Everyone likes chocolate, it’s practically a scientific fact, but the southwest isn’t typically where one ventures when they’ve got sweet treats on the brain—but maybe they should. Santa Fe, New Mexico is known for a vibrant art scene and small town charm that rivals that of many east coast competitors. It’s known for the smell of dried chili peppers hanging in the air and fair weather that makes strolling through the downtown area on any given day a breeze. What it should be known for, however, is the decadent experience that is the Santa Fe Chocolate Trail.
A stroll to remember
Anyone who travels with kids is looking for something unique and downright yummy to tempt little ones into good behavior, and in Santa Fe, they’ve found it. Little shops offering chocolate in all shapes and flavors can be found in alley ways off of and in close proximity to the town’s main plaza where all the action is. If you or your kids have tired of strolling through the shops and visiting the museums, it might be time to stop in at the ChocolateSmith, Todos Santos or C.G. Higgins Confections.
Each shop has something that makes it special, but our vote goes to Kakawa. It’s a 15 minute walk from the downtown area, but is easily accessible by car and has ample parking out front, which will likely be easier for you and your toddler than traipsing around downtown looking for the other shops.
What you’ll find at Kakawa Chocolate House
Once you walk in the door, the smells are delightfully overwhelming. The display cases are small, but there is plenty of good stuff inside. As a chocolate lover with simple tastes, I was drawn to the simpler fare and left with a bag full of milk chocolate coins that, between myself and the little ones, didn’t last an hour. For anyone who enjoys the more adventurous characteristics, however, you won’t be disappointed.
There are all different types of caramels, truffles and other treats all made in house. The milk chocolate truffle is a great way to introduce your toddler to a treat other than a chocolate bar without overwhelming their taste buds with tastes that were designed for a more adult palate. If you enjoy your chocolate a little bit more advanced, go for a chocolate covered chili pepper or a floral sampling. They have flavors that you didn’t know could or should exist in chocolate, and it’s wonderful.
Kakawa is well-known for its drinking chocolate, but what they serve is unlikely to resemble the hot cocoa you are accustomed to drinking at home. The “elixirs”, as the shop calls them, come in a variety of flavors, some more traditionally American and others full of qualities and spices preferred by the makers of the Old World.
Sit down with your little darling and soak up the ambiance of this little shop as you gobble up your well-deserved desserts. Then grab a business card or twenty and send them all in your Christmas card to family and friends so they know exactly where to shop for you this holiday season, before you head back out into the sunshine to indulge in another fabulous day in Santa Fe.