A Sweet Tooth’s Guide to Hudson Valley Chocolate Shops

Various chocolate candies on a black background

By Raphael Beretta via HV Mag

Food is always more than just food in the Hudson Valley. When it comes to regional cuisine, each plate tells a story of where and how the ingredients were grown, how the concepts behind the flavors was conceived, and why it looks the way it does. In other words, local dishes are often edible art. Unsurprisingly, crafting the most beautiful and delicious food along the Hudson River is a passion and mission that extends to sweets and chocolates as well.

In the Hudson Valley, local candy makers frequently draw on decades of experience to perfect their craft. Some shops have stood in the same place for 100 years, while others are fresh on the scene with new ideas from around the world. What every spot has in common is a passion for creating the most divinely decadent desserts possible. Is your sweet tooth ready for it?

Albany County

Krause’s Homemade Candy

Albany, 518.869.3950

The Krause family has been crafting homemade chocolate and candies for three generations in Albany. The original shop opened in 1986, and the Krauses have been perfecting the art of candy-making ever since. Krause’s has been providing the Capital Region with classics like peanut brittle, almond butter toffee, chocolate fudge, and much more. Pretty much any sweet you can imagine can be found at this Albany mainstay. For the holidays, grab some assorted chocolate heart boxes or chocolate-covered strawberries for someone special.

Columbia County

Vasilow’s Confectionery, Inc.

Hudson, 518.828.2717

Located in the heart of Hudson, Vasilow’s creates a paradise of classic chocolates and brand-new creations alike. Chocolate-covered fortune cookies, Twizzlers, and potato chips showcase the team’s creativity and willingness to embrace the fun side of the food industry. Its homemade chocolate truffle centers use heavy cream and butter from nearby dairy farms, and decadent fillings can taste of Chardonnay, Raspberry Chambord, Crème de Menthe, and more. The old-world flavors come from family recipes that date back to Vasilow’s opening in 1923, just a few blocks away from its current location.

Verdigris Tea and Chocolates

Hudson, 518.828.3139

Verdigris goes far beyond serving cups of herbal delights (though the teas may be the most pleasant way to start a cold winter morning). Kim Bach opened her first retail store more than a decade ago with the intention of focusing on tea. Yet when she filled a small basket in the center of the shop with “death by chocolate” candies, they took off. A friend to all Hudson Valley chocolatiers, Verdigris carries items from Fruition, Oliver Kita, and much more. If you’re more into drinking the dark stuff, turn to the renowned hot cocoas. A spicy Mexican hot chocolate brings lots of kick, while the Angelina — nearly melted ganache in a cup — has big Parisian flair.

Dutchess County

Alps Sweet Shop

Beacon and Fishkill, 888.442.2577

Alps has 100 years of experience under its belt, with plenty more to go. It was founded in Beacon by chocolatier Peter Charkalis, and the business remains in the family with his granddaughter Sally. Adding to the European influence is Sally’s husband Terry, who has studied in chocolate capitals of the world like Belgium and France. The team prides itself on fresh ingredients and rich-tasting treats. At either location, patrons can spend great amounts of time perusing the decorative assortments under glass. From traditional favorites like the signature Heaven and Earth Truffles (three types of dark chocolate and fresh local cream, rolled in cocoa powder) to fun, gimmicky concepts like chocolate-covered potato chips, there’s something for everyone at Alps.

The Chocolate Studio

Beacon, 845.765.1165

Just a short walk down Main Street from Alps is Beacon’s Chocolate Studio, another local mainstay. The bubbly candy store perpetually stocks the shelves with rich chocolates and the owners’ signature Gourmetibles, a unique cookie-candy hybrid that satisfies big cravings. Much of The Chocolate Studio’s personality can be attributed to sisters Regina Furphy and Anne St. George, who own and run the place. During the summer months, the shop even serves creamy, decadent ice cream, available in both regular and vegan varieties. It’s a must-visit during a stroll through town.

HÅKAN Chocolatier

Beacon, 845.310.4470

Further down Main Street, find one of the more recent additions to the list of Dutchess County’s decadent dessert destinations. HÅKAN Chocolatier draws a crowd for its cocktail lounge-atmosphere and one-of-a-kind, small-batch delights. The shop’s eccentric owner and master chocolatier, Håkan Mårtensson, won multiple international competitions for his creations. His resume is impressive, including a successful stint with the Swedish culinary Olympic team. Find meticulously crafted bonbons filled with exotic flavors like Norwegian goat cheese, tamarind-cardamom, yellow habanero cream, and so much more. Marvel at the massive sculptures made from leftover chocolate, including a menacing dragon. A visit to HÅKAN Chocolatier is an experience; grab-and-go is not an option here. Take a seat under the neon lights and sample wholly unique Hudson Valley chocolates one at a time.

Samuel’s Sweet Shop

Rhinebeck, 845.876.5312

Samuel’s Sweet Shop is a destination unto itself. A passion project for actors Paul Rudd, Hilarie Burton, and Jeffrey Dean Morgan, this Hudson Valley chocolate shop bursts with retro atmosphere. Decorative homages to the pies from Broadway’s Waitress, Welcome Back Cotter lunchboxes, Beatlemania board games, and much more line the walls inside, along with sugary delights. Among the dynamite desserts are the Next Level Sensations: peppermint patties sandwiched between two Oreos and coated in dark chocolate. Rhinebeck’s sweetest celebrity-owned candy shop also pours a delicious hot chocolate that’s decadent in every way, with excellent coffee to boot.

Taste Budd’s Café

Red Hook, 833.462.8337

This Red Hook café fosters an unforgettable experience for your Taste Budd’s. So much of what this all-in-one eatery serves is made from scratch, a fact that can be explained by the multiple graduates from the Culinary Institute of America who are often on staff. The team is passionate about sharing an experience of coffee and chocolate indulgence, one of the finest pairings in the world. Chef Daniel Budd brought more than two decades of experience creating delicious desserts across the country (and in France) to Taste Budd’s when he opened in the Hudson Valley in 2000. African cocoa beans called Forestero make the Belgian and American chocolate exceptionally rich, with a strong flavor of spice. Strawberry balsamic, chai caramel, Guinness, and brown sugar whiskey — the latter which bursts with chili pepper and whiskey ganache — are some of the unique truffles from Taste Budd’s. The dark chocolate “Passion Pyramids” are visually striking in arrangement and full of bright passion fruit filling.

Tempered Chocolate

Hopewell Junction, 845.592.1241

Founded recently in 2023, Tempered Chocolate was inspired by owners Diana Ocasio and Andrea Lanzetta’s love of chocolate. The two received professional chocolatier training through Canadian institution Ecole Chocolate and Chicago-based The Chocolate Academy. The Hopewell Junction chocolates will satisfy your every craving with options like peppermint bark, cherry cordials, chocolate covered nuts and fruit, and peanut butter and fluff cups. For Valentine’s Day, opt for the heart-shaped chocolate lollipop or the rose lollipop bouquet for that special someone.

Orange County

Commodore Chocolatier

Newburgh, 845.561.3960

Commodore Chocolatier is a fan-favorite business located on Broadway in Newburgh. Commodore is a family-owned business established in 1935 and currently under the stewardship of the second and third generations. Utilizing high-quality ingredients sourced locally and globally, Commodore crafts delicious confections like pistachio cardamom truffles, the historically-inspired “Chop Suey,” and a plethora of marvelous chocolate molds.

LoveBites Chocolate Shoppe

Monroe, 845.238.5511

Located just off Main Street in Monroe, LoveBites serves Orange County with a wide array of tasty treats. Hudson Valley chocolate lovers will find all the fan favorites here: chocolate-covered espresso beans, sea salt caramel pretzels, peanut clusters, cherry cordials, and more. Tiramisu truffles and chocolate-dipped sponge candy demonstrate the shop’s willingness to experiment on the quest to provide the Hudson Valley with amazing delicacies. The milkshakes have won Best of the Hudson Valley awards before and are dangerously delicious and extremely Instagrammable.

Greene County

Catskill Chocolate Co.

Catskill, 518.719.0473

Catskill Chocolate Co. uses only the best ingredients, even if it means doing things the hard way sometimes. This sweet shop is picky about who they do business with, always making sure that its coffee beans, cocoa beans, and all other ingredients are ethically sourced, locally grown, and organic when they can be. Hit up the espresso bar for a caffeine pick-me-up, and check out the chocolates to take home, including chocolate-covered mango slices, assorted bark, and chocolate-coated fruits and nuts. Non-chocolate sweets also abound in the form of vegan gummy bears, sour belts, and mini fish.

Rensselaer County

Primo Chocolate

Troy, 518.712.9495

Primo Chocolate is the first bean-to-bar chocolate company in the Capital Region and takes the chocolate-making process very seriously. It all starts with raw cocoa beans from indigenous, Latin American farmers. Primo believes in honoring the source of its chocolate as the team crafts each sweet on the premises in Troy. Also, Primo harnesses the power of non-psychedelic mushrooms in the chocolate to make the final product taste as good as it makes your feel. Try fun flavors like cardamom-infused milk chocolate or peanut butter cups made with reishi mushroom.

Rockland County

Lucas Candies

Haverstraw, 845.947.1220

This family-owned business is bursting with personality and creativity in the Hudson Valley. The shop has been making candy in the same location since the 1890s. In other words, the Lucas family knows how to make delicious treats. Get a taste of the most popular cocoa-based confections including tons of gourmet chocolate bars, chocolate-covered Oreos and pretzels, and Gobs, a.k.a. dark chocolate and caramel-covered marshmallows. Locals go crazy for the chocolate strawberries around Valentine’s Day.

Tree of Chocolate

Nyack, 845.348.9899

Nyack has an especially indulgent chocolate experience in store for those with a cocoa craze. Travels to South America, Europe, and across the United States imbue the team at Tree of Chocolate with a passion for culture and cuisine. The chocolate pizza is a great centerpiece for a party spread or enjoyable by the slice. Mexican chocolate, praline, orange peel, and other classic flavors tempt innermost cravings. Tree of Chocolate also carries top-tier bars from other purveyors with bold flavor combinations like parmesan-walnut-fig, cheddar-apple, and turmeric-ginger.

Ulster County

EJ Bonbons & Confections


In Woodstock, talented chefs Emily Kellogg and Pierre Pouplard, who met working at a three-Michelin-starred restaurant in New York City, opened this boutique chocolate shop to share their unique creations. These aren’t your average truffles and bonbons; instead, they are decorated to perfection and packed with strong cocoa flavors that bring you on a journey of discovery with each new bite. Grab a chocolate bar, tin of nougat, box of caramels, or the popular assorted bonbon box to experience EJ’s fine confections.

Fruition Chocolate

Shokan, 845.657.6717

Fruition Chocolate is a name to remember. Founder Bryan Graham graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and put his expertise to work. Fruition’s cacao beans come from fair trade organic growers and are roasted and ground on location in Shokan. The result? Deep, decadent, full-flavored chocolate that only Fruition can make. Local ingredients like Hudson Valley fruit, maple syrup, honey, and even locally distilled bourbon add nuance to every bar. Shop gift baskets for the ultimate Hudson Valley chocolate lover on Fruition’s website.

Hudson Valley Chocolates

Wallkill, 845.851.8232

Say “J’aime le chocolat” at Hudson Valley Chocolates, a hand-crafted confection shop run by French-American pâtissier and chocolate-maker Stephanie Glaisek. She studied under famous French chocolatier Henri Le Roux and worked in Avignon. Glaisek’s passion for candy started as a consumer and grew with each professional experience, including working as a pastry chef for the Castle at Tarrytown. The resulting candy draws inspiration from classic dessert flavor pairings, like dark chocolate-dipped apricots or toasted coconut bark. Ornately decorated desserts in every box of confections display fleur-de-lis, colorful flowers, and other intricate designs. For those who love a good crunch, try the signature “Cornflake Clusters.”

Krause’s Chocolates

Rhinebeck, 845.876.3909; New Paltz, 845.255.1272; and Saugerties, 845.246.8377

After a lengthy hike in the Shawangunk Mountains, few things compare to a cold, refreshing, chocolate-dipped frozen banana from Krause’s New Paltz location. Owner Karl Krause uses a Swiss formula for chocolate free of any waxes, oils, or unpleasant aftertaste. Hand-dipped items from one of three Krause locations will blow foodies away. In the family for three generations, Krause’s has mastered the arts of confection, drawing upon Karl Krause’s grandfather’s recipes with new and unique creations constantly making their way into the lineup. Plus, the seasonal molded sweets make for perfect gifts to commemorate almost any holiday.

Lagusta’s Luscious

New Paltz, 845.633.8615

Vegan foodies have their very own haven at cookbook author and plant-based alchemist Lagusta Yearwood’s New Paltz sweet shop. With a keen sense of social justice, Yearwood battles industrial agriculture one chocolate-covered caramel at a time, with absolutely no animal products used. Having perfected alternative ingredients, Yearwood makes chewy cardamom caramels, tasty tahini meltaways, and creamy mousse cups. Lagusta’s Luscious treats not only taste amazing, but also look strikingly unique. Anatomically correct heart bonbons (that actually bleed), maple cream leaves, and more edible artwork pop out of their assortment boxes. Subscription boxes can keep the sweets coming every single month, with themed desserts available in-store for every celebration under the sun.

Lucky Chocolates

Saugerties, 845.247.3134

Anyone who stumbles into this Ulster County confectionery should consider themselves very lucky indeed. A local favorite for candies and truffles, the Saugerties destination also serves a stellar hot cocoa, paired perfectly with a piece of Lucky’s homemade peppermint bark. Founder Rae Stang loved the idea of producing small pieces of art with shortened lifespans. Stang and his crew push for local and organic ingredients as much as possible and even develop several vegan options. Truffle varieties include honey butter, crème brûlée, blood orange, and much more.

Posted in