It’s better known for margaritas and green chile than chocolate, but Santa Fe’s options for indulging in the sweet, dark stuff are impressive and delicious. And being that Santa Fe is a health-obsessed city, all of the businesses below reign in the processed ingredients and use as much organic and all-natural ingredients as possible. At Kakawa Chocolate House, their dark chocolate, 80 percent of which is made in-house, ranges from 68 to 100 percent pure. If I want a more decadent sweet, like a birthday cake, I order the dense, moist, chocolate-on-chocolate Belgian Chocolate Cake from the Chocolate Maven. This being Santa Fe, even chocolate comes infused with chile, like Chocolatesmith’s Green or Red Chile Pistachio Bark. The best aspect of the chocolatiers listed below is that they’ve each developed a special niche—from chocolate elixirs to lavender-infused truffles. Willy Wonka would fit right in to the City Different.
The Chocolate Maven
The wholesale production bakery fronted by a cozy café churns through 50 pounds of premium Belgian Callebaut per week. Most of that must be in its Brownie Chocolate Extravaganza, which is also drizzled with Chantilly cream and chocolate ganache. True chocoholics can top it off with a frothy chocolate chai tea.
The place to go for holidays like Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day that require a pure-chocolate way to say “I Love You.” The Dark Chocolate Chili Bark Sampler, with New Mexican pistachios and spicy green and red chile adds a spicy bite to any occasion.
Kakawa Chocolate House
With truffles, mendiants, chocolate bars, and constantly evolving new creations like 82% Valrhona dark chocolate pistachio clusters on the menu, you’ll have a moment of anxiety before you place your order. Make it easy and stick to Kakawa’s specialty, which is drinking chocolate elixirs made from a blend of the highest quality chocolate, herbs, and spices available. For a boost try the Aztec Warrior Elixir.
Todos Santos Chocolates
The adobe storefront looks fresh out of a Southwestern fairytale. But open the door and it gets even better: The acrylic case is filled with chocolate Milagro-shaped and Day of the Dead-inspired confections wrapped in bright pastels that are almost too beautiful to eat. Don’t be intimidated and down one of the Valrhona-based chocolates as quickly as possible.
To reward yourself for taking one of its 90-minute yoga classes, stop off at the Café and order a selection of Body’s raw-vegan-organic truffles sourced from a single-family farm in Venezuela. Made from raw cacao, raw cacao butter, raw cacao paste, raw coconut oil and Yacon root syrup, the truffles, some infused with ginger, lavender, or chili pepper, satiate any sweet tooth.