Born of owner Arcelia Gallardo and co-owner Amelia Gonzalez’ passion for Latin America’s rich pre-Colombian heritage, Casa de Chocolates offers spicy, artisanal iterations of the divine sweet, expertly accented by the flavors of Mesoamerica’s traditional food staples. The women’s dual interests in the culinary and cultural make for an exciting, informed menu — one can pick up a box of mole, passionfruit, guayaba, and tamarind-filled handmade bon-bons, or leave the realm of cacao entire for a silky pumpkin flan or a chipotle caramel. There is such a thing as a tequila-filled chocolate butterfly! Though many items, like a foot-wide dark chocolate rendering of the revered Aztec calendar, are available in the shop’s online store, you’ll have to make an in-person appearance for some specialties including a piquant glass of frozen Mexican chocolate, or standout tres leches cupcakes.
2629 Ashby, Berk. (510) 859-7221, www.casadechocolates.com