First we assembled an army of chocolate.
Then we ate them all.
And picked the ones we loved.
Here they are (in no particular order).
1. Komforte Chocolates, $3.49 per bar
Give these bars to someone who loves crazy flavor combinations and/or German accents. We were confused, in a GOOD way, by the savory ramen and salty tortilla lime flavors. Buy here.
2. Marou Chocolate, $9 per bar
Give these nicely complex single-origin bars to any serious chocolate lover and they will be happy. Buy here.
3. Sweeteeth Chocolate, $5-$7 per bar
The “Sea is for Caramel” and “Call of the Wild” (with port wine) bars are filled with lovely, gooey caramel. Watch out for insanely unwieldy (although delicious) chunks of candied ginger in the “A’Chocolypse” bar. Buy here.
4. Jacques Torres Champagne Truffles, $20 per box
These are sweeter than they are boozy, but still good for impressing a traditionalist. Buy here.
5. Askinosie Chocolate, $8.00-$10.50 per bar
Askinosie’s dark bars are rich and excellent, but the white chocolate is…still white chocolate, i.e. gross. Buy here.
6. Lake Champlain Chocolates, $6 per bar
The Spicy Aztec bar (with pumpkin seeds!) is not lying. It is SPICY. It is also awesome, and makes a great gift for adventurous sweeties or unsuspecting enemies. Buy here.
7. Cacao Prieto, $10 per bar
Prieto’s chocolate isn’t especially exciting, but the adorable postcard is reason enough to shell out. Buy here.
8. John and Kira’s Bee My Lovebugs, $42
These little guys are hand painted and have cute messages underneath. The caramel bumble bees were a little too sweet, but the chocolate ganache lady bugs hit the money spot. Buy here.
9. Mast Brothers Chocolate, $40 for five bars
Mast Brothers is arguably Brooklyn personified in chocolate: seriously sourced single-origin beans and delightfully twee packaging. What else do you need? Buy here.
10. Amedei Chocolate, $13.60
Amedei makes a smooth, friendly dark chocolate. Buy here.
11. Dandelion Chocolate, $8-9 per bar
San Francisco-based Dandelion is probably our favorite straight-up bean-to-bar chocolate, but it’s a little tricky to get hold of because their online store is currently down. You can find their retail stores here.
12. Vosges Bacon Chocolate Bars, $7.50 per bar
Bacon. Chocolate. What’s the question? Buy here.
13. Vosges Chocolate Bonbons, $13 for five
These bonbons are full of caramel and a hint of fleur de sel. YUM. Buy here.
14. Woodblock Chocolate, $45 for ten bars
Woodblock’s bars are almost too cute to eat, but not really, because they’re smooth and yummy and melt beautifully. Buy here.
15. The Grown Up Chocolate Company, $15.75 for four bars
Fun-size candy bars for grownups. The nut varieties are a little disappointing, but the crunchy praline Wonder Bar is like a Kit Kat that went to college and got crazy good. Buy here.
16. Dude, Sweet Chocolate, prices vary
Dude, sweet branding, but some of this stuff is weird. Go with the funky (but fascinating!) Albatross blue cheese fudge; skip the chocolate almond salami. Buy here.
17. Equal Exchange Chocolate Hearts, $4.20
These cuties are a good budget-friendly option. Buy here.
18. Droga Chocolates, $16.95 per box
Be warned that these Rebel Rocky Road peanut marshmallow clusters will HAUNT YOUR DREAMS. The less-blockbusting wildflower honey caramels are also fantastic. Buy here.
These are the Queen of England’s favorite, so obviously they’re classy. The best part is using the little map to figure out which truffle is which! Buy here.
20. Antidote, $16 for two bars
WARNING: 100% raw cacao is something that only serious, academic chocolate devotees OR space aliens will enjoy. But if you are one of those, it’s fascinating stuff that really shows off the subtlety of the bean. Buy here.
21. Alma Chocolates Super Sampler, $22.50
Pretty gold chocolate hearts and lavender caramels and spicy Thai peanut butter cups = one happy valentine. Buy here.
Photos, unless marked otherwise, by Macey Foronda for BuzzFeed.