When it comes to showing affection for a friend, impressing a crush, or reminding your partner how much you love them on Valentine’s Day, we can’t think of a better way than with food. This goes double when the apple of your eye is a food lover — if you’re going to go for the traditional chocolate or candies, make sure you choose something spectacular. Don’t fall prey to middle-of-the-road mass-produced treats and sweets!
Shop local for the most creative and delicious V-Day gifts for the gourmet in your life. Here are our top picks from Central Pa. and the Greater Philly area:
We love a good popsicle no matter how cold it gets outside. For an extra-special and seasonal take on the best dessert on a stick, pick up a half dozen gourmet pops from Lil Pop Shop. In each adorable “Bouquet of Pops” box, you’ll get 3 Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Cream pops and three Vanilla Raspberry Swirl pops all cozy in festive wrapping, with dry ice to keep them chilly. This sweet dessert shop is also offering two special Valentine’s Day-inspired pies for sale: Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie and Rose Water Cherry. Stop by one of the Lil Pops Shops or purchase online.
How lucky are we to have a world-class chocolatier in our own back yard? Éclat Chocolate is based in downtown West Chester, and its extensive range of delicious, handcrafted products are available online and in a number of local retailers. While you certainly can’t go wrong with any of its chocolate creations, its stunning Valentine’s Day Hearts Collection is a surefire winner. The 9- or 16-piece boxes are filled with glossy, jewel-like hearts in the following amazing flavors: Hawaiian rose tea, lemon and lavender, ginger and passion fruit, smoked cinnamon and orange and blueberry and star anise. 24 S. High St., West Chester, PA; (610) 692 5206.
Yards Chocolate Love Stout
To know Yards Love Stout is to adore it, but for Valentine’s Day, it’s time to take it up a notch to Yards Chocolate Love Stout. This silky, luscious ale is brewed with over 200 pounds of Belgian dark chocolate, for a rich, dark color, hints of vanilla and caramel, and a lovely roasty maltiness. You should be able to find this December-release seasonal beer at your local distributor or bottle shop, or at the Yard’s Taproom in Philly. 500 Spring Garden St., Philadelphia; (215) 525-0175.
Elementary Coffee Co. Black Rose Dark Roast
Tap into the dark side of love with Elementary Coffee Co.‘s Black Rose dark roast coffee beans, developed due to customer demands. This rich, robust coffee is a blend of Sumatra Mandheling Harimau Tiger and Papua New Guinea, and according to the folks at Elementary, it is “a symbol of intention, balance and bold dedication to craft.” We love its simple, striking packaging, and because it’s roasted in small batches at Elementary’s roastery in Harrisburg, the beans are guaranteed to be fresh. Shop online or in Elementary Coffee’s stand at the Broad Street Market. 1233 N. 3rd St., Harrisburg, PA.
Art & Wine Classes at Art Matters Studio
Enjoy a cozy night with your sweetheart, sipping wine and channeling creativity, at one of Art Matters Studio’s Art & Wine classes. These fun, interactive classes are led by the studio’s trained and encouraging staff, plus all materials are included and no previous experience is necessary! And, since it’s a BYOB situation, you can bring along your date’s favorite kind of wine (if you’re not sure what that is, you can’t go wrong with a bottle of bubbly!). 486 Royer Dr., Suite 104, Lancaster, PA; (717) 208-6901.
Nothing says V Day like a conversation heart! Pick up a few of these sassy vegan heart cookies from Crust Vegan Bakery in Philly, and watch your lover’s face turn into a real life heart-eye emoji. These cuties are dairy- and egg-free sugar cookies; maybe you can find the message that fully sums up your sentiments! Stop by its brand new shop to bring some home. 4134 Chester Ave., Philadelphia; (215) 825-6928.
Happy Valentine’s Day! We hope you make a delicious day of it, however you celebrate!
- Feature photo: Lil Pop Shop
- Heart chocolates photo: Éclat Chocolates
- Paintbrush photo: Pexels