At the Cocoa Planet Chocolate Factory in the town of Sonoma no one will bat an eye if you order dessert first. Or if you order three desserts first. This is a confectionary, after all, and handmade chocolate is their trade, so eat all you want.
Unfortunately for Willie Wonka fans dreaming of chocolate rivers and lickable wallpaper, Cocoa Planet’s tiny factory is a bit more dependent on shiny metal equipment than Oompa Loompas for their luxe bites of dark chocolate. They do, however, offer edible chocolate “dirt” along with decadent hot chocolates, chocolate tasting flights, chocolate creme brulee and chocolate cakes that would make August Gloop squeal with delight.
The factory recently opened a small indoor cafe and outdoor patio serving all manner of their vegan, gluten free, non-GMO chocolate bites as well as more savory dishes including cheese and charcuterie plates, gougeres (French cheese puffs, $7), soups, salads, cassoulet, French dip with prime rib, crepes, Croque Monsieur and quiche.
What makes the cafe space especially unique, however, is that all of the food is gluten-free—from the baguettes to the gougeres. The facility is also wheat, peanut-free, and the dairy they use for lattes and hot chocolate is lactose-free (or you can order almond milk). So for special diets, Cocoa Planet is even more of a treat.
They recently added a wine, beer, port and chocolate pairing menu, featuring their four of their five chocolates: salted caramel, vanilla espresso, deep dark truffle, mandarin orange. Flights pair each of the chocolate discs with recommended wine pairings, from deep reds to a cappuccino stout beer, sparkling wine and heartier after-dinner port-style sips. Two oz. pours are $6-8, and 5 oz. pours are $12-20. Wine and beer is also available by the glass.
Grab a few of their CocoaMint discs, which are only 100 calories (like all of their chocolates), for dessert. Or an appetizer. Or your entire meal. We won’t judge.
Cocoa Planet Tasting Room and Modern French Cafe: Open Thursday through Sunday from 11:30am to 6pm. 921 Broadway, Sonoma, 707-343-7453, cocoaplanet.com. Limited factory tours are available by appointment for parties of 8 guests or fewer, 707-343-7453 for details.