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Let These Artisan Chocolate Makers Influence Your Next Meal

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and we know for some people it means unnecessary stress. Deciding where and what to eat can seem like a time-consuming task. Well, don’t worry, because we have CurEaters, who make some of the best artisan chocolate in the country, to decide for you. And, we all trust and love chocolate makers, right? They make our life sweeter. Whether you’re looking to plan a big night out, hang at a brewery or snag some artisan chocolate for your best friends or partner, look no further. 

French Broad Chocolates // “Our Neighbors”
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Image by Thalia Villarosa for Asheville Folk

Asheville has great food options, and artisan chocolate is no exception. If you want a little chocolate pre-game or a post-meal chocolate dessert, this list is the one for you. With a variety of chocolate from truffles to chocolate covered espresso beans and artisan chocolate bars, French Broad Chocolate is a chocolate lover’s dream. This place is more than just a “little chocolate shop”; it has a chocolate lounge. Yep, you read that right. French Broad Chocolate Lounge is the perfect spot for a pick-me-up before dinner or a night-cap to round out an evening filled with great food.

Videri Chocolate Factory’s Sam Ratto // “Breweries Making Beer with our Nibs”

If a romantic dinner isn’t your cup of tea — and we get that — maybe a pint of beer is more your speed. This one is created for beer enthusiasts who also happen to love chocolate. With five breweries that use Videri Chocolate nibs in the Raleigh area, stopping by any of these places is the perfect alternative to a quiet, lavish dinner. If dark beer is your thing, stop by Crank Arm Brewing and try the Mint Chocolate Milk Stout. If you want an oatmeal stout, check out Mystery Brewing and ask for the Six Impossible Things. No matter what your favorite type of beer is, these breweries will blow you away. We simply can’t think of a better combo than beer and chocolate. Can you? We didn’t think so. 

Elaine Read of Xocolatl // “I’m Going Out”
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Image via Xocolatl

Xocolatl (pronounced choco-lah-tul) is a chocolate micro-factory in Atlanta that creates chocolate that’s free of unnecessary ingredients but packed with flavor. Co-owner Elaine Read has a list called “I’m Going Out!”, and it’s perfect for Valentine’s Day. Staplehouse, an Atlanta classic, made it on her list (and 25 other CurEaters’ lists), so we’d say start there! Some other favorites include Miller Union and Kimball House. By the way, we highly recommend grabbing a bar or two of Xocolatl before dinner!