Tour of 6 Chocolate Shops in Portland That Would Make Willa Wonka Jealous
For anyone aiming to eat their way around Portland (already known for its breweries, distillery row and epic restaurants and food truck pods), satisfy your sweet tooth with the city’s rousing roster of chocolatiers and candy shops.
Image from Azar Indulgences
Without leaving the Heathman, your very first stop is the sweet staple right inside the hotel – Azar Indulgences. A family-run operation, the company was conceived by an idea from current owner Christine Azar’s grandmother who had impeccable taste in European style chocolate. It was upon her suggestion that Christine reach out to her uncle – a longtime chocolatier – asking if he could ship treats from Beirut, Lebanon - and so it began. Ethically sourced by the Horizon Project, all the cacao is non-GMO and top quality. Azar chocolates also have a large selection of vegan options so the scrumptiousness can be enjoyed by everyone. The company recently kicked off a partnership with Portland neighbor, Bloom Carmel, to make vegan salted caramels to join the crave-worthy cardamom caramels, which are crafted in-house. At Azar, try fan-favorites like the drinking chocolate, double chocolate cupcakes and dark chocolate and walnut pistachio layered with rose water, and so much more.
Map out your decadent Chocolate Trail adventure and hit up some of these suggested sweet spots around Portland.
Handcrafting superior chocolates since 1993, Moonstruck products look as exceptional as they taste. By pairing heavenly chocolate with fresh flavors found throughout the Pacific Northwest then intricately hand-decorating them, Moonstruck makes edible memories. Take a stroll to the Alder Street location or get a taste at the factory store in St. Johns, a quaint town just 20 minutes North of the Heathman. While you’re there, you can also take in the iconic Cathedral Park or other local treasures.
Wife and husband team, Jessica and Charley Wheelock, were drawn together by their shared affinity for a raw material: wood and antique restoration. That’s where the name Woodblock came from and since sparked their mission to create single source chocolate. Founded in 2010, the duo has gone from making chocolate in their own kitchen to a cozy, bean-to-bar Café/Manufactory in Portland’s historic Irvington-Broadway district. Made from two simple yet magical ingredients, cacao and pure cane sugar, Woodblock Chocolates is a must-visit during your time in Rose City.
In 2008, Naturopathic Physician Melissa Berry was wrapping up medical school. Her dairy-free truffles began as gifts for her vegan mother around that time, but quickly became a big hit after winning first place at the Northwest Chocolate Festival in Portland, OR. The success churned out a thriving company whose Mission is to build integrative, inpatient healing centers funded by chocolate. Visit their location in the North East on Glisan Street and indulge the afternoon away.
Creo Chocolates was founded by locals Tim, Janet, and Kevin and is rooted in the deep desire to understand how things are made. Driven by the common heritage and pride shared by farmers, the cacao beans are roasted, cracked, winnowed, ground, conched and tempered in small batches at the factory on Broadway in North East Portland. Once prepared, each bar is molded and packaged by hand. Go try out this Rose City splendor, your taste buds will thank you.
Owner David Briggs started “playing around with chocolate” in 2005 and over the next 4 years, brought Xocolatl de David to life using sustainable, fair-trade sources of bittersweet varieties no lower than 68%. Though chocolate is the main focus, Briggs keeps all creativity flowing through his confections that use unconventional yet completely delicious ingredients. His most prized accomplishment is the Foietella, a chocolate spread using Foie Gras which he also tempers into a bar. Winning 12 International Chocolate Awards since 2015, Portland is fortunate to feature Xocolatl de David. Stock up from select locations around Portland or shop online from their website.