Chocolate. Just the sound of the word brings a feeling of decadence and delight. Chocolate is a treat of course, but the purist of chocolates are also an antioxidant. If you are in need of some delicious chocolate for yourself or others, there are many places to get some in the Philadelphia area. Here are the top five gourmet and specialty chocolate shops.

Chocolates By Mueller
Reading Terminal Market
Philadelphia, PA. 19107

Here is probably the most unique of chocolate shops on this list. The Mueller family makes delicious chocolate, but they also find new foods to dip in it and have been doing so since 1980. They have been featured on “Bizarre Foods “ and “Ripley’s Believe it or Not,” and is most known for their chocolate onion. They also make up anatomically correct body parts for people who appreciate the science such as their anatomical heart or the silliness, such as chocolate ears for Mike Tyson fans. You can also find your traditional chocolates such as covered pretzels, marshmallows and truffles.

Lore’s Chocolates
34 S.7th St.
Philadelphia, PA. 19106

Lore’s is a gourmet chocolatier located in the historical district and has been making delicious chocolates here since 1986, but the family has been making chocolates since 1960. They can make up custom molds for most things you can dream up. They are the go-to for locals to get gifts or even for chocolate parties. You can book parties for kids or adults (adults get to pair their chocolate with wine). The Chocolate Parties were a 2011 Philly “best of” winner. Customers really delight in their malted milk balls and chocolate covered pretzels.

John & Kira’s Chocolate
163 W Wyoming Ave.
Philadelphia, PA. 19140

John & Kira own their chocolate shop (they were previously known as Jubilee Chocolate) and have been making chocolate since 2002. They also have been featured in “Gourmet Magazine” and “Oprah Magazine” for their Fig Pumpkins, “lady bugs,” and where on the cover of Gourmet Magazine for the “Best Valentines Chocolates” in 2003. John & Kira use the best local ingredients, and even make “Urban Garden Bars.” Which are chocolate bars mixed with local herbs like rosemary & orange or mint. Customers love the whisky filled ganache figs. You can also order off their website for specialty candies and gifts.

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Anthony’s Italian Coffee House And Chocolate House
903 S. 9th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19147
(215) 627-2586

This is where you go not just for chocolate but for delicious pastries (also made with chocolate) and coffee. They work out of a small shop in Bella Vista and have been since 1995. The Anastasio family immigrated here about 100 years ago and has been selling food to the neighborhood since the early 1900s. This shop was opened offering the same high quality service the Italian neighborhood has grown accustomed to. This is a café a person can spend hours at because of the warm environment and delicious products; you can not only get yourself some fancy chocolate, but regular café food like paninis.

Shane’s Confectionary
110 Market St
Philadelphia, PA. 19106

The shop itself is old school (as in very old) with 1800s charm, and it’s not a gimmick, someone has been a confectioner here since 1863. One of their most popular items is the Whirly Berley Bar, which is made with high quality Peruvian Chocolate, chocolate nougat, creamy peanut butter and salted caramel pretzels and was a Philadelphia Magazine “best of winner” in 2013. Other popular decadence is chocolate covered bacon, turtles and their chocolate drinks . They hand out samples each day, so you can try before you buy.

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Christina Dagnelli is a freelance writer in Philadelphia and the author of Little Squares with Colors: A Different way to look at autism. Her work on examiner can be found here