It's Time for the Northwest Chocolate Festival!

Watch out, Seattle. This Thursday craft chocolate is descending on the city like a delicious brown cloud, for the Northwest Chocolate Festival and Northwest’s UnConference. I’ll be there until Monday, hanging out and tasting chocolate with the best of them, as well as talking about bonbons made with bean-to-bar chocolate with Fresco Chocolate and French Broad during my session at the festival (at 3 PM on Sunday, hope you can make it!).

Since it's almost Thursday, I know you have your schedule all planned out. What you might not have thought about? Things to do outside Pier 91. Here are a few chocolate-focused ideas, as well as what to do when you need a little break from the brown stuff.

A break?! I know what you're thinking. Hell, no! Obviously there’s going to be a lot of great chocolate. But as so often happens at these events, it’s easy to get chocolate-ed out. Here are five places near the festival to relax away from the sweetness of it all. Better yet, bring your stash of chocolate and pair a piece with a beer or a coffee.

See you soon!

(P.S. If you want to hang out while you’re in Seattle, hit me up at megan@chocolatenoise or Twitter!!)

Must-Try Chocolate-Related Things

Of course I can't help myself: Bring on the chocolate! 

Northwest Chocolate Week

It’s NORTHWEST CHOCOLATE WEEK! That means the places below as well as tons more restaurants, cafes, and shops are having special chocolate-related events and featuring great chocolate on menus. Check out the full listings for maximum sugar overload.

Chocolopolis

Come to this adorable store for a stellar collection of craft chocolate as well as house-made truffles, drinks, and more. I’m especially excited to feature two of owner Lauren Adler’s recipes in my upcoming book.

1527 Queen Anne Ave N, Seattle, WA

Theo Chocolate

Tour a big bean-to-bar maker and see what it’s all about!

3400 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA

(Can't come to Seattle? Get a taste at home with classic Theo dark chocolate.)

Fran’s

One of the most respected names in chocolate (for a reason), Fran Bigelow has been creating some of the best confections in the country for decades. Her hilarious story of America’s reaction to their first taste of sweet + salt still makes me laugh. 

(Can't come to Seattle? Get a taste at home with Fran's caramel sauce!)

1325 1st Ave, Seattle, WA

Hot Cakes

Ever since I wrote about this place in “10 Bean-to-Bar Desserts You Need to Try” for Zagat, I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the ooey-gooey goodness of these molten cakes. (P.S. They use Theo Chocolate!)

5427 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA

And now for some un-chocolatey things...

Beer

Holy Mountain Brewing Company

Located just steps from Pier 91, this microbrewery boasts some serious beers and a constantly changing menu. In June 2016 Eater called it “the most exciting brewery in the city.”

1421 Elliott Ave W, Seattle, WA

Figurehead Brewing

This new microbrewery just opened in September, so you’ll be hipper than most locals if you hang out here. Figurehead focuses on Belgian-style beers, which I’ve found pair particularly well with chocolate (stay tuned for specific pairings in my book, coming out in fall 2017!).

4001 21st Ave W b, Seattle, WA

Mollusk

If you’re looking for a good meal and a good brew, hit up this fancy new space a few miles from the festival. It has a solid if quirky list of beers that will keep your palate guessing.

803 Dexter Ave N, Seattle, WA

Coffee

La Marzocco Café

Every coffee shop worth its salt (or, um, sugar) has a La Marzocco machine, and now you can visit the 89-year-old company’s first public café and showroom. Also check out the historical archives and machines on display. And if for some reason you have extra time, they’ve created an espresso lab where you can learn more about the equipment and even take classes.

472 1st Ave N, Seattle, WA

Craftworks Coffee

This cute coffee shop boasts a rotating menu of beans from microroasters in the Pacific Northwest, as well as cold brew and nitro on tap for a smooth hipster experience. Eater Seattle calls it an “educational coffee drinking experience.”

110 Republican St, Seattle, WA

Have a must-try to add to the list? Email me at megan@chocolatenoise.com or tell me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter!

(Psst: I'm trying a new blog format with affiliated links!)