There’s nothing quite like the taste of a delicious chocolate, and when it comes in a box, all the better! Here are some of the best boxed chocolates that you can find.
1. Godiva Chocolates
Godiva is a well-known and loved brand of chocolates, and their boxed chocolates are no exception. They come in a variety of flavors, including milk, dark, and white chocolate, and there’s sure to be a flavor that everyone will love.
2. Lindt Swiss Chocolates
Lindt is a Swiss chocolate company that is known for their high-quality chocolates. Their boxed chocolates are no exception, and they come in a variety of flavors, including milk, dark, and white chocolate, as well as a variety of specialty flavors.
3. Ghirardelli Chocolates
Ghirardelli is another well-known and loved brand of chocolates, and their boxed chocolates are no exception. They come in a variety of flavors, including milk, dark, and white chocolate, and there’s sure to be a flavor that everyone will love.
4. Godiva Chocolates
Godiva is a well-known and loved brand of chocolates, and their boxed chocolates are no exception. They come in a variety of flavors, including milk, dark, and white chocolate, and there’s sure to be a flavor that everyone will love.
5. Russell Stover Chocolates
Russell Stover is a well-known and loved brand of chocolates, and their boxed chocolates are no exception. They come in a variety of flavors, including milk, dark, and white chocolate, and there’s sure to be a flavor that everyone will love.
Best all-around chocolates: Recchiuti Confections Black Box
Recchiuti Confections Black Box
The best boxed chocolates
With perfectly executed flavors and an eye-popping array of shapes and textures, the Recchiuti box was our tasters’ top choice, beating a lineup of new- and old-world boutique chocolates.
Recchiuti Confections Love and Truffles
The best boxed chocolates
The chocolate assortment in this Valentine’s Day–themed box is exactly the same as in the Black Box. This one just has different packaging.
$50 from Recchiuti Confections
May be out of stock
Who these are for: Adventurous chocolate lovers and traditionalists alike—those who will appreciate creative riffs on a classic chocolate selection.
Why they’re great: Unlike many of the boxed chocolates we’ve tried, the 16-piece Recchiuti Confections Black Box offers a full sensory experience—which is part of the reason to give boxed chocolates in the first place. The flavor combinations are what really set this selection apart from the competition: Every piece is memorable. Classic concoctions, such as Burnt Caramel and Piedmont Hazelnut, offer just the right balance of sweet and bitter. Adventurous flavors, like Tarragon Grapefruit or Star Anise & Pink Peppercorn, are never overpowering (a problem we’ve encountered with most other flavored chocolates). The Sesame Nougat (the first one we tried) still sticks out as one of the best. It has the perfect texture of chewy caramel, a little crunch from toasted sesame seeds, and the snap of perfectly tempered dark chocolate.
We found the chocolate itself to be of high quality, with the subtle, long flavor that comes from great cacao. The bonbons aren’t too sweet, either. There’s just enough sugar to balance out the flavors. By comparison, the Fran’s and Neuhaus chocolates we tried were too sweet for our liking. And we found the actual chocolate shells of both the Jacques Torres and Tumbador bonbons to be flat-tasting.
Among all of the chocolates we tested, the Recchiuti bonbons come in the most intriguing shapes and designs. No two chocolates are alike. Some have intricate patterns, while others look like little sculptures. The unique quality of the Recchiuti chocolates is in sharp contrast with the bonbons in a number of other boxes we tested. For instance, the John & Kira’s box was filled with 15 squares of the same shape, size, and texture (a little monotonous for a romantic gift).
To top it off, the Recchiuti packaging—a matte black box that’s sexy, without being excessive or too obvious—looks and feels much more elegant than offerings from every other brand we looked at. (If the black box doesn’t appeal to you, Recchiuti sometimes offers seasonal versions with different packaging. For Valentine’s Day 2022, there’s a Love and Truffles box, which is silver with a red sleeve.) The Recchiuti box includes a minimally designed booklet explaining the flavors, featuring black-and-white illustrations of each chocolate. With the exception of the Richart Initiation box, none of the other assortments we tried were presented in such a cohesive package. And we found the Recchiuti chocolates key much easier to decipher than keys for most of the other brands.
The Recchiuti Black Box has become a popular gift among our coworkers in the years since we first recommended it, in 2014. Managing editor Annam Swanson told us, “I bought the Black Box for my boyfriend for Christmas … and wow, were we impressed! Gorgeous packaging … and every single chocolate was delicious and unique.”
Flaws but not dealbreakers: These chocolates come in some pretty esoteric flavor combinations (more of a caveat than a flaw). Even though we don’t think any of them would be offensive, they may be a little “out there” for some people. (Those palates might be happier with the well-made, straightforward chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat.)
Pieces per box: 16
Weight: 6.25 ounces
Shipping: Recchiuti ships throughout the US via FedEx. Costs range from $12 for standard shipping to $25 for priority overnight. Although you’ll find this brand at some individual stores, mostly in California, the website has the best selection.
A flight of flavors: Richart Initiation
Fun for connoisseurs
This two-tiered box offers a chocolate experience that’s as aesthetically pleasing as it is palate-teasing.
*At the time of publishing, the price was $47.
Who these are for: Food enthusiasts who would enjoy exploring a wide array of flavors or tasting the nuances of different single-origin chocolates side by side.
Why they’re great: As its name suggests, the Richart Initiation box is intended as an introduction to the universe of flavors and techniques in the French chocolate maker’s arsenal. Each box contains 16 miniature chocolates and 16 thin chocolate squares (called “ultra-fines”), packed in separate layers. As tiny and delicate as the chocolates are, they aren’t meant to be wolfed down. The precision of the flavors in the fillings and the complexity of the single-origin wafers both demand appreciation. This is the perfect gift for someone who likes to guess the ingredients in whatever they’re eating and someone who finds taste to be a fun game of discovery.
The quirky packaging enhances that sense of wonder. Each level of the two-tiered box pulls out like a drawer, revealing a mosaic of neatly arranged chocolates. The top layer holds a tidy grid of diminutive one-bite bonbons, featuring colorful patterns that (with the help of a legend) tell you what’s inside. The bottom layer contains a quadrant of glossy chocolate tiles. These tiles have a pleasing snap when you bite into them, releasing waves of flavor as they melt on your tongue. (The tiles don’t require a flavor key: The cacao content and the beans’ origins are “printed” on each tile in an eye-catching graphic, with tasting notes on the reverse side, en Français.)
The Richart Initiation is a true sampler, and the filled chocolates represent the following diverse categories: fruity, citrus, floral, herbal, spicy, roasted (including caramels and pralines), and balsam (ganaches that are single-origin or flavored with botanicals like vanilla or tonka bean). What struck us was how true the promised flavors were and how much punch was packed into each bite. “What kind of sorcery do they use to get such outsize fruit flavor into their fruit ganaches?” asked supervising editor Marilyn Ong, who observed that the raspberry ganache chocolate tasted “like 10 raspberries died” to make just one bonbon. The excellence was consistent across flavor categories. The citrusy yuzu caramel coulis was intensely fragrant, the filling fresh and runny. The thyme-praline (made with hazelnuts) was an unlikely yet balanced combination, with flavors that were both fully expressed and harmonious.
Though the Richart box contains a rainbow of flavors, the chocolates themselves are practically identical in appearance. For someone who enjoys the variety of sizes and styles in a more-traditional box of chocolates yet still craves a thrilling gastronomic experience, the Recchiuti chocolates would be a better choice.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: Compared with that of some of the other chocolates we tasted, the coating of the Richart bonbons was a bit thick in ratio to the filling. But the filling flavors are so intense that they still shine through. For some people, the intensity of the flavors may be overwhelming, especially if the chocolates are eaten in quick succession. This pick probably isn’t for someone with a more conservative palate. Also, the Richart box is precious but petite. If you wish to upgrade to a larger version, the next size up contains 49 filled chocolates and 36 squares and is more than double the price. What the Richart Initiation lacks in heft, however, it makes up for in pleasure. Finally, at about $160 a pound, these chocolates are the most expensive of our picks, even more so when you factor in the additional cost of shipping directly from France (unless you spend $90 or more, in which case shipping is free). But we think the vibrancy of these chocolates makes them a worthy splurge for a special occasion.
Pieces per box: 16 filled chocolates, plus 16 dark and milk chocolate wafers
Weight: 4.68 ounces
Shipping: Ships from France to the US and Canada. Our pick costs $23 to ship to the US, with free shipping for orders over $90.
The best nut-free boxed chocolates: Amore di Mona Assorted Mignardise Gift Box
Amore di Mona Assorted Mignardise Gift Box
Luxurious, vegan, and free of common allergens
These chocolates are perfectly executed, with subtle flavors and complex textures, and the presentation is beautiful. Vegan and free of common allergens, they’re a great option for those with dietary restrictions.
Who these are for: Nearly everyone will enjoy these chocolates. Yet this is also one of the few boxes we’ve found that those with allergies or other dietary restrictions can enjoy without worrying about cross-contamination or an unexpected nut.
Why they’re great: Forrest Gump reminded us that “life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.” But for the allergy-ridden among us, it’s imperative to know. And that often means treats like boxed chocolates are off the table for folks who have severe nut allergies or other intolerances. During our 2021 testing, we found that the chocolates in the Amore di Mona Assorted Mignardise Gift Box (16 pieces) were the best-tasting of all four allergen-free options we tried. They are vegan and made in a facility free of gluten, soy, dairy, tree nuts, and peanuts. And they have all the taste and texture of the finest boxed chocolates, without the threat of allergic reactions (including anaphylaxis).
The chocolates are slender and rectangular, which is typical of a mignardise, or bite-sized dessert. There’s not a lot of variety in shape or texture, but the box does include four pieces each of four different, satisfying flavors: Caffe, Frutta, Maple, and Sel. The Caffe had a strong taste of coffee; the Frutta contained pieces of dried fruit; the Maple tinged that chocolate a bit sweeter; and the Sel was sprinkled with the perfect amount of sea salt (great for those who like a salty-sweet combo). Each chocolate was expertly layered, with a ganache center, crisped brown rice, and either dried fruit or flavored caramel. And all were enrobed in a nice, thin layer of dark chocolate. This makes every bite texturally complex, though there isn’t much variety to the box itself. And the look of each piece is differentiated only by the simple and elegant garnishes, such as sea salt or chili flakes.
The Amore di Mona chocolates come in an attractive box with a branded ribbon and peep-through top. These bonbons can be romantic when necessary—for Valentine’s Day or an anniversary—but they don’t scream love with a capital L, the way drugstore boxed chocolates often do. If you’d like to go with a themed choice from Amore di Mona, the company offers different options, including heart-shaped boxes. It also has assortments with more or fewer chocolates, depending on your needs.
Flaws but not dealbreakers: This assortment includes just four flavors, with almost no textural variation from one flavor to the next. The Amore di Mona selection doesn’t come close to the thrilling array of shapes and textures found in the Recchiuti box, nor does it offer any particularly surprising flavors. If you’re looking for a nut-free option with a wider, more traditional range of bonbons, the Vermont Nut-Free Grand Assortment, detailed in the Other good boxed chocolates section, is a better choice. But we thought Amore di Mona’s chocolates were of better quality.
Pieces per box: 16
Weight: 8 ounces
Shipping: $9 shipping for orders under $35, $12 shipping for orders $35 to $150, free shipping for orders over $250. Also available in certain stores throughout the country, including some Whole Foods locations.
Why you should trust us
Lesley Stockton, a senior staff writer on Wirecutter’s kitchen team, has been a fervent consumer of chocolate her whole life, to the point where she can open up almost any box of assorted bonbons and immediately spot the chewy caramel (it’s usually square). Aside from her personal affinity for bonbons and truffles, she tasted many different brands as they crossed her desk when she was working as a food editor at Martha Stewart. She learned how to quickly spot the difference between inexpensive and high-quality chocolates by looking for a perfect temper, examining ingredients, and, of course, tasting.
Haley Sprankle loves chocolate, but chocolate doesn’t always love her. With a severe allergy to peanuts and other nuts, she’s been known to skip birthday desserts and other sweets to avoid anaphylaxis. She was more than thrilled to help Lesley and the rest of the team find an allergen-friendly boxed-chocolates option. In addition to having an affinity for sweets, Haley has also worked on several guides for the Wirecutter kitchen team.
Marguerite Preston, Marilyn Ong, and Gabriella Gershenson, who tasted chocolates for the 2022 update, are editors on Wirecutter’s kitchen team. They have decades of accumulated food journalism experience among them, and each of them possesses a healthy sweet tooth.
How we picked and tested
Chocolate is very personal, and that’s something to keep in mind when you’re giving an edible gift. One person may prefer a fruitier chocolate, while another may prefer something with nutty or floral notes. The options out there can be staggering, and the key is to look for a chocolatier that uses the best ingredients available.
High-quality chocolate, made from the best cacao beans, is the first thing to check for. Next is the filling. When a confectioner makes the conscious decision to produce high-quality chocolates, it will forgo preservatives and artificial flavors and instead use natural fruit, nuts, butters, spices, and herbs. The end result is something that isn’t as shelf-stable as Russell Stover or other drugstore chocolates. Preservatives in those drugstore offerings affect the flavor of the candies. When you pit long-life brands against more-perishable, high-end chocolates in a blind taste test, the differences are glaringly clear.
When we spoke with Eric Case of Valrhona Chocolate for the first edition of this guide, he made a point of differentiating filled chocolates from chocolate bars: “Chocolate and chocolates. Chocolate is something made from a bean, to give to someone that then creates a bonbon, or a confection, or a candy. ‘Chocolates’ are all kinds of things that happen to use chocolate in the ingredients, but they also have marzipan, toffee, nuts, or fruit.” Because of these additions, the shelf life of a quality box of chocolates is (generally) much shorter than that of a bar.
High-end chocolates run an average of $2 per piece, but shipping can really drive up the price. If you’re able to find some of the favorably rated chocolates in our lineup at a local gourmet market or specialty store, you’ll save on shipping, which can be upwards of $15 per order. Look at a chocolatier’s website to find a list of local retailers.
In choosing which chocolates to test over the years, we’ve polled colleagues and friends in the business and sought advice from Mark Bitterman, owner of The Meadow. We’ve also taken into account availability and usability of online stores because our goal is to find the best chocolates available to most people.
Overall, we’ve tasted 28 brands of chocolates since 2014. We held our original tasting of 11 boxed chocolates with a panel of nine friends and food experts, concealing the brand names. In subsequent rounds, we’ve tasted with smaller panels composed of Wirecutter kitchen team members, who’ve brought their varied culinary backgrounds to the table.
In each round (except in 2021 and 2022, when tastings had to happen individually due to the pandemic), we cut the chocolates into quarters so that more than one person could taste all of the offerings while also avoiding palate fatigue. Though this may sound like a silly problem, it can be quite frustrating when your taste buds become overstimulated and fail you mid-tasting. To try to limit this, we encouraged testers to pace themselves and cleanse their palates with saltines and club soda.
Because boxed chocolates are meant to be given as gifts, we thought the presentation should be a factor in judging, so we always presented the chocolates in their boxes.
In 2021, we focused exclusively on finding options that would offer the beloved boxed-chocolate experience to those with nut allergies and other food intolerances. Lesley and Haley tasted four promising nut-free options over Zoom, evaluating their packaging, flavor, texture, and consistency to ensure they were up to par with the rest of our picks.
For our 2022 update, we researched a wider variety of chocolatiers, including some brands suggested by our readers. Unfortunately, the Omicron variant changed our testing plans, so we had to limit our testing to a smaller sampling of our original list. We compared three new contenders against our top picks, based on our standard criteria.
Other good boxed chocolates
If you like a variety of flavors, but with a more subtle approach: The L.A. Burdick Signature Chocolate Assortment, which came in a wooden box, was well received. The square chocolates house a mix of French-inspired ganaches—including plenty of boozy options, like Macallan whisky and green Chartreuse. But they’re flavored with a lighter hand than some of our picks. These are safe, middle-of-the-road gift chocolates that are probably suitable as professional gifts. L.A. Burdick is based in New Hampshire, with stores in New York City, Boston, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, and it is best known for its chocolate mice, which are undeniably cute.
If you’re drawn to pretty packaging and colorful bonbons: The Knipschildt Chocolatier Large Signature Collection didn’t win top honors, but it was popular with some of our tasters. This chocolatier is based in Norwalk, Connecticut, and has quite a following in the surrounding region. Its textured, handmade paper packaging is some of the prettiest.
If you’re looking for a vegan option: La Maison du Chocolat’s Fruit Naturally Gift Box contains 16 pieces of dark chocolate, filled with an assortment of five vegan dark chocolate fruit ganaches. The citrus ones—the lemony Andalousie and the orange-y Chiberta—are perfectly fine, but they’re a little overshadowed by the vibrancy of the sweet-tart black currant, the zingy passionfruit, and the raspberry (which is packed with fresh flavor). The texture of the ganache doesn’t appear to suffer without dairy; it’s still smooth and creamy, and it melts nicely on the tongue.
If you’re craving more variety from a nut-free (but not completely allergen-safe) box: The Vermont Nut-Free Grand Assortment is an assorted box in the true meaning of the word—there are plenty of different shapes and flavors. This box mirrors boxes of chocolates that people with nut allergies may have coveted but ultimately had to abstain from. These bonbons tasted good but weren’t as well made as the Amore di Mona chocolates. And though the Vermont chocolates are produced in a 100%-nut-free facility, many are made on equipment shared with products containing gluten/wheat, soy, eggs, and dairy. If you’re looking for more of a classic-box-of-chocolates experience, these could deliver. But we recommend that you check the allergy information before purchasing.
The Michel Cluizel Milk & Dark Chocolate Truffles box was previously an alternative pick in this guide. But in our 2022 tasting, these chocolates didn’t impress us as much. As with La Maison du Chocolat’s box, this one is less adventurous than the Recchiuti box, with primarily plain ganache or praline truffles. But compared with La Maison du Chocolat’s bonbons, the Cluizel truffles were sweeter, and we found that some tasted a bit stale.
The Christopher Elbow chocolates were our top pick for 2014. In a blind tasting, one panel voted these their favorite chocolates. But in subsequent tasting panels, the chocolates came across as too sweet, and the flavors seemed a little heavy-handed. Though these chocolates are absolutely beautiful—they resemble baubles and jewels—they were pushed out of the top spots by our current picks.
Fran’s Gray & Smoked Salt Caramels are rumored to be some of Barack Obama’s favorite confections. Although they were nice, we didn’t like them enough to rank them among our favorites. The chocolates were on the sweeter side, and everything we tasted had a slight burnt flavor.
The Woodhouse Chocolate Traditional Assortment didn’t make a big impression with our first panel of tasters, but nobody ranked them last, either. This Napa Valley, California–based chocolatier makes bonbons that are colored only with natural chocolate colors, in shades of brown and white, with the assortment nestled in robin’s-egg-blue crinkle cups and boxes.
John & Kira’s Every Flavor Chocolates were big on flavor but ultimately pretty boring. They were all the same shape, size, and texture, with the only difference being the flavors of the ganache filling. We didn’t think these would make a great choice for a gift; instead, they’d be better for setting out at a dinner party while guests are lingering over coffee.
Biting into the chocolates in the Neuhaus Classic Ballotin was less exciting for us than the packaging. The shells were too thick, and the fillings were sugary and average. As for that packaging: The chocolates come in a box wrapped in shimmering paper, and it feels like Christmas morning when you’re opening them. Neuhaus is a Belgian chocolate company that has been around since 1857.
Jacques Torres Chocolate’s Assorted Bonbons offering consists of pralines, ganaches, and caramels. The box is pretty, and we thought the truffles and filled chocolates were attractive. But the chocolate itself had no complexity, and the flavor died on the tongue.
The Vosges Exotic Truffle Collection includes a bacon bar that was beloved by many people we talked with, but the assorted chocolates weren’t as well received. Vosges is famous for its round truffles with exotic, unexpected combinations, such as wasabi with black sesame and even Taleggio cheese with walnuts. The funniest comment we heard: “Cumin?? That’s a mean trick!” Vosges chocolates are available in Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas.
The Kate Weiser Chocolate Artist Collection is aptly named: Each shiny bonbon is a canvas for multicolored, Jackson Pollock–esque splatters. Although the look and the flavors are ambitious, the candies ultimately punched below their weight. The chocolate casings were thick, and they overpowered the fillings, which promised complexity (with components like cherry pâte de fruit and almond gianduja) but delivered muted flavor.
The No Whey Everything Good Collection is a nut-free option made in an allergen-free facility. But ultimately all of the flavors were too perfume-y, and the chocolate came off as waxy.
The Godiva Dark Chocolate Gift Box is another that came up in our comments section. These chocolates were Lesley’s favorite in high school, but since then, the quality seems to have gone downhill. And we truly believe these chocolates wouldn’t hold a candle to our picks.
The John Kelly Chocolates 12 Piece Signature Handcrafted Chocolate Collection came recommended in the comments section by a reader. The box felt reassuringly heavy in the hand, but the chocolates themselves were intimidatingly huge—each one is about the size of half a Snickers bar. The majority of these were overly sweet, and most of the fillings were thick and pasty, like old-timey fudge (to be fair, the company describes its chocolates as “truffle fudge,” which feels accurate).
The See’s Assorted Chocolates box was one of the value picks in our tasting lineup. The chocolates tend to be bigger, enough for two bites instead of one, with a mix of dark and milk chocolate around old-fashioned nougat and nut-caramel fillings. Although this chocolate received three strikes, it also got one third-place vote. The assortment may be a nostalgic standby for devotees, but it can’t compete with the more-boutique chocolates out there. Still, these pieces were far and away better than the Russell Stover chocolates.
Speaking of Russell Stover, this chocolate, along with Whitman’s, received all strikes from our panelists. Tasters commented on how artificial-tasting the samples were, and they generally disliked them as a whole.
If a chocolatier takes painstaking care to use only the finest ingredients, without any preservatives, the ideal window for consumption is two weeks from the day they are made. Your best bet is to buy as close to the day you’ll be giving them as possible.
If you get a huge box of chocolates and can’t finish them in two weeks, you can store them in the refrigerator for up to one month. After that, the flavors of the creams and ganaches can turn stale. When storing chocolates in the refrigerator, be sure to wrap the box very well in plastic wrap, and seal it in a zip-top bag. Prior to eating the chocolates, let them come to room temperature before unwrapping, to avoid any condensation.
Mark Bitterman, owner of The Meadow, interview
About your guides
Lesley Stockton is a senior staff writer reporting on all things cooking and entertaining for Wirecutter. Her expertise builds on a lifelong career in the culinary world—from a restaurant cook and caterer to a food editor at Martha Stewart. She is perfectly happy to leave all that behind to be a full-time kitchen-gear nerd.
Haley Sprankle is an updates writer at Wirecutter currently covering kitchen gadgets and financial content. She loves French bulldogs, French tucks, and french fries. It’s a wonder she hasn’t been to France yet, but it’s next on her to-do list.
Gabriella Gershenson is an editor on Wirecutter’s kitchen team. Since the early aughts, she has been covering food for publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, and Saveur, and she is a James Beard Award nominee. She considers herself an honorary Canadian but will not take sides in the Montreal–versus–New York bagel debate.