Valentine’s Day & Chocolate in the Big Apple


It’s rolling around to my very favorite holiday: Valentine’s Day! It’s a day to get sweet on the ones you love and New York City offers no lack of opportunities to get knee deep in that sweetness. Below are four ways which will have you crushing on the holiday just as much as I do. Pick one or a few and spoil those you love.  After all, everyone loves chocolate!

Valentines Day

For the Girly-Girls: Fashion Chocolates

Fashion plus chocolate is enough to make a handful of girls weak in the knees. If you happen to know one such lady, indulge them in their own sweet selection of fashion chocolates from Li-Lac Chocolates, Manhattan’s oldest chocolate house. The gourmet chocolate house makes hand-made small batches of chocolate in their wonderful Brooklyn Factory. Bonus points? It is also gluten free and Kosher certified.

From lipstick boxes to high heels, these classy milk and dark creations pair perfectly for a unique Valentine’s Day gift that trumps the drugstore heart shaped box by like, a million. I can swear they taste just as delicious as they are pretty.

For the Adventurous: Chocolate Bus Tour of Brooklyn

Ever since taking their Christmas Lights Tour, I’ve been a big fan of A Slice of Brooklyn! When I heard they offer a chocolate bus tour of Brooklyn, I was all like “where do I sign up?!” The tour takes you to the most exclusive chocolatiers in Brooklyn, visiting the neighborhoods of Red Hook, Cobble Hill, Gowanus, and more! And yes, you get to sample tons of chocolates along the way–as well as have lots of sweet Instagrammable moments. The tour lasts 4 hours and is $50 for an adult ticket, $40 for a child’s. A pretty good Valentine’s Day deal, if you ask me!

Bonus: you’ll be visiting Li-Lac, the folks above who make the pretty chocolates! So you can essentially have a two for one experience.

For the Soulful: Festival Of Love

On February 14th, the Bhakti Center on the Lower East Side will be hosting their Festival of Love event. From 7pm to 9pm, you can engage in yoga, kirtan, love songs, love letter writing, dinner, and a chocolate fest! The festivities start at 7, and dinner begins at 9. Couples, singles, friends, and family are all encouraged to attend. Tickets are $35.

On a personal note, this is the spot I’ve been doing my Yoga Teacher Training the past few months, and I really can’t say enough good things about them or the sweet community they’ve created. You’ll have a very special time there!

For the Hungry: Ayza Wine & Chocolate Bar

Ayza has been one of my favorite sweet spots over the years to go for drinks and apps. Centrally located on 31st Street, you’ll be pleased with their chocolate martini selection (hello, chocolate almost martini!), all served with a chocolate truffle from Jacques Torres. They have plenty of chocolatey desserts, from their chocolate pizza to their 20 layer crepes, and tons of individual chocolates to choose from.

Note: on February 14th they offer a $79 prix fixe menu–but if drinks and desserts are more your jam, celebrate your day of love on a different day (we’re totally doing V-Day on the 15th this year–so much easier to find a babysitter!) They have live jazz every Monday from 7 to 10pm, Girls Night every Tuesday (which gets you a free chocolate shot and chocolate covered strawberry!), and Couple’s Night every Sunday.

How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year? Wishing you all lots of love from New York City!


Jessica Tiare Bowen
Jessica Tiare Bowen lives in the juicy Big Apple with her adorable pink-nosed chihuahua, Gillman. He's the inspiration for her first published children's book, "Park Avenue Pound Puppy." The book is the combined result of her two greatest passions: pooches and penning stories.

Her passions include art, urban hikes through Manhattan, drinking coffee with 3 creams and 6 sugars, making extremely detailed itineraries and traveling to far away places, singing along to Broadway shows, Netflix movie nights, discovering incredible treasures at Goodwill and thrift stores, and listening to stories from little people under 7 and big people over 70.

She started her career as New York City Teaching Fellow, teaching elementary school and theater arts at a special education school in the South Bronx for 6 years. She is now a Special Education School Improvement Specialist working in public schools throughout New York City. She is the Editor-In-Chief of the online New York City travel magazine, Used York City. The magazine focuses on finding the best of New used by New Yorkers. She is a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators, and an ASPCA Ambassador.
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