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r/sanfrancisco•5 days ago
Every notable hot chocolate in San Francisco, reviewed.
Hello San Francisco! I grew up and lived in the city for 30 years or so, and I've been back this holiday season to visit family. My wife and I decided to take up a quest to determine the best hot chocolate in SF this winter. Specifically, American-style hot chocolate with milk, not European-style sipping chocolate. Below are our opinions.
Boulette's Larder - 7/10 - The best hot chocolate that did not come from a truffle place. Rich and not too dark, with a hint of sea salt that was very nice. Almost thick enough to be qualified as a sipping chocolate.
Breakfast Little - 7/10 - Originally not on our list but I spontaneously ordered one while I was grabbing breakfast here and I'm glad I did. Excellent, rich hot chocolate with light notes of cinnamon and other spices you'd find in a Mexican hot chocolate. Definitely in the top 5.
Cafe Central - 6/10 - Decent, especially for a touristy cafe. Used TCHO chocolate so the taste was nice and dark, a bit thin but decent. Tasted authentic, nice foam art.
Christopher Elbow - 8/10 - Wins for variety - different types of cocoa, milk/water/oat for solvent, different flavors offered. Nice rich, real chocolate flavor. Three way tie for our #3.
Craftsman & Wolves - 5/10 - You could tell that they used high quality chocolate, but pretty thin. I'd just go next door to Dandelion if I were looking for a hot chocolate in this neighborhood.
Dandelion - 8/10 - Very good. Smooth, probably the best choice for dark chocolate lovers. also the only one that actually makes their own chocolate. they also have homemade marshmallows available to stick in your chocolate which is a treat. Three way tie for our #3.
Epicurean Trader - 5/10 - The chocolate here tasted high quality. Unfortunately, it was a bit thin, and the barista scalded the milk which made it taste a bit off.
Five Star Truffles - 10/10 - This is it, folks. The best hot chocolate in San Francisco. Real chocolate taste, creamy, and delicious. Luscious hot chocolate, but not too dark or bitter. A perfect hot chocolate. Truffles were great as well.
Ghirardelli - 4/10 - The 2nd most disappointing of the bunch. Tasted mostly like the milk that was in it with very little chocolate flavor. The experience was great but if you're looking for a real hot chocolate, this is not it.
Jane the Bakery - 4/10 - Just alright. Jane is known for their pastries, not their chocolate or drinks.
Kokak Chocolates - 9/10 - Our #2, and honestly really close. Really delicious, super rich to the point of nearly being a sipping chocolate. Truffles were absolutely gorgeous, the most incredible designs and flavors of any truffle place that we went to. The hot chocolate had bits of solid at the bottom which wa a really nice treat at the end.
La Oaxaquena - 4/10 - Good, but didn't taste like hot chocolate. More like hot milk with cinnamon and banana.
Recchiuti - 6/10 - The only one on this list that only offered a 4oz sipping chocolate. Dark and rich, but not quite as thick as say, Dandelion's European sipping chocolate. Alright but honestly didn't come away impressed compared to some of the others on this list. If I were getting hot chocolate at the ferry building, I'd get it from Boulette's instead.
Tartine - 1/10 - Without a doubt the worst hot chocolate on this entire list. Thin and weak. I felt it tasted vaguely like feet; my wife said that it tasted like a hot chocolate at 10% opacity. We visited the Sunset location, so perhaps the original store might be better.
The Ice Cream Bar - 7/10 - Really delicious. Dark, but not as dark as some of these other choices. The toasted marshmallow topping was a nice addition.
XOX Truffles - 8/10 - Definitely top 3. super rich, with multiple flavors available. The truffles were also incredible. Three way tie for our #3. Worth noting that we went back a second time and they were closed because they had run out of chocolate, so might be worth calling ahead.
Hope this helps someone looking for a great hot chocolate in the city! We're in town for two more days, so if anyone has a place we missed please let us know and we'll try and check it out :)
1.25 cents each truffles The best hot chocolate $5.25 12.oz
ALLERGY NOTICE pleace be advised that all truffles may contain traces of nuts,
fruits, peanuts, and/or dairy, since our truffles are made by hand in the same facility.
chocolate Truffles. Standard Assortment or you have to selected the Four Flavors send me in my gmai firstname.lastname@example.org
BAISERS DE CHOCOLATE
Today's Special: Five Star Truffles
Today's Special: Five Star Truffles and Coffee
Bonnie Wach Published 4:00 am, Sunday, July 22, 2007 On a recent backpacking trip to the Sierra, which without going into detail I will merely describe as "adventurous," I was reminded of two things: One is that exposing one's hindquarters in the woods is no laughing matter, especially after an active mosquito hatch. Another is that, no matter how much of a wilderness experience you crave, no matter how badly you desire to get back to nature, you should never, ever let yourself be convinced that you can do without good coffee and good chocolate.
These two items, I believe, are more crucial for survival of the species than freeze-dried turkey tetrazzini, trail mix and Therm-a-Rest mats combined. Most certainly they are essential for survival of the husband, who risks life and limb by putting even the most innocuous of questions to the decaffeinated, cacao-less wife. He will not make that mistake again.
Anyway, not long after this revelation, I was driving down Divisadero Street when I spied a sign that completely summed up my core belief system. A no-nonsense marquee that read simply: Five Star Truffles and Coffee, Made by Hand. I screeched to a stop and pulled a U-turn.
Inside the shop, I found a deceptively bare-bones operation - a few perfunctory tables and chairs and a large glass case filled with decadent-looking bite-size chocolate morsels. A handwritten menu posted on the wall listed more than a dozen varieties of truffles at prices (50 cents each; $7.50 for a box of 20) that seemed downright ridiculous, considering that we live in the rarefied world of artisan chocolate, where 3-ounce bars go for upward of $5.
The shop is the love child of Santos Euan, a genial and tireless man who immigrated to San Francisco 10 years ago from Oxkutzcab in the mountains of Yucatan, Mexico. After a couple of years working in various restaurants, Euan landed a job at XOX Truffles in North Beach, apprenticing for seven years under well-known trufflemaker Jean-Marc Gorce. In November, he decided to strike out on his own, and with the help of partner Julio Quintanilla, he opened Five Star.
Fans of XOX will recognize Gorce's style here - truffles no bigger than the tip of your thumb, covered in dark chocolate and dusted in cocoa powder or hazelnuts or coconut. But (aside from the prices) there are also a few distinct differences.
"I tried to put my original touch on these. I tried a lot of different recipes and methods to bring out the flavors," Euan says. "It takes a long time to make truffles - two days to make one batch, and everything has to be perfect."
Euan's most popular truffle, caramel, takes nine hours just to cook the caramel, which must be cooled at room temperature. If the conditions are too hot, too cold or too humid, the consistency is ruined.
One bite, and you understand why this consistency is so important. Under a sprinkling of cocoa powder and a delicate jacket of Cacao Barry dark chocolate, the caramel is so intensely creamy and soft, so rich and smooth, you wonder if you've ever really tasted caramel before.
Other marvelous flavors include strawberry (made with a fruity ganache infused with strawberry liqueur), espresso, blackberry, cognac, citron lemon, coconut and the subtly smoky Earl Grey. Like XOX, Five Star also offers a few vegan choices, including soy orange and dark chocolate.
As for the other half of the menu, the coffee, it's fresh-roasted Graffeo, which Euan brews with as much care as he crafts his truffles. He also makes a truly sublime cup of cocoa - heavy on the chocolate and with steamed milk - that has developed a following all its own.
Euan hopes to expand his business soon with a Web site and the addition of Mitchell's ice cream. In the meantime, he can be found behind the counter greeting customers, rolling chocolates, pouring good, strong coffee - and upholding my belief system.
Five Star Truffles and Coffee: 411 Divisadero St., San Francisco; (415) 552-5128.
Hours: 7:00 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.
Prices: Truffles are 95 . cents each, $16.50 for 20, $30 for 40, $60 for 80. Free coffee with box of chocolates; free truffle with order of coffee.
“There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.”
- Linda Grayson -
los granos de cacao
CACAO DE CALIDAD DE TODO EL MUNDO
Castro overflowing with
Castro overflowing with Valentine's gift ideas
By Meredith May and Julian Guthrie Updated 9:24 am PST, Thursday, February 13, 2014
Tiny shop produces oodles of truffles
If it's 5 a.m. on a weekday in the Castro, Santos Euan is already up to his elbows in cocoa powder inside his tiny shop on 18th Street.
He handcrafts 100 pounds of truffles a week at Five Star Truffles, where he is the owner and only employee, using imported French chocolate and recipes that his mother taught him in Yucatán,Mexico.
Euan makes 25 flavors, everything from vegan coconut to Jim Beam honey maple. He also takes customer suggestions, such as cayenne caramel.
He sells 20 truffles for $16, 40 for $30 , and 80 for $60. He will ship orders larger than 8 pounds. Jim Beam recently purchased 20,000 truffles."My mom taught me to love chocolate," Euan said. "I would grind it in the kitchen, and she made the best hot chocolate."
Euan now serves hot chocolate to customers - just the way his mama made it.
- Meredith May
Five Star Truffles: 4251-A 18th St. (415) 552-5128.
Spike's Coffee & Teas: Traditional candy counter with sweets of yesteryear: