While we know the holidays are all about spending time with family and friends and sharing the love, it’s also an excuse to splurge. There are plenty of places to do that, but the Royal Chocolate is a local favorite known for its unique flavors. It also happens to be Virginia Beach’s premiere gourmet chocolate shop. They’re completely locally-owned specialize in all things chocolate — warm drinks to keep the chill out in the colder months, gourmet chocolate desserts, pre-made chocolate boxes, and even specialized holiday treats to gift to loved ones. While it’s well-known to the locals, especially considering their free local deliveries to the area, a lot of tourists overlook it in favor of the bigger chains around the area (there’s a Godiva store not too far). This hidden gem is well worth the look, however.
During the summer months, The Royal Chocolate is known for their frozen hot chocolate drinks (a personal favorite is the peppermint white chocolate!). In the winter, these drinks become warming, belly-filling treats that keep out the cold even as you’re facing the harsher winds on the beach. Word of mouth has customers coming in to sample their spicy Mayan chocolate, which you won’t find anywhere else around. It definitely has a kick to it, and the aftertaste will leave you reeling in the best way possible. If you’re feeling brave, you can even melt this chocolate into a drink to sip in the cozy space in the shop or carry around with you in a To-Go cup. It might make your mouth burn a little, but the decadent flavor is worth the extra spice.
And who doesn’t like a nice warm cup of Italian hot chocolate?
During the holiday season, they’re kicked even more into gear. They’ve got a variety of Christmas-oriented gift baskets, featuring snowmen, reindeer, Jack Frost, and Santa himself. These range from the more savory tastes and darker chocolates (with some delicious twists, like rich raspberry) to the good old-fashioned sweet white and milk chocolate that kids love, so if you’re looking for baskets fit for different ages, you won’t be disappointed.
Either way, it’s worth a stop if you’re looking to warm up and want something a little sweeter than a Starbucks coffee. If you’ve stopped by before, what’s your favorite original treat?