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Chocolate tasting tour of Chicago

Merriment :: Chocolate Tour of Chicago

Anyone who works in the Fulton Market area on a windy day can attest that Chicago’s long standing candy and chocolate history is still thriving. For his sister’s recent Chicago weekend visit Joseph Dombroski planned a sweet creative activity: a self-guided tasting tour of top downtown Chicago chocolate emporiums.

Supplies:

  • Free chocolate scorecard template (rate by appearance, taste and texture)
  • Roughly $30 per person for a taste at each place
  • Something salty or savory to snack on when tastebuds need a break
  • Bottled water
  • Walking shoes

Print copies of the free chocolate scorecard template and choose places to visit. Joseph created a downtown tour but there are many small neighborhood venues to consider as well (Coco Rouge being one of my personal craves).

With the exception of Blommer’s it’s a fairly short walk between the places listed below (Prefer to outsource? Chicago Chocolate Tours provides guided tours for individuals and groups).

Blommer’s, 600 W Kinzie
Leonidas, 231 S La Salle
Hannah’s Bretzel, 180 W Washington
Macy’s (for Frango’s), 111 N State (lower level cash registers)
Fannie May, 343 N Michigan
Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, 520 N Michigan (1st floor)
Vosges, 520 N Michigan (2nd floor)
Teuscher, 900 N Michigan (5th floor)

Once at a location select your chocolates, nibble and rate your finds. Colorful commentary from Joseph’s tasting highlights and low points after the break.

Places Joseph and his sister visited

  • Blommer’s, 600 W Kinzie
    • Had samples in small buckets
    • Good for bulk chocolates or chocolate-covered treats
    • Chocolate-covered cookie dough balls (doesn’t taste like cookie dough immediately)
    • Toffee-dusted pretzels (only a slight hint of Toffee), chocolate is decent
  • Leonidas, 231 S La Salle
    • Casaleo: delicious, nutty flavor; soft chocolate praline inside; similar to Kinderjoy
    • Delice: like a gourmet Almond Joy with smoothness that sticks to your teeth
    • Irresistible White: good white chocolate, but strawberry cream is somewhat overpowering
  • Hannah’s Bretzel, 180 W Washington
    • Chocolate-covered graham crackers have a hint of honey
  • Sweet Factory, 100 W Randolph
    • Not worth visiting again
    • Chocolate-covered raspberry gummy bears taste just like they smell—bad
  • Macy’s (for Frango’s), 111 N State (lower level cash registers)
  • Fannie May, 343 N Michigan
    • Toffee Bark is good for nibbling
  • Ethel’s Chocolate Lounge, 520 N Michigan (1st floor)
    • Cool place to relax after walking around downtown
    • Tea-flavored chocolates are a specialty
    • Chai spice was wonderful wintry warmness with a cooler inside bite
  • Vosges, 520 N Michigan (2nd floor)
    • Friendly service: small glass plates for in-store tasting (asked if we wanted them for here or to-go)
    • Barcelona Bar has hickory smoked almonds that add a bit of savory
    • Saffron pralines have spiced endnotes, but the sugar crystals are what sets the texture of this chocolate apart
  • Teuscher, 900 N Michigan (5th floor)
    • Friendly service
    • Champagne truffles are unique and light

Places not visited, but considered

  • Hershey’s, 822 N Michigan
  • Ghirardelli, 830 N Michian
  • Lindt, 845 N Michigan
  • Godiva, 845 N Michigan

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Heather

Wednesday 24th of September 2008

THIS IS GENIUS! I so love this idea and will be stealing it next time I have out-of-towners with me...

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