There's a reason why chocolate is at the top of many people's lists as their favourite foodie luxury — and while we could get into all the chemical reasons or even the health benefits, we're just going to point to the simplest answer: it's just fricking delicious.

February may be a tough month to get through weather-wise in Canada, but the approach of Valentine's Day mid-month means that at least we'll be awash in chocolate everywhere we look, whether it's prettily decorated store windows or co-workers who want to keep the temptation out of their homes.

Of course, there are plenty of different kinds of chocolates to be had, and it goes much further than just including flavours like mushroom and lavender in the craft. As with all delicacies, the connoisseurs want to know whether their chocolate is made from organic ingredients, has vegan-friendly attributes, and yes, is created using fair trade policies. One website and app, Choco-locate, has actually taken note of which spots in many major cities are doing this, so if raw chocolate is important to you, that's where you need to check.

So in honour of Valentine's Day (and for that matter, any other day you feel like indulging in something wonderful), we've rounded up the best chocolate shops across Canada. We confined the list to places that focus almost exclusively on chocolate (and it doesn't hurt that most of their creations are pretty gorgeous as well), so we know your favourite might not be on there ... but that doesn't meant we don't want to know about it anyway! Leave us a comment about your sweet spot below.

SEE: The yummiest chocolate shops in Canada:

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  • Anne Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Anne Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: Charlottetown, Cavendish and Borden-Carleton, PEI <b>Speciality</b>: Island recipes that drawn from L.M. Montgomery's famed character <i>Shown here: Anne's Chocolate Caramels ("I had one chocolate caramel once, and it was simply delicious. I’ve often dreamed that I had a lot of chocolate caramels, but I always woke up just when I’m going to eat them." – Anne of Green Gables</i>

  • Bernard Callebut

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Bernard Callebut</a> <b>Location</b>: British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Ontario — <a href="">check here for specific cities</a>, but headquartered in Calgary <b>Speciality</b>: Natural, preservative-free chocolates that, despite become from a massive company, are beloved by foodies <i>Shown here: Chocolate Heart</i>

  • Beta 5 Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Beta 5 Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: Vancouver <b>Speciality</b>: Ganache-filled chocolates finished with hand painting <i>Shown here: Signature Ganache-Filled Chocolates</i>

  • Casteleyn

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Casteleyn</a> <b>Location</b>: Burlington, Ontario <b>Speciality</b>: Belgian chocolates incorporating everything from rose to candied lemon <i>Shown here: Chocolate heart-shaped box filled with a dozen chocolates</i>

  • ChocolaTas

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">ChocolaTas</a> <b>Location</b>: Vancouver <b>Speciality</b>: Belgium chocolate in a wide variety, from truffles to caramels to barks to shooter cups <i>Shown here: Dark Chocolate Lace Heart</i>

  • Chocolate Arts

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Chocolate Arts</a> <b>Location</b>: Vancouver <b>Speciality</b>: Chocolates that "capture the spirit and flavor of British Columbia & the Pacific West Coast," with no artificial flavourings <i>Shown here: Sweetie Pop (with fizzing candy!)</i>

  • Chocolat, Chocolatiere de Victoria

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Chocolat, Chocolatiere de Victoria</a> <b>Location</b>: Victoria <b>Speciality</b>: French and Belgian small batch chocolates made with unexpected ingredients like wasabi and saffron flower <i>Shown here: White chocolate with saffron flower and a hint of cardamom</i>

  • Chocolate Barr's Candies

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Chocolate Barr's Candies</a> <b>Location</b>: Stratford, Ontario <b>Speciality</b>: Artisan truffles (and chocolate-covered strawberries for Valentine's Day) <i>Shown here: Chocolate heart box</i>

  • The Chocolate Claim

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">The Chocolate Claim</a> <b>Location</b>: Whitehorse <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles <i>Shown here: Truffle variety, including a Baileys truffle, brandy truffle, amaretto truffle and many more</i>

  • Les Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Chocolats Geneviève Grandbois</a> <b>Location</b>: Montreal <b>Speciality</b>: Creative twists on classic chocolates, like a ganache spiced with Espelette, cayenne and serrano peppers <i>Shown here: Box of chocolates including gianduja shortbread, black pepper, matcha tea, caramel with vanilla and salt and grapefruit</i>

  • Chocolats Privilège

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Chocolats Privilège</a> <b>Location</b>: <a href="">Various locations in and around Montreal</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles, ganaches, pralines <i>Shown here: Variety of Valentine's Day offerings</i>

  • Chocolatier Constance Popp

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Chocolatier Constance Popp</a> <b>Location</b>: Winnipeg <b>Speciality</b>: Single-origin chocolates with Manitoba ingredients <i>Shown here: Caramel cream heart chocolates</i>

  • Copponeur Chocolate

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Copponeur Chocolate</a> <b>Location</b>: Calgary <b>Speciality</b>: Single origin chocolate bars <i>Shown here: Chocolate "en bloc" bars</i>

  • Cotard Chocolatier

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Cotard Chocolatier</a> <b>Location</b>: Various town across Quebec — <a href="!form__map/c24vq">see here for specific locations</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Chocolates that look like gems <i>Shown here: Valentine's day flavours (praline, tea and raspberry, and strawberry, wine and cayenne pepper)</i>

  • Decadence Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Decadence Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: Winnipeg <b>Speciality</b>: Locally handmade artisan chocolates (like the Banoffee: dolce de leche, candied banana & white chocolate ganache molded in 70% dark chocolate) <i>Shown here: Mix of macadmia nut, raspberry truffle & cinnamon & chili hearts</i>

  • Delight

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Delight</a> <b>Location</b>: Toronto <b>Speciality</b>: Fair trade organic chocolate <i>Shown here: Box of 12 truffles</i>

  • Epiphanie Chocolate

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Epiphanie Chocolate</a> <b>Location</b>: Calgary <b>Speciality</b>: Fresh, high-quality chocolate that also looks goregeous <i>Shown here: Passionfruit hearts</i>

  • Forrat's Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Forrat's Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: <a href="">London, Hamilton and Windsor</a>, Ontario <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles and fine chocolates made without preservatives, with original flavours like tequila rose <i>Shown here: <a href="">The truffle lineup — check out the various flavours here</a></i>

  • Harden & Huyse

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Harden & Huyse</a> <b>Location</b>: Cobourg, Ontario and Saskatoon <b>Speciality</b>: Old-world Belgian chocolates, including many delicious filled options <i>Shown here: Box of 32 chocolates</i>

  • Island Chocolate Company

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Island Chocolate Company</a> <b>Location</b>: Victoria, PEI <b>Speciality</b>: Chocolates made from single sources, and flavoured using fruit grown by the chocolatemakers <i>Shown here: Maple walnut chocolates</i>

  • Jacek Chocolate Couture

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Jacek Chocolate Couture</a> <b>Location</b>: Sherwood Park, Alberta, and <a href="">various locations around Edmonton</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles that are truly stunning <i>Shown here: Nostalgia Collection 2013</i>

  • Koko Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Koko Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: Ottawa, though the store itself is only online — their chocolates <a href="">can be found at these retailers</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Chocolate truffles made with Belgian chocolate and natural ingredients <i>Shown here: Special Valentine's Day treat</i>

  • Mink Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Mink Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: Vancouver <b>Speciality</b>: Handfilled ganache chocolate bars <i>Shown here: Valentine Series Bonbons</i>

  • Miss Chocolat

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Miss Chocolat</a> <b>Location</b>: Gatineau <b>Speciality</b>: Everything chocolate, from truffles to caramelized nuts to chocolate organic fruit slices <i>Shown here: Valentine's Day boxes</i>

  • Newfoundland Chocolate Company

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Newfoundland Chocolate Company</a> <b>Location</b>: St. John's, and <a href="">various other locations across Canada</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Pure chocolate made by hand without any centres <i>Shown here: Heart-shaped box with 23 pieces of gourmet chocolates</i>

  • Odile Chocolat

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Odile Chocolat</a> <b>Location</b>: Toronto — a main store, <a href="">along with these locations</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles that look like artwork, with unusual flavour combinations like wild Canadian black trumpet, sake and Japanese green tea and champagne, black pepper and rose petals <i>Shown here: Box of 20 truffles in a variety of flavours</i>

  • Papa Chocolat

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Papa Chocolat</a> <b>Location</b>: Calgary <b>Speciality</b>: Ganache chocolates created by the founder of Bernard Callebaut <i>Shown here: Solid milk chocolate with heart design</i>

  • Purdy's

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Purdy's</a> — which is more like a giant company <b>Location</b>: <a href="">Locations across British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario</a> <b>Speciality</b>: A massive range which is nonetheless beloved by chocoholics across the board, favourites include "Sweet Georgia Browns" and "Melties" <i>Shown here: Tiramisu truffles</i>

  • Rheo Thompson

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Rheo Thompson</a> <b>Location</b>: Stratford, and <a href="">across Ontario at these shops</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Cream centre chocolates <i>Shown here: Valentine's Day offerings</i>

  • Rogers' Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Rogers' Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: <a href="">Various locations in British Columbia</a> <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles, in classic formations <i>Shown here: Red velvet heart box</i>

  • Soma Chocolatemaker

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Soma Chocolatemaker</a> <b>Location</b>: Toronto <b>Speciality</b>: Small batch chocolate in the form of truffles, bars and nuts <i>Shown here: Cosmic Heart (a chocolate heart filled with a raspberry praline crunch)</i>

  • Stickler Chocolates

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Stickler Chocolates</a> <b>Location</b>: Halifax <b>Speciality</b>: Artisanal ganaches and caramels <i>Shown here: 8-piece box, including Fresh Ginger, Extra Dark, Espresso Blend, Earl Grey, Sea Salt Caramel, and the Nightcap, along with other new flavours depending on the week</i>

  • Stubbe

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Stubbe</a> <b>Locations</b>: Toronto and Ottawa <b>Speciality</b>: Handmade truffles, with options like balsamic vinegar, gingerbread and 'fleur de biere' <i>Shown here: Heart full of chocolate delights, including orange peel, ginger, apricots, berry clusters, almond clusters, hazelnuts, nonpareils and florentines</i>

  • Sugah!

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Sugah!</a> <b>Location</b>: Halifax <b>Speciality</b>: Belgian chocolate that tests out modern flavour combinations alongside a classic style <i>Shown here: 100 Series Tablets, including flavours like Nova Scotian sea salt and house-made Fog Burner coffee</i>

  • Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Sweet Spot Chocolate Shop</a> <b>Location</b>: Halifax <b>Speciality</b>: Premium chocolates and fudge, as well delicious chocolate-covered marshmallows <i>Shown here: Hollow Valentine's Day turtle</i>

  • Terrible Truffles

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Terrible Truffles</a> <b>Location</b>: Victoria <b>Speciality</b>: Truffles, of course, using everything from hazelnuts to peppercorns <i>Shown here: Cassis truffles</i>

  • Thomas Haas

    <b>Store</b>: <a href="">Thomas Haas</a> <b>Location</b>: Vancouver <b>Speciality</b>: Handcrafted chocolates made with unique ingredients, like BC wine, Quebec maple syrup and Okanagan fruits <i>Shown here: Handpainted Chocolate Heart filled with handmade chocolates/truffles</i>

  • Xococava

    <b>Store</b>: Xococava (<a href="">website for sister restaurant Cava here</a>) <b>Location</b>: Toronto <b>Speciality</b>: Handmade chocolates with seriously surprising ingredients, like sausage and fennel pollen. <i>Shown here: Valentine's Day XO chocolates</i>

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