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Compartés
Photograph: Rozette Rago

The 12 best chocolate shops in Los Angeles

Friends, family and sweethearts will swoon over confectionaries from one of L.A.’s best chocolate shops.

Written by
Stephanie Breijo
&
Patricia Kelly Yeo
Contributor
Erin Kuschner
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For thousands of years, humans have craved cacao-based treats and delicacies—the 16th-century European iteration of that being the chocolate most people in the United States know and love today. Whether you’re shopping for holiday gifts or just hoping to score a sweet treat of your own, these 12 L.A. chocolate shops will be there to facilitate a sweet, dopamine-spiking reprieve from modern life. 

And, you know, with the future of cacao uncertain amid the worsening climate crisis, an indulgent box of high-quality gourmet chocolate may soon be a rarity, so enjoy cacao-based sweets while you still can.

L.A.’s best chocolate shops

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • La Brea
  • price 2 of 4

Walking into Compartés, which has a location on La Brea just south of Melrose, is a lot like entering a museum gift shop: Shelves are stacked with beautifully printed bars of chocolate, adorned with wallpaper-like wrapping that reflects the content’s flavor profile. Just as beautiful are the chocolates themselves, where truffle tops are printed with colorful swirls, plaid and more, making the buyer question whether they’re picking up art or chocolate. Yet there's something for the traditionalist, too: turtles and chocolate-dipped orange peels are among Compartés’ top sellers. You can also find their gourmet, beautifully packaged bars at several retailers around town, including Bristol Farms, or shop entirely online.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Westlake
  • price 3 of 4
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A post shared by Valerie Confections (@valerieconfctns) on

With a charming boutique in Historic Filipinotown; café and bakery in Echo Park; a cookbook, Sweet; and a thriving online operation, Valerie Confections is a household name in Los Angeles when it comes to chocolates. Regardless of location or what you may think you're in the mood for, you’ll find yourself faced with the difficult decision of what to buy once you arrive: cakes? truffles? artisan chocolate bars? jars of fresh jam? elegant petit fours? If you know you can’t live without Valerie’s, consider some of the bakery's pantry goods, so you can enjoy them anytime. 

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Old Pasadena
  • price 2 of 4
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A post shared by Mignon Chocolate (Glendale) (@mignon_chocolate) on

As a family business following original family recipes since 1935, Mignon Chocolate could have easily been tempted to settle into a chocolate-y routine. Instead, the Glendale and Pasadena chocolate shops feature the Cuban mojito, a refreshing chocolate shell filled with minty ganache, and the chili pepper, a fan favorite that is both sweet and savory. While the contemporary flavors may be enticing, the tiramisu truffle packs the classic Italian dessert into a succint ball of chocolate goodness. What we’re getting at is this: When it comes to flavor, this SGV staple takes risks without sacrificing quality.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Westside
  • price 2 of 4

Located on Robertson Boulevard, LetterPress Chocolate’s bean-to-bar approach to chocolate-making is a boon for anyone who considers themselves a dark chocolate superfan. Husband-and-wife team David and Corey Menkes deal exclusively in the high-quality dark variety, which they roast, sort, grind, age, temper and mold all inside their L.A. shop–before wrapping each beautifully stamped bar by hand. Deeply aromatic, with notes of citrus and fruit that shine through, LetterPress’s single-origin chocolate bars are our favorite way to experience the Menkes’ handiwork, though they also offer occasional batches of white and dark milk chocolate—and an excellent spicy chili-flavored bar made with 70% dark chocolate from Ghana.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Brentwood
  • price 2 of 4

With a selection of over 300 different chocolates—all of them handcrafted in Belgium and flown to this small Brentwood shop—Lady Chocolatt caters, above all else, to the diehard traditional European chocolate aficionado. Here, you’ll find dark, milk and white chocolate; classic fillings like praline, chocolate ganache and liqueur; and less conventional Western flavors like cardamom, violet, rose and chili. Customers can build their own ballotin boxes or opt for one of their pre-made assorted boxes—all of them packaged with flair. If you’ve got a bit more time on your hands, Lady Chocolatt’s café also offers decadent cups of hot chocolate and crispy Belgian waffles.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Malibu
  • price 3 of 4
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A post shared by K Chocolatier (@kchocolatier) on

Vodka balls? Say no more. K Chocolatier by Diane Krön has been serving gourmet chocolate to L.A. since the 1970s, with both Beverly Hills and Malibu locations churning out truffles, snowballs and her famous K Bears (white-, dark- and milk chocolate-covered crispy rice in the shape of teddy bears). The chocolate is made daily using Krön’s Hungarian family recipe, and whatever the secret ingredient is, it seems to be working. Dubbed the “Rolls Royce of Chocolates,” K Chocolatier was the go-to shop for the likes of Andy Warhol and Estée Lauder, and has maintained its top-tier status ever since.

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  • Shopping
  • Bakeries
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4
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A post shared by ChocoVivo Bean to Bar Factory (@chocovivo_la) on

Founder Patricia Tsai is a purist, and all her chocolates are free of fillers, flavorings or added cacao butter—giving the treats a more granular, earthy texture. Well it's all thanks to that, and  the fact that the beans get stone-ground in the kitchen onsite.  The shop acts more like a community space and tasting room, where guests can concoct their own sipping chocolate at the chocolate drink bar, or try one, three or six samples of chocolate at the tasting bar. A trip to ChocoVivo for one of its frequent tasting events—past themes have included wine and whiskey pairings and s’mores nights—may be just as rewarding as a bar of Tsai’s organic stone-ground chocolate, or venturing into unfamiliar territory: This is one of the few spots in town selling chocolate tortillas (yeah, you heard us correctly).

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Palms
  • price 3 of 4

Milla’s bars and individual chocolates look like the sweets of the future: Angular truffles and bonbons look like something you might encouter on a space station (though far more delicious than your usual astronaut food), and bars in a honeycomb pattern form perfect symmetry under gold dustings and sprinklings of flowers and hibiscus tea salt. Inside, the shop is just as sleek, with neat rows of jarred specimens lit up along the wall (really, though, they’re just bonbons); you can supplement with an espresso or some black sesame iced coffee to really make these sweets sing. This stylish, modern chocolatier is brains and beauty, and with a brick-and-mortar shop in Palms plus a dozen or so retailers spread around town, a taste of the future also happens to be convenient.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Torrance
  • price 1 of 4
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With a bean-to-bar focus that manifests in artful truffles, chocolate bars, bonbons, cacao-dipped cookies, dark chocolate cakes, chocolate-dipped strawberries and sipping chocolate—many of them vegan—South Bay’s favorite chocolate shop delivers the goods both sustainably and inclusively. They’re so dedicated to caffeinated beans, in fact, that they even roast their own coffee (though really, it’s impossible to pass up the drinking chocolate). Be on the lookout for fresh baked goods, such as croissants filled with—what else—high-quality chocolate, which are so popular that it’s best to call ahead and reserve a few on weekends.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Hollywood
  • price 3 of 4
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A post shared by John Kelly Chocolates (@johnkellychocolates) on

To the chronic klutzes among us, John Kelly Chocolates may feel like a China shop: One wrong move and you could send the perfectly stacked boxes of chocolate tumbling. At both Hollywood and Santa Monica locations, a small glass display holds the confections, where sea-salt–sprinkled truffles sit triumphantly on top. While there isn't a heavy focus on design, individual pieces pack a punch; John Kelly’s claim to fame is truffle fudge, a heavenly mashup between the two sweets that seems to weigh a pound in your han—and is even more decadent once you take a bite.

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  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Culver City
  • price 2 of 4

Among the many perks Angelenos can brag about—perfect weather, beaches galore, quality tacos—the accessibility of See’s Candies should be near the top of the list. The L.A. institution, founded in 1921 by Charles See; his mother, Mary; and his wife, Florence, still maintains its flagship store and factory on La Cienega, where visitors come for the samples and stay for a box of hand-picked truffles and fudge. The quality of the chocolate is high here, making for craveable bites whether they come packed with almonds, coating coffee-flavored toffee, or surrounding fluffy marhmallows. No matter how you rank the best See’s candies, one thing’s for sure: This chocolatier has staying power.

  • Shopping
  • Chocolate and candy
  • Beverly Hills
  • price 3 of 4
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A post shared by Edelweiss Chocolates (@edelweisschocolates) on

Despite calling themselves a Hollywood institution—the iconic I Love Lucy scene where Lucille and Ethel stuff their faces with chocolate off the conveyor belt was, after all, inspired by this store—stepping into Edelweiss Chocolates is more like taking a trip to the Swiss Alps. Since 1942, the chocolatier has hand-crafted quality truffles, fudge, nut clusters and more in the factory that sits behind the shop (though it's close enough that an aroma of intense sweetness hits you as soon as you enter). There are no fancy art-deco chocolate prints on site, but sometimes sticking to the basics is necessary: a good old-fashioned Swiss truffle is done right here, and really, how much more complicated does a truffle need to be?

Looking for something to pair with that chocolate?

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