The Best Chocolate in the U.S.

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A dark chocolate bar surrounded by cacao beans

Madécasse

From coast to coast, there are hundreds of incredible chocolatiers making delicious and exciting treats every day. These are our picks for the best chocolate in the country.

Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Vosges Haut-Chocolat Box

Vosges Haut-Chocolat

Owner and chocolate visionary Katrina Markoff flavors chocolates with unexpected ingredients (curry powder, bee pollen) and packs them in boldly designed boxes. Markoff is also a pioneer of the bacon-and-chocolate trend and now has glamorous boutiques in Chicago, New York, Las Vegas and Los Angeles. From $20 at vosgeschocolates.com

K+M Extravirgin Chocolate

K+M Extravirgin Chocolate Bar

Food52

For their chocolate line, chef Thomas Keller and olive oil icon Armando Manni are making chocolate according to the same "live" principles Manni designed for his olive oils--a method developed with the University of Florence to minimize heat exposure and retain antioxidants throughout processing. The two tapped former pastry chef Chi Bui (Daniel, Le Bernardin) to perfect the blockbuster bars, which double down on the antioxidant power with a finishing hit of Manni oil. The first release includes three bars, from Madagascar, Peru and Ecuador; the latter is our favorite—uniquely floral, with a lush, velvety texture. From $55 at food52.com

L.A. Burdick Chocolates

L.A. Burdick Chocolate Box

L.A. Burdick

After gaining recognition for the adorable almond-eared chocolate mice he provided to New York City's Le Cirque and Bouley in the 1990s, chocolatier Larry Burdick moved to Wapole, New Hampshire, where he opened a cheery yellow café. Today, there are L.A. Burdick locations in New York City, Boston, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, serving his fantastic handmade chocolate candies, from ganache-filled truffles to the chocolate bunnies Burdick makes each spring, an Easter variation on his famous chocolate mice. Find them at food52.com

Fran's Chocolates

Fran's Chocolates Gift Set

Fran’s Chocolates

For more than 30 years, Seattle-based owner Fran Bigelow has been setting candy trends—she was selling miniature chocolate bars and elegant truffles before they became ubiquitous. Her sweets also have a very high-profile admirer: one of President Obama's favorite indulgences is Fran's Smoked Salt Caramels ($12)—buttery caramels coated in milk chocolate and sprinkled with smoked sea salt. Find Fran's Chocolates at franschocolates.com

Buy the book: Pure Chocolate, $7 at amazon.com

Godiva Cake Truffles

Godiva Cake Truffles

Godiva

The chocolatier's patisserie dessert truffles, include flavors like tiramisu, chocolate lava cake, and crème brûlée. Find it at godiva.com

Buy the book: Totally Godiva: Life Is a Praline, $17 at amazon.com

Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates

Christopher Elbow Artisanal Chocolates

Elbow Chocolates

Pastry chef Christopher Elbow worked at the American Restaurant in Kansas City, Missouri, until the demand for his chocolate petits fours convinced him to launch his own candy business in 2003. His beautiful hand-painted chocolates come in creative flavors like bananas Foster and caramel apple. Elbow also makes fantastic chocolate bars, including our favorite, No. 6 Dark Rocks, made with dark chocolate and popping candy. Find it at elbowchocolates.com

Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti Confections

Recchiuti

San Francisco chocolatier Michael Recchiuti creates market-driven confections like chocolate-dipped pear slices flavored with Key lime juice, and homey chocolate desserts such as Quadruple Chocolate Brownies. We also love Recchiuti's dark chocolate-covered burnt caramel almonds and the seasonal peppermint patties. Find it at recchiuti.com

Buy the book: Chocolate Obsession, $23 at amazon.com

See's Candies

See's Candies Set

See's Candies

The flagship store of this classic American chocolate company opened in 1921 in Los Angeles. Today there are more than 200 locations across the country offering delicious chocolate candies filled with nuts, marzipan and nougat. We get nostalgic for See's Milk Bordeaux ($24.50), candy filled with brown sugar cream and topped with crispy chocolate puffed rice. Find more at sees.com

François Payard

François Payard Macaron

Payard

Third-generation chocolatier and genius pastry chef François Payard creates outstanding homemade chocolate confections, superb fluffy macarons and beautiful cakes at his elegant bakeries in New York City, Las Vegas, Japan and Korea. Find it at payard.com

Buy the book: Chocolate Epiphany, $14 at amazon.com

Valerie Confections

Valerie Confections Box

Valerie Confections

In 2004, Los Angeles chocolatier Valerie Gordon started creating her impeccable, handmade small-batch chocolates and crispy chocolate-covered toffees topped with almonds, fleur du sel or candied fruit. Favorites include the outstanding milk chocolate-dipped nougat and caramel squares. In 2011, Gordon created a line of new tea blends, cookies and petits fours. Find them at valerieconfections.com

Buy the book: Sweet, $21 at amazon.com

Kee's Chocolates

Kee's Chocolates Shaped Chocolate Set

Kee's Chocolates

Chocolatier Kee Ling Tong opened her flagship store in New York City's Soho in 2002 as a combination flower and chocolate shop. Today she has three locations, offering superb handmade chocolates in 40 flavors, including pyramid-shaped Champagne truffles, made with dark chocolate ganache and Champagne.

Find Kee's Chocolates at keeschocolates.com

Jacques Torres

Jacques Torres Popcorn Gift Set

Jacques Torres Chocolate

Pastry chef Jacques Torres left Manhattan's Le Cirque in 2000 to open his own chocolate factory. Torres now runs a chocolate empire that includes two production facilities, multiple NYC outposts and one in Atlantic City. We especially love Torres's milk chocolate-covered Cheerios ($8.50) and caramel chocolate popcorn, an addictively salty-sweet snack.

Find Jacques Torres Chocolate at amazon.com or mrchocolate.com

Lindt

Lindt Caramel Chocolate Bar

Lindt USA

The 170-year-old Swiss chocolate maker's Excellence line includes bars like silky dark chocolate flecked with crunchy caramel pieces and Fleur de Sel ($17).

Find Lindt at amazon.com or lindtusa.com

My Sweet Brigadeiro

My Sweet Brigadeiro Brazilian Rich Chocolate Truffles

My Sweet

Christina Bhan and Paula Barbosa of My Sweet Brigadeiro make 20 different versions of these chewy Brazilian truffles, including traditional Rich Chocolate and Pecan-Cinnamon.

Find My Sweet Brigadeiro at mysweet.com

Xocolatti

Xocolatti Chocolate Bark

Xocolatti

Xocolatti's globally-inspired truffles and slates (very thin versions of chocolate bark ($28) with layers that recall slate rock) come in seven flavors like mango and paprika with white chocolate. "In India, we usually eat fruit with spices on it, and one of the most popular combinations is mangos with paprika on top," says founder Shaineal Shah.

Find Xocolatti at xocolatti.com

Hudson Valley Chocolates

Hudson Valley Chocolates Set

Hudson Valley Chocolates

Stephanie Glaisek's bonbon boxes include pieces with fillings like almond butter, candied tangerine or peppermint tea.

Find Hudson Valley Chocolates at hudsonvalleychocolates.com.

Veruca Chocolates

Veruca Chocolates Set

Veruca Chocolates

Handmade in Chicago, Veruca's sea salt and burnt-caramel candies are covered in dark chocolate.

Find Veruca Chocolates at verucachocolates.com.

Cacao

Cacao Chocolate Set

Cacao

At her beautiful Atlanta boutique, owner Kristen Hard refuses to use anything but dark chocolate in her amazing bean-to-bar chocolates and playful desserts, such as a chocolate faux salami flecked with biscotti. To win over milk chocolate lovers, she says she "slowly ratcheted up the cacao percentages, and no one noticed." Many chocolate artisans spend years training with masters, but Hard is almost completely self-taught. "It used to make me feel insecure," she says. "But it's also why I'm unique." She now spends six weeks abroad each year sourcing beans directly from farmers, creating outstanding bars like one with Venezuelan cacao and raw sugar.

Find Cacao at cacaoatlanta.com

Chuao Chocolatier

Chuao Chocolatier Chocolate Bar

Chuao Chocolatier

Venezuelan American brothers Michael and Richard Antonorsi's Potato Chips chocolate bar ($13) is brilliant: salty, crunchy chips contrasted with creamy milk chocolate.

Find Chuao at amazon.com or chuaochocolatier.com

Theo Chocolate

Theo Chocolate Dark Chocolate Bar

Theo Chocolate

Launched in 2006, the Seattle-based Theo Chocolate was the first chocolate manufacturer in the US to be both 100 percent organic and fair-trade. Theo's conscientious chocolates are delicious: nuanced and intense, like dark, single-origin bars from nations such as Ghana and Madagascar. Founder Joseph Whinney is so passionate about chocolate that he hired a biologist to genetically map Theo's beans. Not all of Theo's endeavors are so serious: 3,400 Phinney bars, named for the factory's street address, come in whimsical flavors like the salty-sweet Bread and Chocolate, featuring dark chocolate mixed with bread crumbs; it's perfect with afternoon coffee.

Find Theo Chocolate at amazon.com or theochocolate.com

Buy the book: Theo Chocolate, $25 at amazon.com

Li-Lac Chocolates

Li-Lac Chocolates Set

Li-Lac Chocolates

We love this classic 1923 chocolate shop's perfect homemade milk chocolate balls, wrapped in colorful foil, and available only during the holidays. Another nostalgic favorite is the super-rich old-fashioned fudge that's made daily.

Find Li-Lac Chocolates at li-lacchocolates.com

EH Chocolatier

EH Chocolatier Chocolate Set

EH Chocolatier

Massachusetts candy makers use unusual ingredients, such as passion fruit and white chocolate, in their caramels. There are also delicious bars like the Ancho, filled with spicy nuts, scotch caramel and pretzels.

Find EH Chocolatier at ehchocolatier.com.

French Broad Chocolates

French Broad Chocolates Chocolate Bar

French Broad Chocolates

The creamy flavor in these malted-milk chocolate bars ($11.50) comes from local malted barley grown on a North Carolina farm.

Find French Broad Chocolates at mouth.com or frenchbroadchocolates.com

Max Brenner

Max Brenner Chocolate Cookies

Max Brenner

These crunchy, waffle-cone-like cookies are coated in hazelnut cream and covered in dark chocolate.

Find Max Brenner chocolates at maxbrenner.com

Valrhona

Valrhona Chocolate Bar

Valrhona

Valrhona has taken their Caramélia chocolate bar, which uses rich dairy-based caramel (made from skim milk and butter) instead of caramelized sugar, and added crunchy pearls of toasted puffed cereal coated in the same chocolate for an incredibly creamy, crunchy candy bar ($10).

Find Valrhona Chocolates at amazon.com or valrhona-chocolate.com

Askinosie CollaBARation

Askinosie CollaBARation Chocolate Bars

Askinosie Chocolate

Askinosie, a fantastic bean-to-bar producer in Missouri, collaborated with other artisans for their new CollaBARation line of chocolate bars. We love the sweet, malty chocolate they created with Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams and the unexpected dark chocolate licorice bar, made with a Scandinavian licorice producer.

Find Askinosie at askinosie.com

The Grown Up Chocolate Co.

The Grown Up Chocolate Co. Chocolate Bars

The Grown Up Chocolate Co.

These bars have names like Glorious Coconut Hocus Pocus ($43) but sophisticated ingredients like ganache and gianduja.

Find The Grown Up Chocolate Co. at amazon.com

Dandelion Chocolate

Dandelion Chocolate Wrapped Chocolate Bar

Dandelion Chocolate

This San Francisco bean-to-bar producer makes artisanal single-origin bars wrapped in beautiful paper.

Find Dandelion Chocolate at dandelionchocolate.com.

Buy the book: Making Chocolate: From Bean to Bar to S'more, $28 at amazon.com

Woodblock Chocolate

Woodblock Chocolate Bars

Woodblock Chocolate

At this Portland, Oregon, shop, candy is made with cacao from small roasters in flavors like sea salt and cacao nib.

Find Woodblock Chocolate at amazon.com and atthemeadow.com.

Madécasse

Madécasse Dark Chocolate Bar

Madécasse

Former Peace Corps volunteers launched this single-origin bean-to-bar operation, producing chocolates in Madagascar where the ingredients are cultivated. We love the salted almond dark chocolate bar ($10).

Find Madécasse chocolate at amazon.com or madecasse.com

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