As a little girl, I was always envious of the golden ticket winners in “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” What kid wouldn’t want to explore a real-life Candyland? Personally, I’d skip the Fizzy Lifting drinks in favor of a classic Wonka chocolate bar any day, but that’s just me. While this Wonka Wonderland is sadly fictional, there is an abundance of chocolate shops right here in New Jersey that will make you feel like a golden ticket winner. Whether your shopping for a special occasion or just looking to satiate your need for sweets, these confectionary connoisseurs are sure to have a chocolate creation you’ll love. If you want to feel like a kid in a candy store again, here is our list (in no particular order) of the best chocolate shops to visit in New Jersey.
1. Matisse Chocolatier – Englewood
Whether you’re a milk or dark chocolate fan, Matisse Chocolatier in Englewood offers a variety of homemade confections that will make your mouth water. Family owned and operated since 1994, this cherished chocolatier is known for its gourmet favors and platters for special occasions. Customers from all over the state come to try their garden-fresh, chocolate-dipped strawberries and incredibly designed chocolate baskets.
With thousands of molds at their disposal, they specialize in creating personalized chocolate lollipops, mini sculptures, and much more. Unlike other chocolate shops on this list, Matisse Chocolatier has its own private party room. Guests of all ages can come to celebrate a special occasion by experiencing the art of chocolate-making
2. Vesta Chocolate – Montclair
At this Montclair chocolate shop, each sweet creation is filled with 100 percent love—among other delectable fillings. Husband-and-wife team Roger and Julia Rodriguez opened this bean-to-bonbon chocolate factory and cafe in January 2020. With their combined knowledge of the food and chocolate industry, the Rodriguez’s have perfected their chocolate-making process. Their secret step? Roasting their organic cocoa beans in small batches to ensure each nib brings out its best flavors.
While this is a tedious process, Roger’s sixth sense about cacao helps him create this rich chocolate. This unique artisanal chocolate-making house uses French techniques to craft delicious bonbons, baked goods, and more. These Instagrammable desserts definitely make this chocolate shop one of the best in New Jersey!
3. Lee Sims – Jersey City
While the storefront may be tiny, the confections offered at this Jersey City chocolate shop are larger than life! Nestled between a florist and a pharmacy, Lee Sims has been satisfying customers’ sweet tooths for more than 70 years. In the 1940s, this fun-sized store opened as a soda shop and candy establishment. Not long after, it turned into the chocolate boutique it is today. Owned and managed by the fourth generation of the family, Lee Sims specializes in extravagant holiday baskets, pyramids, and boxes.
Guests can enjoy classic candies such as chewies, creams, jellies, and more, all dipped in their premium, velvety chocolate. With approximately 150,000 pounds of chocolate being sold each year, it’s no wonder this JC chocolate shop has become so famous. Stop by every Monday through Saturday to experience their spectacular window displays and pick up a delicious treat from their sweet-natured staff.
4. Lepore’s Chocolate – Hoboken
If Frank Sinatra was once a returning customer at your chocolate shop, you know you’re creating something special. Lepore’s Chocolate, a Hoboken chocolate hotspot, has been serving locals and celebrities alike since 1980. The easygoing candy man behind these scrumptious confections is Mario Lepore, a New Jersey resident who learned the art of chocolate making in Europe during college. Upon returning to Hoboken, he worked in the unsatisfying travel agency business before opening Lepore’s Chocolates at the age of 27.
Unlike other known mass-chocolatiers, all the sweet morsels sold at Lepore’s Chocolates are made on-premise and with only the best ingredients. Mario can mold hundreds of chocolates in one day if need be, but one of his favorite things to make is his famous chocolate sculptures. Around Thanksgiving, Lepore’s Chocolate is known for its massive chocolate turkeys that can take more than eight hours to create. The time, effort, and love that Mario puts into each piece of chocolate are what make his confections sweeter than the rest!
5. 2 Chicks with Chocolate – Metuchen
Calling all chocolate lovers: 2 Chicks with Chocolate in Metuchen is here to satisfy your sweet treat cravings! Barbara and Elyissia Wassung are the chicks—a mother-daughter duo— who founded this chocolate wonderland more than 10 years ago. At 2 Chicks with Chocolate, each artisanal confection is handcrafted with only the finest ingredients. If you’re looking for basic chocolate, you won’t find it here; the flavors featured on their menu are truly original.
Everyday staples include peanut butter and jelly, passion fruit caramel, and cookie butter. If you’re longing for a boozy bonbon, 2 Chicks with Chocolate offers a variety of alcohol-infused sweets with flavors such as Jameson cold-brew caramel and scotch on the rocks. Additionally, customers can find a “hemp collection” on their website that is composed of teas and chocolate infused with CBD oil.
6. Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe – Red Bank
If you find yourself down the Shore, dust off those sandy toes and stop by the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe. Owned by Amy Berry Healy, this candy kitchen celebrated its 20 year anniversary last year. Growing up, Berry Healy lived with health-conscious parents, so desserts like chocolate were rarely in the house. Her rebellious sweet tooth led her to work at another New Jersey candy creator, where she learned the art of chocolate making from the store’s manager. A few years after graduating from college, Berry Healy opened the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe with the help of her family.
Today, she continues to turn out delicious chocolate creations. Among her most popular treats is the Red Bank Twist, a pretzel dipped in handmade caramel, peanut butter, and chocolate. Pop into the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe today for some tasty sweet treats like no other.
7. Chocolate Fantasia – Lyndhurst
Chocolate is said to have magical properties and at Chocolate Fantasia, they believe it. Since 1983, this family-owned chocolate shop has been working its magic to create charming confection. Their menu boasts a wide variety of classic chocolate treats, but they’re best known for their chocolate-dipped fruits and cheesecake.
During these cold winter months, snuggle up with one of Chocolate Fantasia’s heavenly hot chocolate bombs. Their unique flavors such as dark chocolate raspberry, salted caramel, and Nutella are sure to keep you warm. For our “Star Wars” fans, they even have an adorable Baby Yoda hot cocoa bomb that is so good, it’ll have you surrender to the dark side.
8. Sciascia Confections – Stockton
Tom Sciascia, owner of Sciascia Confections in Stockton, is truly an artist. No seriously, he actually went to school for graphic design. While he started out his career in medical illustration, Sciascia has been creating elegant chocolates for more than 20 years. After 9/11, Sciascia realized he was destined to create art for a different palate and opened his own chocolate shop soon after. As a perfectionist, he carefully crafts each and every truffle and confection by hand from start to finish. The ingredients used in these sweet treats are all-natural, and his chocolate comes from a variety of sustainable and responsibly sourced manufacturers from France, Switzerland, and Belgium.
Sciascia is known for experimenting with new flavors, constantly infusing different chocolates with a variety of fruits, spices, and herbs. With unique flavors comes one of a kind names at Sciascia Confections. Customers will definitely giggle as they bite into a Monkey’s Uncle, Romeo & Juliet, or Peppermint Patty Loves Chuck. Additionally, Sciascia bakes delicious French macaroons and delicate, pastel macarons for those interested in a different type of sweet treat.
9. Al Richards Chocolates – Bayonne
More than 40 years ago, brothers Alfred and Richard Stancampiano’s dreamt of opening their own chocolate shop. That vision became a reality when they won big in Atlantic City. With their prize money, the brothers bought their first chocolate enrobing machine and Al Richards Chocolates was born soon after. Although famous for its high-quality chocolate concoctions, this sweets institution also strives to be a complete gift-giving facility.
When guests walk into their Bayonne retail store, their eyes will be drawn to the brother’s beautifully assembled, unique gift bundles that line the shop’s walls. The duo spends a lot of time looking for one of a kind packaging; everything from funky wicker baskets to sleek ceramic containers have held the sweet and smooth confections of Al Richards Chocolates. Named by “USA Today” as the best chocolate shop in New Jersey.
10. Enjou Chocolat – Morristown
As Forrest Gump once said, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” But at Enjou Chocolat, you know exactly what you’re going to get! Serving the greater Morristown area for more than 30 years, this quirky confections shop was born from owner Wendy Taffet’s dream of making the world’s finest chocolate. Enjou Chocolate is known for its assortment of molded chocolate treats and extravagant holiday collections.
Skip the boring store-bought gifts for Valentine’s Day and wow your significant other with one of Taffet’s delicious edible chocolate heart boxes or intricate chocolate stiletto heel sculptures instead. For our Garden State lovers, pick up some New Jersey-shaped milk and dark chocolate pieces that can even be customized with your town’s zip code.
11. Dolce Federica – Montclair
You don’t have to travel to Sicily to experience delicious, handcrafted Italian chocolates; just visit Dolce Federica in Montclair. This small-batch, artisanal chocolate shop is owned by Federica Heiman, a New Jersey mom born in Italy. Each elegant creation is made with high-quality European chocolate and fresh ingredients. Find intoxicating flavors such as her best-selling limoncello, Italian grappa liqueur, and Meyer lemon olive oil.
If you’re looking to spice up your Valentine’s Day, consider purchasing Dolce Federica’s unique yet racy Kamasutra dark chocolate figures; they truly are the sexiest chocolates in town! Whether shopping for your significant other or yourself, the chocolates sold at this sweet storefront are like enjoying little pieces of art.
12. David Bradey Chocolatier – Windsor
David Bradley Chocolatier, located in Windsor, is by all definitions a chocolate-lovers paradise. Started by Bob and Marcy Hicks, and Bob’s mother Alma, this contemporary chocolate factory has been churning out fun, flavorful confections since 1977. With a wide selection of handmade goodies to choose from, curating your own chocolate box is no cake-walk. Guests can’t go wrong with classic treats such as chocolate covered pretzels, chewy caramels, or chocolate peanut butter cups. But if your fondness for sweets won’t be satisfied with something simple, check out their chocolate-covered bacon, honeycomb, or double-dipped chocolate chip cookies.
Also, try your hand at chocolate making yourself by taking home one of David Bradley Chocolatier’s DIY Chocolate Making Kits. These bundles supply you with all the ingredients you need to make delicious chocolate bark from the comfort of your own kitchen.
13. Robinson’s Chocolates – Skillman
It was a special moment shared between a grandfather and his grand-daughters that sparked the idea for this New Jersey chocolate shop. James K. Robinson, founder of Robinson’s Chocolates in Skillman, started in the candy business in 1928 as an apprentice for the Whitman Company. While visiting his son one day, Robinson thought it would be fun to show his granddaughters what he did for a living by teaching them to make a local favorite, Irish Cinnamon Potatoes. Amidst all the laughter, he said, “Wouldn’t it be fun to have your own candy store?” And the next day, the father-son duo went looking at potential locations.
Since officially opening in 1978, Robinson’s Chocolates has been a hit with locals. Customers can choose from more than 100 different selections that range from creams, caramels, nuts, fruits, and novelties such as pretzels, graham crackers, and Oreos. If you’re lucky, you may even visit on a day when the machine is running and can actually see the homemade chocolate come off the conveyor belt. With a chocolate recipe almost 100 years old, you have to come try these time-honored confections!
14. Mecha Chocolate – Haddonfield
Indulge your chocolate cravings by sampling the eccentric sweets available at Mecha Chocolate. Chef and chocolatier Melissa Crandley and her husband, Charles, are the faces behind this modern-day chocolate factory, where small batches mean high-quality confections.
These artisanal hand-dipped ganaches and caramels are made from fair trade, sustainability sourced, and organic ingredients; Melissa is even known to collaborate with local farmers, coffee roasters, distilleries, and brewers to create one-of-a-kind treats. Their unique flavor palate includes savory options such as peanut butter pretzel, floral-inspired sweets like lavender-vanilla, and even alcoholic anomalies such as smoked bacon stout.
15. Duffy’s Fine Chocolates – Haddonfield
Established in 1922, Duffy’s Fine Chocolates is the oldest chocolate shop on our list! Founded by Charles J. Duffy and his wife, Elizabeth, this candy company first started in their family home; the confections were made in their basement and then sold from their enclosed front porch. Almost 100 years and four generations later, it is now operated by Charles’ great-granddaughter, Barbara Hall, her daughter, Michelle, and son-in-law, Eric.
Their famous chocolate boxes are filled with an assortment of sweets enrobed in a variety of their delicious milk and dark chocolates. Guests can also find trendy treats such as chocolate covered Oreos, potato chips, and pretzels on the menu.
16. Bromilow Chocolates – Woodland Park
Feel like a kid in a candy store when you visit Bromilow Chocolates in Woodland Park. Since 1958, this quaint chocolate shop has been crafting delicate truffles, molded masterpieces, and other mouthwatering sweet treats. Let the heavenly aroma of Bromilow’s iconic chocolate guide you to their famous candy case where most confections can be purchased by the pound.
Looking to personalize your sweets? With more than 200 molds to choose from, Bromilow’s promises there is a unique piece of chocolate just for you! This vintage candy kitchen also offers festive treats for every special occasion and is open every day of the week.
17. Coco Jolie – Englewood
The vibrantly colored bonbons crafted at Coco Jolie in Englewood are almost too pretty to eat! Owned by Miriam Gitelman, this sweet shop is like the Tiffany & Co. of the chocolate world. Inside every delicately wrapped box sits an array of chocolates that resemble precious jewels—each providing a thought-provoking experience. These mini masterpieces use only the finest natural ingredients, including fair trade, organic, and non-GMO chocolate.
The menu features classic flavors such as dark chocolate ganache and sea salt caramel. But if you want to experience the unexpected, try some of their more adventurous concoctions. Their chipotle caramel ganache is sure to spice up any occasion while their strawberry lemonade will hit the spot on a hot summer day. Whether in a bonbon or a bar, the artisanal sweets handcrafted at Coco Jolie make it one of the best chocolate shops in New Jersey.
Which of these chocolate shops do you think is the best in New Jersey? Let us know in the comments below.
Main photo from @mechachocolate