If you want to make your love interest swoon then look beyond the stale box of cellophane-wrapped grocery store chocolates and go Local. These Portland-area sweet shops are the perfect stop for a hand-picked assortment of indulgent goodies.
Alma Chocolate, a small shop on the east side, handcrafts their artfully-made chocolates and baked goods using fresh, local ingredients. Bon bon and truffle flavors range from adventurous (Salted Lavender Caramel, Thai Peanut Butter Cup, Lemon Basil) to more traditional (Classic Truffle, Dark Chocolate Raspberry, Bourbon Bon Bon). Their stunning gilded icons, molded chocolates covered in 23k edible gold leaf, are almost too beautiful to eat. Order a fancy hot chocolate, espresso, or hot cup of tea from the espresso bar before venturing back out into the cold. 140 NE 28th Ave. Portland
Leonidas Fresh Belgian Chocolates offers premium European confections at their gourmet chocolate boutiques. With decadent truffles, candies and other chocolate-themed treasures, you’re sure to find the perfect gift for your special someone. Their smooth-as-silk signature confection, the Manon Café White, is amazing: white chocolate, a light coffee butter cream filling, and a whole roasted hazelnut. They also carry a small selection of gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan and kosher candies. 607 SW Washington St, Portland
Who hasn’t heard of Moonstruck Chocolatier? This local Portland company has received a long list of awards and honors, including being featured in O, The Oprah Magazine, as well as on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and The Rachael Ray Show. Swing by a Moonstruck Chocolate Café (3 metro area locations to choose from) for some of their beautiful handcrafted truffles, delectable desserts and gourmet coffee drinks. For a perfect Valentine’s gift, fill an edible Dark Chocolate Lace Heart box with an assortment of truffles from the Love Bug and Sweet Heart collections.
Pix Patisserie, a hip European-style sweet shop, offers French macarons in a rainbow of colors, handmade chocolates, and artisan pastries. Enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or Belgium beer while you peruse their amazing dessert offerings. On Valentine’s Day only, Pix will be hiding one pair of diamond stud earrings in a single chocolate gift box at both locations. Buy a box of chocolates and you may be the lucky winner! 3402 SE Divison, Portland
If chocolate isn’t your honey’s guilty pleasure, Saint Cupcake may have what you’re looking for. This one-stop Valentine shop is set up to offer you delicious cupcakes, as well as artistically-arranged flower arrangements by Twisted Vine Farms and singing telegrams by The Half Hearted (advance notice required on the flowers and singing telegrams). Check out the weekly schedule for rotating cupcake flavors and vegan options. 3300 SE Belmont Street, Portland
Editor’s note: Owner Jami Curl has since transformed the original shop into Sprinklefingers, a confectionery/bakery/sweets shop at the same location.
Photos: Andrea Vorvick
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