Best Old-Fashioned Chocolate Shop
This old-fashioned chocolatier, established in 1939, has come and gone, even weathering bankruptcy, but Hooper's Chocolates is been back in biz. At Easter time, the Temescal storefront started boxing up its not-too-fancy confections for eager fans who traipse into the curious Pepto-Bismol pink Victorian behind the ageless and iconic Hooper's sign from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesdays through Fridays. Today's familiar treats are made in the adjoining factory and sold under the Hooper's, San Francisco Chocolate Company, and Windsor Confections brands (all linked to the California Autism Foundation). Hooper's is far afield from the elegant, artisanal ganaches with hints of rose petals, jalapeño peppers, or sea salt that wind their way into the cases of the East Bay's tiniest and toniest sweetshops. This milk- and dark-chocolate inventory is deluxe stuff nonetheless, outstanding for its dated simplicity and steadfast course away from chic and short-lived trendiness. Chocolate covered almonds, toffee, and pecan clusters are here, same as nonpareils, truffles, and chocolate bars. Mary at the counter rations hers, stretching two-dozen pieces to last a month, a feat few other sweet tooths achieve.