Our part of Virginia is well known for wine and fine dining options, and its reputation for delectable chocolate treats is on the rise! Thanks to new creative players like Iron Paffles and mainstay innovative chocolatiers like Time Gearhart of Gearharts Fine Chocolates, the quality and variety of chocolate and chocolate-flavored products is constantly evolving and expanding. Below are some highlights of the scene.
Gearharts Fine Chocolates has been a Charlottesville staple for more than fifteen years. Be sure to stop by their downtown location near the Downtown Mall during your next visit, either to enjoy an assortment while you're here or take one home. Before co-founding Gearharts with Bill Hamilton in 2001, Tim Gearhart worked for years in professional kitchens all over the world. He brings a global perspective to his work, incorporating masterfully selected ingredients in each of the chocolates in his signature line.
A paffle is a butter puff pastry baked on a waffle iron. The meals made at Iron Paffles are massive and delicious. The pictures speak for themselves, and the varieties are endless. Many options on the menu are chocolatey. Stop by their location on Water Street in the heart of downtown for breakfast or lunch seven days a week.
Glass House Winery is well known for a variety of unique features, including a greenhouse tasting room, regularly scheduled live music, and gorgeous mountain views. Visit the tasting room for the wine, but be sure to try the chocolate, too! It comes in ten gourmet varieties.
Wild Blue Chocolate, based in Crozet, can be found at Rocket Coffee, the Crozet Artisan Depot, or any Mudhouse Coffee Roasters location in Charlottesville or Albemarle County. Be sure to ask for it! The flavors pair quite well with your coffee of choice.
MarieBette Cafe and Bakery was founded by Jason Becton and Patrick Evans and named after their daughters, Marian and Betty.
There are two Mariebette locations in Charlottesville: one on Rose Hill drive and another, Petite MarieBette, on Water Street next to the Downtown Mall. February is hot chocolate month at both locations! That means a different flavor of hot chocolate every day of the month. Check out the schedule in the second picture of the post below:
For the month of February, MarieBette's bread and flourless cakes will feature a different person past or present who shaped American history in honor of Black History Month. Follow them on Instagram to see each new post.
We look forward to welcoming you to Charlottesville and Albemarle County when you're ready to travel again! Your safety is our top priority. Facial coverings are required in all public spaces. For more top things to do in winter, be sure to check out our ultimate winter bucketlist.