Best New Global Chocolate Emporium

What’s old is new and what’s new is newsworthy in our annual list of the local people, places and things that have caught our eyes and captured our imagination this year. Here's a sneak peak at one of our picks for Best of the City 2023.
Shelves of Chocolate at Cafe Xocolatl


In March, Ariel Wolansky, owner of Nevada City’s Choquiero Cacao Cafe, held the grand opening for his newest venture, downtown Sacramento’s Cafe Xocolatl, (pronounced sho-co-lottel). Dubbed a “chocolate, tea & elixir communal cafe,” it offers 200 varieties of chocolates from 25 countries, including regional treats from Sacramento’s Luchador Coffee, Roseville’s Cru Chocolate, and Wolansky’s own Choquiero label. The majority of chocolate goodies—which range from bars to truffles and drinking chocolates—are vegan (indicated by green stickers on the shelves), and 100% of them are fair trade, environmentally grown and ethically sourced. There are also chocolate and tea ceremonies on-site that educate patrons about the history and health properties of their offerings, as well a kitchen that serves up savory vegetarian dishes and sweet plant-based desserts. So whether we’re in the mood for dairy-free Brazilian dark chocolate with candied cupuaçu fruit or a vegan breakfast empanada or raspberry cashew cheesecake, Cafe X marks the spot.

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