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Dandelion Chocolate: Half cafe, half factory, all cacao flavor

by

Special To The Japan Times

It’s been a year since San Francisco’s Dandelion Chocolate arrived in Tokyo with its artisan, small-batch, bean-to-bar ethos and laid-back California style — and it has proved a perfect fit in the trendy and rapidly gentrifying Kuramae district just south of Asakusa.

The store, inside a converted wooden warehouse, incorporates a cafe and also an in-house chocolate factory. It’s a beautiful space worthy of the premium product.

Drop in for a cup of the rich, creamy hot chocolate (with five kinds to choose from), coffee or mocha (a potent mix of the two). Alternatively, there are smoothies, horchata (made from almond milk), wine and craft beer. Or pick up some cookies (chocolate chip, of course), scones or a flight of the fabulous brownies — three to taste and compare the different flavors of cacao. Best of all, there are plenty of samples to munch on while making up your mind.

Clearly this is a recipe for success. In December, Dandelion added a branch just outside the famous Ise Shrine (20-24 Honmachi, Ise-shi, Mie-ken; 0596-63-6631). And in February, a handsome new store and cafe opened in Kamakura, conveniently located next to the railway station (12-32 Onari-machi, Kamakura-shi, Kanagawa-ken; 0467-53-8393).

Hot chocolate from ¥630, chocolate bars from ¥1,200; English menu; some English spoken.