Central Fla. spots offer sweet Valentine's Day treats
Chocolate statues, chocolate wine or vegan-heart cupcakes: These are all delectable Valentine's Day treats that can be found in Orlando.
While some may swoon over a beautiful bouquet of roses, others may prefer to feed their sweet tooth on Valentine's Day.
To assuage the desires of the flirty foodies, be sure to check out these local spots where you can chow down on chocolate or dive into other sweet treats on the most romantic day of the year.
Chocolate may seem like a typical gift for Valentine's Day, but imagine being surrounded by the aphrodisiac in a room full of chocolate statues.
This is a real place at the World of Chocolate Museum and Café.
It features more than 24 chocolate sculptures, including the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, Mount Rushmore and the Statute of Liberty.
A tour to see the sculptures begins every hour.
The tour is $16.95 per person, but there is a $10 offer on Groupon.
After the guide is done showing the masterpieces, a tasty journey will lead you to sample various flavors of chocolates, coming from places ranging from Africa to Ecuador.
At the end of the tour, you can buy the chocolates that were sampled, or even try something different at the café (chocolates are $1.95, cakes are $5.45, macaroons are $1.98 and gelato is $4.95). The café also offers a wine and chocolate pairing experience ($17.90 per person).
At Chocolate Kingdom, which is a chocolate factory, patrons will learn about the history of chocolate.
Chocolate was born before the statues and worldly chocolates — back to the age of the Mayans and Aztecs.
The factory also has tours every hour that are $16.95 per person. The chocolate that is sold is produced on site.
At the end of the tour, you can customize your own chocolate bar for an additional $6. The shop has something different geared toward chocoholics — chocolate wine ($20 per bottle and $3 per cup).
It also has chocolate-covered strawberries ($2.50 each), chocolate-covered Oreos ($1.25 each) and even chocolate shoes (prices ranging from $1.50 for a chocolate slipper and $125 for a giant shoe).
The factory will be opening a second location in March near UCF's Rosen College of Hospitality Management.
Sassafras Sweet Shoppe also goes back on the chocolate timeline, but not as far back as the time of the Aztecs.
The shop offers vintage candies from the 1800's to the present, and the walls are covered top to bottom with nostalgic candies and decor.
It also has international treats, old-fashioned sodas and vegan treats. For those valentines who wish to stick to their diet, Raphsodic Bakery caters to vegans and offers wheat-free, gluten-free baked good.
Creativity is the heart of this hangout, serving more than a thousand flavors and having different items each day, according to its site.
It has cupcake flavors, such as almond rosewater, strawberry creme and pumpkin chai, and will have Valentine-themed treats on the special day. Cupcakes are $3 each.
Raphsodic Bakery isn't the only local cupcake shop with inventive flavors.
Gigi's Cupcakes offers gluten-free cupcakes as well as regular cupcakes.
The flavors range from champagne to lemon to Kentucky bourbon pie. Gigi's has cupcakes ($3.25), cheesecakes ($3.75) and cookies ($2.50).
From Friday through Sunday, Gigi's will offer specialty boxes, such as the Love Box, which consists of four gourmet cupcakes ($13 per box); a Smooch Box, which is 12 mini cupcakes ($18 per box); and the Conversation Heart Box, which consist of sugar cookies ($2.50 per cookie).
Where to soothe your sweet tooth...
World of Chocolate Museum and Café: 11701 International Drive, Orlando
Chocolate Kingdom: 2858 Florida Plaza Blvd., Kissimmee
Sassafras Sweet Shoppe: 115 E. Morse Blvd., Winter Park
Raphsodic Bakery: 710 N. Mills Ave., Orlando
Gigi's Cupcakes: Colonial Plaza Marketcenter; 2562 E. Colonial Drive, Orlando
Veronica Brezina is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future.