Take a chocolate tour of Chicago’s northern suburbs

Love all things chocolate? Who doesn’t? If you’re looking for the next sweet spot to get your chocolate fix, then I’ve got you covered. These places offer irresistible chocolate deliciousness, so go ahead and have a taste for yourself!

The Chocolate Sanctuary

Ever wish you could eat chocolate for breakfast, lunch, brunch or dinner? Look no further than The Chocolate Sanctuary. The Gurnee restaurant celebrates all things cocoa bean with chocolate dishes like a T.rex style Short Rib braised in Pinot Noir and dark cocoa, or Cocoa Pan-Seared Scallops. Is your mouth watering yet? And I haven’t even begun to talk about their desserts! Think waffle pops, Nutella-filled beignets, chocolate covered strawberries and so much more. If getting your drink on is more your thing, they offer an extensive drink menu with items like a chocolate cherry martini or a German Chocolate Cake (vanilla vodka, amaretto, cream of coconut, caramel and toasted coconut.) Read more about our chocolate dining experience

5101 Washington St., Gurnee

Ethereal Confections

When you walk into the charming building located on the picturesque downtown Woodstock Square, you’ll first notice the sweet smell of chocolate. Making chocolates from scratch is the name of the game here. In fact, Ethereal is the state’s first bean-to-bar chocolate producer, meaning the store oversees every step of the chocolate-making process. They proudly use 100 percent of their own chocolates for their desserts, pastries and drinks.  

Speaking of drinks, Ethereal’s drink offerings are pretty impressive, with pour over chocolate (roasted cocoa beans brewed pour-over style like coffee), cocoa tea (cocoa husks that are brewed like tea and have a light chocolate flavor), drinking chocolate (essentially a chocolate bar that is melted with half and half and water), hot chocolates and even a chocolate protein smoothie. If you prefer chocolate mixed with a little (or a lot) of alcohol, then they also have you covered. Try their signature cocktail, the “Smoking Gun,” a concoction consisting of bourbon, cherry liqueur and their house-made chocolate bitters. Or how about beer made with their cocoa nibs? Read about our visit here

113 S. South Benton Street, Woodstock

Anna Shea Chocolates & Lounge

Anna Shea may be known for its looks-too-good-to-eat handmade chocolates, but it’s also the place to go for a little chocolate escape. Hang out with the kids on the comfy couches with frozen chocolate or hot chocolate. Looking for a date night? Lounge about by the cozy fireplace while sipping chocolate martinis or chocolate stouts, or go all out with chocolate fondue. 

100 W. Higgins Road, Suite E, South Barrington

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