Editors' pick

Artfully Gifts & Chocolate

A chocoholic's stomping grounds in Old Town.
Sun noon-5 pm; Mon 11 am-7 pm; Tues-Sat 11 am-8 pm
(Old Town Alexandria)
King Street (Blue and Yellow lines)

Editorial Review

Erin Hartigan wrote about the shop's now-closed 14th Street location:

The shop offers espresso drinks and European-style hot chocolate, made with your choice of whole, two percent or skim milk and any added flavors that you desire, but you'd be cheating yourself not to try at least one of the eight hot chocolate combinations, all named after iconic women and available in 12 or 16 ounces. My favorite was the Lucy, a spicy cup of semi-sweet chocolate with chipotle and cinnamon. My cup didn't last long. The Audrey is the classic French hot chocolate, thick and dark, while the Joan has a shot of espresso inside. The Marilyn is made with white chocolate and orange, and the Liz is quite simple with a touch of soothing lavender.

As for the shopping, ACKC sells Kingsbury chocolates, Christopher Confections and more general seasonal items like greeting cards, chocolate pasta and novelty bars. In my visits, I have had ample time to explore the tables of merchandise waiting for my hot chocolate to be whirred up. For other amusement while you wait, the walls are lined with colorful paintings. Eric Nelson, owner of Del Ray's Artfully Chocolate and Artfully Paper, is also an artist working primarily with acrylics over mylar to create a bright foil-like canvas. He also has a wall of framed bas-relief mosaics.

--Erin Hartigan