20120501-neuhaus-box2.jpg

Neuhaus chocolates. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Ask yourself this: if you don't have kids or don't receive trick or treaters, does that prevent you from eating Halloween candy? No? Good. Then regardless of your relationship status you should feel fine eating chocolate on Valentine's Day. What you call the most clich├ęd trick in the book I call the foremost ritual of Chocolate Appreciation Day.

With that out of the way, here's an assortment of Valentine's-friendly chocolates, favorites of the Serious Eats team and our Sugar Rush bureau chief.

Classic Chocolate Boxes

20120501-neuhaus-box1.jpg

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Belgian import Neuhaus doesn't make especially novel chocolate, but if you're looking for that classic red box look or intricately designed sweets, they'll do you right. Their specialty is nougatine, a sheet of toffee-like candy (a blend of nuts and sugar) that's cut into squares, folded into little purses, filled with a flavored cream, and coated in chocolate.

Francois Payard

Truffles from Payard. [Photograph: Niko Triantafillou]

A step up in sophistication brings you to Payard and Jacques Torres, both of which make all kinds of truffles and caramels worth your attention. Also consider Japanese import ROYCE' Chocolate, which specializes in ganache-like squares so soft they just melt in your mouth.

Any Chocolate from Kee's Chocolate ($2.50 each)

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

But our absolute favorite chocolate truffles come from Kee's, a tiny shop in Soho with original truffles like black sesame and makrud lime. Kee's chocolates are always impressively flavored and fresh.

Bars for Purists

Thumbnail image for 20131205-meadow-chocolate.jpg

These are the impulse buys at The Meadow. [Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

Chocolate purists may prefer chocolate bars to candies. For the best selection in New York, visit The Meadow's world-class shelf of bean-to-bar chocolate and ask the friendly salespeople to help narrow down your choice. For some good made-in-New-York chocolate? Try one of Cacao Prieto's single origin bars.

Chocolate Novelties

"Dory" Candy Bar from Liddabit Sweets

The Dory bar with apricot and black pepper from Liddabit. [Photograph: Niko Triantafillou]

Or you could just say, "Screw normal chocolate, I'm getting you candy bars" instead. And with varieties like apricot with black pepper, passionfruit with rice crispies, and something called "Chocolate Doom," Liddabit Sweets is your place to go. Or get some of the first class chocolate-covered bacon or pretzels from LES shop Roni-Sue's.

Gourmandises from Maison du Chocolat ($18 per box)

Gourmandises from Maison du Chocolat. [Photograph: Robyn Lee]

Of course chocolate novelties can also mean some fancy-pants sweets, and that's where La Maison du Chocolat excels. Their intricately designed chocolate sweets are akin to what you'd find in a fine dining restaurant's pastry department, but they're all available to go, wow factor and all.

Anything We Missed?

These are just a few V-Day-friendly suggestions, so tell us, where do you buy chocolate gift-giving (or treat-yo-selfing)?

About the author: Max Falkowitz is the New York editor and ice cream maker in residence at Serious Eats. You can follow him on Twitter at @maxfalkowitz.

related venues
Roni-Sue's Chocolates 148 Forsyth St, New York, NY
ROYCE' Chocolate 32 W 40th St, New York, NY
Liddabit Sweets 425 W 15th St, New York, NY
ROYCE' Chocolate 253 Bleecker St, New York, NY
ROYCE' Chocolate 509 Madison Ave, New York, NY
Francois Payard Patisserie 1293 3rd Ave., New York, NY
Neuhaus 500 Madison Ave, New York, NY
Francois Payard Bakery 210 Murray St, New York, NY
Jacques Torres Chocolate 30 Rockefeller Plaza, New York, NY
The Meadow 523 Hudson St, New York, NY
Francois Payard Bakery 116 W Houston St., New York, NY
Roni-Sue's Chocolates 120 Essex St, New York, NY
Jacques Torres Chocolate 75 9th Ave, New York, NY
Jacques Torres Chocolate 350 Hudson St, New York, NY
Jacques Torres Chocolate 285 Amsterdam Ave, New York, NY
La Maison du Chocolat 1018 Madison Ave, New York, NY
La Maison du Chocolat 63 Wall St Frnt 4, New York, NY
Kee's Chocolate 80 Thompson St, New York, NY
La Maison Du Chocolat 30 Rockefeller Plz, New York, NY
Jacques Torres Chocolate 66 Water St, Brooklyn, NY
Comments

Comments can take up to a minute to appear - please be patient!

Previewing your comment: