Guest Post: Olivia’s Sweet Tour of Downtown Manchester

This article was originally posted on the University of New Hampshire at Manchester’s blog.

By Olivia Pollock, Communication Arts senior, University of New Hampshire, Manchester

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Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing…CHOCOLATE!

In honor of the holiday, I took on the very daunting duty of roaming around the city to test out and find the best chocolate available. (Hey, someone’s got to do it!)

After class last week I walked up to Elm Street (a quick four minutes from campus) to see what I could find. I started at Granite State Candy Shoppe, a little place with a wide variety of chocolate assortments and plenty of Valentine’s Day options. They had everything from heart-shaped sweets, to classic pieces of fudge, to the traditional chocolate filled heart-shaped boxes. I left with a yummy little chocolate rose.

I then headed up the street and found Finesse Pastries, an adorable little shop and café that specializes in French pastries. They also had plenty of options available for Valentines Day, including chocolate and basically any form of sweets imaginable.

Although it was not a traditional chocolate shop, I thought their chocolate was delicious and the café atmosphere made it that much better. This would be a great place to take someone and sit down with a cup of coffee and a plate full of sweets!

I had had a sufficient amount of chocolate already, but I continued out in search of my next chocolate victim. This was when I found Dancing Lion. If you’re looking to get really fancy, Dancing Lion is the place to go! The quaint little venue is one of the most luxurious places in all of Manchester. Their chocolate is expensive, but for good reason. Their chocolates are pieces of art!

After tasting samples of their basic flavors, I can say that the owner certainly lives up to his title of ‘Master Chocolatier’. I highly recommended Dancing Lion if you are looking to really spoil your Valentine.

By now, I was utterly full of chocolate. But that didn’t stop me from heading over to my last venue – Van Otis Chocolates. If you are looking to completely stock up on chocolate, look no further.

Van Otis is famous around Manchester and for good reason. They offer a huge variety of chocolates – chocolate covered Oreos, fresh dipped strawberries, traditional truffles, and so much more. They also had the largest variety of Valentine’s Day options, ranging anywhere from customizable chocolate boxes, heart-shaped sweets, and the even sweetheart wine baskets. You can order your chocolate online here and then pick it up in time for Valentine’s Day, a great idea for anyone with a busy schedule.

And if for some strange reason chocolate isn’t really your thing (hard to imagine, I know), I would highly recommend checking out Queen City Cupcakes. Their cupcakes are ridiculously delicious and extremely popular around Manchester.

This year, they are offering a special Valentine’s Day menu. You can choose from the specialty Valentine’s flavors (Gluten-free included) and order them for pickup on the 14th. Just make sure you order by the 12th before it’s too late! Details are here.

So as Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching, don’t miss out on all of the great choices for chocolates and other sweets around Manchester. Spend the day roaming around and tasting samples with your Valentine, or surprise them with a special treat.

Have a love-filled and chocolate-filled day and feel free to use my reviews to help you on your chocolate endeavors. After all, that chocolate tasting was hard work!

Originally published Wednesday, February 12, 2014
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Olivia Pollock is a 2014 graduate of the Communication Arts program.

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