Craft Chocolate Tour – San Francisco, CA

The last time we were in New York, my family and I did a food tour around Greenwich Village. I enjoyed it so much that I swore I would find some local tours to find new (to me) food spots closer to home. That was over four years ago, and we finally got around to taking a local food tour. We’re efficient like that.

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pollo en mole from San Jalisco

In honor of Valentine’s Day, we decided to take the Craft Chocolate Tour of the Mission District in San Francisco. Because, you know, Valentine’s = chocolate. A flower tour wasn’t an option, but wouldn’t that be cool? Someone get on an edible flower tour. I’d be all over that.

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bourbon truffle, fleur de sel caramel and peanut butterfly from Charles Chocolates

The tour took us from savory to sweet, from chocolatiers to full process chocolate factory to spots that just used chocolate or cocoa as an ingredient. Chicken, ice cream, hot chocolate, cocktails – all on the menu. We don’t spend a lot of time in The Mission, so I was surprised at the range of eateries in that area. We’ll definitely be back now that we have a better idea of where to look.

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The only minor (very minor!) disappointment I had with this tour was that there was no discussion or touring of the neighborhood. When we toured Greenwich we got a rundown of the history and different landmarks, and there was none of that during our tour of The Mission. Understandable considering how The Mission is quite a bit larger than Greenwich, and the pace we were walking didn’t leave much time for landmark ogling.chocolate-tour-3
caramel popcorn gelato bar, honey and fennel pollen chocolate from Sixth Course

With that in mind, one tip for anyone considering this particular tour – they call it a walking tour, and by that they mean walking. The Greenwich tour (again, I do realize that it’s a significantly smaller neighborhood) was pretty much a light stroll. This tour of The Mission was definitely more along the lines of walking with purpose with a bit of distance between some of the spots. Be forewarned that while this is a walking tour, it’s not a light walking tour. You’ll be going to all corners of The Mission, so if you have children or elderly in your party, I’d contact them first to see what they recommend.

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valrhona sipping chocolate with passion fruit marshmallow from Craftsman & Wolves

What the tour lacked in neighborhood history it more than made up for in background info for each establishment we visited. It was like getting an insider peek into the local small businesses. In fact, we did get to go behind the scenes at a couple of the shops. Pretty darn cool.

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My favorite stops of the tour were:

  • San Jalisco – the first time I’ve ever enjoyed mole!
  • Sixth Course – back room tour of their gelato operation and some awesome chocolate flavors. Their logo is modeled off a drawing from her grandmother’s cookbook!
  • Dandelion Chocolate – whole roasted cocoa beans (which I’m pretty obsessed with) and cocoa fruit juice, as in the juice of the cocoa fruit itself. I wish it was more widely available! Plus, we got to taste chocolate from different sources to see the difference in flavor between bean varieties. Pretty cool. I’m hoping to come back to take one of their chocolate making classes one day!

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chocolate varieties and chocolate beans at Dandelion Chocolate

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cocktail with Aztec Chocolate Bitters from Mosto.

We did our tour through Edible Excursions, and I highly recommend them. The stops may vary from tour to tour since the guides must call each stop ahead of time to check availability. I’m hoping to do the SF Japantown tour or Berkeley Gourmet Ghetto next!

{Disclosure: Edible Excursions doesn’t know me. I’m recommending them because we had a great time.}

Have you done a food tour before? How was it?

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6 Comments

  1. I’ve been wanting to do a tour like this – this sounds totally fun! Especially when chocolate is the main topic here. Yummm!
    Linda | Brunch with Joy recently posted…Thai Basil Chicken with La TourangelleMy Profile

    • Chocolate makes everything awesome, right? 🙂 They have a bunch of different ones, too. I’m hoping to do one in Berkeley!

  2. Wow! I def need to check out this tour when I visit SF next time!
    Donna recently posted…Beef Bourguignon Pot PieMy Profile

  3. Oh my gosh! What a great Valentine’s Day idea! We did an Edible Excursions in Temescal Oakland a few months back and I’d highly recommend it! The tour guide gave all kinds of historical info about the neighborhood that I never knew about. Also – I could have sworn you were in SoCal (seriously, my BRAIN is not good at holding info these days)…but since you’re in the Bay and I’ve just submitted a draft of my dissertation…we should meet up for tea! (Or chocolate…).
    Sarah @ SnixyKitchen recently posted…Vegan Strawberry Coconut Chocolate Chip Ice CreamMy Profile

    • I should do one in Oakland! I hear there’s great food in Oakland, but I haven’t really explored there beyond what I know. Congrats on getting your first draft in! I’m always down for tea…or chocolate…or both…

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