They say chocolate is a direct route to the heart — good for any occasion at any time and with Valentine’s day right around the corner we thought it completely necessary to round up some of our favorite Denver Chocolate shops. The list is short and sweet (pun intended) and contains only Colorado based chocolatiers and their wonderful candies. From truffles to toffee, to caramel apples and fudge — these chocolate shops are cranking out the most notable rocky mountain coco in the Denver area.
Where: 2504 E Colfax, Denver
The Lowdown: The Chocolatiers at Chocolate Lab have got their truffles down to a science. The combination of high quality ingredients and love for chocolate has resulted in a candy shop that is dedicated to bringing the best in world class chocolate to Denver. The art of the truffle is what the shop aims to master and I believe that they have. The milk chocolate truffle was creamy, rich and deep in complexity. This is one of the first times I considered comparing chocolate to an old world style bottle of wine. The flavors linger beyond the last bite and transform with a distinctly smooth and playful finish. Every truffle and chocolate confection in this shop is hand dipped and made with a true intention on being the best.
Temper Chocolate @ Denver Central Market
Where: 2669 Larimer Street, Denver
Located inside the new Denver Central Market, Temper is one of the newer shops on the list. But despite just opening last September, owner John Robbins is no newcomer to the Denver restaurant industry. Creator of Bistro Barbès and Souk Shawarma, John Robbins is an experienced chef known for his worldly cuisine and now his expert chocolate making skills. He brings his taste for fine dining by using fresh and unexpected ingredients in his handmade chocolates. Tempers offerings include the “Banana Stand” made with banana ganache and roasted peanut filling, “Geisha Gal” with green apple yuzu and the “Mint Condition,” which is meant to be a spin on a peppermint patty with a fresh mint flavor. “We use fresh ingredients, which becomes abundantly clear as you eat it,” said Robbins.
Miette et Chocolat @ Stanley Market
Where: 2501 Dallas Street, Aurora
The massive Stanley Market may fall just outside the border of Denver but with it being so close and so good we couldn’t leave out Miette et Chocolat. The brand new shop combines classic French patisserie and the aesthetic of modern art with its handcrafted and hand-painted bonbons and candy bars. They even construct avant-garde sculptures that you can watch being made through a large window into their open kitchen. Getting a chance to watch the artistry in action will make that added drive time to Aurora more than worth it.
Where: 4840 W 29th St., Denver
The Lowdown: Roberta’s Chocolates is a wonderfully quaint sweet shop located at the top of 29th street tucked below Sheridan Blvd. The name Roberta’s Chocolates doesn’t quite do the shop justice — there more than chocolate to offer the candy connoisseur. Truffles, chocolate lollipops, creamy smooth fudge and dozens of giftshop-like sculpted novelties cover the walls. The little shop has been serving sweets and treats to Denverites since 1995 and has no sign of stopping soon. The chocolatiers here also offer custom made chocolates for that special someone — choose from over 10,000 molds to make a custom chocolate or candy that is as unique and special as your Valentine is! Just as a heads up — the shop also has tons of nic nacs and novelties — an inedible addition to their candy selection. The place makes for a great tourist gift shop stop as well.
Chocolate Crisis Center
Where: 3370 Walnut St., Denver
The Lowdown: Now we hope that your Valentine’s day is accident free — but in case of emergency remember you can fix anything with cocoa from the Chocolate Crisis Center in LoHi. The chocolate therapists here are dedicated to finding a cure to your chocolate addiction. The online store is open 24/7 but the real evaluation takes place at the storefront where customers can stop in for a free tasting and consultation to help build the perfect chocolate first aid kit for you or for your Valentine. The shops owners were inspired by an event witnessed in Rocky Mountain National park several years ago. Observing a woman searching frantically through her purse, eventually bursting into tears over a diminished chocolate supply, owners Lisa Heppner and JC Bourque dedicated themselves to solving this problem. The shop offers gourmet-quality caramels, truffles, nuts and fruits, lavishly covered with rich Belgian dark and milk chocolate — topped with items like exotic cocoas, spices and fruit — the selection here is heart stopping.
Where: 1734 Evans Ave
The Lowdown: The last shop on the list is the oldest producer on the top-5 list — Deiter’s Chocolates A.K.A. Dietrich’s Chocolates has been making chocolate in the Denver area for generations — over 35 years. The current owner and chocolatier Adrienne Johnson-Conway worked with the previous owner for 15 years to learn the ins and outs of making the perfect German and Bavarian-style chocolate confections before purchasing the business and renaming it Deiter’s in 2016. The shop is known for its truffles. The unusual and unique truffles always seems to catch my attention. Chai spice, creme brulee and hot chili pepper are some of the eye catchers on the long list of truffles that the shop has to offer.