Dandelion Chocolate – Valencia St.
740 Valencia Street, San Francisco
Dandelion Chocolate makes bean-to-bar chocolate but they go beyond small-batch and actually custom roast each bag of beans they import to bring out its unique flavors. They opened their first café and open factory kitchen in December 2012. They have since opened a store in the Ferry Building, a café in Tokyo, a store and cacao bar in Kyoto, 2 additional stores in Japan, and pop-ups in LA and Taiwan. They will open their 34,500-square-foot factory, café and chocolate salon in the Mission in 2019.
Roasting beans by the bag, Dandelion isn’t aiming for consistency but instead to make the best-tasting chocolate each time. Each bar is wrapped in pretty handmade paper with the wrapper signed by its maker. The wrappers include a helpful description of the beans and the process used, and the flavor notes of the particular bar.
At the café, you can watch chocolate-making & ask questions of the chocolate makers while sitting at the bar along the side of the kitchen drinking chocolate & coffee drinks and eating pastries and other baked goods.
In addition to their chocolate bars, you can buy chocolate décor for your home like cacao pods.
They offer free tours of their kitchen/factory every week, but you have to sign up for them. They also offer chocolate making classes & trips to Belize to learn about cacao farming.
They have free house-made marshmallows on the counter for you to add to your chocolate drink.