Christopher Elbow Chocolates
Bring the passion home, er, literally, with the Mango Ginger chocolate from Christopher Elbow in Kansas City and San Francisco. The secret ingredient to this tropical confection is passionfruit, which adds bright fruity notes that blend beautifully with the spicy ginger and dark, almost bitter chocolate shell. Or add a little excitement with the exotic Persia chocolate: nutty almond marzipan is topped with a creamy dark chocolate ganache and infused with warm spices and rose water. ($10 for 4 pieces).
Assortment from Bi-Rite Market
If you live in the Mission and you can't get yourself to the newly opened Dandelion Chocolate, don't hesitate to hit up Bi-Rite for a bottle of wine and some treats. They have the all ganache, no shell truffles from SF startup Neo Cocoa (pictured), as well as the chocolate shortbread treats from Claire's Squares, and a variety of chocolates from Poco Dolce. Plus, it's open until 9 p.m.
Bi-Rite Market:3639 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94110(map); (415) 241-9760
If toffee or caramel is on your Valentine's list of favorites, head to this chocolate shop in the Dog Patch. The Burnt Caramel Toffee Squares (pictured, $16 for 8 ounce tin) are made from buttery yet complex toffee and a thin robe of dark chocolate. The assorted bittersweet tiles (starting at $17) are a good choice if you're looking for a mix-and-match box.
Recchiuti is known for their smooth, melt-on-your tongue chocolate bars and decadent truffles. Though not cheap, flavors like fleur de sel caramel and ginger heart are meant to be savored. ($44 for 16 piece box).
Originally from Northern Germany, Michael Mischer now runs his own shop in Oakland, California and sells his chocolates across the Bay Area. His heart shaped Peanut Butter Dark chocolate will win over any peanut loving Valentine, with its combination of soft peanut caramel, sweet peanut praline, and just a hint of salt trapped inside a thin dark chocolate shell. Another great option is the Salt Caramel. It's just Murray River salt infused caramel, but it's the perfect sweet salty bite to get your tastebuds excited for more. ($12 for a 5-piece box)