Dandelion Chocolate cafe
Photos courtesy of Dandelion Chocolate (left) and Virginia Miller

We didn’t think anything could be better than a mug of piping hot cocoa--until we drank the hot chocolate at Dandelion.

The bean-to-bar company relocated its retail shop slash factory to the Mission back in November and officially opened a café in the same space last week. The menu is drink-dominant, offering an array of beverages made with Dandelion’s high-quality cacao beans, which they roast, crack, grind, conch and temper on site.

The frothy, spiced Mission hot chocolate ($5.90) is made with Madagascar beans; the lush European drinking chocolate ($5.25) employs Rio Caribe Venezuelan cacao; and the iced chocolate ($4.75) is refreshingly elegant, with vanilla and floral lemon notes. 

Pastry chef Phil Ogiela bakes cacao-centric confections daily: A classic chocolate cake enlivened with ras el hanout, a Moroccan spice blend, was served when we were there. And for non-chocolate-lovers (whoever you are), Dandelion offers FourBarrel coffee and a subtle tisane tea brewed from the bean husks.

Sit at the counter that lines the windows looking out onto Valencia Street, pull up a chair at one of the communal tables decked with fresh flowers, or stand at the bar, where you can watch the Dandelion factory in action.

Buying a bar for the road is optional…but inevitable.

740 Valencia St.; dandelionchocolate.com

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