Cleveland Chocolate Co.
Why we love it: Cleveland Chocolate Co. often uses single-origin cocoa beans with different flavor profiles from countries such as Peru, Belize and more. “It’s really fun to taste them side by side,” says Rebecca Hess, owner and chocolatier.
Try this: The Coffee with Cream Inclusion Bar ($7) grinds fresh roasted coffee into a dark and white chocolate swirl. 2306 W. 17th St., Suite 4, Cleveland, 440-465-0883, clevelandchocolate.co
Why we love it: For more than 10 years, Fear’s Confections has been churning out a geek lover’s collection of chocolates made with Star Wars and Harry Potter molds and more. “This takes my job and my interests, and I can kind of combine them, and it’s been a hit,” says owner Cassandra Fear.
Try this: A cult favorite, the sponge candy ($1.25) is a crispy, flaky brittle dipped in chocolate. 15208 Madison Ave., Lakewood, 216-481-0888, fearsconfections.com
Why we love it: Open since 1935 and with 22 locations, Malley’s Chocolates has become a Clevelander’s favorite with hundreds of different chocolates. “The brand really has a sweet spot with Clevelanders,” says Mike Malley, one of six partners and CEO. Try this: Crunch into the Bordeaux Chocolates ($21 per pound) with a decadent English toffee center covered in chocolate and rolled in slivered almonds. Various locations, malleys.com
Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates
Why we love it: Mitchell’s Fine Chocolates has become a Cleveland Heights staple since its opening in 1939. “We’re famous for dark chocolate, and have been for many decades,” says co-owner Emily Bean.
Try this: The Pecanurtle ($36.95 per pound) is a cluster of roasted and salted pecans covered in caramel and chocolate. 2285 Lee Road, Cleveland Heights, 216-932-3200, mitchellschocolates.com
Why we love it: Owner and chocolatier Kristin Barnes hand-paints each tiny, brightly colored chocolate using colored cocoa butter to create candies that are works of art. “They taste as good as they look,” she says.
Try this: The hand-painted bite-size bonbons ($8 for four) come in an assortment of flavors such as rosemary sea salt. sweetbeancandies.com