“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.”
―Charles M. Schulz
It’s quite possible that chocolate has magical powers, but I don’t have scientific proof to back that statement up. All I have are eyewitness accounts about how chocolate has transformed a bad day into a great one, or how when someone digs deep into a pint of dark chocolate ice cream, all their ailments suddenly feel nonexistent. With that in mind, we are taking you on a tour of some of the best chocolate on Martha’s Vineyard — a tour that you can easily execute on your own. Just grab a chocolate-loving friend and drive around the Island. Start up-Island and come down, tasting to your heart’s content. Happy Valentine’s Day!
- Chilmark Chocolates A Vineyard classic, Chilmark Chocolates has been making melt-in-your-mouth chocolates for more than 30 years now. It is a nostalgic reminder of days gone by to Islanders and visitors who have purchased the chocolates since the ’80s. Fast-forward to 2017, where classics like Chappy Chewies, Squibnuggets, Beetlebung Bars, and Tashmoo Truffles still delight adults and children alike.
Blackout Cake by Black Dog A couple of years ago, friends gifted me this cake on my birthday, and since then, it’s tough to indulge in any other cake. This moist, incredibly dense, but luscious cake is layered with rich fudge and a honey-flavored chocolate icing that makes every bite surreal. Somehow, the Black Dog Bakery mounds the cake with cubes of more chocolate cake, and finally dusts it with a sprinkling of powdered sugar. It’s not your usual light and fluffy cake, mind you. Grab a slice of it at any of their cafes and cradle it like a baby, because it weighs almost as much as a newborn!
- Flourless Chocolate Cake by Little House Cafe I thank the chocolate gods for the creation of the flourless chocolate cake trend and how it’s here to stay. This is the ideal slice to have after a meal. Because it’s gluten-free, this cake is incredibly moist, but it’s also drizzled with decadent chocolate syrup and dolloped with housemade whipped cream.
- Strawberry Nutella Cake by Sweet Bites This new Brazilian bakery has become a local favorite for its variety of desserts and delicious coffees. Surely you can find a chocolate brigadeiro to indulge in, but if it’s available, try the Strawberry Nutella Cake. Moist vanilla cake is slathered with layers of Nutella and whipped cream studded with fresh strawberry pieces. It’s light, fluffy, and has Nutella — what more could I ask?
Not Your Sugar Mamas This antioxidant-rich superfood chocolate is unlike any other chocolate on the Island, because it focuses on the health benefits of the raw cacao, along with other superfood additions. It’s a delicious treat that will not cause a sugar rush. You can order online year-round at notyoursugarmamas.com, or stop into their shop in Vineyard Haven. You won’t find a more delicious chocolate chip cookie that’s also organic, gluten-free, vegan, kosher, and non-GMO, because typically when goods carry such labels, they lack in flavor, but these cookies deliver!
- New Moon Magick Enchanted Chocolates It’s funny how each chocolate shop on the Island is so distinctively different, and Enchanted Chocolates thrives on that. As you walk in, discover not only a chocolate shop but a curated shop filled with antiques, botanicals, and magical treasures. What’s most magical about the shop, in my opinion, is their Keep It Real Hot Chocolate, made from ground 70 percent cacao and Madagascar vanilla bean sugar. When this blend melts into hot milk, the result is a rich, creamy hot chocolate that will make you wish it could be winter all year long!
- Brownie Sundae at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. The moment you warm up a dark chocolate brownie and top it with tart cherry compote, cold vanilla ice cream, sticky-sweet chocolate sauce, and enough whipped cream to satisfy your dreams, you know you’re in for a treat. It’s a great dessert to share with a loved one, but if they really loved you, they’d get one for themselves and let you enjoy yours on your own!
- Bittersweet Chocolate Bread Pudding by the Grill on Main Growing up, my consumption of bread pudding almost became an addiction, and it was amazing to find a local restaurant creating this childhood favorite with chocolate. The bittersweet chocolate plays off well with the soaked bread custard.
- Ganache Brownies by Soigne When I purchased my first ganache brownie, I was starving and ready to eat it all in one sitting, to which owner and brownie maker Puppy said there was no way I’d be able to consume it all at once. Oh, how right he was. This is the type of brownie you munch on throughout a couple of days, because of how rich and decadent it is. The way it melts in your mouth and makes you smile, it’s hands down my favorite brownie on-Island.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies at Harbor View Hotel The classic chocolate chip in all its glory, served warm and fresh out of the oven with a cold glass of milk, finishes this chocolate tour on a nostalgic high. A hint of sea salt and a splash of vanilla extract balance the cookie’s flavor profile, and as you dip each bite into the cold milk, you’ll understand why this is one of America’s favorite treats.