At a Glance
What is it?
An ice cream parlor and sweet shop from one of the most famous chocolatiers in the world.
Where is it?
What kind of food is served?
Ice cream, chocolate, and things dipped in chocolate.
What is the atmosphere like?
It’s a small store with only a handful of tables and chairs.
How is the service?
The staff behind the counter does a good job.
What are the prices like?
Higher than I’d like it to be but not surprising.
What else do I need to know?
Chocolate covered straberries. Just sayin’.
What’s the bottom line?
The Ghirardelli Chocolate Company has been in business since 1852, when Italian immigrant Domingo Ghirardelli opened a small sweet shop in San Francisco. One of the ways that it has remained competitive for so long is that it is one of the few US chocolatiers that controls nearly every step of the chocolate making process, from bean selection to roasting to refining and beyond. As a brand it falls somewhere above Hershey’s in terms of cost and perceived quality but is below the luxury, small-batch boutique chocolate makers, represented in Vegas by places like Ethel M. or Jean Phillipe. Godiva is probably its nearest rival.
Although you can get their chocolates in most supermarkets, there are only about a dozen Ghirardelli shops in the US including this new one at The LINQ Promenade. It replaces the long-standing store that was serving up sweets at neighboring Carnaval Court.
There’s not much to the place in terms of scope. There are a handful of tables and chairs at a counter that serves up ice cream and other chocolate treats. If you either can’t eat or aren’t in the mood for the heavenly ice cream, try the chocolate covered strawberries – huge, generously dipped, and perfect for a warm day snack. There’s also a small market area where you can buy pretty much any flavor of chocolate the company makes (caramel and mint are my favorites, FYI).
Prices are higher than what you’ll pay for the same chocolate in your local market but not by a lot. Unless you’re buying in bulk, you can easily get a more than satisfying dessert for $5-$7 depending on how many scoops you get.
I can’t say that Ghirardelli is my favorite chocolate in the world – after the closure of the Chocolate Swan a few years ago I’m not sure I have one anymore – but those looking for a good, high-quality sugar fix could do a lot worse in this town.