Chocoholics Rejoice! We've Got the Top Shops in NYC

Chocolate is the only thing that can make New Yorkers slow down for a moment

NYC may be known as the Big Apple, but when it comes to chocolate, the apple takes a back seat. Some of the country's best chocolate shops are sweetening up the city with their unique and decadent offerings, causing city dwellers to drool. Here are a bunch to try out when your sweet tooth starts to send that unmistakable "I need sugar" signal to your brain. Enjoy!

Cacao Market by MarieBelle

Cacao MarketVia greenpointers.com

Brooklynites are going bananas (chocolate-covered ones at that) over Cacao Market by MarieBelle – a "chocolate apothecary" that features some of the finest chocolate confections a chocoholic could ever crave. From ganache to chocolate bars and balls to caramels, Cacao Market's treats are gourmet, artisanal, and simply delicious. Mint chip malt balls are unique and refreshing, the rum raisin chocolate bar is divine, and double chocolate bacon pretzel bites ought to be a sin. Don't pass up a mug of Aztec Hot Chocolate while the weather is still brisk. Stop in, seduce your senses, and leave feeling like you've won the chocolate lottery.

67 Guernsey St. Brooklyn, NY

Kee's Chocolates

Kee's Via bittersweetnotes.com

With two locations in NYC, Kee's Chocolates is giving Manhattanites a taste of batches of the best chocolates in the city. Freshly made each day and varied based on which ingredients are available, Kee's Chocolates is all about quality. Their chocolates are like none other, with creative flavors like balsamic (dark chocolate ganache with balsamic vinegar and pecans); blended pepper (four different peppercorns with dark chocolate ganache); blood orange (dark chocolate truffles with fresh blood orange infused with cream and Grand Marnier); and green tea (white chocolate truffles rolled in green tea powder), among dozens more. Kee's Chocolates makes macarons too in flavors like key lime, truffle oil, mint mocha, and sesame. The key to the perfect treat? Kee's Chocolates!

315 W. 39th St. New York, NY

452 Fifth Ave. (inside HSBC) New York, NY

Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate

KreutherVia grubstreet.com

The pastry chef of Gabriel Kruether Restaurant in Bryant Park, Marc Aumont is the force behind Kruether Handcrafted Chocolate, a space so special, even the biggest chocolate connoisseurs can't believe their palates. The flavors are indescribable, and the pairings are perfect, making each morsel a magical and mouthwatering experience. You must try Kreuther's specialty bonbons in flavors like dulce de coco with pineapple, and butternut squash with nutmeg. If pralines are your passion, indulge in almond hazelnut vanilla or peanut salted caramel. The chocolates are just as impressive – pick from honey saffron, gingerbread, Costa Rican coffee, or barrel aged stout, to name a few fabulous flavors. Bring home a box of cheesecake macarons or a jar of house-made hazelnut spread. They sell pastries too, so consider your visit to Kreuther Handcrafted Chocolate your "cheat day."

43 W. 42nd St. New York, NY

Stick with Me Sweets

Stick With Me Via wheretraveler.com

Everything at Stick with Me is made in small batches, bringing handmade hard work to your fingertips and through your lips. The small shiny glazed bonbons are elegantly crafted and decorated (they take three full days to make) and packaged in creative "book boxes," each telling a tale of temptation, holding 6, 12, or 24 bite-sized pieces of perfection. The bonbons are filled with flavors like passion fruit, mint, bourbon-maple-pecan, and praline, making each one special… but who could eat just one? Stay tuned for more offerings from Stick with Me; they plan to begin crafting caramels, truffles, mini candy bars, and other confections. We know they'll be worth the wait, and we'll stick with you, Stick with Me!

202A Mott St. New York, NY

Tache Artisan Chocolate

Tache Via yelp.com

Drop by Tache Artisan Chocolate and experience some of the finest artisan chocolates on the East Coast where every morsel is hand-crafted and innovative. Truffles, clusters, bars, you name it, Tache Artisan Chocolate is a New York spot that's a must-visit for those with even the slightest sweet tooth. Try something out-of-the-box like their Moroccan 5 spice truffles, the French rose bar (French rosewater infused in a dark chocolate ganache), passionfruit and mango caramel truffles, or spiced chocolate bark. Get whimsical with chocolate covered puffed cereal pops or celebrate life with a box of champagne truffles. If you want to learn how to make your own chocolates, Tache Artisan Chocolate holds chocolate-making classes where you can learn the basics and bring home your own creations… if you don't devour them on the walk home!

163 Chrystie St. Suite B2 New York, NY

Rich and creamy, smooth and silky. Chocolate is the only thing that can make New Yorkers slow down for a moment and take pleasure in perfection.

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10 Endangered Animals to Weep Over

Celebrate Endangered Species Day.

An endangered species is not a tragedy, because if a species is endangered, then they aren't yet extinct.

Sadly, there are millions of endangered species across the world, all facing threats that mostly stem from human activities. Still, it's not too late. Take a gander at these majestic animals, and then donate to a wildlife fund or environmental activism group of your choice.


Of course, nature doesn't need saving—humans do—and climate change and environmental destruction are threats to humans as well as animals, but if you need a reminder of the beauty and fragility of the natural world, check out these extraordinary species.



SPONSORED

Do Non-Melatonin Sleep Aids Really Work?

Objective makes a chocolate square.

I Can't Sleep.

I truly cannot remember the last time I had a good night's rest. Even before the stay-at-home orders, I was just a little ball of nerves.

But lately, it's been awful. I toss and turn, it's always too hot or even too cold, sometimes I make myself tea and read for a bit, but when I'm still up at 1 a.m., I reach for my phone and then I'm up until 3. My sister and I have a weekly call, and our small talk about our exhaustion turned into an hour long conversation about sleep.

I Thought I'd Tried Everything. Even Melatonin.

My sister asked why I hadn't gone for the old staple, melatonin and I reminded her about the time we traveled abroad, and it gave me the weirdest nightmares (the horrible kind where you wake up in your dream and you're still in a dream). Chamomile tea didn't work, nothing worked.

She said she had a friend who swore by something I definitely hadn't heard of.

They Were NOT Pills, Teas or Anything I'd Seen Before.

A company called Objective makes Fast Asleep, a sleep solution delivered as chocolatey treats. They're created with saffron and GABA. If going to sleep was as easy as eating a piece of these chocolatey, minty delights every night, I'd be sold.

What Exactly Was In It?

Cocoa contains caffeine, so I didn't know how this would help me sleep. After talking with my sister, I went online and saw that the calming, sleep-supporting ingredients cancel out any of the very little caffeine content.

Saffron, the spice, is apparently known to help with staying asleep, and their GABA is a fermented version of the neurotransmitter that's known to help you relax and fall asleep faster. In a study, 100% of customers saw improvement in their sleep quality thanks to saffron. One hundred percent!

Do I Try It?

A bag of 30 pieces was only $40, and they had a money-back guarantee.

They're keto-friendly and only 30 calories a piece, so not too decadent before bedtime.

They were chocolatey-minty, which is my favorite flavor, so I was sold. I ordered a bag to try.

The First Night, I Wasn't Impressed.

I took one piece (super yummy!) - 30-60 minutes before bedtime is recommended - but when I climbed in, I didn't notice a difference. I was worried I'd wasted my money.

However, once I fell asleep, I stayed asleep until my alarm went off, which hasn't always been the case for me.

I checked the site again, and noticed that many people didn't notice a real difference until the third or fourth night - it builds up in your system over time, so I decided to keep an open mind the rest of the week.

The Second Night Was Completely Different

Without doing anything differently from the first night, my second night was amazing. I felt calm and sleepy as I was getting ready for bed, and once I hit the pillow, I was out the whole night.

It had to be these sweet treats. The next day, I even felt more balanced and relaxed - Fast Asleep helps boost serotonin levels and reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), and I definitely noticed a difference in my overall mood and alertness.

I Already Ordered More.

Just In Case! There's nothing habit-forming about this product, so it's completely safe to take every night, and I honestly always want to keep it in the house. I'd also love to offer it to anyone staying over in the guest room, whenever we have guests again.

Now that I'm getting a healthy 8 hours of sleep every night, I feel more equipped during the day to tackle the things I need to do and deal with some of my daytime stressors. I finally had the energy to clean the kitchen, which had been bothering me so much for the past few weeks.

With Objective's Fast Asleep, I get real sleep and balance my levels, so I don't have to feel tired during my waking hours. Sleep in the form of chocolate squares sounds so weird, but oh my goodness, do they work.

Our partners at Objective Wellness are currently offering a 25% discount if you use the coupon code STAYHOME. Check them out here!

Food & Drink

The Best Apps for Craft Beer Delivery

Try beers from all over the world–from your phone.

With breweries and distilleries out of business for the foreseeable future, your favorite beer may feel particularly out of reach this time of year, especially with the weather changing. But don't let quarantine suck all the fun out of summer. Luckily, thanks to technology, a lot of craft beer is now deliverable straight to your door step. Here are a few of the best apps to help make sure you stay up to date on the latest trendy brews.

Tavour

Tavour

Simplistic and elegant, Tavour allows users to easily fill up a box of beer over a period of time before shipping. The app offers more than 650 different breweries both local and national and is perfect for those who like to experiment. It's easy to use, and their menu rotates regularly so you and your beer never grow stale.

TapRM

TapRM

TapRM offers a wide range of both craft beers and hard seltzers. While based almost exclusively in New York City, the app offers fast, same day delivery from some of the best beer brands in the world. They also provide a unique selection of beers to help you find your new favorite. All you need to do is download the app and place your order!

Drizly

Offering a stark variety of craft beer, Drizly allows its users to mix and match 12-packs, sixers or by the bottle. Their guarantee is that they can have whatever you order delivered to your house in less than an hour. You can even schedule your delivery for a specific time, with each delivery taking around 20-40 minutes.

Saucey

Saucey takes delivery very seriously. When you order with them they guarantee that they'll deliver in 30-minutes or less, or they guarantee two day shipping. Also, beer aside, their entire liquor cabinet is also up for grabs. From tequila and whiksey, to vodka and wine, nothing is off the table for Saucey.

Beer Menus

BeerMenus

For those who enjoy strictly local beers, BeerMenus features a tap list from local bars and a broader stock list from your neighborhood beer store. With that, you can make sure to create a list of your favorite beers in your neighborhood, so that when they're in stock you can be ready to go.