Their name's the stuff our dreams are made of but the first minute we spend at The San Francisco Chocolate Factory doesn't bode well. "Do you make the chocolate here?" We ask, our dowey eyes full of Charlie-like wonder. The clerk winces as she sets us straight. We feel her pain: for the next thirty minutes every single walk-in repeats that same question. But fear not; though the place lacks factory creds, boy, they bring on the chocolate. And the San Francisco.

For starters, they do design their own chocolate, some in bars, some in bite-sized drops, all of them delicious creamy and slightly nutty. Our heart went to the 72% cocoa. They put it in an assortment of cute tin boxes, but our favorite is the $32.99 four-pounder tin availlable on their website. Yes, people, despite the recent trend to turn good chocolate into a luxury, the San Francisco Chocolate Factory understands that we need our cocoa in large quantities, daily, and that we only care for the good stuff.

The chocolate boutique also gives it up for San Francisco. They showcase local creations by Bay Area artisans such as Cacao Anasa's delicate rose trufles, Rushburn's tongue pleasing Chocolate Toffe Clusters and Coco Délices' heavenly chocolate covered almonds. And for those who like to play with their food there's Ganache for Lips, Berkley's own chocolate lip balm.

Local pride aside, The San Francisco Chocolate Factory offers a dazzling array of Belgian chocolates and their tiny Côte d'Or mignonette on sale at the counter for 35 cents would give anyone a jolt of happiness. And who needs Oompa Loompas or even Johnny Deep when you have chocolate bliss?

286 12th street (at Folsom)
San Francisco, CA

By SFist Natacha