Chocolate in Oakland, California

As I mention in my book, Chocolatour: A Quest for the World’s Best Chocolate (volume I), I love discovering great chocolate in places that are somewhat off the beaten path. So I jumped at the opportunity to discover Oakland, California when planning a visit to San Francisco. Oakland is San Francisco’s sister city, located just across the Bay Bridge from the more photogenic and better known Northern California port city made infinitely popular by Tony Bennet’s hit song, “I Left my Heart in San Francisco.” Well, I have to tell you. We left a little piece of our hearts in Oakland, where we had a massive patio room at the Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel overlooking the Oakland Estuary, which runs into San Francisco Bay.


a view from the Best Western Plus Bayside Hotel in Oakland

After a full day of travelling, we were thrilled to be able to put our feet up and sit on the patio, watching boats of all sizes go by. But the next day was filled with excitement, as we happily took in the Eat Real Food Fest adjacent to Jack London Square, my favourite part of Oakland, where you can dine on fresh seafood and local vintages, shop till you drop, or just enjoy the fabulous sculptures and waterfront scenery.


A beautiful sunset in Oakland, California.

my picks for the best chocolate in Oakland

But, yes. I was there for the chocolate. And I wasn’t disappointed. I discovered two Oakland chocolate companies that I can wholeheartedly recommend. If you’re looking for some fun in your chocolate, try the Ramona Bar made by Double Dutch Sweets. This was probably my most fun chocolate discovery of the trip. The 1.9 oz (54-gram) Ramona bar is handcrafted with dark chocolate, peanuts, salted caramel and nougat. All certified organic ingredients with no additives or preservatives. It was absolutely delicious, and let me tell you … I didn’t share much more than a small bite of one bar with my traveling companion, Mary Ann. There’s just some of my chocolate stash that I won’t share.


Another excellent chocolate company that is based in Oakland is Barlovento Chocolates. They had a very busy booth at the Eat Real Food Fest. The sea salt caramels were good, but the Chipotle Almonds covered in 64% Venezuelan Dark Chocolate were awesome! Just a little kick (from the peppers) blended with some of the most delicious chocolate I’ve ever tasted.

And that was just the beginning of our taste-tempting visit to California. My thanks to Visit Oakland for helping with my arrangements. I will definitely be back!

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

15 Responses

  1. Jason B says:

    Very nice post. I now want to go to Oakland and I also want some chocolate.
    Jason B recently posted…More Scholarship Search WebsitesMy Profile

  2. Doreen,
    Leave it to you to have so much fun in Oakland! I went there on business years ago and I had no idea that Oakland had such wonderful chocolate companies.
    Sherryl Perry recently posted…E-Book Promotion Strategies, Using Hashtags and Google Analytics #FridayFindsMy Profile

  3. Aww how I would so love to chocolatour! This is great. Looking forward to reading more of the journey.

  4. MY SIL adores chocolate. He lives on the Pennisula but now he has a reason to take an excursion over th bridge for chocolate. Thanks for the heads up.
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  5. Catarina says:

    The Ramona bar sounds great. Will have to be content with European chocolate though:-)
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  6. Doreen says:

    Thanks, Cheryl. You tried both chocolate from the finest chocolatier in Winnipeg: Constance Popp Chocolatier, as well as chocolate from Recchiuti, one of the finest in California, who is based in the San Fran area. Glad I was able to share some chocolate delights with you while we both visited Susan in CA.

  7. Cheryl says:

    I am so glad your trip yielded some ‘sweet’ results. Those samples you provided us with while visiting Susan Cooper were wonderful.
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  8. This is some interesting quest…for the best chocolates in he world! Living the dream, baby! Good for you!
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  9. Doreen — I wondered when you’d get around to a visiting the U.S. on a chocolate trip. You’ve been to so many other exotic places, why not your southern neighbor!?
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    • Doreen says:

      Jeannette, my dear friend. If you look at the column to the right on this blog, you will see that the US has its own category, in which I’ve made chocolate research trips to Florida, Missouri, North Dakota, and now … California. I’ve also poked around in several other states, but haven’t done chocolatier interviews there yet, so have only listed the 4 states so far. But as you can see from the A-Z for Chocolate lovers in my book, I do have plenty of US and Canadian chocolatiers and chocolate makers listed there, whose chocolate I have tried. The Americas and the Caribbean will be profiled in detail in Volume II of Chocolatour. Thanks for asking!

  10. satinka says:

    Hi Doreen, Yours is truly the tastiest blog I know, filled with mouth-watering sweet stories of your chocolatour muse, your sweet-toothed guide! 😉
    satinka recently posted…Abundance!My Profile

    • Doreen says:

      thanks so much, Esther! It’s always great having you along for the (virtual) ride. And someday soon, let’s turn that virtual accompaniment into a real one!

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