Opening a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s Factory: The Chocolate Bar

Located right in the middle of Rice Village, the strip mall near Rice University, is a place quite similar to Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory.

The immediate feeling  The Chocolate Bar has on a visitor is nothing short of awe and amazement. Though you’re not going to see any Oompa Loompas the employees are extremely friendly and helpful. Upon leaving The Chocolate Bar, you know two things: One, you want to come back in the future; and two, this is the perfect place for a date.

The Chocolate Bar features four different sections — candy, “creative” chocolate, ice cream and cakes and pastries, give or take a few areas that offer products that don’t fall under these classifications.

The candy section sports a large variety of confections which is what makes The Chocolate Bar’s candy selection so spectacular: they feature an innumerable amount of unique candies that you probably can’t find anywhere else. From novelty candies in the shape of Star Wars or Mario characters to the classic rock candy, the section is sure to satisfy a sweet tooth.

Although The Chocolate bar does not feature a chocolate waterfall, it does have a whole creative chocolate section which is home to rich chocolate, all molded in different fashions. For speech and debaters, there is chocolate in the shape of a gavel. And for those who like to decorate, The Chocolate Bar even features every letter of the alphabet made from chocolate. Other figures include animals, Texas-related shapes, and even a whole chocolate pizza in an original pizza box. If you can’t find a choice to your liking, you can even request chocolate to be molded into a shape of your own.

The ice cream section is simple: The Chocolate Bar offers a variety of classic ice cream flavors with unique names and nontraditional approaches. For example, the basic Chocolate Mint ice cream, dubbed “Cool de Menthe,” is colored brown instead of the usual mint-green. In addition to the unique aesthetics, the ice cream has an unexpected taste: an overall flavor of chocolate with an obvious hint of mint, with mini mint-chocolate flakes incorporated into the ice cream itself, guaranteeing minty satisfaction with every bite.

And finally, the cake and pastry section is where you can purchase slices or whole cakes for reasonable prices. The slices come in huge portions and although quantity is always nice, you can rest assured that the quality is really something else. On my latest visit, I decided to go with a slice of the Tres Leches Chocolate Cake and although I knew I’d punish myself later for falling for temptation, I can’t say I regretted it. It was the perfect blend of moist (the way Tres Leches should be) yet it stayed in one piece. The cake does not go overboard on sweetness, and though I had to share with three people, I found myself striving to get more bites. What’s even better is that if they cut something that seems “sloppy”, they’ll even offer discounts.

The atmosphere is light-hearted, casual and funky–  candy and heart-shaped decor hang from the ceiling and the overall color theme candy-colored.The Chocolate Bar is perfect for a date or the dessert portion of one, and even if you’re not on a date, it’s the perfect place to satisfy a craving. The Chocolate Bar is typically a sit-down place so it does get relatively noisy, but you definitely also have the option of carrying out. A trip here really does feel like you’ve found a golden ticket, except this time, everyone can experience The Chocolate Bar.

The Chocolate Bar is located at 2521 University Boulevard and opens every day of the week. Its hours of operation are from 10am to 10pm on Monday through Thursday, 10 am to midnight on Friday and Saturday and from noon until 10 pm on Sundays. The Chocolate Bar is also located on 1835 West Alabama. The Chocolate Bar also offers dog treats and freshly brewed coffee.