[Photographs: Carrie Vasios]

Poco Dolce translates from Italian as "not too sweet"—a fitting name for this small chocolate shop based in the Dogpatch. The shop, which was started in 2003 by Kathy Wiley, first gained buzz for its "chocolate tiles". The 2 inch squares of chocolate come in a variety of flavors, all finished with a pinch of Grey Sea Salt. The flavors are restrained and never cloying—definitely living up to the shop's name.

Because it's the holiday season, I passed on the tiles and immediately gravitated to the selection of toffee, in particular the Sea Salt Toffee Squares. Now I'm a toffee addict, having grown up on Skor bars and the occasional shipment of Daim, but I can see anyone downing these little candy squares like popcorn.


As to be expected, the toffee isn't very sweet. It has a pleasant caramel flavor with a hint of bitterness. I love the texture, which really cracks and crunches under your teeth. The overlay of chocolate is thin, but it packs a lot of flavor and sweetens the toffee. Though the salt isn't visible (which I'm grateful for here, as it would ruin the smooth texture), it hits your tongue in a pop of flavor. The 8 ounce tins ($16) would make great gifts for stockings or Secret Santa.

Poco Dolce

2419 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA (map)
415) 255-1443 ; pocodolce.com

About the author: Carrie Vasios is the editor of Serious Eats: Sweets. She likes to peruse her large collection of cookbooks while eating jam from the jar. You can follow her on Twitter @carrievasios


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