A Valentine’s Day Sweet-Buying Guide

Say ‘I Love You’ — or whatever — with help from these local chocolatiers. 

We know it’s something of a Hallmark holiday, but, if you haven’t yet dissolved into a puddle of cynicism in the past eleven months, this is the Valentine’s Day chocolate gift guide for you. Save your Godiva or Lindt-shopping spree for after Feb. 14, when the brand names go on sale at Target, and opt to shop small and local when buying a special gift for your loved ones. Or, in the immortal words of Parks & Recreation and self-care-themed Etsy candles, treat yourself! 

Socola Chocolatier
535 Folsom St.

Founded and owned by sisters Wendy and Susan Lieu, Socola Chocolatier incorporates “unique, cosmopolitan flavors” in its sweets. Some standouts include: the raspberry pop rocks chocolate bar ($9.95); the Little Saigon Box ($38.95 for 12 pieces), which features lychee, sriracha, and spices commonly found in pho (“beef and noodles not included”); and the tea collection ($38.95 for 12 pieces).

Feve Chocolates
2222 Palou Ave.

Feve’s nine-piece dome collection ($25) is a fan favorite, thanks to its colorful, glossy exteriors and exciting seasonal flavors. At press time, its rotating flavor guide sported raspberry lemon coconut, salted caramel, and gin and tonic.

Recchiuti Confections
1 Ferry Building, Shop #30

Recchiuti Confections has plenty of Valentine’s boxes to choose from, with themed ganache to match. Red and white beakers decorate its Chemistry of Love ($28) burnt caramel truffles, doves for its Love Birds box ($48), and heart-holding hand for its (yes, you guessed it) Heart in Hand chocolates ($88). Valentine’s Day is probably the most corny calendar day, so you might as well go all out.

9th and Larkin 

This engineer-run shop boasts small batch, bean-to-bar chocolate, and a monthly chocolate club subscription ($32.99) for the gift that keeps on giving (or, automatically renewing every 30-ish days). This gift will arrive after Feb. 14, but a belated present might be worth it if it’s recurring.


The founder of BrigadeiroSprinkles, Zeila, used to make brigadeiros, a condensed milk and cocoa-based Brazilian dessert, in her hometown of São Paulo. Now, she does this at her shop in San Francisco. The Valentine’s Day sets ($45 for 12 pieces, $60 for 24) include rosewater and champagne-infused treats, along with other classic flavors like coffee or bourbon. 

Kokak Chocolates
3901 18th St.

Kokak definitely follows through on the saying, “the more the merrier,” with its five-box chocolate love tower ($96.95) featuring truffles from its pies, coffee and tea, Castro pride, and happy hour collections. It also comes with a palette-shaped dark chocolate bar, but if you want to opt for something a little more traditional, order one of their five-piece Valentine’s bouquets ($19.95), complete with heart-shaped chocolates and gold floral designs. 

XOX Truffles
754 Columbus Ave.

Truffle maker Jean-Marc Gorce grew up gifting and eating homemade chocolate for the holidays. Honoring that history, he’s taken a family recipe for French-style truffles to San Francisco, where he makes these sweets with his own style in North Beach. Each 20-piece truffle set ($15) comes in a variety of boozy flavors, like honey vodka or spicy cayenne tequila. There are also fruit and tea-based, non-liqueured flavors and vegan options. You can even buy a whole pound of them ($60) — that’s 80 pieces.

tinyB Chocolate

If you’re looking for a date idea that’s safe and indoors, why not try making chocolate yourself? TinyB Chocolate, an online brigadeiro shop made in San Francisco, sells DIY kits ($44-$64) stocked with eight toppings, three truffle fillings, and a jar of brigadeiro spread. No cooking is required with tinyB’s pre-made kit.

Z. Cioccolato
474 Columbus Ave.

The reviews for Z. Cioccolato’s Fudge of Month club are glowing with adjectives like “tasty,” “rich,” and “yummi scrumptious delicious,” so it seems like a subscription isn’t too bad of an idea. Every month for $25, you can get four new flavors shipped right to your doorstep. There are 50 different choices, from raspberry chocolate swirl to heath English toffee. 

Related Stories