Boston's chocolate scene has fallen off in recent years, but Aroa isn't bad. They're backed by El Rey and use their chocolate exclusively. Taza in Somerville makes "stone ground" chocolate bean-to-bar; they're worth visiting if you're not familiar with their product.
These are in addition to Brendan's suggestions. Taste of Chocolate is a new company on the Boston chocolate scene, they do chocolate tours in Boston's Back Bay, Beacon Hill and South End (a Cambridge tour will be coming soon). They also do chocolate truffle making workshops, which I developed and lead about twice per month (it's offered every Saturday and there is an alternate teacher when I'm not there), either are a fun way to spend a weekend. Contact me if you want more information on them. Other places worth a visit - Hotel Chocolat in Boston's Back Bay has very informative tastings in their tasting room at the back of their store on Newbury Street, Max Brenner is opening up a shop in Boston (Back Bay, Boylston Street) this winter and LA Burdick is a must stop for their hot chocolate and their handmade chocolates. LA Burdick is in Cambridge. Depending on when you'll be in Boston there is also the Chocolate Buffet at Langham Hotel in downtown Boston, it runs September until June.
I lead Chocolate Tours in San Francisco and would be happy to talk to you about the best chocolate spots to visit. My company is Gourmet Walks and our tours include tastings at 7 different downtown spots. Feel free to email me at email@example.com and we can discuss further. There are many to choose from!
Some Portland chocolate highlights --
- Chocosphere (the dominant mail order lifeline for serious consumers nationwide).
- Cacao (for quality of the selection and knowledge level of the staff, the best chocolate retailer I've seen).
- Sahagun Handmade Chocolates (Elizabeth Montes, chocolatier).
- Alma Chocolate (Sarah Hart, chocolatier).
- Xocolatl de David (David Briggs, chocolatier; see his site for where his products are available; worth calling ahead to ensure a good selection).
I have created my own chocolate tours of San Francisco, Los Angeles and Chicago....depending upon how long you have and whether you are renting a car, I can definately suggest some locations for you to visit. Email me if you would like and I can help you with San Francisco (I made it to 7 stores in 4 hours walking and taking the bus). I can also suggest other confectionery stops as well if you are seeking them.
Scharffenberger/Joseph Schmidt (Pier 1)
Tcho (Pier 17...walked by...wasn't open)
Candy Shop on Pier 39 near the back - can't remember the name...mainly imported candy, but had homemade candy apples)
Fog City News
Chicago and LA - I will have to post later. I need to refer to my tour book.