Friday, January 25, 2008

Schoggi Joins Shops on Yerba Buena Lane

Yearning for milky, creamy imported Swiss chocolate? Teuscher now has some competition in San Francisco - Schoggi. This new boutique is tucked behind the Four Seasons on Yerba Buena Lane. The pedestrian street is on its way to becoming a foodie haven, with Japan's Beard Papa and a new wine bar, The Press Club, scheduled to open in a few months.

The name "Schoggi" comes from the Swiss-German word for chocolate. (Who knew?) When I stopped by on a Wednesday afternoon, the shop was a serene oasis from the bustle of Market Street and Westfield Center. Schoggi's long marble counter ensures each artfully displayed chocolate has plenty of breathing room. Unlike the small, crowded chocolate shops in Union Square, Schoggi offers tables, chairs and even a unisex restroom. It's a great place to enjoy a cup of coffee or hot chocolate in peace. The smooth, blonde wood and tall ceilings create a modern feel not often associated with Swiss chocolates.

At $65 a pound, Schoggi is not inexpensive - but still less than Teuscher's current $78 a pound. Like most international chocolatiers, Schoggi produces their chocolate in Switzerland, "using an old family recipe" according to the manager. But so far San Francisco is their only retail location. I tried a variety of truffles, but my favorite was the Schoggi "ice square." The subtle mint flavor was refreshing, especially after lunch.

I'll return to Schoggi, and may even consider adding them to my chocolate tours. And the next international chocolate shop scheduled to open in SF? Leonidas. Stay tuned...