tel. 212/744-7117). These boutiques take their handiwork very seriously, and avoid any bitterness in their chocolate by using nothing stronger than 65% cocoa.
Also from across the pond, Venchi Chocolate, 861 Broadway, at 18th St. (www.venchichocolate.com; tel. 646/448-8663) opened its first NYC store in late 2018 and made a splash, quite literally, with in-store chocolate waterfalls. Venchi was founded in Turin, Italy in 1848, and is famous for its hazelnut chocolates, and its gelato (made on-site and served with a dollop of hazelnut/chocolate sauce on top). It now also has shops outlets in the various Eataly complexes and at 1796 Broadway (off Columbus Circle).
One of the oldest chocolate shops in the city, the 1923-established Li-Lac Chocolates, 40 Eighth Ave. at Jane St. (www.li-lacchocolates.com; tel. 212/924-2280) is home to new batches of handmade fudge daily. What better souvenir to bring home than an edible Statue of Liberty or Empire State Building? Stores also in Grand Central Market, Hudson Yards, Chelsea Market, Industry City and at 162 Bleeker St.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.