Jacques Torres Chocolate
The former pastry chef of Le Cirque, Jacques Torres did us all a favor by leaving an elite restaurant to bring fabulous chocolate to a bigger world. He has factories (and stores) in Dumbo and SoHo where you can watch the chocolates being made like an urban Willy Wonka, and shops on the Upper West Side, and in Midtown, NoHo, and in Chelsea Market. See their Mr. Chocolate website for exact locations and hours.
All the chocolate is made with the best possible ingredients, and always exceedingly fresh. The combinations are both traditional and sophisticated including chocolate bunnies at Easter; chocolate covered nuts, espresso beans and pieces of ginger; classic bars in a large variety of flavors; caramel and hot fudge sauces; caramel chocolate popcorn; chocolate covered Cheerios; and unexpected combinations in their hand-made assorted bon-bons.
What to know:
They do custom favors for parties, weddings and corporate events. Call for details.
Some of the shops have cafés where you can sip hot chocolate while trying to make up your mind which chocolates to bring home.