February 14 is right around the corner, and in the age of Tinder and digital dating, classic gestures can go a long way. Combine that with the universal love of all things sweet, and the annual Valentine’s Day gift dilemma practically solves itself. Whether
10. Wendy’s Chocolates and Gift Baskets
Mother of four and classroom volunteer-turned chocolatier Wendy Sorrell has operated this shop for more than 25 years, but her delicious recipes and beautiful gift baskets have stood the test of time. If you’re into over-the-top presentations and sappy puns, this is the Valentine’s Day destination for you. Chocolate disks in the shape of
9. Miami Beach Chocolates
At Miami Beach Chocolates (456 W 41st St., Miami Beach), you can have your box of truffles and eat it too. That's right – the family-owned shop sells heart-shaped boxes made completely out of chocolate to showcase their handcrafted sweets. Since 2009, the mother-son duo behind Miami Beach Chocolates has been creating confections that are just as perfect for a huge event as they are for a simple romantic gesture. Everything's also completely kosher, and creative edible options like a five-piece chocolate rose bouquet ($30) and a chocolate teddy bear ($10) are also available.
8. Jimmie's Chocolates
Jimmie's Chocolates has been a Dania institution since 1947, with the little shop selling handmade candies, chocolates, and bon bons for generations. Walking into the shop is a bit like walking into a time machine where every day is Valentine's Day — festive hearts, candy shoes, and chocolate covered pretzels cover every square inch of space from floor to ceiling — almost as if Cupid and Willy Wonka had a baby and this was its room. The flagship Dania shop (148 N. Federal Hwy.) is also home to an adorable cafe, and Jimmie's has expanded to two other locations, at 1426 NE 26 St. in Wilton Manors and at 2621 S. University Dr. in Davie. If hiking to Broward is a schlep, you can order by phone at (954) 922-0441.
This chocolate shop takes its name seriously, with an emphasis on high-quality ingredients and the sacred craft of artisan desserts. Products their passion fruit marshmallows ($7 for 6-8) and cherry blossom truffles ($8 for 4) appeal to a gourmet palate without breaking the bank. You can often spot
6. Cao Chocolates
If endless rows of confections behind glass cases becomes a bit too overwhelming, skip the stress and order online. Cao Chocolate’s extensive Internet store is a chocoholic’s dream, offering truffles, bars, barks and more handcrafted with beans from all over the world. Ship their Bean-to-Bar Gift Set ($30) straight to a dark-chocolate-loving valentine, or fill up a virtual shopping cart and pick up your goodies in-store (9800 SW 77th Ave., Miami).
For the stylish and sophisticated valentine, Laduree macarons on Lincoln Road are the go-to edible gift. Straight from the city of love, these iconic, bite-sized treats are as beautiful as they are luscious and flavorful. Laduree's little gems achieve both an airy texture and a deep richness that imitators just can’t touch and their French chocolate macarons are the ultimate gift for people of refinement and taste. Though its origins go back to 1862, the tearoom is still at the forefront of the sweet scene, and the limited-edition box with the words “I love you” ($25) is guaranteed to impress.
4. Beacon Hill Chocolates
A box of Godiva screams last-minute Barnes & Noble run, so
3. Cacao Art
Cacao Art is just what it sounds
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2. Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine
Just two years ago, restaurateurs and partners Cory Finot and Claude Postel of Buena Vista Deli and Buena Vista Bistro added a chocolate shop to their expanding brand. Like it’s counterparts, Buena Vista Chocolate & Wine has become a neighborhood favorite, so it’s the kind of place you can trust with a special occasion. Not to mention, the only thing better than the gift of chocolate is the gift of chocolate and wine. The knowledgeable folks at Buena Vista will help you pick the right bottle to pair with your chocolate selections while staying mindful of your price range.
Coral Gables' Romanicos is a powerhouse in Miami’s sugar scene and is hailed as the local shop of choice when it comes to chocolate. Whether you’re seeking traditional treats like bars and cocoa-coated truffles or colorful, artistic items like hand-painted bonbons or dessert sushi, this place has it all. Prices range from a $16 box of nine beautiful bonbons to a Bonini Balsamic Chocolate Kit for $115, but Romanicos is far from a stuffy chocolatier. They’re completely dedicated to making sure you pull off the perfect gift with stunners like pink champagne truffles and a variety of customization options.