My dad is the hardest man on the planet to purchase gifts for. He lives a pretty bare bones existence, and if he needs something, he buys it for himself before we even know he needs it! So every year at Christmas he gets a box of chocolate turtles — handmade from a chocolate shop, not purchased from the supermarket shelf. When my parents first came to visit me for Christmas in Boston, I did a mad search for chocolate turtles that would be equal to those from our local candy shop. I drove out to a distant suburb to procure a box. Crisis averted!
Given that the holiday season is kicking off soon (and will stretch until Fathers’ Day), we’ve prepared a roundup of Boston’s best chocolates! Scroll down to find the solution to all your gift-giving needs for the holiday season. Or any time of year!
Taza Chocolate :: Somerville
Taza is probably the most well-known chocolate maker in Massachusetts. Taza discs and Amaze bars are available in myriad places, including your local grocery store and on Amazon! In addition to great chocolate, Taza also offers factory tours and a number of events throughout the year. If you’re visiting the Boston Public Market, check out the Taza Chocolate Bar, and grab a hot or iced chocolate beverage!
EHChocolatier :: Somerville
I have to mention EHChocolatier next, as this vendor is located in the same building as Taza. Run by two women, Catherine and Elaine, EH makes amazing bars, bonbons, and caramels and offers different seasonal treats for every holiday. My personal favorite are the passionfruit caramels. Yum! They also offer an artisan chocolate club for monthly delivery!
Spindler Confections :: North Cambridge
In addition to chocolate, Spindler’s makes caramels, brittles, and pate de fruits that are available online or in the brick-and-mortar store on Mass Ave. It’s worth an in-person visit, however, to check out the candy museum, which showcases a number of items that describe the candy-making history of the Boston area.
L.A. Burdick :: Harvard Square and Back Bay
Classic Burdick’s items include bonbons, chocolate mice, and chocolate shavings used to make out-of-this-world drinking chocolate in your own home. They have a number of items for every holiday, from Halloween to Father’s Day, and they specify which of their items are vegan. I love the chocolate-covered fruit from Burdick’s, and I regularly indulged in an icy chocolate drink during my first pregnancy!
Apotheker’s :: Boston
Run by a husband and wife team and started in 2013, Apotheker’s is relatively new to the Boston chocolate scene. They offer chocolate bars, marshmallows, and hot cocoa mixes. All their products are sweetened only by honey and are free of dairy, soy, and refined sugars.
Chocolate Therapy :: Framingham
I first found out about Chocolate Therapy through a seasonal partnership with Taza. The standout items at Chocolate Therapy are definitely the truffles, which are available in a number of flavors and come molded into intricate shapes with gorgeous and colorful designs. My toddler adores the shiny purple one — who cares what’s inside! Chocolate Therapy offers chocolate birthday parties for kids ages 8 and above, as well as adults!
Harbor Sweets :: Salem
Check out Harbor Sweets for New England-themed chocolates — lighthouses, shells, and their signature “Sweet Sloops” sailboats, which are a mixture of toffee, chocolate and pecans.
Phillips Candy House :: Dorchester
The second-oldest chocolate shop on this list, Phillips was established in 1925. Their chocolate turtles are one of their signature items and were chosen as one of Oprah’s favorite things!
Hilliards :: Easton, Norwell, and Mansfield
Established in 1924, Hilliard’s just barely beats Phillips for oldest candy store in our roundup. The amazing confections offered at Hilliard’s are too numerous to mention, but check out their caramel apples, fudges, and seasonal ice creams!
Trappistine Candy :: Wrentham
Made by the nuns at Mount Saint Mary’s Abbey, the proceeds from the toffee, fudge, and chocolates produced at Trappistine go toward supporting the sisters.
Hebert Candies :: Shrewsbury
Hebert Candies is located in the Hebert’s Candy Mansion, which hosts children’s birthday parties (including a trip through the sundae bar!) and candy camp for kids ages 5 and older. Frederick Hebert opened his chocolate shop in 1946 and is credited for introducing white chocolate to the U.S. in 1956. Thank you, Mr. Hebert!
Winfrey’s :: Beverly, Rowley, Stoneham, Wenham
Winfrey’s began when two parents decided to quit their jobs to care for their newborn twin sons, and they began to sell fudge as a way to earn the income to care for their family. Since then, they’ve added a daughter and grown the business to include four retail stores. That’s a lot of babies for these parents!
So much great chocolate, and so many ways to eat your way through the sweet state of Massachusetts!