Nashville is good for country music, Southern comfort food, divey bars, and sweets. Yes, sweets—of the chocolate variety, specifically. Truffles, pralines, fudge, and you-name-it, all made from scratch in Music City, U.S.A. Is there a better way to recover from the night before than with a sampling of Nashville's best chocolatiers?
The folks at this beloved Marathon Village staple call themselves "sugar-peddlers specializing in whimsical confections," and if you're wondering what, exactly, those "whimsical confections" are, they're artisanal marshmallows. Marshmallows infused with flavors like violet gin lemon and chocolate chili. The charming, all-brick space is cute as a button, too.
Mackenzie Colt of "Hee Haw Honeys" fame is the mastermind behind Colts Chocolates in Inglewood. Her client list reads like a who's who with names that include everyone from Dolly Parton, Vince Gill, and Garth Brooks to Joan Rivers, Geraldo Riveria, Dick Clark, and even George Bush. Highlights include the rocky road pecan brownie, the whiskey caramel pecan brownie, and the Southern chess pie.
If you're looking for something familiar, Nashville's resident Godiva Chocolatier is located in The Mall at Green Hills. You can expect all your favorites, from truffle flights to chocolate cherry cordials and, of course, everyone's favorite: those colossal chocolate-covered strawberries.
Nashville Chocolate & Nut Company has been a local staple for more than a decade. The locally-owned gourmet candy and nut supplier is known for putting a Nashville spin on its offerings, such as chocolates in the shape of fiddles, honeycomb chocolates, chocolate-dipped Oreos decorated with musical notes, and more. It also sells a mean "Smokin' Southwest" trail mix and hot chicken crackers (in case you thought it couldn't get any more Nashville).
Nashville Toffee Company's delectable sweets are sold in almost a dozen different states, but as the name suggests, Nashville is its home base. While it doesn't have a brick-and-mortar store to visit, you can pick up some tasty almond toffee crumbles at several locations throughout the city, including the Country Museum Hall of Fame Museum Store, the Hermitage Hotel, and the Tennessee State Museum Store. Nashville Toffee Company promises to use all-natural ingredients and is kosher certified, too.
Olive & Sinclair Chocolates is located in East Nashville and produces about half a dozen varieties of artisan chocolate bars directly from the bean. It uses ethically sourced organic cocoa and a combination of techniques, both new and old, to create some of the richest, most mouthwatering sweets in all of Nashville. You can even take a tour of the chocolate factory, which sounds like a pretty good way to make the kids happy in Music City. Adults will love the unique caramel infusions, including bourbon, salt and vinegar, and duck fat.
While Pralines by Leon didn't open a brick-and-mortar space until 1988, the founders claim to have a family history in candy making that dates back 150 years. These fourth-generation chocolatiers are known far and wide for their beloved white chocolate turtles, caramel pecan rolls, and alcohol-infused pecan pralines (with Disaronno amaretto, Maker's Mark, and Jack Daniel's).
The three-generation, family-owned Schakolad Chocolate Factory in Franklin offers more than 70 flavors, all made in-house with natural, fresh, and local ingredients. This place is European in its approach to chocolate, unlike some of the Southern-influenced sweet shops in this region, and it offers something for the kosher and vegan client, too.
The Standard Candy Company has been around for more than a century, but the brand has shifted its focus entirely to its most popular creation: the Goo Goo Cluster, which it created in 1912. This old-timey favorite is a combination of marshmallow, nougat, caramel, and peanuts, covered in milk chocolate (what more could you want?). Now, the Goo Goo Cluster has a store of its own in Downtown Nashville.