Updated 3:50 p.m. Feb. 11
Put down the Kit Kat, and pick up some Pittsburgh-made chocolate instead.
With more than a dozen local chocolatiers, there’s bound to be a confection to suit your taste buds, from chocolate-covered strawberries to caramels to truffles.
Many local shops listed here are Pittsburgh institutions with decades of history. Others are new to town and bring a modern twist to the art. Some specialize in Italian, Swiss, or French techniques. Others rely on recipes passed down through the generations.
Whether you pick the one closest to your neighborhood or make this list into a Pittsburgh chocolate bucket list, enjoy the sugar rush. (Did we miss your favorite shop? Tell us, so we can add it to the list.)
Now, for the map.
Find your favorite below (here’s an interactive version).
About the shops
These beautiful chocolates, the creations of Who’s Nexter Amanda Wright, look almost too good to eat. They’re currently stocked at Mon Aimee Chocolat in the Strip District, Wildcard in Lawrenceville, Maggie & Stella’s in Oakland, and Gather in Sewickley. Or order online.
1010 West State St.; Baden, Pa. 15005 or at dozens of retailers
This fourth-generation family business has been a fixture since 1916 and is popular for school fundraisers.
322 Perry Highway; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15229 or in more than 100 shops
Betsy Ann provides air shipping anywhere in the continental U.S. with one-to-three-day delivery, so you can send a sweet treat to your sweetie even if they’re not in Pittsburgh.
621 East 1st Ave.; Tarentum, Pa. 15084
The Clark brothers founded this Tarentum confectionery in 1937.
496 East State St.; Sharon, Pa. 16146
Daffin’s claims to be “Home of the Chocolate Kingdom,” which sounds like the setting for a magical Candy Land-inspired fairy tale. Also, the shop’s website includes an adorable and intense quote from Pete Daffin reading, “The first thing I ever smelled was chocolate.”
1228 Long Run Rd.; White Oak, Pa. 15131
Dorothy’s specializes in Swiss chocolate-making for a treat they describe as “rich and creamy — kissed with just the right hint of vanilla — unparalleled!”
1814 Brownsville Road; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15210
At Esther’s, “family recipes have been handed down through generations using traditional copper kettle cooking, continuing to hand dip and drizzle all our chocolates, all in our on-site kitchen.”
2939 Pittsburgh Road; Perryopolis, Pa. 15473 and several other locations
The shop is named after its founders Gene Madigan and his friend, whose nickname was Boots. The friends started the business just after graduating from high school in 1930.
3049 West Liberty Ave.; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15216
Giovanni’s specializes in Italian chocolate, which the shop says is created from a “delicate balance of milk and cocoa butter, together with chocolate liquor and just enough sweetness” for a “very milky, smooth and irresistible flavor.”
1928 East Carson St.; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15203
Founded by a Pennsylvania Culinary Institute graduate, the chocolatier spent five years perfecting French confectionery skills.
The chocolatier honed her culinary skills while working for the Big Burrito Restaurant Group, where she “learned the art of flavor combinations, and the importance of making everything from scratch when possible, using local, interesting, and obscure ingredients,” per her bio. Find Lux at a variety of local shops, such as The Chocolate Moose in Squirrel Hill and 52nd Street Market in Lawrenceville.
100 S. Pennsylvania Ave., Greensburg, Pa. 15601 and 202 4th St.; Irwin, Pa. 15642
McFeely’s hosts chocolate parties for all ages, a chance to make your own creations.
1705 East Carson St.; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15203 (look for locations Downtown and in East Liberty, too)
You likely know this spot for its milkshakes, but it also produces decadent chocolate and has since 1914. The Milk Shake Factory also stocks locally made Edward Marc chocolates.
352 Butler Street; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15223
Pollak’s is a third-generation, family-owned-and-operated business using recipes from Great Grandpa Pollak.
1301 5th Ave., New Brighton, Pa. 15066
Founded by a Greek immigrant in 1914, Rosalind Candy Castle continues to make its candy from scratch. “Pure dairy cream and butter are still used in candy recipes, nuts are still roasted to perfection before being covered in our silky smooth chocolate,” the shop states online.
511 Adams Ave.; Canonsburg, Pa. 15317 or a retailer near you
It all started with a love story at Sarris. Trying to woo his sweetheart, Frank Sarris gave her a box of chocolates, and when her face lit up, he knew he was onto something — and he knew he could make better chocolates. He won the affection of his beloved Athena, and they married and started a candy empire.
539 Liberty Ave.; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15222
In addition to chocolates, Sinful Sweets sells jars of chocolate chip cookie dough (!!!).
301 Grant St., 2nd Floor; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15219
If you work Downtown, drop by this small business located inside One Oxford Centre for homemade treats and a variety of chocolates.
113 Grant Ave.; Vandergrift, Pa. 15690
A step back in time, this 1950s-style shop offers a chance to see chocolates being made by hand and to inhale their sweet aroma.
2009 Freeport Road; Arnold, Pa. 15068
Valos creates more than 500 (!!!) varieties of sweet treats.
408 Harrison Ave., Jeannette, Pa. 15644
This shop describes its products like this: A “secret recipe … results in chocolate tasting as it SHOULD! CHOCOLATE! Rich … creamy and DEEELICIOUS!”
504 Grant Ave.; Pittsburgh, Pa. 15209
It’s all about homemade candy and old-fashioned milkshakes at this old-time soda fountain, which has used the same recipes since 1950. Rick Sebak called it a “Millvale landmark” (scroll to 15:44).